Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Media Week: Taking guard against the Guardian; Comparative Praise; Not such a Good Weekend

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Taking guard against the Guardian

The Canberra Times (8/8) ran an op-ed by the Guardian's David Hearst who argued that Israel is so irredeemably racist that the only antidote is for the United Nations to first recognise Palestinian statehood on the 1967 borders in September, then subsume Israel into a Palestinian majority state.

"If Israel ends its occupation of the West Bank, and allows it to join with Gaza, the result could be two states - a Palestinian one alongside an Israeli one. But if you accompany that with a civil rights movement inside Israel, the goal could be very different - a secular, democratic state "for all its citizens", where Jew, Christian and Muslim are equal. A one-state solution in which Jewish citizens lose an inbuilt majority. The end of Zionism, no less."

If racism exists in Israeli society the most appropriate solution, as elsewhere around the world, is to improve the situation. But Hearst's solution to supposed Israeli racism is itself racially discriminatory. Grant Palestinian Arabs the right to exercise their aspiration for self-determination, whilst denying it to Jews.

News Ltd columnist Andrew Bolt (13/8) attacked the Guardian for an article he claimed omitted identifying any ethnic or racial groups participating in one of the London riots except for Hasidic Jews. "The Left-wing Guardian newspaper in one report refused to identify a single ethnic or religious group in the riots but for one improbable exception - the only one it seems fashionable to despise: ‘The make-up of the rioters was racially mixed ... but families and other local residents, including some from Tottenham's Hasidic Jewish community, also gathered to watch and jeer at police.' Jews were behind this? Seriously?"

Comparative Praise

In the Australian (10/8) prominent Cape York indigenous leader Noel Pearson suggested that Aborigines can improve their economic standing and retain their cultural identity by emulating Jews: "Some of the most successful people on earth are people who have walked two roads at once. Take the Jews. They walked two roads at once - the road of Adam Smith and the road of cultural determination."

Meanwhile, in a double-page spread for the Sun-Herald in Sydney (7/8), journalist Andrew Taylor wrote of a recent trip to Israel how: "... visitors expecting to be manhandled at military checkpoints, harangued by religious nutbags or caught in crossfire will be in for a surprise. Israel is not merely a country-sized firing range but rather an ethnically diverse, vibrant land where cultural and late-night pursuits often take priority over piety and politics."

Not such a Good Weekend

Age/Sydney Morning Herald "Good Weekend" magazine columnist Mark Dapin (13/8) wrote an apparently humorous piece on identifying the good guys and bad guys in the Middle East by the hats they wear: "The aim of Western policy in the Middle East is to bring about democratic change, except (a) in Bahrain; and (b) in places where the people elect the wrong government, like the Palestinians did in Gaza". Tsk, tsk, shame on the West for not saluting the election of a terrorist organisation that actively espouses the violent destruction of another country.

Allon Lee   

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