Jewish News July 24 2009

There’s an article called “Show us your Jewish credentials.” There’s a box which says that a Jewish school cannot have a policy that it will accept only Jewish students and reject all non-Jewish students, because thise would amount to ethno-religious discrimination. I find this a little remarkable – I attended Moriah not so many years ago, and there was not one single non-Jew in the whole school. It’s perfectly obvious it does discriminate.

Funnily enough, people asked about who is Jewish say someone’s Jewish if their mum is Jewish (and orthodox say, reform progressive or conservative conversions of mother don’t count). People like Mendes pretend it’s more complex when they want to discredit someone as not being really Jewish (and saying someone’s not Jewish, as though this is grounds for not listening to them, really is telling about Mendes more than anything else).

Significantly, Deborah Stone of the ADC wrote about “The Acceptance of Anti-Semitism”. She complains of (for example) disproportionate focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at New Matilda. There were some 18 articles on the issue in 3 months. Including the attack on Gaza. Who would have thought this would be a major issue. A few months ago, I remembered reading a study of the conflict at a blog. Some blogger looked at various newspapers. He counted 32 op eds in the Australian, generally supporting the attack on Gaza. Well, I haven’t counted myself, but it sounds about right. Sydney Morning Herald had 11 in those few weeks (not 3 months). The Age had 10 or 11 in those few weeks. So it’s hardly so exceptional. The difference is that unlike other media, it ran a critical point of view, which otherwise would not have gotten the same play. And the fact is that the attack on Gaza is factually not complicated at all. Israel broke the ceasefire, it refused to renew the ceasefire, it killed hundreds of civilians (by any count), its siege was and is horrific, and so on. I don’t think any person can seriously dispute any of those facts.

But put that aisde. She notes that NM has stopped allowing comments, because they are also disturbed at anti-semites who’ve been attracted to the site. But that’s not enough for her. She complains that this is not enough. “But Ms Cordell denies any responsibility for provoking anti-Semitism by demonising Israel.” That about sums up her point of view. Criticising Israel (and me and Loewenstein who have been singled out are both Jewish) causes anti-Semitism, so it shouldn’t be allowed. It’s okay for the Australian to run people like Martin Peretz constantly. NM doing so causes anti-Semitism.

She writes of “criticism of Israel” (and she means the Israeli government, but for her she doesn’t make this distinction, which is telling) becoming “illegitimate and a source for anti-Semitism” – when too many columns say “a given action is disproportionate or intransigent or unwise” (which she says is “fair comment”). I don’t say Israel’s attack was disproportionate, because there was no legitimate cause for any attack.  And I don’t say it was unwise. It was CRIMINAL. OUTRAGEOUS. okay? Killing over a thousand people isn’t unwise. It’s wrong. But this is standard – the Zionist lobbies think all discussions should be conducted in terms of the interests of the Jewish Israelis only. The Palestinians don’t have rights or fears or concerns. She insists on “presentation of the other side”, which feeds anti-Semitism. Does this count in the opposite direction Ms Stone? Does the constant presentation of Israeli government hasbara feed anti-Arab racism? Or does this not strike you as worth thinking about, oh alleged research director of the so called anti-defamation commission?

And note how she concludes by talk about swastikas and things like that, as if I or NM are a bunch of Nazi anti-Semites.

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