Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Media Week - Mind your language; Long bow, low blow; Security Council sense

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Mind your language

On Jan. 15, ABC Radio "PM's" Michael Edwards reported on the "different jihadi groups... now staking their claims for responsibility for the Paris attacks", including "Amedy Coulibaly, who held up the Jewish deli, claimed to be acting on behalf of Islamic State."

This sloppy language minimised the crime. Coulibaly publicly said he sought out the supermarket - not a deli - hoping to find Jews he could deliberately murder, which he proceeded to do. This was not an attempted robbery gone wrong.

"PM" colleague Stephanie March's Jan. 20 report looking at India and Pakistan's fraught relations referred to the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which were carried out by Pakistani terrorists.

The selected targets included a tiny, ultra-Orthodox Jewish community centre conducting outreach work to the few Jews in Mumbai. Tragically, six people inside were gunned down in cold blood, including a rabbi and his pregnant wife.

But March did not think this aspect of the attack worth mentioning, saying only that "relations between India and Pakistan deteriorated significantly when militants from Pakistan crossed the border and attacked hotels, a café, and a railway station in Mumbai in 2008, killing 164 people".

Long bow, low blow

Also indifferent to certain acts of terrorism was Fairfax chief correspondent Paul McGeough who argued (Jan. 31) that the Obama Administration was overlooking Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's alleged human rights abuses - but then felt the need to attack Israel.

"We have been here before - in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Washington didn't say boo as... Ariel Sharon adopted the rhetoric of the US war on terror in" a "crackdown" on "Palestinians."

McGeough, of course, is referring to, but actually completely misrepresenting, the Second Intifada.

Predating 9/11 by nearly 12 months, it was unilaterally launched by the PLO in conjunction with Hamas before Sharon took office and three months after Yasser Arafat rejected an offer of a state - the first such offer to the Palestinians since 1948.

When it ended, over a thousand Israelis were brutally and senselessly murdered, and thousands more injured, mostly through suicide bombings in the streets, cafes, markets and restaurants of the Jewish state.

But to McGeough, apparently there was no terror - just a spontaneous Israeli "crackdown" on Palestinians that piggybacked on the 9/11 attacks.

Security Council sense

Former foreign minister Bob Carr was panned by Peter Coleman in the Spectator (Jan. 24) for his "disingenuous attack" on the Abbott Government's decision to vote against a one-sided United Nations Security Council resolution that would have ordered Israel to leave the West Bank by 2017.

Coleman said Carr's remarks (in the Guardian Australia) "could not have been more badly timed" coming in the "very week" of the Paris terror attacks.

Passage of the resolution would have been a shameful "capitulation" to Hamas, Coleman wrote, and given Hamas a "diplomatic triumph" at the same time it had "the sense or cunning to condemn the Charlie Hebdo killings (provoked, it said, by the ‘Zionist lobby')" but not the killing of Jews at a kosher supermarket. In those circumstances, successful passage of the resolution would have "added a sickening detail to the tragedy."

Allon Lee

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