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Saying sorry?.......Impossible?

Last week Australian PM Rudd make history when he apologised to Australia's indigenous people for the treatment meted out to them, especially to those who have become known as the "Stolen Generation".

Author and journalist Antony Loewenstein [see My Israel Question - published by MUP] in a piece in Haaretz "The hardest word" raises the critical question of why it is that Australia's Jewish leaders seem to feel empathy toward Australia's indigenous people but cannot, nor will not, apologise to or even extend any sympathy to the plight of the Palestinians. In his criticism he equally condemns Jewish leaders world- wide.

"Many Australian Jews resist recognising the suffering of the Palestinians. "Pounding the enemy only makes the enemy want to pound you back", Forward editorialised in early February. The fact that Hamas has offered a long-term ceasefire to the Israelis is not mentioned. "Why doesn't our government jump at this proposal?" asked Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery. "Simple: to make such a deal, we must speak to Hamas. It is more important to boycott Hamas than to put an end to the suffering of Sderot."

The Zionist leadership in Australia and across the Diaspora prefers a state of war to a state of peace because they have not yet acquired the moral standing to take responsibility for Israeli actions. As Aboriginal leader Patrick Dodson said last week: "It takes courage to apologise. It takes courage to forgive."It was a far cry from the Anti-Defamation League's Abraham Foxman, who last year equivocated over using the term 'genocide' to describe the massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians because he feared upsetting the Turks.

How much longer must we wait for the worldwide Jewish community to understand the dispossession and dislocation of 1948 and 1967? And when will the global Zionist leadership realise that Israeli policies in the occupied territories is leading to the country's destruction? America will not forever provide the moral, financial and military blanket for the Jewish state's behaviour. A recent survey by B'nai B'rith World Centre in Jerusalem found a majority of Israelis believed that Diaspora Jews had no right to publicly criticise the Israeli government. However, some Jews recognise that they have a special moral responsibility not to remain mute over Israeli crimes committed in their name and on which they may have some clear effect."

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