The Jewish News This Week – September 4 2009

This week, we learn that there is a push to send an Egyptian refugee back to Egypt. Shadow minister for immigration Sharman Stone thinks lettering in someone with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t a good idea. He had successfully – and obviously argued – that his active support for the Brotherhood would likely make him face persecution.

The writer in the AJN explains solemnly that it has “called for the destruction of Israel”, and “is banned in several countries, including Egypt.” YES! Including Egypt! And you want to send him back there. But this just reflects the Mubarak-Zionist alliance, showing how seriously Zionists take their propaganda about how terrible other countries in the region are, so why pick on Israel. Right now, the only countries in the region Zionists pick on are Sudan, Syria and Iran, because they’re not American puppets aligned with Israel, with varying degrees of overtness. Jeremy Jones of AIJAC says the MB has “been banned in many countries for many sound reasons. They’re dedicated to replacing existing regimes with theirs.” Yes, political parties do tend to advocate political change (such as, the Liberals here, or the Australian Labour Party. Has he heard of this thing, democracy?) Note that this is a tacit defence of the existing regimes that the MB threatens. Apparently, Jones thinks it inappropriate to seek to replace the existing regime in Egypt for example. Perhaps he agrees with Colin Rubenstein that these are “moderate” regimes.

This is not to defend the MB in Egypt as an admirable organisation. Angry Arab, for example, holds the perfectly simple position of opposing their political views, whilst supporting the rights of their members to not be arrested and tortured.

The AJN editorial is customary. Remembering the Holocaust, it concludes: “For Jewish communities, the words “never again” summarise feelings about the Holocaust, and more broadly, about world wars. Is there another Hitler on the horizon? Who knows? But one thing is for sure. If there is, this time he will have a nuclear arsenal at his disposal.” This is their sober way of saying Ahmadinejad is Hitler trying to get nukes. There is a thoughtful letter by Ron Burdo, suggesting that disillusionment with Israel may be inevitable. There is a frivolous letter by Ian Katz suggesting instead of Pilger getting the Sydney Peace Prize, it should be awared posthumously to the Balibo Five and Roger East. He goes on to praise the “great journalists” who wrote about the crimes in East Timor and exposed our complicity. He thinks he’s praising the aforementioned, without realising it includes Pilger too. But such is the mypoia that often characterises letter writers to the AJN.

David Langsam writes to AJN on Pilger. I like this fellow Langsam, he seems pretty cool. Anyway, he was “dismayed” to read ECAJ’s Goot comments on Pilger. “If Pilger was a working journalist in 1940, he would have been the lone voice demanding attention for the plight of Jews in Germany and Poland. And the rich and powerful in the land would have used precisely the same wrods to denigrate him that Goot used.

  I have known of John Pilger since I was a teenager in the 1960s when he reported firsthand on the disaster that was Vietnam and later Cambodia and everywhere else. I am proud to say that I have known John personally for 20 years and have reviewed his documentaries for the Fairfax press, as well as UK media, and the accusations against him are simply wrong and defamatory.”

Pilger “seeks out inequality and exposes it. He has said nothing that is not reported daily in Ha’aretz, Ma’ariv, and the Jerusalem Post. I am saddened that Good doesn’t understand that Pilger’s life is dedicated to spotlighting inequity. He has spoken against Australia’s treatment of Aborigines, he has documented poverty in Britain, exposed the horror of Cambodia, and was on the case of East Timor a decade before it became popular. Pilger’s track record is impeccable.”

Meanwhile, Abramovich’s frivolous attack on Sensible Jew was reprinted again, originally from the Age. The Age printed a bit of my letter today in response.


Wide range?

DVIR Abramovich (”There are as many Jewish opinions as there are Jews”, 30/8) quotes approvingly some Jewish declaration that ”most communal roof bodies include a wide range of opinions”. [But] all major communal Jewish organisations support almost everything the Israeli Government does. They make no pretence at including alternative views, and actively seek to smear people who hold different views.

To give some examples, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry called Norman Finkelstein and Ilan Pappe anti-Semitic in their submission to the Senate on academic freedom. The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council’s Bren Carlill said I wanted to see the West Bank ”Judenrein” because I said settlements had a relation to the lack of peace.

The [B’nai B’rith] Anti-Defamation Commission privately wrote to New Matilda, urging them to stop printing articles criticising Israel, singling out two serial offenders: Antony Loewenstein and myself. We’re both Jewish.

Age readers should not fear that disbelieving Abramovich makes them anti-Semites. It means they take anti-Semitism more seriously than those who think it’s an easy way to win arguments.


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