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Response to Angela Budai, Jews Against the Occupation: Part Two

Angela Budai has responded as follows to my previous email.

Dave,

Let’s agree to disagree. I absolutely support the right of Israel to exist. I have visited Israel on two separate occasions and studying the conflict in detail. I was educated at a Jewish Day School, was a member of a Zionist Youth Movement and spent a year in Israel studying and working. This is not to mention my studies of peace and conflict at university level.

I will forward your comments (which concern me, and are absolutely valid) to our group for discussion at our next meeting. I ABSOLUTELY CONDEMN SUICIDE BOMBINGS and do not find terrorism in any way shape or form acceptable.

I also reserve the right to criticise the actions of the Israeli government, just as I am outspoken in my criticism of the Australian Government.

I do not have all the answers to the conflict, nor do I profess to have them. I believe in the right to have an opinion and whilst I disagree with you, I will fight for your right to be heard as much as for my own. Groups like “Jews Against the Occupation” in Sydney represent an alternative Jewish view, just as groups like Gush Shalom represent alternative views in Israel.

Thank you for your feedback on concerns with the content on our website I will bring these to the attention of our group.

Regards,

Angela Budai

Ms Budai then sent me this follow-up email:

Hi Dave,

I have sent your comment out to our group and our web designer says:

Angela – I’m confused…why is this guy referring to ‘our’ website?…we don’t have one that is publicly available…it’s not on the net, there is only a draft, which I sent out last night and which clearly is not complete. he can’t possibly be referring to that..

Which website are you referring to? You are probably confusing our group with the American “Jews Against the Occupation” our group is actually “Jews Against the Occupation – Sydney” and don’t have a website up yet. Just wanted to let you know that might be one reason why we have different views on what our groups stands for.

Regards,

Angela

I have just penned this response:

Ms Budai,

The website I was referring to is found at http://www.jatonyc.org/. Since you state that your organization is completely separate from this one, may I suggest that you either change the name of your organization or expressly disassociate yourself from “Jews Against the Occupation.”. Any reasonable person would draw the same conclusion as I did since the names are identical, and your causes are similar. Furthermore, every time your name has been quoted in a news story, they mention you as a spokeperson/member of “Jews Against the Occupation” and not “Jews Against the Occupation – Sydney”. For example, see http://theaustralian.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,7757960,00.html and http://www.dawn.com/2003/11/03/int15.htm.

In any event, if you are truly only against the “occupation”, then you should also be criticizing:

– The Arab states, whose belligerency towards Israel necessitated Israel’s capture of the territories in 1967 and has necessitated that Israel not readily part with them as a matter of self-defence

– The Arab states and the UN, who have seen it fit to maintain the refugee camps, rather than absorb these people into other countries (much like Israel does with Jews from around the world)

– The PLO Arab leadership whose corruption has resulted in the misappropriation of funds, leading to further poverty and despair amongst the PLO Arab population

– The terrorists and their sponsors who have foiled every peace initiative

– Syria, for occupying Lebanon, as well as every country that is occupying disputed lands

It is the singling out of Israel for special treatment, especially when it faces real existential threats from its Arab neighbours and internal Arab population, which leads supporters of Israel like myself to question the real motivations behind groups like your own. This view is clearly not helped by the fact that these groups do not publicly and unequivocally condemn terrorism against Israel, but do condemn Israel’s actions in self-defence. You have just stated that you absolutely condemn suicide bombings. Can the same be said of the other members of your group? If so, do you not think that it is your moral duty to publicly state this?

I hope that you deeply consider the points that I have made in this email.

Stay tuned for more.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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