Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Media Week – Threatened Journalists?; Who's a Goose?

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Threatened Journalists?

In the lead up to the flotilla's proposed departure, Israel's Government Press Office wrote to journalists warning that any who sailed on it would be subject to exclusion from Israel for up to ten years, as is anyone who enters Israel or its territorial waters illegally. A June 28 Age editorial, however, made it seem journalists were singled out. It stated, "it is most disappointing that the Israeli government is threatening journalists with reprisals" and referred to it as a "threat to punish journalists." At least the following day, when Israeli PM Netanyahu intervened to ensure that journalists would be exempted from this routine policy, a Jason Koutsoukis article made it clear that was the case. However, the Israeli letter to the journalists should never have been misrepresented as it was, and had Netanyahu not intervened, Age readers may well have remained unaware of the true situation.

Who's a Goose?

In their column "The Dairy" in the July 1 Sydney Morning Herald, Damien Murphy and Lenny Ann Low claimed that comedian Austen Tayshus, also known as Sandy Gutman "made a bit of a goose of himself" in his June 6 appearance on the ABC TV show "Q&A". They wrote, "He even monstered the Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, challenging her to go public about her Jewish roots, but the link is on her father's side of the family and Rhiannon does not identify as Jewish." Unfortunately for Murphy and Low, there was no sign on the show of Austen Tayshus making the comments they alleged.

 

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