Articles in the May issue of AMUST critical of Scott Morrison’s support of Israel for its attacks on Gaza was too much for Israel’s misinformation machine and a hit piece attacking me and other contributors to AMUST appeared in the July 2021 Australia Israel Review.

In May 2021 after over a week of provocation and attacks by Israelis on al-Aqsa Mosque and attempts to intimidate the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah, so that  illegal Israeli settler-terrorists could steal their homes, HAMAS responded by launching small erratically flying rockets into Israel.

These were little better than glorified fireworks and, in contrast to the damage done to al-Aqsa, inflicted little damage.

Israel’s response to this was a bombing campaign which deliberately targeted residential buildings and a building used by the media with precision guided 5,000 pound, (2268kg) bunker buster bombs supplied by the USA.

These buildings were occupied by Palestinian families, a number of whom were obliterated in the attacks. All told 256 Palestinians, including 66 children were murdered by Israel and over 1600 wounded.

Israel later claimed with zero evidence that the media centre was used by HAMAS for communications and the houses had HAMAS communication tunnels under them. Even if remotely true this is no justification for the deliberate precision targeting of civilians.

This resulted in widespread international condemnation of Israel’s crimes against humanity and massive anti-Israel protests in major cities around the globe. This naturally put Israel’s misinformation machine into overdrive.

In an article in the May issue of AMUST I criticised Scott Morrison’s uncritical support of Israel and his dog-whistling in support of Israel’s attacks on Gaza. I also pointed out that young members of Australia’s Jewish community were being actively recruited and trained to serve in the Israeli Defence Force.

A defence force which regularly commits crimes against humanity and which on at least one occasion has bombed Australian citizens holidaying in Lebanon.

If a Palestinian Australian travelled to Palestine to fight against Israel they would be sentenced to a long jail term under Australia’s anti-terror laws yet Jewish Australians can serve in the IDF with impunity.

This was too much for Israel’s misinformation machine and a hit piece attacking me and other contributors to AMUST appeared in the July 2021 Australia Israel Review.

The article was written by Ran Porat, a Research Associate at the Australia & Israel Jewish Affairs Council and the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University and a member of an Israel-based “think tank”.

He implies that AMUST, I and other contributors are anti-Semitic and promote martyrdom in Australia. Porat further states that my claim that young Jewish Australians are being recruited and trained in Australia for military service in Israel is not true.

I cited reliable sources when I made that claim and I invite him and any others with doubts to look them up.

I have looked up other articles by Ran Porat. Many adopt the mantle of victimhood and complain about the rest of the world attacking poor innocent Israel.

Apparently my “crime” was to call on the Australian government to make it an offence under anti-terror laws for Australian citizens to serve in the IDF or provide financial support to illegal Israeli settlements.

This perfectly reasonable request makes me an anti-Semite in Porat’s eyes. There is a law of debate called Godwin’s Law which basically states that anyone who has no valid argument will resort to making references to Hitler or calling their opponent a Nazi.

Porat ‘s accusation of anti-Semitism is one step short of that, but it is the equivalent of Godwin’s Law when the argument is about Israel. Vigorous criticism of Israel or its illegal settlements and human rights abuses is not anti-Semitism.  

I am fully aware of the horrors of the holocaust and am saddened and repulsed by them and the fact that such horrors are still occurring. Denial of the holocaust and attacks on Jews and the Jewish faith are indeed anti-Semitic and I wholeheartedly reject them.

However I am offended by Porat’s accusations. It does him and other uncritical supporters of Israel no service to fighting real anti-Semitism by using that term in such a cavalier fashion.