Published 1 April 201012 May 2010 · Main Posts Overland extract: Michael Brull on Zionism Jeff Sparrow In Overland 198, Michael Brull replies to Ned Curthoys and Dennis Altman on how Australian Leftists should respond to Zionism: This is an intervention, of sorts, into the disagreements between the dissident Jews Ned Curthoys and Dennis Altman (see Overland 187, 196 and 197). Given the scarcity of those publicly distancing themselves in any way from Israel, dissident voices, even if they warrant disagreement, merit at least some respect, and I appreciate that both Curthoys and Altman vocally opposed Israel’s vicious attack on Gaza. That said, I still strongly disagree with Altman’s view of the attack in one important respect. During the massacre, Altman wrote that Israel had been ‘clearly provoked’ and, in his more recent essay, he discussed the attack as ‘retaliation’. The war on Gaza is not the focus of this essay: for those interested, I have documented the facts at length elsewhere. Suffice to say, in the immediate lead-up to the attack, Israel rejected a ceasefire that was offered by Hamas. The assault was an act of aggression, not retaliation. Israel could have secured the safety of its citizens by agreeing to the ceasefire, and its government knew this, because its own sources show that Hamas had upheld the preceding six-month ceasefire more faithfully than Israel had. In the dispute between Curthoys and Altman over responses to Zionism, I sympathise with both positions, albeit with reservations. On the one hand, Altman’s seems more moderate and cautious. Yet he dismisses calls for a boycott of Israel. To me, this is unreasonable. I agree that the campaign for boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) is likely to be ineffective in the struggle for Palestinian rights, and I have argued this at length elsewhere. Yet there is an obvious case for the BDS that is hardly frivolous. The precedent is apartheid South Africa. In my view, Israel’s regime in the Occupied Territories is obviously one of apartheid. Palestinians under occupation have been denied their human rights for over forty years. Indeed, Jewish settlers in the West Bank have rights under Israeli law, while Palestinians in the West Bank live under military rule. The pseudo-government of the Palestinian Authority – administering Palestinian cantons under Israeli rule, surrounded by Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks, discriminatory roads, settlements and the Separation Wall – bears obvious resemblance to the Bantustans of apartheid South Africa. Besides the ‘grand apartheid’, there is the ‘petty apartheid’, such as the regime of checkpoints. Read the rest here. Jeff Sparrow Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland. More by Jeff Sparrow › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202326 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Judith Wright Poetry Prize ($9000) Editorial Team Established in 2007 and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets seeks poetry by writers who have published no more than one collection of poems under their own name (that is writers who’ve had zero collections published, or one solo collection published). It remains one of the richest prizes for emerging poets, and is open to poets anywhere in the world. In 2023, the major prize is $6000, with a second prize of $2000 and a third prize of $1000. All three winners will be published in Overland. First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202315 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize ($6500) Editorial Team Supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, and named after the late Neilma Gantner, this prize seeks excellent short fiction of up to 3000 words themed around the notion of ‘travel’; imaginative, creative and literary interpretations are strongly encouraged. This competition is open to all writers, nationally and internationally, at any stage of their writing career.