Wednesday, April 09, 2008


During the course of last year, when some members of my family were preparing for a trip to visit relatives in Israel, I came across a rather disconcerting report about an illegal radio station operating from the West Bank city of Ramallah that was causing interference to communications between Ben Gurion International Airport and airplanes taking off and arriving at the airport - Radio disruptions at B-G airport caused by W. Bank pirate station.

The article reported that the head of Israel's national pilots union, Boaz Hativa, had written to the ministers of transportation, communications, justice and public security warning of the dangers and demanding that the authorities put an immediate end to the pirate broadcasts and prevent their resumption. As a result, the Communications Ministry took steps "to eradicate the phenomenon of pirate radio stations." A number of illegal stations have been closed down amid threats of criminal proceedings against the perpetrators.

Without a doubt, many air travellers and others whose families travel to the region would have been reassured by the swift and reasonable action taken by Israeli authorites in locating and closing down the illegal station and most responsible people would agree with such action to ensure the safety of air travellers and that this would apply to any such action taken anywhere in the world.

Well, er ... anywhere in the world that is, except in the case of the situation where the safety of travellers to and from Israel is concerned according to the Melbourne Age Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Ed O'Loughlin who has been rather quiet lately as his tour of duty to the region winds down.

This week, the Israeli Communications Ministry announced that it ordered police to shut down a radio station RAM-FM, as part of a crackdown on stations broadcasting without a permit. But according to O'Loughlin in today's Melbourne Age, this was all part of a plot by the Israelis to shut down Israeli-Palestinian peace dialogue. Read all about it in Israel muzzles voice of peace.

The article is a sensationalist beat up par excellence. O'Loughlin does not hide the fact that the station was operating without a permit and even begrudgingly puts the Israeli response in its usual location in the final paragraph of the article and well under the heading (not necessarily composed by O'Loughlin) which suggests that the Israelis were up to something sinister by taking action to close down a radio station which has been operating illegally.

Now, imagine if that happened anywhere else in the world? The authorities would be roundly congratulated by all and sundry for doing their job and looking after the public's safety. If the inferences drawn by O'Loughlin weren't so serious they would be laughable!

The thing that is appallingly rotten about this piece of agenda driven pap is that it comes just two days after the publication of the excellent Op Ed piece - RESPONSES and appears as an almost deliberate attempt to counterbalance the view set out in that article.

Of course, O'Loughlin has for years steered well clear of mentioning how those among his Palestinian friends from Hamas and the Fatah controlled Palestinian Authority conduct themselves when it comes to seeking peace and reconciliation. They can both broadcast programme after programme incorporating a constant stream of hateful invective and racist incitement against Jews and you will not hear a single peep out of him. Not a single line.

Here is the most recent example of the sort of news item that O'Loughlin routinely misses in his "coverage" from the region:

Hamas: rocket attacks not meant to kill Israeli children or how Hamas tells lies about its missile attacks on Israeli kids (see also Quote of the Week).

Suffice to say that it doesn't surprise us any more when Fairfax and O'Loughlin shamefully consign such stories to the blank pages.


gulliver_on_tour said...

You're wrong about one thing. I doubt whether Mister Ed ever misses any stories about Hamas and its fascist activities.

He simply ignores them.

Anonymous said...

"The station has become popular with young Israelis and Palestinians lured by its playlist of contemporary western pop music and balanced English-language news broadcasts and debates."

If only the Age would produce "balanced" news from Ed's patch it's readers would be far better informed than they are relying on Ed's pro Hamas propaganda.

By the way, when is he going to bugger off so that we can get some of that balanced news reporting?


Anonymous said...

Jason Koutsoukis, The Sunday Age's Canberra bureau chief, is quoted in the Jewish News pledging to introduce "balanced" coverage when he takes over as Fairfax Media's Middle East correspondent.


Wilbur Post said...

Dear w,

That was several months ago. Meanwhile, Ed seems to be coming back for a long series of unwanted encores.

He's an embarrasment!

David Werdiger said...

I fully concur - Ed spends all his time searching for anything that he can construe as making Israel look bad.

See my own take on this

Anonymous said...

Loewenswine may be an embarrasment to Jews that support Israel but as you can read he has the al'age and their readers to support him.


From Loewenswines blog site.

The Zionist lobby knows that the occupation is embarrassing and the world is increasingly against the Jewish state.

Readers of The Age can see through the propaganda.

I wonder if his fellow IAJV co signatures like Richter,Adler and co, agree with these views!

Rooster Magic said...

702 evening news ran a statement from a senior reporter at RAM FM who said that this is purely a legal matter and is not a political matter.

That would make no difference to O'Loughlin because he's doing his job as unofficial propaganda minister for the hate-Israel brigade.

Portofino said...

It would also make no difference to O'Loughlin that it has been reported that Muslim callers to the station were making viscious anti-Jewish statements and the talk show host allowed the callers to make their statements unchallenged. That would be right up Ed's alley and of course, he would describe this a "peace" radio station.