Antony Loewenstein is an Australian anti-Israel activist who describes himself as “a non-practising atheist Jew”. He has just co-written a book with Ahmed Moor called After Zionism, about the search for a one state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
Last night Loewenstein and Moor spoke at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to promote the book.
Loewenstein told the audience of about 150 that “Zionism actually is the issue here. Although it is probably very hard to imagine in 2012 the idea of a Middle East country called Israel that’s not a Zionist state, the truth is that it was impossible equally to imagine a South African country that wasn’t wracked with apartheid.”
Both Loewenstein and Moor are big supporters of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Moor was, incidentally, born in Gaza and is now at Havard doing a Master’s in Public Policy.
Loewenstein said that getting bands and musicians not to go to Israel to perform is “a tool, not an endgame”. It was, he said, a way of telling Israel that “if you choose to behave in this way you’ll not be treated as a normal state.”
Loewenstein described the Israel Lobby in the UK as “very powerful” while Moor said he thinks that American Jews are turning away from Israel, preferring what happens in Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm to what is happening in Jerusalem. He said he thinks Israel is not an important part of their lives anymore.
It was all the usual standard anti-Israel rhetoric.
But, during the Q&A Jonathan Hoffman asked Loewenstein how many people Loewenstein thinks should die for this one-state solution, that Loewenstein wants so much, to come into existence. The idea being that Israelis are not going to vote themselves out of existence, so presumably such a state could come about only by force involving more bloodshed.
As Loewenstein wasn’t quite answering the question he was pressed further by Hoffman as to how many people Loewenstein thinks should die. First, Frank Barat, the Chairman, answered “200,000” (here is more on Barat). Then Loewenstein answered “Six million. That’s my answer. Write that down.”
What sort of individual comes out with such an answer? Mocking the Holocaust seems to be becoming de rigeuer within anti-Israel activism. Here is someone calling herself Jane Green back in October last year.
Maybe “six million” was randomly plucked out of thin air by Loewenstein. That seems doubtful. Hopefully, he will be pressed further on what made him say such a cruel thing when he returns home to Sydney, Australia.
Here’s the audio:
Here is Jonathan Hoffman’s take on last night: How many have to die to achieve ‘One State’?