Jewish News November 13 2009

Pilger is smeared in this week’s AJN. They say, for example, that “Drawing comparisons with the Holocaust, Pilger criticised Rudd’s stance on asylum seekers, calling the Australian detention centre at Christmas Island a “concentration camp”.

The author – Lexi Landsman – presumably thinks all concentration camps were from the Nazis.

Daniel Pipes is awful – but he gaints that “Yes, there are differences – in atmosphere and tone – but more impressive than these differences are the continuities.”

The editorial is farcical. It equivocates over responding to the asylum seekers, that something ought to be done, but doesn’t settle on anything to do. They then conclude that that only “wrong response is a non-response”. Kind of like the editorial.

They then complain that Jewish lobbies weren’t vocal enough in opposing Pilger. They claim that Pilger has “generally championed despots and terrorists.” They say this is perhaps because of the award to Ashrawi in 2003. What do they have to say about that? Ashrawi is “an icon of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah”. Are they serious?

However, NSW Premier “John Carr” (!!) presented the award to Ashrawi despite the lobbying.

Then there is the AIJAC column. Hyams sides with Piers Akerman over David Marr. That’s telling enough – I approve of Marr being brave enough to say it was a “fine, careful, thorough report by a great judicial figure”. Pilger is alleged to have made Israel/Nazi parallels.

Mendes explains his outrage at David Ha’ivri. You know, the religious lunatic who said according to the AJN that “if Palestinians are not loyal to the State of Israel they should leave”. What offended Mendes? that his organisation “has used terms such as “ethnic cleansing” to describe the 2005 israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. These terms are offensive to the many Australian Jews whose families actually experiences ethnic cleansing in the Holocaust, and in some cases the 1941 farhud (pogrom) in Iraq.” Given how nationalistic Mendes is, I’m surprised he doesn’t mention the terrible ethnic cleansing of Jews from Jordanian and Egyptian occupied Palestine.

To his (very slight) credit, Mendes says that the settlements in Gaza should “never have been built in the first place”, and that the territory “belongs to the Palestinian people”. This is as close as he comes to being principled – remember the other day in the Australian he actually came to the defence of settlements west of the Apartheid Wall, saying only the ones to its east had to go.

Henry Herzog writes in again. He is offended: how dare anyone accuse Israel of such atrocities (though the disengagement strikes him nevertheless as “tragic and heart-rending). It’s hard to even satirise people like this.

Oh, and Chaim Ingram defends his homophobia.

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