I've sent the following response to Julie Burchill's latest rant in the Guardian. I hope they will receive other responses. Let nobody forget, this was the woman who in 1982 dedicated her history of punk rock, "The Boy Looked at Johnny", to "Menachem Begin, the world's greatest man" (or words to that effect. My copy has been stolen; can anbody give the exact quote)..
Julie Burchill quotes Martin Luther King as writing a "Letter to an anti-Zionist Friend" in 1967. In fact, as confirmed by the pro-Israel pressure group CAMERA, this letter is a hoax. The letter does not appear in the alleged source (Saturday Review of August 1967), nor in any of King's writings. It is not known who forged it, though it seems to have first appeared in 1999.
On the main issue, it is politically illiterate to claim that anti-Zionism is equivalent to antisemitism. From its inception, the Zionist movement has been opposed by numerous Jews. Both religious Jews and socialist Jews (between them the majority of European Jews prior to the nazi extermination) struggled fiercely against Zionism. From the start of the 20th century, Jewish writers exposed the injustice caused to Palestinians by Zionist settlement and dispossession. The only Jewish cabinet minister opposed the 1917 Balfour Declaration.
Today too, large numbers of Jews not only criticise Israel, but oppose the entire Zionist project. From the ultra-orthodox of Stamford Hill and Williamsburg, to the socialist and secular , we reject both the crimes of the Israeli state, and its presumption to act in our name. We do not need or welcome the patronising comments of Ms Burchill.
Jews Against Zionism
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It was last updated on 11th December 2003.