Sir, – As a member of the Jewish community in Ireland, I must assert my right to criticise the Israeli government’s appalling treatment of the Palestinian people without being labelled anti-Semitic.
While anti-Semitism is a real problem and must be fought, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism has been widely criticised for weakening the actual fight against anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and xenophobia.
Those promoting the IHRA definition aim to stifle criticism of Israel, silence support for Palestinian rights and divert attention from Israel’s “crimes of apartheid and persecution” (Human Rights Watch), evidenced by the administrative detention of over 600 Palestinians, including minors, and the forced removal of 1,200 indigenous Palestinians in Masafer Yatta to make way for an IDF firing zone.
Alan Shatter’s article on the IHRA (Opinion & Analysis, June 13th) suggests that all we need is constructive dialogue, but this ignores the daily reality for Palestinians – occupation, separation barriers, army checkpoints, separate road systems, the constant threat of evictions and home demolitions, extrajudicial killings and violent attacks by right-wing Israelis.
This systematic oppression and discrimination against Palestinians demands that Jewish communities speak out.
A growing number of Jewish groups, in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, France, Germany, Israel and Ireland, are standing in solidarity with Palestinians in their fight for freedom and justice.
Not in our name! – Yours, etc,
Source: The Irish Times