Jewish News November 20 2009

The editorial:

it’s all the more galling that the Australian government – unquestionably one Israel’s most loyal friends on the global stage – chose to change its traditional stance at the United Nations on the motion affirming “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”.

This is condemned as “one-sided and, indeed, unilateral declaration”.

There’s an article on talking about the Holocaust. These people are jokes, but I want to put this on record for when future comparisons are made: Robert Goot said:

“The Holocaust is generally recognised as the benchmark of the most extreme case of human evil, and Hitler as its architect. Whenever and however these matters are trivialised or where false analogies are made, others are deeply offended as they should be,”

I should quote this whenever Iran is compared to Nazi Germany.

Okay, so what about the case of Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal party Hitler sendup from Downfall of Alex Hawke? Deborah Stone is paraphrased as saying “the video was clearly meant to be humorous and should be seen as such.” She directly said “I don’t think we should regard it as having anything at all to say about Hitler or Nazis,” she said.

The exception is if anyone had compared the Israeli government to Nazis. That would be different for her. And what about Liberal backbencher Peter Abetz citing Hitler when talking about stop and search laws? “Abetz was making a serious but extreme point. I don’t think we need to get terribly upset about that, but I do think we need to be careful about the language we use.” It’s complex. See how some people are allowed to make Nazi comparisons? See how politicised this is?

A woman called Julie Szego’s sophisticated contribution to discussion of the Goldstone report:

Here’s what I consider “givens” in this debate. Goldstone’s report was always going to be deeply flawed. The reasons have been well-canvassed and include: a) anything that initiates from the obsessively anti-Israel HRC is tainted from day one;

She goes on to say he was not “driven by anti-Zionist malice in accepting the job.”

Complaining that people play the man, not the game (the headline), her comments include

suggests a man blinded by a Messiah complex

Goldstone might be a silly Jew, a naive Jew, a gullible and self-absorbed Jew

The AJN didn’t print my letter. Presumably, because I criticised the editorial. Also, National Times hasn’t printed a response to Hartcher I wrote. I’ll print that here tomorrow. My letter to AJN:

In your latest issue (13/11/09), Pilger’s Sydney Peace Prize speech was misrepresented. Lexi Landsman claims Pilger compared sending asylum seekers to Christmas Island with the Holocaust. This is because he used the term “concentration camp”. Regardless of whether one regards Pilger’s use of the term as appropriate, the Nazis did not invent concentration camps, nor were they the last to use them.

The editorial is even worse informed. It claims that Premier John Carr (sic) awarded the Peace Prize to “an icon of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah”. The editors appear unaware that Ashrawi left Fatah years ago. They also claim that Pilger has “generally championed despots and terrorists.” This is an outrageous charge, for which no evidence is provided.

It is revealing that the editorial further claims that the Sydney Peace Prize has been awarded to “swashbuckling Leftists”. Presumably, this includes William Deane, Xanana Gusmao, Patrick Dodson, and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Pilger, of course, was banned from South Africa for decades until Apartheid ended. The struggle of Pilger and Tutu against South African apartheid ended: they now oppose apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories. It’s a shame that the AJN has picked the wrong side of history on this issue. Perhaps at another time, it would have picked the wrong side in South Africa too.


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