Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Ambushed in Australia at Sunrise: A Muslim friend of Israel

America-based British-born physician Qanta Ahmed is a practising Muslim of Pakistani parentage who is known for her support for Israel and her opposition to, in her own words, "virulently anti-Semitic Islamism".

At the end of last year, during her visit to Australia as an ambassador for Project Rozana, an Israeli-Palestinian initiative to train West Bank physicians (mainly Palestinian Muslims) at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, she accepted an invitation by Channel Seven's Weekend Sunrise program to talk about the Project.

But the program-makers had an agenda, it seems, that did not fit with what she said, and which has, not unnaturally, left this beautiful, courageous, and highly respected lady seething.

As she explains in The Spectator:
"[M]y suspicions should have been raised when the producers didn’t indicate the nature of my interview, nor even confirm that I would be discussing Project Rozana. Minutes before live broadcast, the young segment producer Maddy still ‘didn’t know’ what the anchors would be asking.

The cameras began rolling and I described my experiences at The Technion, The RamBam Medical Center and at Hadassah Hospital, responding to the anchors’ evident curiosity. The close knit and fully integrated coexistence with which Israeli and Arab Palestinian scientists and physicians interact with their equally diverse Israeli and Arab Palestinian patients surprised my interviewers.

Later we discussed Islamism, a movement which as a Muslim I recognise masquerades as the great monotheism of Islam but is starkly totalitarian in ideology with a foundational tenet of subjugating democracy. More significantly, Islamism harbors cosmic enmity to all Jewish and by extension Israeli entities and institutions. It is because I am an observing Muslim that I can emphatically reject Islamism – neither anti-Semitism nor anti-Zionism have basis in Islam.

Ending the segment, the anchors were broadly smiling and engaged. This had been the last of 27 scheduled commitments for my eight-day visit. Satisfied I had been informative and shared a novel perspective, I moved to exit the studio....
Hours later, I received the link of the broadcast ... The shock was physical as I witnessed my exploitation. At each description of the pluralism and egalitarianism I had witnessed in Israeli medicine, the screen split to show the rubble of decimated North Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war, or the launching of an Iron Dome interception missile.Then the screen split to the Security Wall, shown from the Palestinian, not Israeli side.
 Mortally wounded Palestinian children, injured in conflict were broadcast liberally.
The war footage had clearly been assembled in advance of my live interview without prior knowledge of what I would say. In an unseen control room, to the producers’ signal, as I responded with words like ‘coexistence’, ‘integration’ or ‘pluralism’, a technician pulled the trigger and rolled the stock ‘Israel as a terrorist state’ footage; detonating my truthful and universal message....

In my ignorance, I had unwittingly collaborated in my own exploitation by the Australian broadcaster who chose to cast me not as an anti-Islamist Muslim physician volunteering in pursuit of coexistence but as a vapid tool serving the malignant media construct of a two-dimensional anti-Semitic caricature of Zionism. This was a deliberate and opportunistic objectification of my identity as a Muslim and a physician, of the Jewish state reduced to an anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist mannequin, and of my political position as an opponent of Islamism; a position which entails significant personal and professional risk. This is neither journalism nor broadcasting; it’s pure pro-Hamas propaganda .
The producers hadn’t bothered to insert Hamas foot-soldiers which include recruited Palestinian children and youth who wage war on Israelis, nor reveal the damage wrought by its hundreds of rockets on Israeli civilians (of whom 23% are non Jewish – mostly Sunni Muslim), nor did Australians see the industrially rendered labyrinth of Hamas tunnels so central to the recent conflict. Weekend Sunrise prostituted my goodwill in the service of personal or official anti-Israeli and pro-Hamas propaganda.
 This is what Israel faces, that which no other nation embattled with the lethal threat of Islamism wrestles: the battle over narrative. While Pakistan wages a far more indiscriminate campaign against Islamists in tribal areas, while Afghanistan has been under siege by the Taliban for a decade and a half, while Britain, Canada and America target, prosecute and eliminate Islamists, while Egypt wages war on Islamists and criminalizes their ideology, while Saudi Arabia incarcerates Islamists, while France defends Mali from Islamists, while Kenya and Nigeria flail against Islamists, only Israelis are to be dehumanized, judged apart from humanity as they face Islamist threats on every border. Only Israel must be denigrated, reviled and excoriated in her efforts to secure citizens and territories from the ambitions of genocidal anti-Semitic Islamism.
 I felt intensely angry. To be whored out as I strive as an ambassador for a philanthropic mission with universal reach, to be debased as an instrument despite my decades long authority as a physician and Muslim humanist is nothing but obscene.
An on-air apology wouldn’t come amiss."  [Emphasis added]
(Hat tip: Michelle H.)


  1. I sent the Spectator link to Andrew Bolt

    Not surprising in light of O'Keefe's ostrich impersonation here:
    Sunrise host Andrew O'Keefe defends his heated on-air debate, branding those who say Muslims aren't tackling extremism 'ignorant'

    1. Thanks, Ian.
      Bolt is a hero of mine. In the pipeline I have my ten cents worth on the Paris atrocities and intend to quote him.

  2. Replies
    1. Great, Ian! That'll show 'em. Thanks for the links.