Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I commented recently on the storm in a teacup created by anti Israel war activist Jeff Halper whose visit was turned into a circus because his helpers followed the now well known formula of deliberately seeking publicity by daring Jewish community interests to shun their activities and then crying "foul".

How ironical of the Fairfax media to highlight Halper and friend's whining about his voice allegedly being stilled. This is the media outlet that somehow manages to refrain from reporting on the atrocities committed on a regular basis by Palestinian terror - like the axe murder of children, the use of mosques to store bombs, the firing of missiles into Israeli kindergartens and this. That sort of censorship seems to be permitted at Fairfax while, at the same time, it is a crime for a community to ignore the warped opinions of a man who is accused of lying to push his own political agenda.

I've come across an item by Bren Carlill on ABC Unleashed - From the ridiculous to the outrageous - which sums things up nicely:
First, a mainstream, pro-Israel Jewish organisation will go through statements previously made by the critic, and then, if they find faults, attack those arguments.

The Israel critic's defenders then jump up and down, claiming the Jewish community is attempting to stifle criticism of Israel. This very course of action has occurred during Halper's visit, played out on the pages of the Australian Jewish News, the Sydney Morning Herald and various angry blogs.

The claims of stifling criticism of Israel are both predictable and unfounded. Indeed, by attacking the arguments of Israel's critics, in this case Halper, the mainstream Jewish community is engaging in discussion, not stifling it. (And by not answering the Jewish community's criticisms, instead simply claiming to be the victim of a conspiracy against free speech, the Israel critic's defenders show the weakness of their central argument...)

To top it off, most of this is lost to the wider Australian community. All they see is a variant of Monty Python's Life of Brian - where members of the Judean People's Front have it out with the People's Front of Judea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the mosque as a bomb making factory story came from AFP which the Age usually relies on for its stories.

I wonder why they missed the opportunity to cover this one?