Jewish News September 11 2009

This week in the Jewish News. They note that Danby gave a speech – and they say its about Crikey and newmatilda. Blasting them for the need for “vigilance”. If you go find his speech – here and here – you can see him rehashing his old speech about anti-Semitism. He also attacks me and Loewenstein again.

Two regular contributors to Crikey and Newmatilda-Antony Loewenstein and his Sancho Panza, Michael Brull-also responded tomy speech in a jointly authored article stating that my criticism could be condensed into the following:

Michael Danby erodes his credibility by accusing two Jews of anti-Semitism because they don’t agree with him …

I am certainly content to reiterate here that, in relation to their commentary of the conflict, the two individuals are guilty of double standards, demonisation and delegitimisation. However, contrary to their response, their ethnicity

was not addressed in my speech at all because it was clearly not my principal concern.

Their writing and the editorial bias of the online publications for which they write clearly puts them on the fringe of Australian politics. If one compares the things that they wrote with, say, Labor Party discussions at the recent national conference, one would see that they are completely outside the mainstream of the centre-left party in this country, for instance. For those writers to seek refuge behind their ethnicity is particularly craven. It is dishonest.

The thrust of my previous speech and tonight’s lies with the creepier bigotry that their articles and other articles unleashed in these two online publications, which apparently had no problem with publishing them.

Later, there’s an article about South Africa and support for boycotting Israel within the ruling ANC. They note that Ronnie Kasrils has been critical of Israel, and don’t use ad hominems, but say he is “a Jewish champion of the South African anti-apartheid struggle, who until last year was the country’s intelligence minister.”

The editorial is a little amazing. It seems to come out in favour of the settlers. They call for negotiations between Abbas and Netanyahu to be resumed. They complain about all these world leaders (the EU and the US – note the skin colour of the governments that matter to the AJN) criticising Israel over the settlemetns. They go on to say that the

settlement issue isn’t that simple. It is more complicated than its dog-eared entry in the diplomatic playbook would suggest. Nothing is better evidence of that than the story of the 1929 Hebron Massacre, the anniversary of which was observed this week. That unprovoked attack, which killed 67 Jews, long predated Israeli settlements or even the State of Israel. It didn’t predate Hebron’s Avraham Avinu synagogue – built in 1540 – or the soaring facade of the Cave of the Patriarchs building complex, which traces back to Herodian times.

The Jews have a continuous connection to these disputed lands – immaterial to arbitrary ceasefire lines. Regardless if you agree with Israel’s decision to build homes there, their claim deserves the right to be aired in the framework of comprehensive peace negotiations.

Okay? So, even if you don’t think Israel should build homes there, they should be able to do what they want during negotiations. The AJN goes on to note that Abbas has negotiated before in the absence of a settlement freeze. Yes, so did Arafat, and we learn a lot from that fact. But anyway, they say Netanyahu has extracted “substantial concessions” from his Likud government. !!!

Meanwhile, Jamie Hyams in the AIJAC column proves he knows one fact. He admits that the Stern Gang was “certainly guilty of terrorism”. It seems like the most right-wing elements in the community are gaining some familiarity with reality. I still know some ultra-Zionists who think the Zionists never committed any acts of terrorism, and in fact even the blowing up of the King David Hotel wasn’t terrorism.

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