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 3 August 2014

Carlton Cornered: "The lies & bigotry of the Israel lobby"

Bolstered by the incitement against Israel emanating from sections of the Australian press (including the leftist-dominated ABC, Oz's answer to the BBC and similarly prone to flout the objectivity incumbent upon it) Far Left ratbags marched yesterday in the Sydney suburb of Newtown, invading the local Max Brenner outlet, while in Melbourne the customary Israel-haters defied driving rain and hail to screech their usual denunciations of and chants against that little country.

And in Perth (where the Jewish day school was last week daubed with this charming message; photo credit: Australian Jewish News from The Maccabean), a child rabble-rouser wowed the usual suspects ...

Also fuelling the flames of hate is, of course, the Fairfax Press, which includes the Canberra Times, long one of the most anti-Israel papers in Australia.  Here's a spiteful little contribution to the cause by the paper's cartoonist Dave Pope, depicting Aussie Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Ban Ki-Moon.  It puts Israel's legitimate  targeting of Hamas terrorists on a par with the criminal downing of a passenger airliner by trigger-happy anarchistic rebels.

Earlier yesterday (Saturday; it's already Sunday here on the east coast of Oz), Mike Carlton, author of last week's noisome column in the Sydney Morning Herald that, combined with Glen Le Lievre's accompanying appallingly antisemitic cartoon, caused so much justified condemnation, tweeted the thrust of his latest column (which, incidentally, is accompanied by a rather curious image by Le Lievre) :
My column: the tapeworm, the Opal card, Tony invades Russia. And the lies and bigotry of the Israel lobby. 
 The column begins:
"As I predicted, the abusive emails and tweets have been thundering in all week, hundreds of them. The Israel lobby – or as I prefer it, the Likud Lobby – rose in fury at last week's column about Israel's war crimes against civilians in Gaza."
Does Carlton really think that everyone outraged by what he wrote last week, and what Le Lievre drew, are invariably Likudniks? It hardly needs to be said that people across the political spectrum recognised the pair's bias and bigotry when they saw it, and called it what it was. The ECAJ (Australian Jewry's federal roof body) which as we have seen protested to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, and has foreshadowed legal action, comprises a wide variety of communal institutions representing individuals of diverse political allegiances. Indeed, as Professor Kerryn Phelps (a well-known Aussie medical researcher who's far from being a figure of the Right, and is, I believe I'm correct in saying, an adherent of Progressive Judaism) has tweeted to Carlton:
Referring to all people who want peace for Israel as "Likudniks" is an example of that insidious prejudice
The column goes on to claim:
"a lot of this filth came from 30-somethings, keyboard warriors whose smartly coiffed heads beamed out from Facebook pages and LinkedIn profiles. They showed a slender talent for undergraduate insult, although no evident enthusiasm for actually donning an Israeli army uniform and risking their comfortably upholstered lives to take part in the terrible conflict that has seen so many needless deaths ..." 
Thirty-somethings, eh? In my experience that's an age group conspicuously underrepresented in organised Jewish communal life, probably because they are busy establishing themselves in their careers and in raising young families. So if they are pounding those keyboards in numbers in support of Israel, good on 'em. But "a slender talent for undergraduate insult"? That, from a man who frequently resorts to gutter language to answer his social media critics! Something about pots and kettles spring to mind.

As for those "smartly coiffed heads" and those "comfortably upholstered lives", that wouldn't be shorthand for "showy" and "rich", would it?

 The column further asserts:
"To point out the bleedin' obvious yet again, it is not anti-Semitic to criticise Netanyahu or Israel ...."
Ah, but that depends on what's said and how.  Criticising aspects of Israeli policy might not be antisemitic, but asserting that Israel has no right to exist, as many far Leftists, in common with their Islamist cohorts do, is. (On Facebook this past week by leftist anti-Israel elements at Sydney University were cock-a-hooping at a despicable op-ed of 2003 denying Israel's right to exist carried by The Guardian, to which a link was posted by one of their number.)

Carlton's column of last week was deeply offensive because, as the Australian Jewish News observed of Carlton's column:
'....Not only were we treated to baseless accusations of "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" on Israel's part, but then there was a subtle shift. These were crimes being committed by a people with a proud liberal tradition of scholarship and culture, who hold the Warsaw Ghetto and the six million dead at the centre of their race memory".
 This column was no longer about a country. This was about a people and a race – a people and a race who should know better because of what they themselves went through.  In short, you Jews are the same as the Nazis, worse perhaps because you choose to ignore the lessons of your own history'.
And as the paper observed of Le Lievre's cartoon:
'And then, to illustrate the point, a cartoon featuring a big-nosed, bespectacled Jew, the kind that would have featured in Der Sturmer, wearing a kippah and with a Star of David scrawled on the back of his armchair – just in case it wasn’t quite clear he was Jewish – pressing a remote control that detonates an explosion in Gaza....
Across Europe, synagogues have been attacked, Jewish-owned shops have been vandalised and pro-Palestinian rallies have echoed to chants of “Gas the Jews”. And how does our own media respond? First, by fuelling the fire of anti-Israel sentiment through unbalanced and misleading reporting, and second, by fanning the flames of anti-Semitism – flames whose heat we are already lamentably feeling on these shores.'
 Also deeply offensive are comparisons of Israel's actions in Gaza to the actions of the Nazis during the Second World War, which is why the recent assertions of that pugilistic buffoon of British politics, former deputy prime minister John (now Lord) Prescott, have been so roundly condemned by Anglo-Jewry.

To quote Melbourne educator Rabbi James Kennard regarding another case of that kind:
"It is a very sad indictment on our times that it needs to be explained again, but the point is this; the Holocaust was on the scale of millions; a systematic industrial process of annihilation was created to serve it, and it was motivated by an clear and open attempt at genocide. Therefore any comparison with the tragic Palestinian situation, so indescribably far removed from those characteristics, implies either a nonsensical inflation of their grievances or an evil denial of the horrors and the extent of the Holocaust."
Carlton's latest column goes on:
"Some more civil Jews did try reason. They showered me with documents, videos, photographs. Their arguments were mostly bog standard Hasbara, the Hebrew word for information, although better thought of as Orwellian Newspeak. This stuff is carefully crafted and widely disseminated so everyone is on message.
Two lines were repeated over and again: ''We gave them Gaza ; they gave us rockets. Israel takes every care to avoid unnecessary casualties, but Hamas is using children and civilians as human shields.'' ....'
"Carefully crafted and widely disseminated so everyone is on message"

Bit conspiratorial, huh? Carefully crafted by the Elders of Zion and disseminated by Mossad, perhaps?

''We gave them Gaza ; they gave us rockets. Israel takes every care to avoid unnecessary casualties..." is an admirably succinct summary of the situation since 2005.

And as for the human shield allegations, they are, of course, sadly accurate, as numerous videos issued, with translations into English, by attest.

Can Carlton be unaware, also, of the genocidal death cult that Hamas represents, as seen, for instance, in this declaration:
Hamas leader Muhammad Deif [al-Daif]: "Today you [Israelis] are fighting divine soldiers, who love death for Allah like you love life, and who compete among themselves for Martyrdom like you flee from death."
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh: "We love death like our enemies love life! We love Martyrdom, the way in which [Hamas] leaders died."
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), July 30, 2014]
Muhammad Deif – commander of Hamas' military wing, the Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, responsible of the death of hundreds of Israeli civilians in suicide bombings and other terror attacks. Deif is severely disabled as a result of assassination attempts.
To quote Mudar Zahran, the Palestinian leader from Jordan, writing on Facebook last week:
Why are Gazans not speaking against Hamas? A Gazan journalist answered me:"If you criticize Hamas it would declare you a traitor and lynch you..."
 Gazans are not raising against Hamas for a simple reasons [sic], being torn to pieces by an Israeli missile is less painful than Hamas' lynching...
 And finally, in Carlton's current column:
"Happily, the vitriol was far outweighed by hundreds of supportive emails. Fair-minded Australians are disturbed by the murder of children and the widespread carnage.  Quite a few were from Muslims, but not one was anti-Semitic. I was grateful for them, and even more for brave and often poignant letters from Jews aghast at the horrors of Gaza."
Fair-minded Australians are disturbed by the murder of children and the widespread carnage everyehere, and that goes for the Israeli children murdered by terrorists as well the Christian children murdered by Islamists, and the Muslim children murdered in the internecine carnage that scars the Middle East

Fairminded Australians do not harp on Israel's offences, real and supposed, to the exclusion of  offences occurring elsewhere on the globe.

"Not one was anti-Semitic"?  It depends on how he defines that ...

As for those "brave" Jews mentioned by Carlton, why "brave"?  Unlike dissenters in the Islamic world, they're hardly likely to find themselves in danger.

In today's putrid climate, the Jews who openly identify as Zionists, as supporters of the state of Israel, are the brave ones.

Jews like these membersof the Melbourne community, who last month demonstrated their solidarity with Israel at a 2000-stronggathering in a suburban park:

A demonstration that communal leaders decided should not be advertised on social media because of the likelihood of trouble from the usual suspects.

That's the sad reality of being a "Zionist" (even in Australia) today.

Postscript: Sydney Jewry rally for Israel: hat tip Shirlee (whom I think I spotted in the crowd on this video, and who I have a hunch will shortly be blogging over on the Jews Down Under site about recent rallies )

Update: a belated apology for Le Lievre's cartoon from the Sydney Morning Herald  here


  1. Testing Testing
    I hope this last couple of comments haven't come up. I haven't been getting captcha challenges but I think that was a problem with the "no script" addon.

    Anyway here's two great cartoons

  2. "As for those "brave" Jews mentioned by Carlton, why "brave"? Unlike dissenters in the Islamic world, they're hardly likely to find themselves in danger.

    "In today's putrid climate, the Jews who openly identify as Zionists, as supporters of the state of Israel, are the brave ones."

    Indeed Daphne, and also even those who identify as Jews.

    We must also celebrate the courage of supporters of the state of Israel,and the Jews, who are not Jewish. I have needed their example to help reaffirm faith in the human spirit more times than I care to say, over the years

    1. Yes, indeed. I know at least a couple of fairly regular commenters here fall into that category.

  3. BTW if you are getting some traffic from Tim Blair's blog, yours truly is responsible.

    1. I haven't noticed any, but from time to time (and now) people arrive here by googling "Jeremy Bowen Jewish". What on earth gave them that idea?!

  4. Attorney-General Brandis slams the cartoon; Fairfax apologises:

    This story made headlines in today's "Australian" newspaper.

  5. As Shirlee comments in sebding me this link, a "back-handed apology" by the SMH:

  6. Nathan of Plaza4 August 2014 at 19:22

    No 'some of my best friends are Jews' - ol' Mikey just pulled his Jewish son-in-law out of the hat

  7. Andrew Bolt has mentioned this shameful affair yet again on his blog, and this one, more general, is a corker:

  8. Andrew Bolt's latest!
    (Gee, that guy's my hero!)

  9. I have long come to the conclusion that there is literally nothing some people (Carlton is as apt an example as any) will accept as antisemitism (I prefer to describe it as Jew Hatred but that is another issue). Recycling medieval and Nazi memes is not only not recognised as antisemitism but considered as some original thought. They can't understand why the Jews are upset.

    If you ask them, if what you have just said is not antisemitism what is?, the best reply they come up with, usually chortling at their cleverness, is what Israel does to the Palestinians is antisemitism.

    Jew Hatred is no longer something that is said or done to injure Jews but what Jews do - often only exist.


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