Doxing Australian Jews serves Israel’s right

woman with blue screen reflected in her face
A bad actor at work on her computer (Jacob Wackerhausen/ Getty Images)

By attacking Diaspora Jews, those who think they are supporting Palestinians are only entrenching the conflict, writes DAVID LANGSAM.

The revelation that Australian Palestine supporters have been doxing Jewish artists and businesses, leading to death threats and boycotts, is astonishingly counter-productive.

By naming 600 Australian Jews and giving out their digital addresses, the people who think they are helping the Palestinian cause are aiding and abetting the aim of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A rise in global antisemitism related to the increased brutality against Palestinians might not be at the top of Netanyahu’s mind, but it certainly is a very happy coincidence for the Israeli right.

The logic is that if the world hates Jews, then all the more reason to fight with whatever means necessary for a Jewish state, a so-called “safe homeland for Jews from the next pogrom or Holocaust”.

By making life more terrible for Palestinians, Israel’s most right-wing Government in its history has either directly caused a rise in antisemitism or allowed the latent antisemitism in the world to come out from where it has been hiding since 1945.

The Israel right expects that Jews will leave the persecution of London, Paris, Melbourne or Sydney and come flocking to Israel. I doubt it.

Even juxtaposed with the rise in antisemitism in the Disapora, Israel is not a very safe, comfortable or relaxed land of milk and honey, reeling from the October 7 massacre and continuing to face rockets from Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Most Jewish creatives in Australia, if they have any politics on Israel, are leftish, moderate supporters of a two-state solution.

But antisemitism in Australia does nothing to help Palestinians. While it is true that criticism of Israel and anti-Zionism are not the same as antisemitism, doxing Jews – let alone threatening them directly –  is antisemitism.

The Palestine barrackers are not doxing or attacking the Zionist lobby – because that is far too hard. In fact, they are attacking those who are most likely to care about the rights of Palestinians. Most Jewish creatives in Australia, if they have any politics on Israel, are leftish, moderate supporters of a two-state solution.

It is as counter-productive as the BDS (boycott divestment and sanctions) attacking Israeli and Jewish artists and academics – the very people most likely to support the rights of Palestinians and push Israel towards resolution of the conflict.

Social media is flooded with memes, mostly plain wrong or unhelpful, while clearly aimed at geeing-up the home team. One of the Palestine propaganda sources, with a tag line of “eeee eeeeeinee” (Free Palestine), has been working frenetically to increase awareness of the horrors of Gaza.

But the propagandists never mentions that Hamas started the current round with its brutal rape and murder attack on October 7, with the obvious aim of enticing the embattled Benjamin Netanyahu – dependent of avoiding criminal charges by pandering to extreme right-wing elements in his government – to flatten Gaza and kill thousands of civilians.

What is happening in Gaza was the Hamas aim – and, yes, it has succeeded in making Israel look brutal and blood-thirsty.

It is time to stop the barracking for any side and work on a way forward. A ceasefire from both sides would be a great start. Hamas could stop firing rockets at Israel. Israel could stop bombing and killing Gazans.

But slogans and memes do nothing to seek a way forward. Blaming abstract concepts like Zionism, colonialism or Islamo-fascism for the tragic situation in Gaza does nothing to advance a ceasefire. Whatever one believes about the rights and wrongs of the founding of Israel, the blame game doesn’t help resolve the issue.

And the idea that attacking left-wing Australian Jews, of all people, will help the people of Palestine is sickeningly delusional.