Antony Loewenstein ‘The Palestine Laboratory’ : How Israel exports the technology of occupation

Antony  Loewenstein ‘The Palestine Laboratory’ : How Israel exports the technology of occupation

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it's so wonderful to be here let me first start off by also igniting traditional owners in the land in which We Gather here tonight and pay my respects to their eldest past present and emerging also to thank BDS Australia for organizing the event tonight because you know this book came out a few months ago I'm going to talk a bit about what the book's about and why I think it's message thing still resonated and what's been so really extraordinary is that it came out here in the US and the UK in May and it seems to me I don't want to exaggerate or at this point but what seems to have happened is that there is a shift going on and I'll talk more about this later a shift going on in how many people perceive Palestine and openness to want to talk and understand what's happening in Palestine obviously what's happening in Palestine itself has arguably never been worse which we'll get to in a minute so there's a disconnect between the growing openness in parts of the West particularly and non-west of course I'm talking mostly about us UK Europe Australia to an extent not talking about at a government level here I'm talking about a person level and again I'll get more into detail about that and the response of the book is and I remember the book came out a few months ago and a week before it came out I was doing a 10-minute interview on MSNBC which is very corporate pro-democrat TV network not really friendly with Palestine the idea that there'd be a space for that to have an open discussion about but there was no holes bar talked about apartheid and Palestine I could say what I want I wasn't censored I don't want to exaggerate the importance of that that suddenly the occupation will end tomorrow no what I'm saying is there's a shift going on and maybe this book amongst others is part of that shift the book itself is not really about me but let me briefly say a little bit about myself for those who don't know because I think to some extent as Kathy said my journey so to speak is interesting and increasingly thankfully not so unique I grew up in Melbourne far too many years ago and as a Jewish person from Melbourne my family were escaped the Nazi Europe in 1939 the ones who didn't Escape were killed in the Holocaust and the ones who came out got a Visa wherever they could so it was Australia UK US Canada and the ones who came to Australia came in 1939 and settled in Melbourne and when I was growing up in the mid 70s and 80s Israel wasn't the center of our Lives by any means but it was simply expected that you support Israel this was just how it was where Jews Jews support Israel this wasn't really questioned at all in my family and frankly most of the Jewish Community for years there were people in the Jewish community of course who didn't have that view undeniably true but the vast majority of Jews in the Jewish community and there are now roughly a hundred thousand Jews in Australia so it's a relatively small community roughly between Sydney and Melbourne and it's interesting to note that Melbourne has just as a sort of interesting factoid one of the highest per capita's Holocaust survivors in the world is in Melbourne and I think that does to some extent explain a lot of the rabid pro-israel support that exists in Australia it doesn't it's not a necessarily an automated connection but I think it does explain some of that so when I was growing up in Melbourne the idea of being critical of Israel or supporting a Palestine was just an anathema I mean a completely an impossibility not because I wasn't allowed but I don't have any recollection of meeting a Palestinian until I was God knows far too old I'm going to say 20 I just didn't meet one there were Palestinians in Melbourne of course but I didn't meet any the Jewish community that I went uh that I was involved with I went to a non-jury school but the Jewish Community being pro-israel was simply a given that the idea that I heard this constantly at family dinners and family events at the family synagogue we used to go now and then for Jewish holidays on the Sabbath was Palestinians are terrorists and we can't deal with these people they're terrorists hustle them it's very binary to us all then we survived the Holocaust now it's now now it's our turn so the line went and when you're 10 or 12 you probably believe that you don't have a knowledge understanding history to really get what is being said but in my teens I started feeling a real discomfort and anger I guess about that I couldn't really fully explain that and I think it's important to note that this was actually before the age of the internet and that actually matters because I think so much of this shift which I'll talk about more has happened because of the internet and not this utopian about the Indian sense also got huge amounts of crazy awful as well as we all know but there's also positivity and I think the the lack of a filter that now exists for many people around the world to see what's happening in Palestine by Palestinians these days whether it's on social media has been a profound impact and it's much harder to control the narrative now than it was frankly 30 40 50 years ago so to fast forward many years I started writing about Palestine in 2003 20 years ago actually I'd moved to Sydney from Melbourne never been to Palestine at all at that State never lived there never visited there I had a lot of Jewish friends who had been there on what I would call propaganda trips which is common for those who don't know when you're a Jewish teenager it's encouraged by your family in the community to go to Israel and kind of fly the flag and in the US it's called Birthright here it's called something different but it's similar it's a two-week trip usually it's paid for by someone else and you're going to kind of go with an 18 year old kid and have a party and you don't learn anything about you know you don't speak to Palestinians God forbid can you imagine but you really the idea is to to do two things to bring back a love of Israel if you haven't got it already and secondly to make sure that your chances are partner with the Jew and this is really important part of this point let me explain what I mean by that if you listen to most of the Jewish establishment here and in the U.S in the last decade the idea of marrying out meaning marrying or having kids with a non-dew is seen as an existential crisis that our responsibility so we're told is to be with each other to be with Jews now this is not in one level unique to the Jewish Community I mean there are many other communities also say you should marry your you know an Iraqi or whatever you may be it's not unique to the Jewish Community I know that but within the Jewish Community this idea somehow that and this was often the way it was sold to me was after everything we've been through we being Jews you want to have a non-jewish kid and just those who don't know in the Jewish line it goes through the mother so in my case if I'm with a non-jewish woman which I am now thankfully I'm not thankfully that I am um the children are not technically Jewish according to traditional Jewish law which obviously doesn't concern me enough to not do it but this is a strong line in the Jewish Community then and now so the idea of going to Israel's in 1819 20 year old is to have a great time have a great party for two weeks and hopefully either partner up with the Jew or make yourselves convinced that you should only go out with Jewish people men women whatever is your thing and I didn't do that trick for better or worse fast forward to 2003 and I'll just summarize this briefly because the book's not about this really at all but it's an interesting I think background to understand how there's been a shift within the Jewish community in the last decades that I started I wrote my first piece for the Sydney mining Herald in 2003. and back then I saw myself as not a radical I said I believe in a two-state solution I definitely believe in Israel as a Jewish State I mean God forbid I'm an anti-zion as can you imagine I definitely did not say any of that but I use the word apartheid I'm not saying yay me but I use the word what's happening in Palestine it's apartheid which it was then and clearly is now and the Jewish Community lost their I mean there's no other way to explain this it was kind of ridiculous because a Palestinians had been saying this for decades other Jews I wasn't the first one had been saying this for decades not as many as they should but they were and I then ended up as Kathy mentioned I wrote a book called my Israel question in 2006 which again in hindsight I looked at now was pretty moderate it wasn't some crazy radical text calling for you know Jihad against Israel two-state solution believe in Israel as a Jewish State pretty it's kind of like that's actually Australian American government policy by the way that's the policy then and now a year before the book came out a then MP Michael Danby who I miss very much he's not in Parliament anymore came out in Parliament in Canberra condemning the book saying it was a disgrace I hadn't written it I hadn't hadn't come out I'd sent him questions which were reasonable saying you know what they were reasonable questions the book comes out in 2006 and within a matter of weeks it was a bestseller which was partly because the Jewish Community was trying to attack anyone who gave her the space to be heard they lit my publisher was in Melbourne University press who was then run by Louise Adler who now some of you may know now runs the Adelaide Writers Festival this year to a great credit invited many Palestinians to speak at that Festival despite all the that she faced she held firm and I really respect her for that but back then she ran MEP and she's a an older Jewish history and she must be played in her 60s now and there were there was pressure by Israel's leading Lobby group to pulp the book on the MEP board which thankfully they resisted but this gives you a sense of the Hysteria the theory about simply saying Palestinians are human beings maybe Jews should think a bit more about what is being done to Palestinians in our name and I think to me what I thought of then and now about this issue is that in many ways I see this as the threats or the perceived threat was me saying and I wasn't the first one but me saying we are all culpable here I say we I mean the Jewish Community we're culpable we're culpable because we are the community that is backing blindly the Israeli project much of the Jewish diaspora without that Jewish diaspora support there would not be an occupation there would not be arguably even in Israel this is how it works yes the US government's vital of course it is but there's a reason why the U.S

government and many governments support Israel lots of reasons but a key reason is the Jewish diaspora putting pressure on various governments to support Israel and if that Jewish diaspora is more critical or is a fractured which is increasingly happening then there's Israel has a problem on its hands which I'll get to anyway that was a crazy time light years away and in the last 20 years I've been visiting Israel Palestine every three or four years reporting from Jerusalem and Israel and the West Bank and Gaza and in 2016 I moved to East Jerusalem with my partner who was then working for Oxfam the NGO I was there for a number of years and that's where the idea I guess for this book began and I'm not the first one to say that Israel's battle testing weapons others have said that but I think what came to me was I wrote a book in 2015 in a film a few years after called disaster capitalism which wasn't about Palestine at all but it was about the idea of people making money from misery talked about the wars in Afghanistan I was there and various other places making money from the aid industry from the mining industry the immigration industry and people have always made money for misery that's true but to me what's happened in the 21st century is a massive acceleration of that globally the whole the nature of the ability for corporations to make money on a massively global scale is unprecedented in human history so I guess that book came out and I started thinking about what I would do next which ended up being a book on the drug war but after that was thinking increasingly when I was there I think before I went to Palestine in 2016 my thought had been this is not sustainable meaning what's happening in Palestine now is not sustainable surely at some point I thought in 2015-16 enough of the world will rise up and say enough and I think when I started living there my view about that change now I'm not suggesting things can't change and I mentioned they are changing but the sense that things are in my view now pretty permanent there when I say permanent I mean in the short to medium term a situation in Palestine is the occupation is not reversible it's done there's ways to address that which we'll get to but my point being there's not going to be a two-state solution it's over it was never going to happen anyway in my view but it's over and when you reckon when I I guess recognize the idea of so how is Israel maintaining that occupation so in their views successfully few reasons obviously it's Global impunity there's really no pressure on Israel whatsoever which is a unique situation occasionally the US might put out a tourist press release about settlements which Israel of course dismisses Australia follows along like a little laptop that we are the EU puts out a very they're very concerned about the occupation then they keep on trading with Israel more than they've ever traded before the EU is Israel's biggest trading partner by the way so it's Global impunity and but what also to me seems very clear and this is what the book investigates is the arms industry is Central to this now a lot of other countries sell arms the US is the world's biggest arms dealer which sells 40 of the world's weapons the biggest by far other countries in the top ten there's Russia and France and others Israel's not the only nation that sells weapons of death I know that but the difference with Israel is that it has a ready-made occupied Palestinian population on its doorstep permanently to test a plethora of weapons I go into this in the book that there's everything from drones to spyware to facial recognition technology it's a biometric data a range of other tools tested on Palestinians by most of the Israeli companies that have veterans from the IDF the Israeli Defense Force and often from the intelligence um of the IDF called Unit 8200 which is like the US NSA some of you may have heard of the NSA which was the NSA is essentially the world's biggest intelligence gathering unit which is run by the US government this is where the documents were exposed by Edward Snowden 10 years ago detailing this Mass surveillance unlike anything we've really imagined before and Israel's A200 is the equivalent of that in Israel and regarded globally as equivalent to the NSA even though Israel is a relatively tiny country of with the occupied population 15 million people compared to the US which is about 340. so many of these Israeli companies that are developing all these weapons are done by veterans who have spent decades surveilling and monitoring Palestinians that's their job 24 7. and when I started looking into this the range of not just the range of companies that were doing this or that's obviously part of the story this book is not like a business story it's not a dry story about well this company does this this company does that it's part of that it's more the book released I guess in three parts in a way one part of it is to expose that I think many people have said to me since the book came out we're not aware of the profound extent of Israeli complicity in post-world War II awfulness around the world is unbelievable now all of us on the left will say well we know what the US has been doing for 70 odd years including much every corner of the globe what is far less known is Israeli involvement in complicity in just as many countries now I don't want to listen to them all because you want to go home at some point but if you think of pretty much any repressive state in the last 75 years I'll just give you a taste of a few Iran during the Shah South African apartheid four decades which I'll come back to in a minute the Dirty Wars that the US was pushing in Latin and South America in the 70s and 80s and Israel was Central to that funding arming training death squads in Guatemala in the 80s at a time where Guatemala was actually committing genocide against its own indigenous population now what's known about that is the US's involvement relatively known and there's been no accountability but it's known or more known but the Israeli involvement is far less known that's not a conspiracy but it's just less known and I wanted to I guess uncover that talk about that and explain that because I think that does go a long way to explaining why there is such Global impunity both in the past and now another reason I wrote the book was really as a warning it was to say to people who maybe aren't as aware of these things that Israel really frames itself and sells itself as the world's greatest leading ethno-nationalist state no one even comes close now what do I mean by that I mean a state that proudly discriminates against anyone who in this case is not Jewish for those who don't know as a Jew I can go to Israel tomorrow if they let me in I can go to Israel tomorrow and if I can prove that I'm Jewish I can be a citizen within two or three months have a passport now I haven't done that ever for political reasons I refuse to do so because Palestinians have not got the same right but I could do that tomorrow and for many many people I think around the world there is not really an understanding of how influential this model is and let me explain what I mean by that I mentioned before apartheid South Africa and that's a really important comparison point because Pi side ended in 1994 at least officially although I would say they're still economic apartheid in South Africa today against the black population but Israel and South Africa back then were the best of allies and it's actually really important to understand why that's so relevant today the world was profoundly in the end against apartheid South Africa took decades but eventually they were but during the height of apartheid particularly in the 70s and 80s Israel and South Africa were two things they were defense partners South Africa was buying huge amounts of weapons from Israel but it was more than that it was an ideological alignment I have all these documents in the book from Declassified documents which detailed both sides profoundly admire what the other were doing so Israel admired what South Africa was doing to its black population and South Africa deeply admired what Israel was doing to the Palestinians we are both in a war against barbarism that's their words we're fighting for our very survival here that's their words and that ideological alignment is important because until the end the only country that stayed friends with South Africa until the end was Israel right to the end even when the U.S even when wonderful Us in the end finally turned against South Africa Israel didn't of course I don't admit this now but the documents prove that and why is that relevant now it's relevant now because so much of the occupation I would argue or at least part of the occupation was deeply inspired by what South Africa was doing to its black population area Sharon that now deceased frankly war criminal former Israeli Prime Minister had gone to South Africa a decades ago and had seen what South Africa was doing to its black population building these sort of banter stands two days for those who don't know what that means these sort of um self-nominally self-control black communities essentially they were not of course but to the black communities where the white population of course had power over them and it really it might what was happening there wanted to do something similar in Palestine and again I'm not suggesting what's happening in Palestine is solely because of that but it was a big inspiration for what Israel ended up doing keep in mind the fact the occupation at least post 1967 although as I say in the book in my video the occupation started in 1948 but nonetheless post 1967 it accelerated of course there were Jewish settlers in the West Bank of course and in Gaza initially a fringe movement which has now become disturbingly very mainstream but nonetheless that was there and so in the 70s there weren't that many settlers in the West Bank yet or Gaza and the idea that so much of what Israel was doing could be mimicked on South Africa keep in mind back then there was no real pressure on South Africa to change and happened in the end so why is that relevant today it's relevant today because I see a lot of really concerning warning signs about where Israel is now inspiring the modern nation-state and the one that comes to mind which I talk about a lot in the book is India now India for those who don't know is now the world's biggest Nation the world's biggest population the world's biggest self-described democracy beat China this year because China's birth rate is declining but India's is surging and since the Prime Minister Modi came into power in 2014 there has been a real again ideological alignment between Israel and India now I'm not saying that India is doing what it's doing because of Israel they're not but they're deeply inspired let me explain what I mean by that so what India is trying to do now under Modi is to build a Hindu fundamentalist state they're not shy about it they open about it the fact that much of the West is turning a blind eye to it is profoundly disturbing including Australia where anyone who was here a few months ago had the frankly undignified side of Albanese slobbering over Modi when he was here Biden was slobbering over Modi at the White House a few months ago why because India is not China I mean we all know how why this is happening but what India is trying to do is to build a Hindu fundamental estate to discriminate profoundly and against its 200 million Muslim population there are regular pogroms now against Muslims does get a bit of international press but not nearly enough you have his Indian officials in the last years openly praising what Israel is doing in the West Bank saying we want to do something very similar in Kashmir which is what India is doing now bringing huge amounts of Hindus from the south of India into Kashmir which is a Muslim majority area now India's not doing that as I said again because of Israel but they're inspired by Israel and this to me is where the threat lies ethno nationalist States stick together it's not like an official Club but it's they stick together and the reason that's a threat even beyond the Indian example which is disturbing enough is you know it struck me in the last years noticing and some people who might follow this will notice this too if you go to far-right rallies which I do for work purposes just to be clear not fair not for fun here and elsewhere often you'll be surprised to find there are Israeli Flags not always but sometimes now on the face of it that might seem pretty weird this is these are far right often Nazis waving the flag of a Jewish state what's going on and I talk a lot about this in the book because this is really an important point that many people I think are not appreciating I have a quote in the book from Richard Spencer some of you may remember that Charming Man from a few years ago he's a so-called alt-right leader in the U.S

you've got a lot of notoriety when Trump good work when Trump became president he's still around and he said I call myself I'm a proud white Zionist he's a proud white Zionist now what does that mean for someone on the old rise someone who traditionally doesn't like Jews proudly a white Zionist let me tell you what it means it means that there is a growing Global it's not an official Coalition but a coalescing of forces around the idea that Richard Spencer would say if he was here but I admire he said this and I have quotes in the book of this I admire what Israel is doing to build a proud Jewish nation which benefits Jews solely I want to create the same thing for Christians in my country countries in the US and there's a reason why you have Israeli officials Israeli government officials partnering reaching out to far-right groups across Europe Hungary Austria Spain Romania often parties which historically are tied to neo-nazis and fascists so you have an Israeli government I'm not just talking about the government this Sean Netanyahu I mean he's been in power for seemingly ever but didn't change much last year when he was not prime minister there is a growing coalescing between the global far right unusual I'm not saying everyone on the far right globally loves Israel they don't but it's a disturbing sign to me of where so much of this power is going that they see Israel as the Ultimate model it's a model of not just Jewish Supremacy which is clear but it's more than that it's also as I've said a lot in the last few months it's the idea that you can get away with it now you can't really sell that it's not a weapon you can't sell getting away with it but it's an idea that says that you can get away with it because people look at Israel and they say you are getting away with it no one's stopping them as I said beyond well to be discussed but yes I mean I mean Global powers are not stopping them um it's obviously resistance within Palestine but I mean in terms of global Powers what I'm in U.S Europe Etc so what I tried to do in the book is to apart from as I said say what is happening should be a concern to all of us is to explain why Israel a tiny country is now the 10th biggest arms dealer in the world it sells weapons so it has sold weapons to over 130 countries in the world which is the majority of Nations on the planet democracies and dictatorships not just the Nations maybe you'd expect democracies as well not that I'm saying democracies wouldn't buy that kind of Technology but they do it might be the 10th arms dealer in the world but it's one of the top spyware dealers in the world now Kathy mentioned in the beginning Pegasus for those who don't know what Pegasus is I'll just briefly explain because that's often what's been away in for many people to this story but it's also been a gap in how it's been covered Pegasus is basically a phone hacking tool so it's sold by a company called NSO Group which again for veterans of the IDF in Israel founded about 15 years ago and its first major client was actually Mexico Mexico was fighting then and now apocalyptic drug war and they were sold on this idea that they could find out all the information about drug cartels by using very powerful spyware and one aspect of this story which you might not know El Chapo that Infamous drug lord was captured Pali because of NSO group in Pegasus interesting part of the story anyway I have that in the book but Mexico then and now for a range of reasons is the biggest user of Pegasus in the world under the right-wing government in the past and even now when it's nominally left-wing so they claim obsessed with Pegasus now how does Pegasus work years ago you would maybe get a text message you know people often get random text messages there's like a link you click on it you forget about it you move on that link would potentially infect your phone and you have no way of knowing now all a country or military or intelligence needs is your number that's it iPhone Android that's it your phone's infected and Pegasus has been sold to 70 80 90 countries around the world democracies and dictations and Pegasus is the tip of the iceberg now I talk a lot in the book and interview huge numbers of people who were surveilled by Pegasus now Pegasus Doesn't Kill You per se it's not a drone it's not a missile but the people I spoke to in places like Mexico Togo India is a journalist human rights activists others that you can imagine in many countries including here but particularly in places which are deeply repressive including democracies like India so-called democracies that if the state has access to your phone which can potentially have all your information contacts photos emails of course the potential you can have both personal information which could be incriminating or it could be just you know professional information about contacts or sources whatever it may be and a lot of people I spoke to felt completely violated that they could never really in one level get their life back together again I mean they're mostly these people some people who have been surveilled have been killed many of them haven't been killed because they've been surveilled they're being killed because they're a target of the state Mexico or amongst other nations and what I show in the book is that Israel has sold these tools and Technologies as a diplomatic weapon let me explain what I mean by that so I show in the book almost like a timeline where Israel in the last 10 years has tried very hard to make more friends there are some in the Israeli Elite who are aware you might not really get this perception but there is an awareness in parts of the Israeli Elite that much of the world doesn't like what it's doing they're not doing anything about it but there's an awareness of that so the aim is to make friends I mean transactional friendships is what I would call it so Netanyahu or the Mossad has gone to many nations UAE Saudi Rwanda India and they sort of hang Pegasus as a diplomatic tool and they say we'd love to see this amazing piece of technology you can go after anyone you want and in return we'd like you to maybe vote in a certain way in the U.N that's how it works and within 6 to 12 months in many of these countries and I detail this in the book these tools are in use their dissidents are being surveilled and Israel has more friends so-called friends in the last years we've read a lot about Israel's apparent Acceptance in the Arab world so we're told some of you may remember during Donald Trump's presidency the so-called Abraham Accords which were this deal that said that Israel was now fully accepted in the Arab world and there was a deal between UAE Bahrain Morocco in the end and at the moment there's an attempt to bring Saudi on board now a part from the fact that the idea that the Arab people love Israel which was always I mean even in Nations like each Egypt or Jordan which have been at peace for decades if you'd see any polling of Egyptians or jordanians that ain't a fan of Israel the governments love Israel and all those Nations I just mentioned but desperate to get Israeli weapons arms a few weeks ago Israel released its 2022 arms Figures it's the latest we've got 12 and a half billion U.S the highest ever doubled in a decade and 24 of those deals went to Arab autocracies 24 so what does that tell you it tells you that they're pretty desperate for spyware and various other weapons and also tells you that when they release the figures for this year which will come out in the first half of next year that figures almost certainly to be higher why since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year much of Europe has been begging Israel for huge amounts of weaponry and they've been selling it mostly missile defense shields missiles in general Israel to sign its biggest deal ever with Germany recently for a 3 billion U.S

interestingly Israel will not sell many weapons to Ukraine the nation that's actually in a conflict with Russia why it's complicated but the short version is for the last year some of you may be aware that there's been this course you're aware horrific civil war in Syria and Israel has wanted to be allowed to bomb what they claim a Syrian and Iranian sites within Syria but Russia has controlled the skies and therefore Israel doesn't want to piss off Putin and Russia and if they sold weapons to Ukraine they would so in the last year and a half since the Russian invasion of Ukraine there's been huge amounts of U.S pressure and other pressure on Israel to sell weapons to Ukraine they haven't really gone Israel I haven't sold many weapons at all a few defensive weapons despite all depression and again this comes I guess to the now like wrap up here before questions is I really see the arms industry as an insurance policy for Israel that as I said at the beginning there is a realization amongst parts of the Israeli Elite I'm not talking about far-right fascists who are now in the Israeli government they have a hubris and arrogance Which history would suggest they have good reason to be so at least for now I'm talking about the so-called cleverer Israeli Elites they realize at some point there's a Tipping Point there always is in issues so in the short to medium term Israel could feel pretty confident that they have virtually no International opposition they're selling weapons on a rate beyond anything imaginable despite the current Israeli as many people be aware they see lots of Israeli Jewish protests lots of Articles talking about a potential Exodus of Israeli Jews it hasn't really happened yet the Israeli defense industry has not been interrupted by any of these protests let me tell you they are moving along smoothly so I say it's an insurance policy because Israel feels and often have quotes in the book explaining this they feel in many ways that are nation's likely in the short to medium term to criticize us if we're selling them the most essential weapons that they want I would argue the answer that's probably no in the shot to medium term now again South African apartheid show that shows that eventually at some point International pressure in that case boycott divestment sanctions a range of other tools and Tech fan tactics there was a global pressure and a shift that South Africa was told you have a choice you either continue as you are or you will be a prior indefinitely and South Africa made a variety of decisions and negotiations in 994 apartheid was officially over and I guess I'll leave you with just this point that to me this can sound pretty damn Grim it's pretty Grim I'm not trying to have a silver lining on this but one thing that is and there's a lot of actually I would say some degree of Rays of Hope and it might not be so obvious when I speak but one thing that has increasingly inspired me I mean amongst other things and I discussed this in the book is for those of you who don't know there is what I call there's a growing Jewish Insurgency happening in the Jewish Community it's happening it's not so obvious here although it's happening here in the U.S it is alive and well and what I mean by that is this for decades and decades and decades since 48 but particularly since 67 there has been a Jewish establishment position which was Israel right or wrong doesn't matter who's in the White House Democrat Republican we will support and back Israel 110 percent that's mostly now been an older generation and what you find in the last 10 or so years is a growing number of young users I'm not talking about three or four people I'm talking about in large numbers who are not just saying not in my name not just saying we don't you don't speak for us them being the Jewish establishment the Apex and others the Israel lobby but putting massive pressure on other political forces growing alternative organizations Jewish voice for peace amongst others engaging BDS engaging Palestinians I mean things on one level that should not be controversial talking to Palestinians crazy idea but the fact is for decades the vast majority of the Jewish establishment did not speak to Palestinians even today even today Australian and American politicians and journalists are going on Israel regularly on Israel Lobby trips paid for by Israel lobbies I'm talking about Labor and liberal Republican and Democrat journalists across the board even still today on propaganda trips to kind of prop up the illusion of what Israel is but I would say that's breaking down and I don't want to again as I said at the beginning exaggerate the shift in the Jewish Community but it is real now how that plays out politically of course like all things is how do you shift a political shift in the community to political power and that's still very much a work in progress in the U.S but I am that does encourage you because in the last five years there's been more change in the Jewish community in the US than it has been the last 50. I'll leave it with that a slight Ray of Hope thank you

2023-09-09 04:28

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