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Answering the Finkler Question

June 12, 2012 – 7:41 pm141 Comments

The following is a summation of Philip Mendes‘ comments delivered at yesterday’s Finkler Panel at Limmud Oz.

The great strength of the Finkler Question is that its depiction of what are called “ashamed Jews” so closely matches the reality we all know: There are in Australia and elsewhere a small group of anti-Zionist Jews, who hate Israel, who hate the vast majority of Jews who support Israel, and who often reserve a special venom for the many other Jews on the Left who are not ashamed of Israel. Personally, I have experienced defamatory letters sent to my University and numerous other public misrepresentations of my views and opinions – nearly all emanating from anti-Zionist Jews (sometimes backed up by “useful idiots” in local non-Zionist organizations such as AJDS) who wish to censor and silence left-wing Jews who think Israel has a right to exist.

This group of anti-Zionist Jews seem to have increased in numbers in the last decade. The question is why? Some of the obvious factors include the advent of the Internet which has made it far easier for minority groups to promote their views independent of mainstream media, the increased acceptability on the Left of expressions of ethnic and other forms of minority group identity, and the massive shift within mainstream Jewish organizations to support for a two-state perspective which has opened up major new spaces for Jews of diverse opinions to articulate a range of strategies to promote that outcome.

But most significantly it seems to me that everyone wants to be part of a community. Anti-Zionist Jews are generally excluded from the mainstream Jewish community because the views they hold are considered offensive by the majority who mostly regard them as Uncle Toms. It is, however, perhaps a grey question as to whether they are overtly excluded because the majority are intolerant of their views, or rather they exclude themselves because they are intolerant of any views on Israel other than anti-Zionism.

Many find an alternative home in the Left community. Some are happy with this because their political views have little or nothing to do with their Jewish background. But others still feel a need to express their Jewish identity even if only on political issues. Hence the formation of alternative groups or communities with titles such as Independent Jewish Voices or Jews for Justice for Palestinians. These communities appear to give them a sense of belonging and mutual support that was denied to them in the mainstream Jewish community.

None of this means that a degree of opportunism or expediency is not involved. Some as noted in the Finkler Question only claim a Jewish identity as a convenient means of bashing Israel, and deflecting allegations of anti-Semitism. The most offensive use of a pseudo Jewish identity arguably occurs when Jewish anti-Zionists (including some of the most extreme BDS advocates) highlight and exploit the Holocaust survivor background of their parents or family in order to justify their attacks on Israel (see, for example, the flier promoting Avigail Abarbanel’s book). Yet any serious survey of Holocaust survivors and their families would almost certainly find that the vast majority furiously reject these statements, and offer strong support for the State of Israel.

But others to varying degrees genuinely seem to believe that Jewish values or teachings underpin their political beliefs as is evident from the two recent sympathetic (and mostly uncritical) books on Jewish anti-Zionism from Avigail Abarbanel and David Landy.

This attempt to develop a Jewish (as opposed to solely political) anti-Zionist identity poses a number of questions which remain largely unanswered:

1)     What if anything distinguishes their anti-Zionist beliefs from the views of anti-Zionists who aren’t Jewish?

2)     What it is about their Jewish experiences that has lead them to express views diametrically opposed to most Jews on Israel?

3)     How can they apply Jewish social justice teachings exclusively to the Palestinians, and completely ignore the national and human rights of the approximately six million Jews who live in Israel?

4)     Did their anti-Zionism only develop after they joined far Left groups? This is an important question as we know that many Left groups today and historically have compelled Jewish members to conform to an anti-Zionist position.

Can anti-Zionist Jews be viewed in any way whatsoever as promoting Jewish concerns and interests? Do they campaign against forms of anti-Semitism that are not related to the Middle East conflict? What events if any would lead them to show their solidarity with other Jews?

Associate Professor Philip Mendes is the Director of the Social Inclusion and Social Policy Research Unit in the Department of Social Work at Monash University, and also holds an adjunct appointment with the Monash Centre for Jewish Civilisation. He is the author or co-author of seven books including Jews and Australian Politics, Sussex Academic Press, 2004, and is currently preparing Jews and the Left: The rise and fall of a Political Alliance for publication in late 2013.

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  • Larry Stillman says:

    You obviously haven’t read the book by Avigail Abarbanel and others. I strongly disagree with many of the views put by them in their books, but they are all motivated, in one way or other, by a connection with Jewish life, particularly for some, the trauma of the Holocaust. If you read the book, many of the questions you pose are answered, yet you pretend that they have not answered them. On the hardest one, that is why the focus on Palestinian rights rather than Israeli rights is because the violence and powerlessness is overwhelmingly directed at Palestinians, not the other way round. However, of course there are some anti-Zionists who have absolutely no empathy or sympathy for Israelis, but that is simply not the case for many who are strong critics of Israeli government policies and the occupation. From what you are saying people like Akiva Eldar would be in your anti-Zionist/exploiting their identity basket. This is clearly balderdash as people like him are internal dissidents.

    And how, I ask, can the AJDS be considered as useful idiots when we have clearly distinguished ourselves from the loons & exaggerators, and our differences with you are on matters of fact and opinion. Sometimes, we just think that you are plain wrong in your assertions, or worse, you actually are working with a lack of information when the information is out there. Thus, when in the discussion with Jim Barnes of the Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network at Limmud Oz, clear points of difference came out not just with him, but the the tone and orientation of anti-Zionism of left (and Jewish) extremists was condemned by me. And you well know, and it is there for all to read on Face Book and elsewhere, personally, I waste almost too much time countering the idiotic essentialism put forward by rabid anti-Zionists which regrettably do involve a few real Jewish fools and I counter the anti-Semitism which comes out from time to time in Palestinian advocacy. There are no useful idiots in the AJDS. Thus, your attempt to depict yourself as the sole true martyr to the cause is incorrect is truly self-serving – am I not also labelled as a ‘Quisling’ on the right, and a Zionist apologist on the far left,or a Muslim lover by the supporters of the Q-society? So what? That is the nature of politics.

    It is also absolutely insulting you to critique the personal Jewish identity of people in their reaction to the Holocaust, particularly those who went through it or from survivor families. Everyone has had a different reaction and a different degree of knowledge and experience.It is thus hypocritical when you regard with disdain the lack of formalized Jewish knowledge and belief–yet you have admitted, on this site, that you are ” completely non religious”. That makes you equally less Jewish in many people’s eyes. Have you inspected your target people’s bookshelves? Have you surveyed their attitudes and actions against other forms of anti-Semitism and racism? Jewish life/community is a continuum of cultures, languages, religion, experience. But you are putting priority on Zionism as a loyalty test.

    You particularly fail to realize, admit or explore a reason why some people become extreme (and some do) is because of their total despair over Israeli politics, in the same way it appears that very large numbers of younger American Jews or even local Jews are just turned off (and Israelis as well)[the Beinhart-type thesis]. As you know, ‘its the occupation, stupid’, yet a solution appears impossible. Now some (in error), won’t give Israel any leeway at all, but others just want a change in politics when in their opinion, the balance of power is overwhelmingly in Israel’s bailiwick. In social science terms, the traditional explanatory model for what Israel has got itself into doesn’t bear much scrutiny any more, and new models or theories can’t cover up the situation.

    Finally, by posing a series of extremely difficult and at times loaded questions, in the final part of your essay, you undermine the possibility of finding an appropriate and non-contestable answer. There has to be a Latin tag for this technique (but I can’t find it), which confirms in the readers mind all the worst possible implications in the answer to be found.

    You are right about one thing. As we all know, the internet has allowed many ideas to flourish, without quality control. And that applies to all sides of politics.

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Sounds like it was quite the glad handing experience, replete with confirmation bias and a codification of an us vs. them mentality that is sure to help the issue.

    A panel on how much you hate the people that hate you. Douglas Adams couldn’t have come up with a more absurdly hilarious idea.

  • letters in the age says:

    They also resort to major political parties as well Phillip where opportunism reigns supreme with their identity

    Dont forget that at the next election…

    cheers guys

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Daniel – Philip was one of three panellists.

    I spoke and I think provided a very different perspective as did Alex Fein.

    It would be good to hear from people who were there whether they thought there was confirmation bias or a decent, and critical discussion.

    I thought what Philip said on the day was more nuanced, less conclusive and actually more interesting (based in historical and political analysis of trends on the left) than what he has written here.

    ‘Elliot’ posted after Limmud and in response to a previous article about this session – “I know I enjoyed the session! A very good panel. The main thing missing from the discussion was someone who absolutely hated the book and was willing to say so during the discussion.But either there was none in audience who had this view, or they kept it to themselves.”

    I think one of the problems that Frosh encountered in setting up this panel was finding someone who identifies as of the left, who had actually read the book – talk about confirmation bias.

    In addition clearly some Jews on the left stayed away from Limmud this year for reasons which have been discussed on this site. So while there was a bias in the room, it was not as Daniel has described and the tone was respectful and civil.

    There were a couple of AJDS aligned people at the discussion who said they thought it was a good discussion on a challenging book.

  • Michael Burd says:

    I guess Phillip Mendes should know more about the Jewish left-wing extremists than most considering he was once a member of one of these groups Palestinian advocacy group AJDS [ Its Editor Sol Salbe’s claim to fame is ”he has been fighting for Palestinian
    rights for over 35 years].. If only our Palestinian community had activists that had been fighting for Israeli rights for 35 years but hey I could always dream on…

    : Truth strengthens the case for Palestine | Green Left …
    http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/2964811 Jun 2003 – COMMENT BY SOL SALBE. Green Left Weekly is partisan on the issue of Palestine and Israel. … They regarded preventing each other from grabbing Palestine as a more important task than fighting the Israelis. … [Israeli-born Sol Salbe has been campaigning for Palestinian human rights for 35 years.

    I think Mendes description as these left wing extremists on the Jewish fringe in his well written paper as ‘ useful idiots” sums it up

    I would also add that these ” useful idiots”as Mendes calls them are the best advocates the Palestinians / Arab lobby have.

    Michael Burd

  • Larry Stillman says:

    I had read the book, well, about 90% until I got bored. I provided copies to a number of people. Well? I was available…and I did not stage a boycott. There’s good satire (Swift,Tariq Ali) and very late middle-aged fantasizing-this book was in the latter category.

  • Elliot says:

    I would like to support Mandi’s comments. I thought the discussion on this topic at Limmud Oz was in fact very good. Maybe my powers of recall are longer as good as they could be, but I don’t believe that the article above is actually a “summation of Philip Mendes‘ comments delivered at yesterday’s Finkler Panel at Limmud Oz”. If he had made these comments, I certainly would have had something to say during the general discussion. In fact, I recall a number of panellists making the point that simplistic assumptions about the motivations of even extreme anti-Zionist Jews were likely to be wide of the mark.

    As a member of the AJDS with very strong views supporting the right of Israel to exist I have never been censored or silenced by his “useful idiots”. In fact I have found a high level of agreement on this topic. I know that Phillip has had his disagreement with some members of the AJDS but there is no justification for the vehement distortions in his article.

  • frosh says:


    I wrote on Facebook on May 10, in response to a question from Sol Salbe about the diversity of the panel.

    “If there is someone else who would sincerely like to be on the panel (and has read the book!), please feel free to contact me.”

    You actually commented on this thread, after I made this comment, so we can assume you saw my offer. And yet I did not hear from you requesting to be on the panel!

    So in short, I find it appalling that would now kvetch about how you were not given the opportunity to be on the panel.

    Furthermore, by your own admission, you have lacked the attention span to even finish the book.

  • letters in the age says:

    I hope there is a video of these discussions on the internet via youtube or elsewhere that we can access?

    cheers guys

  • TheSadducee says:


    Do you think you can give us an insiders account of the discussions relating to the “revision” of the AJDS BDS statement last year?

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Frosh, I think you well know that you can still approach people who had not finished a book a month or so ahead of a deadline for an event and re-ask –. I would have made time available. And I had a work day on that day and was scheduled for another panel anyway and I wanted to hear the Greens…time was short.

    But am I appalling? You seem to be engaging in too many close to personal attacks these days.

  • Larry,
    You are acting in an appalling manner. You were told that if you’d read the book and wanted to be on the panel you could ask about it. You weren’t available in any case. But you are still complaining that you weren’t given a personal invitation. And you haven’t read the book! It’s unbelievable to carry on in this manner, and in public no less?!

  • Letters,
    I believe that the panel was recorded and an audio will be available at some point on j-air.com.au
    I don’t think it will be possible to hear the audience contributions but you should be able to hear the main discussions. If anyone has found the link, please feel free to post.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Hey, I am not complaining, just making a comment……and I HAD read 90% as of 3 weeks ago…

  • philip mendes says:

    Good to see that in LS I still have my own personal political stalker. It would be lonely out there on the web without him. And yes I have read both the Abarbanel and Landy books. I actually reviewed them on the Drum two months ago. See http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3917666.html

    Regarding AJDS, they have had so many chances to decide which side they want to sleep on – is it with the Jews who are ashamed of Israel, or is it with those left-wing Jews who are not ashamed of Israel? Two years ago they engaged in conduct which was disgusting, shameful and indefensible. They not only allied themselves with the most ashamed Jew of all, they openly endorsed his character defamation of myself and other left-wing Jews. See

    I sympathize when Elliot G says that he and other members of AJDS are not ashamed of Israel. My suggestion to him and his colleagues is as follows: write to the AJDS Executive and demand that they apologize to the Jewish community for that press release they (oar at least the Stillmanite/Rosenbratt faction) issued defending Brull and Overland. And threaten to resign your membership if they don’t.


  • Elliot says:

    TheSadducee – I am not on the Committee or anything of AJDS so I am hardly an “insider”! However, I attend AGMs and other events. I was not at all happy with the ADJS BDS statement which I felt suggested that AJDS was sympathetic to BDS (even though it was only really backing boycotts of settlement products). At the subsequent AGM I found that I was not alone in my feeling about this. I am not sure of the actual details of the revision of the statement, but there was no doubt that the meeting did not want any support from AJDS for the BDS movement.

  • letters in the age says:

    Greatly appreciated Rachel!!!

    Look foward to listening to it


  • Larry Stillman says:

    Philip, I am glad to have seen you have read the book edited by Abarbanel Mea Culpa. You are right on one thing. The most recent book is to quote you ‘uncritical’ –it is a set of personal statements as far as I can see. I don’t like some of them at all. Take it or leave it. But you can’t dump everyone in the same boat (take Halper and David Langsam for example). But they had the right to put their case in terms of what they take to be their identity. Jewishness/Judaism, as you well know, is not a fixed set of beliefs, and since the 1800s I think, has also been tied in with a reaction to modernity and secularization –and some of these reactions are satisfactory, others not.

    On the issue of the statement in Overland, it is much more accurate to quote what was said, rather than your own special report with your intepretations setting up AJDS as a bunch of demons in response to silly claims and a very thin skin — here is what AJDS said at the time in response to what you characterize as “character defamation of myself and other left-wing Jews” (and btw, Les Rosenblatt is no longer on the Committee, but this was a statement for the Committee). It is also important to see why Phillip got so upset in the first place, so I quote Michael Brull after this, because Michael had issues which what Philip had claimed about him. Your attempt to set up Stillmanites etc. is also childish( is that meant to remind people of Troskyists or Stalinists or Stakhanovites?). So here is the AJDS statement.

    “Overland magazine has been attacked by an academic ‘push’ for publishing non-mainstream opinions on the Israel-Palestine issue. Here is the AJDS response.

    The Executive of the Australian Jewish Democratic Society is in broad agreement with the views expressed by Jeff Sparrow and the rest of the Overland editorial staff in the final two paragraphs of their 3 May statement titled “Overland and Bias: a response to some critics.” They wrote:

    “Michael Brull concludes his essay with the suggestion that issues around Israel/Palestine be opened ‘to free debate, without the usual flood of hysterical name-calling’. That seems to us, the editorial staff at Overland journal, an eminently reasonable proposal, and one to which we are also committed. Precisely because the misery in the Middle East shows no signs of abating, the discussion over Israel/Palestine needs to be broadened beyond simple reiteration of the conventional wisdom.

    “More generally, in an increasingly homogenised mainstream media, emerging voices that don’t parrot Murdoch talking-points often struggle to be heard. We believe that by providing a platform for ‘marginal’ writers – even if those writers occasionally scandalise a conservative or two – Overland performs an important function. That is the policy the journal has followed since 1954. It is one we will continue to uphold.”

    The AJDS has for over 25 years been committed to a broadening of debate on the Israel/Palestine issue and has been a proud contributor of news, investigation, analysis and opinion on how the needs for security and peace between and amongst Israelis and Palestinians might fairly be achieved. We encourage civility and respect in debate on political differences over the issue and strongly oppose the vilification and abuse that often follows expression of radical or minority opinions.

    We put this attitude into practical effect by inviting Professor Dennis Altman, a recent contributor to Overland, as guest speaker at our Annual Dinner in December 2009, though not all our members share his views on the Israel/Palestine issue. We have also been instrumental in having the Jewish Community Council of Victoria strengthen its policy supporting civility and opposing vilification in expressions of political difference.

    Les Rosenblatt
    Spokesperson on behalf of the Australian Jewish Democratic Society
    May 6, 2010.

    Now, what were Michael Brull’ s words, the ones that Philip finds so defamatory and so on, in an article in which he also criticizes a number of Jews on the left, including Denis Altman?. I apologize, but this is a copy and paste from a pdf of the article that is not perfect (and it is only available through subscription services). I don’t think they are demafamatory. They are critical of a style and political orientation.

    “Interestingly, Altman praised Melbourne academic Philip Mendes as someone he liked and I found this surprising from someone who knows the difficulty of public discussion of Israel and Zionism. If anyone in Australia should be singled out as poisoning public discourse with vicious and unwarranted charges of anti-Semitism, it is Mendes. Of Curthoys, for instance, Mendes suggested that he and John Docker were ‘remarkably unconcerned about the first Holocaust’ and that their ‘ideas could potentially lead to a second Holocaust.’ At new Jewish blog Galus Australis, Mendes thought it important to point out that Curthoys was also only ‘of part Jewish background’. He expressed his disappointment that Jewish leftists, such as those in the Australian Jewish Democratic Society, did not confront’ Docker and Curthoys and their ‘hate-filled diatribes’. By that, Mendes referred to their advocacy of a one-state solution.

    For an encore, Mendes whether a talk I gave whose contents he knew noth-about beyond the tide (‘The influence of Zionism on Australian politics’) – was ‘connected to the Protocols of The Elders of Zion’. This is curious, that he follows my blog, and had quoted elsewhere an entry I wrote m specifically naming and condemning supposedly pro-Palestinian anti-Semites.

    As it happens, Mendes considers himself a leftist. I think his relationship to the Left is about as warm as McCarthy’s was, though I’m willing to grant that Mendes may have a shorter list. In August 1944, Orwell wrote that, for leftist literary intellectuals who shared his suspicion that something had gone very wrong with the Soviet Union, ‘willingness to criticise Russia and Stalin is the test of intellectual honesty’. For Jewish leftists, the test of intellectual honesty is their willingness to criticise the Israeli government and Zionism. It may be difficult for some due to reasons of nationalism. It may be difficult because of the kind of vicious responses such positions constantly attract.

    In that respect, Altman and Curthoys, even if I do not agree with them on everything, have at least made an effort to value truth above ethnic solidarity. It is about time that the issues were opened to free debate, without the usual flood of hysterical name-calling. Perhaps some day, those of us who oppose colonisation, torture, ethnic cleansing and racist state discrimination will not be the ones considered racists and lunatics. It is up to us to make that day happen. ”

    What did the people at Overland have to say in a rather long and overblown way and the orginal complaints. @ http://overland.org.au/blogs/not-assigned/2010/05/overland-and-bias-a-response-to-some-critics/

    Posted on
    3 May 2010

    A few days ago, we received a letter (published below) signed by six Australian academics: Professor Bernard Rechter, Professor Douglas Kirsner, Professor Andrew Markus, Dr Bill Anderson, Dr Nick Dyrenfurth and Associate Professor Philip Mendes. They were, they said, collectively writing to the board of Overland and to its patron, Barry Jones, about ‘recent editorial bias on Israel/Palestine’.

    We cannot speak for the OL Society. But editorial decisions are the responsibility of the editorial staff. We make the allegations against us public, partly because they are too serious for closed-door insinuations, and partly because, by seeking to exert organisational pressure on editorial policy, the letter illustrates, in a small way, the obstacles to debating Israel/Palestine in this country.

    Let us begin with the obvious point that accusing an overtly political journal of ‘bias’ makes no sense whatsoever. When Overland launched in 1954, it proclaimed its ‘bias’ (literally) with a famous phrase borrowed from Joseph Furphy. That slogan was meant to signal that the journal gave a voice to the Left, just as Overland does today.

    But we suspect that by employing words like ‘bias’, ‘prejudic[e]’, ‘demonise’, Mendes and co. intend to imply something rather darker – that the Overland editorial team is anti-Semitic. If that is what they mean, they should come out and say so. For the record, any allegation that Overland publishes, accepts or otherwise endorses anti-Semitism or any other form of racial discrimination is utterly scurrilous, and we reject it entirely.

    In relation to our coverage of Israel/Palestine – which consists, it might be noted, of a debate over three years between four Jewish writers, some of whom uphold a two-state solution and some of whom do not – Mendes and co. write:

    We can all agree that the Australian Left has no consensus on this issue. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that a wide majority on the Left today support a two-state solution which encapsulates recognition of both Israeli and Palestinian national rights. It is also fair to say that those fundamentalists who advocate the elimination of Israel and its replacement by an Arab State of Greater Palestine represent a small, if sometimes vocal, minority.

    Yet it is precisely these marginal views, which demonize Israel and infantilize the Palestinians, that seem to have captured Overland’s agenda in recent years. We note, for example, the three recent articles that appeared in issues 187 by Ned Curthoys, 193 by Antony Loewenstein, and 198 by Michael Brull. […] Our principle [sic] question is why Overland has chosen to highlight these vexatious voices who contribute only fanatical polemics and represent nobody in either the Jewish community or the Left, and chosen to ignore or actively censor the large group of Jewish (and broader Left) voices who are able to present serious contributions on the complexity of the conflict. (emphasis theirs)

    Here, our critics entirely misunderstand the Overland project, which is not, and never has been, to present the ideas of the majority. On the contrary, almost by definition, our small magazine provides space for views that do not receive a hearing elsewhere. In Overland’s case, those views are inevitably political. As its website makes clear, Overland has

    a tradition of publishing dissenting articles with a political and cultural focus. […] Overland is the only high-profile Australian literary magazine that sees the publication and advancement of new and marginal writers as part of its charter. (emphasis ours)

    The notion that publishing minority views constitutes ‘censorship’ is truly bizarre. Let’s put the question specifically. Are Mendes and co. silenced? Do they or their co-thinkers lack forums in which to expound their ideas?

    No, not so much. For the sake of brevity, let us merely consider their access to the Australian, the country’s only national newspaper, and a publication with a circulation and reach far beyond that of Overland. A quick search through the archives reveals the following: a piece by Nick Dyrenfurth on 16 March 2009, accusing leftists of anti-Semitism; a piece by Nick Dyrenfurth and Philip Mendes on 13 May 2009, accusing leftists of anti-Semitism; a piece by Nick Dyrenfurth and Philip Mendes on 19 September 2009, accusing leftists of anti-Semitism; a piece by Nick Dyrenfurth and Philip Mendes on 11 November 2009, accusing leftists of anti-Semitism. (At that point, our patience began to wane somewhat.)

    Given this record, we might equally ask Dyrenfurth and Mendes whether, with their avowed commitment to representation, they organise similar open letters to the Australian’s editorial board, urging that Murdoch provide space for, say, environmental activists alongside his regular quota of climate change denying columnists. After all, to borrow a phrase, those who want action on global warming ‘represent the majority of the population’ – but, oddly, they seem to have been deliberately excluded from the pages of the Australian!

    Think for a moment about what Mendes and co. are arguing. The signatories to this letter are, as they take pains to remind us, all professors or academics of one variety or another, ensconced in well-paid jobs at universities around the country. Many of them are widely published; most have, as we have seen, regular access to the mainstream media. Yet, when Overland prints an article by Michael Brull, a young writer with none of the resources or institutional backing that they enjoy, they complain to its governing body that they are being excluded!

    In that respect, the whole episode is sadly typical of how debates about Israel/Palestine are conducted. Mendes and co. urge the OL Society not to permit Overland to ‘highlight the views’ of anti-Zionists like Ned Curthoys, Antony Loewenstein and Michael Brull who, we are told, are irrelevant, marginal figures and as such not worth worrying about. Yet in their writings for the mass-circulation Australian, Dyrenfurth and Mendes attack these ‘irrelevant’ and ‘marginal’ views, over and over and over again. Indeed, they single out John Docker, Ned Curthoys, John Pilger and a variety of other named individuals for public abuse – and neither they nor the Australian offer these people any opportunity to reply.

    So it comes down to this. Mendes and co. assert their right to berate their political opponents in the most vituperative fashion. But they also want – in the name of ‘free speech’– to deny those opponents any platform whatsoever, even in a tiny literary magazine.

    The politics underlying this dispute should be understood.

    The signatories present themselves as friends of Overland, writing more in sorrow than in anger about its current editorial decline. ‘We all strongly respect,’ they proclaim, ‘Overland’s tradition of providing a forum for free and open discussion of democratic and progressive ideas.’

    Really? Let us look at what one of our correspondents actually says about ‘democratic and progressive ideas’.

    On 2 April 2008, Douglas Kirsner appeared in (of course!) the Australian. There, too, he complained of ‘bias’ – but, on that occasion, he directed his ire towards the ABC:

    Why is it that the only intentionally liberal-conservative program on Radio National is titled Counterpoint? […]

    In 1968, German student leader Rudi Dutschke, drawing on the idea of hegemony of Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci and of Marxist critical theory, suggested “a long march through the institutions” of power to create radical change from within government and society by becoming an integral part of it; as critical theorist Herbert Marcuse put it, “working against the established institutions while working in them”.

    The countercultural capture of cultural institutions meant the emergence of what Swinburne University sociologist Katharine Betts calls a “new class” whose object was not old wealth. Instead, Betts writes in her 1999 book The Great Divide, “the attack was concentrated on the Australian mass and its materialism, racism, sexism and insularity”.

    A noticeably homogenous class of inner city, tertiary-educated social professionals, often referred to as the chattering classes, has an identity that developed together with mass tertiary education. While the old Left emphasised economic reforms to help the working class, the new class focused on issues such as refugees, multiculturalism, reconciliation, civil liberties and so on. This new class of social professionals includes teachers, academics, public servants and welfare workers who adopt distinct ideological positions and values that serve as social markers for the new class.

    The “knowledge class”, which includes ABC journalists, is an important segment within the new educated class that has more distinct values that increasingly set them apart from business and the general community.

    I mention this not because I think the ABC has no diversity at all but because it’s a trend embedded within the institutional culture that will take another “long march” to reverse, this time in the opposite direction towards the centre. It’s a march that has begun from the top but needs to infuse its way to the bottom.

    Thus it does, indeed, seem that Professor Kirsner holds strong views about ‘democratic and progressive ideas’. He opposes them – and advocates a reactionary ‘long march’ to counter the influence of those concerned about ‘refugees, multiculturalism, reconciliation, civil liberties and so on’.

    What does that mean in practice? Well, when MediaWatch caught Janet Albrechtsen distorting quotes to demonise Islamic youths, Kirsner weighed in:

    Janet Albrechtsen reveals the entrenched and blind bias in the ABC very well indeed. It’s a very sad story, especially about a program that claims the high journalistic ethics ground without fear or favour.

    Often defenders of the ABC claim that it compensates for right wing commentators such as Alan Jones, thereby admitting the endemic bias of “everyone’s ABC”.

    But yesterday I almost fell over when I heard a US conservative commentator on The World at Noon on Iraq. The ABC must have been desperate – though the anchor did point out that this commentator’s views on Iraq needed to be understood in the context that he was a conservative. I don’t hear such caveats when left wing commentators are introduced.”

    Keep it up, Janet!

    Dr Douglas Kirsner

    Melbourne, Vic

    We understand that Kirsner did, at one stage, belong to the Melbourne University Labour Club, back in the days when Leftism enjoyed a certain fashionable cachet. Since then, however, he has evidently picked himself up and returned, more or less unscathed by his radical experiences, to the more traditional Toryism of the professoriate.

    Of course, Professor Kirsner’s political evolution is a matter between him and his conscience. But are we seriously to believe that a man who sees in the ABC a tide of radicalism that should be ‘reversed’, a fellow who shouts ‘Keep it up, Janet!’ in support of an Islamaphobic far-Right columnist, really ‘respect[s] the Overland tradition’ and wishes the project well?

    We think not.

    Why then does his name appear on this letter? Why have these ‘Leftist’ academics made common cause with an avowed reactionary? It is because, as we have seen, the signatories are not concerned with responding to articles with which they disagree, so much as with applying institutional pressure to ensure the offending pieces don’t get published at all. They think that the OL Society board might be more susceptible to names with a historical association with the Left – and so they are prepared to enlist to the cause a former radical who now enjoys hearing pro-war conservatives on the ABC!

    Our ‘Leftist’ critics – some of whom, it is true, have made real contributions to the progressive movement in the past – need to ask themselves where, politically, they are heading. Kirsner is merely one on the long list of former radicals transformed into arch-reactionaries by an aggressive and uncritical identification with conventional wisdom about the Middle East. Dyrenfurth and Mendes, those self-proclaimed partisans of the Left, might wonder why the Australian, Murdoch’s ferociously conservative flagship, consistently offers them space alongside the climate change deniers, religious bigots, warmongers and Islamophobes whom it pleases that paper to promote. Is it, as they seem to think, because they present ‘serious contributions on the complexity of the conflict’? Or is it because self-proclaimed Leftists who devote themselves to smearing others on the Left as lunatics and racists serve a useful role for a conservative newspaper?

    As to the specific merits of the Overland articles in question, we, unlike our critics, have faith in the ability of our readers to make up their own minds. We would, however, point out that Michael Brull’s piece, which our correspondents single out for particular opprobrium, maintains, for the most part, a remarkably civil tone – particularly when contrasted with the work of his critics. Compare, for instance, Brull’s writing to a typical Nick Dyrenfurth effusion in the Australian, in which the ‘socialist jihadists’ of the University of Sydney are abused as ‘anti-Semitic’, ‘imbecilic’, ‘maddies’ and ‘hatemongers’ – all without the reader learning anything whatsoever about the actual arguments that they uphold.

    Michael Brull concludes his essay with the suggestion that issues around Israel/Palestine be opened ‘to free debate, without the usual flood of hysterical name-calling’. That seems to us, the editorial staff at Overland journal, an eminently reasonable proposal, and one to which we are also committed. Precisely because the misery in the Middle East shows no signs of abating, the discussion over Israel/Palestine needs to be broadened beyond simple reiteration of the conventional wisdom.

    More generally, in an increasingly homogenised mainstream media, emerging voices that don’t parrot Murdoch talking-points often struggle to be heard. We believe that by providing a platform for ‘marginal’ writers – even if those writers occasionally scandalise a conservative or two – Overland performs an important function. That is the policy the journal has followed since 1954. It is one we will continue to uphold.

    Jeff Sparrow

    Jacinda Woodhead

    Rjurik Davidson

    Kalinda Ashton

    Alex Skutenko

    John Marnell

  • Sam says:

    Living in WA I was unable to attend Limmud this year however I believe that Philip’s article here quite likely understated the case he made in trying to comprehend the raison d’etre of ASHamed jews.
    Almost co-incidently Melanie Phillips had an article published last week in the WA jewish newsletter. The title was “A Jewish Pathology”
    for the entire article.
    Amongst jews that I mix with there is widespread agreement for her view in the above article. The part which I believe encapsulates that “Pathology” best is as follows:

    “Why do they do this? Why, especially since they themselves are Jews and Israelis? Many reasons suggest themselves, ranging from the craven desire for access to a fashionable society itself riddled with this prejudice, through naivety, ignorance of Judaism and history not to mention sheer benighted stupidity, by way of a bitterly warped psychopathology all the way to the closed ideological thought system of the left”

  • Dan Lewis says:

    It’s funny how no matter how offensive the AJDS members are or how unpopular their views are, they will NEVER have to check under their car before getting in it.

    Jews pissing off Jews is so much safer than Muslims saying anything about Islam, isn’t it? Indeed, it is safer for a Jew to lie about Jews than it is for a Muslim to tell the truth about Islam.

    Wouldn’t it be great if there were an Australian Islamic Democratic Society (AIDS)? Just imagine the rapid spread of AIDS throughout the Australian Muslim Community.

    [Eds: Warning, this is bordering on outright racism, and a continuation of this line of comment will not be tolerated here].

  • michael Burd says:

    Daniel, Democracy and Islam is an oxymoron but your post is very funny and very true!

    It appears in Australia there is a competition amongst ] the lefists who can be more extreme, The Palestinian/ Arab/ Muslim lobbyists can sit back and just watch these ”Useful idiots” do their job.

    BTW I heard a rumour the ACJC and the Arab , Islamic Study department at Monash are merging ?

  • Levi says:

    [Eds: Comparisons to Nazis are not only offensive, but are a form of Holocaust trivialisation – comment removed.]

  • Michael Burd says:

    I agree Levi and what is scary these “”useful idiotts ” as described by a fellow academic are teaching , lecturing our kids. Is it any wonder after many of these kids ( mine included) have had wonderfully Jewish / Zionist experiences at Bialik , Scopus etc by the time they leave university have become leftist anti Zionists or at best loose all interest in Israel
    what is need at our universities are Jewish study departments not run by extremists and that support Israel.
    After all the Arab Islamic study departments all speak with one voice when it comes to Palestine .

  • letters in the age says:


    waleed aly would be on the board of that islamic centre at monash i assume??

    your kids are just wanting to break away from established viewpoints and uni does that to every gen michael

    they are adults and its their choice and limmud is a great way of reconnecting

    you have the guilt of the fees you paid thats all part of the daggy dad syndrome

    its a curse for all parents whatever their background


    send them to a private uni next time;)

  • michael Burd says:

    Well Lettersintheage what I’m told by many Jewish kids at Monash they are reluctant to argue against the overwhelmingly anti- Israel narrative or rock the boat as they all want to pass and not get on the wrong side of the Jewish academics.
    The ACJC head often invites Palestinian , ARab and Muslim lobbyists as guest speakers who are allowed to spread their hatred of the Zionists unopposed, these include Australia’s favorite Muslim son waleed ALy, Maher Mughrabi[ who works for The Age and opens the ARab Film festival when he is not on the anti- Israel speaking tour and of course one of the main instigators of the BDS movement in Australia Samah Sabawi , she was handled with kid gloves according to Salbe when she was the ACJC guest at Limmud oz. What I find offensive is the attitude of the academics at ACJC who argue it is not their job to support or promote Israel { in fact they are hostile to our main stream Zionist organizations here] yet they don’t feel its at all hypercritical that they go out of their way to support and promote Palestinian, Arab and Muslim advocates and activists.In fact one of the ACJC academics even participated in a Palestinian Lobby anti- Israel event in the City a while back, he even had the chutzpah to write on one of the Jewish blogs [ could be this one ?] that the Palestinian lobby group was doing a good job.
    ON an even playing field if the Arab/ Islamic study departments and all other Middle East academics were fair and balanced allowing speakers on a regular basis who were critical of their worldly views it could be argued about freedom of speech and the students should be exposed to everything however this is not the case.
    Only one side of the complex Israel/Palestinian,Arab Muslim conflict is allowed at our Universities and our kids are ending up like clones of their academics.
    there is only one Academic that I am aware of in Australia[ at a Melbourne University] that is not the usual stereo type Arabists ,lefty anti- Zionist who dares to write articles to the media supporting Israel Human-rights.. How popular do you think he would be around his peers in the Lunch room .How popular [ safe] would a pro Zionist Student be at University?

  • letters in the age says:

    thats really interesting michael

    melbourne uni is different and thats my experience

    it depends when they studied there??

    saw conservative students studying law that were in the exact opposite spectrum

    really nice kids and gorgeous minds

    its the monash crowd that may need to study away from the close comforts of home

    i appreciate the detailed response

    give it time and a new establishment will emerge


  • To those that have been been making comments that stereotype Muslims:
    It is absolutely not true that the Australian Muslim community have a single view on Israel, and it’s also irrelevant to this thread, which is about The Finkler Question and the panel at Limmud.
    There are Muslims who are activists against Israel, Muslims who are indifferent, Muslims who pursue peace and dialogue, and Muslims who support Israel. Some Muslims speak out against their own community and are not well liked in their community (perhaps similarly to how many Jews feel about some of Jews who speak against the Jewish community).
    Furthermore, even if you believe that this isn’t case, expressing these views on a Jewish forum where there aren’t Muslims to respond to you is cowardly, and promotes stereotyping and misunderstanding between communities. If you don’t believe that there is diversity in the Muslim community, then you would do well to make contact with some Muslims and discuss it with them rather than generalising here.
    Finally, if these sorts of comments were made by Muslims about the Jewish community on a Muslim forum, then you would be outraged.

  • Levi says:

    trivilisation of the holocaust and making comparisons to nazis? Thats interesting. Can you elaborate? You stifle someone’s criticism of a hate monger, while giving the hate monger a free pass to continue to spread liblels, lies and incitement against Israel and the jewish people. what a nice free thinking Jewish forum.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    well said Rach.

  • Michael Burd says:

    Rachel I find your comments patronizing naive , this is not a university where we are students and have to tie the party line.
    Are you trying to silence those that do not agree with your politically correct worldly views .
    How dare you try to bully others .,you are entitled your views and others that don’t agree should be few to express theirs .
    I find your views offensive and childish .

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Michael, I find your comments illiterate and nonsensical. They are also delectable morsels of hilarity. Consider that you wrote:

    “Rachel I find your comments patronizing naive , this is not a university where we are students and have to tie the party line.”

    With no irony whatsoever.

    Please keep it up, you are truly something special.

  • Levi says:

    Rachael, you make a very good point about diversity within the Muslim world. There certainly is diversity….and deep seated hatred, division and mistrust amongst muslims. In addition to the Sunni and Shia sectarian divide, their animosity toward each other also stems from various tribal and ethnic divisions. One of my colleagues is a Lebanese muslim of Alawite Shia extraction. In university, as soon as his Lebanese Sunni friends found out what his background was, they refused to have anything to do with him. His grandmother passed away three weeks ago in Lebanon and his parents couldn’t bury her because the local Sunni militia were shooting at them…and we all know what’s happening in neighbouring Syria. This animosity and hatred pre-dated Zionism. and that’s not bringing in the Christians, druze or Kurds into the equation.

    The Jewish world is also divided….but at least we don’t kill each other or commit whole sale massacres and slaughters of women and children.

    And somehow it’s expected that Israel make peace with the Arab and muslim world…

  • Larry Stillman says:

    At some of us have a bit of sense about stereotyping, but on the subject of stereotyping, I would like some comments about Finkler. Do you really think that a novel which comes down to this passage below, other than being kind of snigger satyrical, really adds much to reality–it’s an invented stereotype. It’s too easy to just use that as a label to slap onto a full range of Jews whose views on Israel you don’t like, ranging from the Beinharts of the world (middle of the road Zionists, to full raging hardliners who do conform to the stereotype). But there are probably at least a few hundred thousand around the world, the readers of Tikkun, holding liberal and even orthodox or humanist belief, with bookshelves of Judaica and second-hand Penguin books who don’t live in places like North London but South London, not in North Caulfield but Moorabbin or Northcote whose hopes for Israel are cracking apart. Enemies of Israel? No. Finklers. No. Writers to newspapers etc, yes. Activists, a few.

    ” Indeed, one among them only found out he was Jewish at all in the course of making a television programme in which he was confronted on camera with who he really was. In the final frame of the film he was disclosed weeping before a memorial in Auschwitz to dead ancestors who until that moment he had never known he’d had. ‘It could explain where I get my comic genius from,’ he told an interviewer for a newspaper, though by then he had renegotiated his new allegiance. Born a Jew on Monday, he had signed up to be an ASHamed Jew by Wednesday and was seen chanting ‘We are all Hezbollah’ outside the Israeli Embassy on the following Saturday.

  • Daniel says:

    Rachel Sacks Davis you are with the fairies darling.
    When i see a pro- Palestine rally (which are actually anti israel, anti semitic, and often filled with violent and extreme messages) i see tens of jewish faces in the crowd (and thats just the jewish people who i know and can recognize).
    When i have attended Pro-Israel rallies (which never mention violence or hatred and usually only peace) i have never EVER met ONE MUSLIM person.
    Now next yom haatzmaut i will happily meet up with you and you can introduce me to all your palestinian/muslin friends in attendance.
    In the meantime stop fantasizing some equivalence and mirror imaging between the Jewish and Muslim communities; there is none and its shameful that you think this way of your own people.

  • Mandi Katz says:


    You didnt like the book – you and many others.

    But the Finkler Question won the Man Booker prize in 2010. It was a bestseller for many months and Howard Jacobson is very widely regarded as an outstanding writer.

    The idea of this session was to have an adult discussion about a book which is clearly of broad interest.

    Yes, many of the characters were caricatures (such as the section you just quoted) and Jacobson used some very heavy handed literary devices . Finkler becomes more real as he sheds his shame about Israel – hardly subtle stuff. But it was laugh out loud funny (including the secion you just quoted – sometimes caricatures are actually funny in spite of our better judgment and we need to ask why) and sometimes painfully accurate.

    An example – the Anglo Jewish museum, decidedly and expressly not a tribute to Zionism, is defiled in ways that suggest anti Israel motivation but are rightfully experienced as anti -semitism. . Heavy handed device? perhaps – the reference to bacon wrapped around the beautifully designed handles of the museum is at once silly – ‘as if ‘, we say as we read it – and also distinctly familiar and possible. That makes it good satire.

    The scene where Finkler’s son assaults an Orthodox Jew as a ‘settler” is also very troubling because it could be real. Finkler is shocked – it begins for him a process of questioning the quality and effect of his shame about Israel, because he rightly doesn’t understand how his son behaves like this. All that Finkler’s son knows about the man he assaults is that he is a Jew, but that has become enough to attribute views, behaviour to him. And it’s a form of abuse reserved for obviously identifiable Jews.

    Implausible? Sadly not so much – it was echoed in a real episode in Melbourne which you reported and which you were involved in combatting. Students for Palestine (I believe, you will know better if I am wrong) planned to picket the shule of a frum community on shabbat on what could only be basis of its identifiable Jewishness. They changed their plans – a good thing for the congregants but it shouldn’t be forgotten too quickly how they embraced anti-semitic patterns.

    Jewishness was quite conflated with Zionism – and that of itself highlights the need that underpins the ideology of Zionism, that Jews need political arrangements, which provide protection and confidence to organise against this kind of shameful racism. As I understand it, you actually called out the inherent racism when the episode was playing out in Melbourne but what this book says (and uses the inter – generational dynamic very effectively) is that the unbalanced criticism of Israel by the ‘father’ has done that to the ‘son’. And in a case of life imitating art here in Melbourne there was one decidedly unpleasant young(ish) Jew who first defended the planned protest at the shule by pointing to the affiliation of the congregation to Zion – it was both horrifying and yet somehow amusing to watch this idiot defend his antisemitic position on facebook . Larry, it was you who pointed out to him that the attachment to Zion is theological but the irony is painful – the identifiable Jew is attacked for his deep and longstanding connection to Zion (the land and the idea) by another Jew who at the same time denies the relevance of Jewish connection to Zion , to political outcomes.

    Overall as a satirical novel it is redeemed by balance and complexity seen for example in Libor’s character who for all his spoken commitment to Israel (in contrast with Finkler) has internalised antisemitism so deeply that when he is asked to help a real victim of antisemtisim, his counsel to the person asking for help is to accept that Jews are essentially despicable even to themselves.

    I think Jacobson is asking whether Zionism has been an effective ‘cure’ for that kind of internalised hatred as a result of anti semitism. . It’s a question that more thoughtful Jews on the left would agree is worthy of consideration.

  • Jack Chrapot says:


    If you think you have to wait for yom haatzmaut to meet up with these nice folk then you’re the one with the pixies and the fairies. I’m sure that as we speak there are mass demonstrations being prepared to protest Hamas, Hezbollah and Ahmadinejad for their genocidal intentions towards Jews and their support of the murderous Syrian regime if not against the butcher Assad himself for murdering their brothers and sisters and all of those poor children. And with a bit of luck, some of the Finkler family might turn up for the photo opportunity because we know they’re highly credentialed “peace activists”.

  • letters in the age says:


    This true story that was made into a film comes to mind when discussing ashamed jews

    Disturbing film but like the above post deals with the complexity of self hatred within the jewish context

    Google further to get other links and a broader perspective of the films themes

  • Mandi Katz says:

    sorry it’s late – I don’t like the way I expressed that last bit. What I was trying to say is that the book raises the question on of whether there is a political cure (or any cure) for the kind of psychic damage done to Libor by anti semitism. Is it Zionism? And is the problem for Libor that he hasn’t sufficiently embraced Zionism? Or is (was) too old, and he represents the old Jew who is doomed to self hatred?

    I think they are interesting questions.

    And Larry, what is it about the depiction of a a Jew saying “we are all Hezbollah” (or marching with Hezbollah supporters for that matter) that you find so utterly ridiculous?

    That it could never happen?

    It happens.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    I suspect it happens, and its stupid (I still don’t understand how Finkelstein can rationalize his going on Hizb TV etc–he is full of contradictions), but…to extend that sort of sloganeering activity and politics to left critics of Israel is patently idiotic.

  • Dan Lewis says:

    Sorry but could one of the more enlightened readers let me know what I said that was “racist”? I did not refer to any race. Yes I may have made a comment about a hostile religious group but the last time I checked, you can join that religion or leave it (albeit risking being murdered for apostasy). You cannot however change your race. Yet apparently for mocking a religious group wIth no genetic traits I am racist? Deary me. How awful.

    No. A religion is merely a series of beliefs and you could invent one tomorrow. If I disagree with those beliefs (which include such wonderful traditions as killing Jews wherever you find them) then you can be damned sure I will mock and deride such a belief system. And doing so is NOT racist. To say as much is insulting to real victims of racism who cannot change their race and are persecuted for no good reason. I am surprised the so-called anti-racist left can’t tell the difference.

    P.S. jokes about AIDS are funny.

  • Levi says:

    Dan Lewis, you can certainly feel free to demonise and spread libel against the only Jewish country and their army ( making up total fabrications) and even be allowed to publish an entire article here containing such drivel, but if you dare do anything else like question the Islamic world or the hate monger here then you coulfd be branded a racist or even an apostate

  • Daniel Levy says:

    URGENT ATTENTION: Levi and Dan Lewis.

    The world farming authority regrets to inform you that they cannot produce enough grain to meet your heavy demands in the construction of strawmen for your comments on this blog.

    They kindly ask that you take a course in reading comprehension and thinking before you type.

    Please note that while the word “racism” has become a catch-all term for many forms of bigotry, the intended meaning of the term in this instance was to let you know that the bigotry you two espouse is intolerable to a thinking person. Your epithets have no place in civilised society, please know and accept that.

    Good luck learning what you should have learned when you were kids!

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Dan Lewis, you give the game away here:

    “To say as much is insulting to real victims of racism who cannot change their race and are persecuted for no good reason.”

    Really. “Persecuted for no good reason”. There is -never- a good reason for persecution.

    Take it from an ardent proponent of anti-theism, criticising religion is about attacking the dogma, not the people as a whole. There are of course many loathsome individuals in all organised religions who can and should be targeted for the harm that they cause, but by tarring all muslims with the same brush, you show your complete lack of empathy and sheer arrogance that simply because you grew up in an enlightened area that you are somehow better.

    You were just more lucky, and instead of denigrating these people you should be trying to free them from the oppressive shackles that weigh them down. But I fear that you are too mired in your own sheltered existence to ever understand the wider picture and the bigger problems. Such a shame, because you appear to have so much energy to devote, if only you devoted it to worthy causes.

  • Michael Burd says:

    Daniel Lewis being labeled a racist is the leftist Jewish way of shutting down debate only Jews and Israelis are subject to criticism on this blog site.
    perhsps some of these PC police should read in today’s jnews how the Muslim community is bringing out a notorious Islamist anti Semite a member of the Muslim brotherhood to speak to their community and further invite hatred towards Jews in Australia .
    that’s the real works we live in not ” fairyland” as you quite rightly pint out some of us live in

  • Michael Burd says:

    Sorry some spelling mistakes early and fingers not coordinated yet

  • ian katz says:

    Rachel Davis states that expressing comments about Muslim extremism is cowardly.

    What is even more cowardly is the lack of outrage, and seeming indifference shown by peak Islamic bodies to Islamicist suicide bombers and rocket attacks being carried out against innocent civilians in the Middle East and elsewhere.

    By the way, when Islamicists send suicide bombers or rockets into Israel, do they do a census before hand to see the political position of their potential victims?

  • TheSadducee says:

    “There is -never- a good reason for persecution.”

    -a bit rich coming from a guy who regularly belittles (perhaps even persecutes?) people for their openly expressed religious views…

  • Daniel Levy says:


    As I said above, I target individual people whose religious beliefs harm others. If you have a problem with that, stop harming others.

  • TheSadducee says:


    Is educating children in religious matters harming them?

  • Daniel Levy says:

    “educating children in religious matters”

    What a lovely euphemism for religious indoctrination. Telling a child what they believe about the most important questions in life before they are old enough to think about it for themselves.

    Sure, there’s -nothing- harmful about that.

  • Dan Lewis says:

    Daniel Levy:

    Please note that while the word “racism” has become a catch-all term for many forms of bigotry, the intended meaning of the term in this instance was to let you know that the bigotry you two espouse is intolerable to a thinking person.

    Translation: Accusations of Racism are a great way to shut down any debate you don’t like.

    Mate, I could start a religion tomorrow whose central thesis was having sex with nine year olds and killing non-believers. Would you disagree with this religion? Would you be outspoken against it? Or would you say nothing for fear of being called a “racist”.

    By the way, there just happens to be a religion whose founder had sex with nine year olds and made a point of killing non-believers. Members of this religion to this day try to live their lives in the image of its founder. I dare not say which religion I’m referring to. Would hate to, you know, be called a racist…

  • michael Burd says:

    Multiculturalism Australia style this is the type of peace loving messages from the recent Muslim community invited Guest speaker

    ”The absolutely most dangerous thing is the Jews. They are the greatest enemy.”
    Tareq Al Suwaidan

    This is the type of leftist extremism from a contribution of Crikey.com the other day

    Author: Kevin Herbert

    I disagree re the commonly held meaning of the term ‘anti-Semite’.

    While technically incorrect in its assumption to be only referring to Jews, the term
    is a slogan invented in the late 19th century by Tomas Herzl, a well know Zionist war monger, in response
    to what he perceived as unfair discrimination against Jews in Europe,
    particularly France. In other words, he needed a concise marketing slogan for repretitive use in support of his far right Zionist views. Considered one of the ‘Founders Of Israel’ Herzl was
    a right piece of work indeed..check out his many mentions on Google & Wiki….I reckon the feted Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein is one of his greatest detractors.

    Just like the ‘Holocaust” has become the marketing term for the Zionist guilt mongers
    who until the last decade have gotten away with the H-word justifying any crime that
    Israelis commit against the Palestinians, anti-semitic has also lost its potency. This of course is largely due to Israel’s current international reputation as a fascist, apartheid ‘democracy’.

    I don’t use the H-word anymore..I refer to the genocide against European minorities
    and political opponents by the Nazis from 1933 to 1945.

    See all comments on this post here:

  • TheSadducee says:


    Thanks for making my initial point. :)

  • Daniel Levy says:


    Any point you made is oblique and nowhere near as clever as you think it is.

  • Mel says:

    Dan Lewis,

    Jokes about AIDS are not funny. Unless you find the suffering of others funny. I sincerely hope that is not the case.

  • Elliot says:

    My impression of the Finkler book differs from that of Larry. While I certainly could not see how it was awarded the Booker prize, I nonetheless enjoyed reading it and felt it offered an amusing satire of the “Celebrity” type of Jewish protester. I could not help thinking about our old friend Antony Loewenstein as I read the book.

    However, in my opinion the book had a major failing. A casual reader would have got the impression that such figures were the only Jews raising views critical of Israeli actions and policies. The two option in the booook were to be an “Ashamed Jew” or an “Israel never wrong Jew”. The “Ashamed Jews” are portrayed as being totally antagonistic to all aspects of Israel, and in fact longing for its destruction. There is no hint of a substantial body of opinion in the Jewish community which is both proud of Israel’s many achievements but also critical of its approach to resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians. Most of the Jewish peace advocates I have come upon certainly fit into this broad spectrum, rather than that of “Israel haters”.

    But Howard Jacobson is not the only one pushing this false polarisation. Yesterday, alerted by a Facebook item from Sol Salbe, I listened to a “Late Line Live” interview by Phillip Adams with Avigail Abarbanel and Peter Slezak. The impression given during this interview was exactly the same as that found in Finkler; the only difference was which side was wearing the “white hats”. These two “brave” individuals were presented as the alternative to the hegemony in the Jewish community. Either you went along with everything that Israel did, or you took a position of rejecting Israel as an illegitimate State. Phillip Adams fawning interview raised no probing questions nor hinted at the possibility that there were other positions which could be taken.

    Actually we have already seen an attempt to force this polarisation at Limmud Oz here in Melbourne 2 years ago. Vivienne Porszolt started her session by asking the audience to divide, with those who support Israel to move to one side, and those opposed to it to move to the other. This caused a number of people who rightly believed that the issue was more complex than this to leave the room.

    The far-left love ‘one side is right, the other side is wrong” type sloganisation. Those on the other extreme feel the same way, they just choose different sides! Neither group deserve the title of “peace activists”.

  • ian katz says:

    Amazing how those who criticise the Israelis are quiet when 1400 Syrians have been murdered, including 100 children

  • michael Burd says:

    Phillip Adams with Avigail Abarbanel and Peter Slezak jeez all who is missing is Jon Faine talk about like minded Arabist Jewish/ Israel bashers!

    Makes me ashamed to be Jewish…….

  • rachel Merhav says:

    Daniel Levi you are far too naive to believe that it is possible, and I quote you: “instead of denigrating these people you should be trying to free them from the oppressive shackles that weigh them down”. REALLY?
    Do you need to be reminded of the deadly conseuqncec to those who dare to cricize Islam – Theo van Gogh, Salman Rushdi, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the violent protests etc?

  • michael Burd says:


    ”Dhimmitude” comes to mind reading a lot of these posts…

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Rachel, you give into your baser instincts and go for the reactionary measures to combat this problem.

    I go for the root cause. And that is that it is ideologically based, and for the structures within the Islamic world that cause so much hurt and damage to fall, the ideology must fall.

    That does not include making bigoted remarks about Muslims in general.

    It does include exposing Islam (and indeed all of the religions that humanity has dreamed up over the millennia) as a myth.

    That is when you will see a power shift.

  • letters in the age says:

    Michael B

    it was i that posted the crikey link ten threads ago

    i got in before you

    keep up please sir

  • Shaun says:

    Elliot, I don’t think it mattered that Jacobson only presented two characters with polarising opinions in his book.

    Jacobson was in Sydney last year and it is clear that his political opinions falls within the critical supporter of Israel approach which is not represented in the book.

    What I find quite annoying is for those who take the anti-zionist, extreme left route to be described as ‘brave’ individuals. In a western democracy, where you are entitled to express any opinion you want, it is hardly brave. Being an activist in a genuinely repressive regime – now that’s brave.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    On one thing I agree ‘brave individuals’ is cheap and patronising and I don’t like it at all, along with ‘courageous Jews’. It is part of a game I don’t agree with. I believe the words brave & courageous should be banned. That is a brave and courageous stance.

  • Dan Lewis says:


    Jokes about AIDS are not funny.

    Apparently after 22.3 years, they are

  • michael Burd says:

    These two “brave” individuals is how ”Elliot” describes Anti- Israel activists….

    How so Mr Elliot do these 2 Jewish born anti Zionist activists face a Fatwa from our Chief Rabbis, do these anti Jewish activists have to look behind their backs or check their are no bombs under their Cars.
    Why are they so brave ……


    Go Figure

  • Dan Lewis says:

    I remember Peter Slezak (the brains behind the ‘IAJV’ where Antony Loewenstein was the eye candy) on radio.

    He had the chutzpah to suggest that ‘every time a Jew puts their head up to criticise Israel they get their head cut off’.

    The next caller to air mentioned that cutting off dissident heads was more of a Muslim thing.

    Oh yes, these “brave” anti-Zionist Jews live in perpetual fear that 89 year old Holocaust survivor Ethel Goldstein will bust a cap in their ass… It’s embarrassing isn’t it?

  • Elliot says:


    When someone puts “brave” in quotation marks, it doesn’t mean that the writer actually thinks they are brave. It means others have described them as such! I would have thought that with you vast experience of writing stuff you would have understood quotation marks!

  • michael Burd says:

    Elliot thanks for the back handed compliment however I guess others on this blog site i.e Shaun, Dan lewis etc also had concerns about your terminology
    Anyway I’m glad we agree these anti- Jewish activists are by no means brave.

    BTW it always puzzles me why so many anti- Jewish activists use their ‘Jewish heritage ‘ which they hate so much as if its extra credibility when writing in to Bag Israel and Zionists..

  • Dan Lewis says:


    it always puzzles me why so many anti- Jewish activists use their ‘Jewish heritage ‘ which they hate so much as if its extra credibility when writing in to Bag Israel and Zionists..

    I once considered converting to Islam (it’s quite easy – there’s even a website with instructions).

    That way, I could write angry letters to the Islamic press starting “As a Muslim…” Perhaps stitch up a couple of book deals with the Melbourne University Press and get lots of love from the ABC and Fairfax.

    I changed my mind chop-chop when I learned what Muslims do to people who subsequently leave the religion.

  • letters in the age says:


    Waleed Aly has that privilege and is liked by the bored bourgeois wankers at the abc who need the next gen as they go through their mid life crisis

    a female presenter comes to mind


  • michael Burd says:

    Concerning “Self-hating Jews”

    by Isi Leibler 14 June 2012

    In a column appearing in The Independent, the fiercely anti-Israeli UK daily, Avram Burg, former Speaker of the Knesset, Chairman of the Jewish Agency and scion of one of Israel’s renowned religious Zionist families, commended the UK government for measures designed to boycott Israeli goods produced beyond the green line and urged the EU to do likewise “in Israel’s interest”.

    Burg, who had the chutzpa to state that he was writing as a “Zionist”, described Israel “as the last colonial occupier in the Western world” and proclaimed that “the Israeli people’s eyes are blind and their ears are deaf” and the “real enemy of Israel’s future is Bibi Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel”.

    In the past, Burg has called for the abrogation of “the law of return” which he defined as “a mirror image of Hitler”. He has described the Jewish state as “a ghetto of belligerent colonialism” and urged Israelis to obtain foreign passports. He also recommended the dismantlement of Yad Vashem and its substitution by new headquarters for the International Criminal Court.

    Yet few would dare to describe this man, whose mother’s family was butchered in 1929 during the pogroms in Hebron, as a “self-hating Jew”.

    That is because one of the most effective accomplishments chalked up by political far-left activists was their success in eliminating the term “self-hating Jews” from the Jewish political lexicon. They are abetted by those from the extreme right who indiscriminately label every Jewish critic of Israeli policy as a self-hating Jew.

    By cynically employing inverse McCarthyist tactics to silence their critics, the far left succeeded in intimidating politicians and writers into adopting a form of political correctness which suppresses mention of one of the primary factors motivating the bizarre Jewish involvement in the campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel.

    Today, anyone employing the term “self-hating” in relation to Jews is summarily condemned and accused of being chauvinistic.

    Yet any objective review of Jewish history demonstrates that “self-hatred” was always an important element motivating Jews who turned against their own people and far predates the existence of Israel.

    The current situation was accurately summarized in a recent interview with Howard Jacobson, recipient of the highly coveted Man Booker Prize for the novel “The Finkler Question” which satirized British anti-Semitism and “self-hating Jews”.

    Ironically, his interview with Maya Sela appeared in the English internet edition of the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, which is probably the most important global media platform promoting the rantings of Jews demonizing Israel.

    Jacobson nonchalantly abandons political correctness by ignoring the taboo on the term “self-hating Jews” when referring to Jews who demonize and delegitimize Israel.

    He relates to “the need for Jews to be, one way or another, anti-Jewish. The need for so many Jews, particularly intellectual Jews, to express their hatred with embarrassment with Jewishness, and hating Israel is just the latest version of it. Jews were doing that long before there was a modern state of Israel… I suppose that if you belong to a minority that has been hated for so long, then you begin to sort of absorb some of that. It would be very surprising if you didn’t. In psychology they would tell you that an abused child will in the end come to take the view of himself that the abuser has. I don’t doubt that some Jews do that”.

    Over the ages, anti-Semitism has inflicted such devastating suffering on the Jewish people that it inevitably spawned a small but highly vocal number of Jews obsessed with dissociating themselves.

    If one analyzes the behavior of Jewish apostates during the Middle Ages, notorious for accusing their kinsman of satanic rites and churning out the vilest anti-Semitic tracts, there is little doubt that they were motivated by self-hatred as well as opportunism.

    The era of Emancipation also witnessed Jewish Universalists engaged in campaigns defaming their fellow Jews. In the nineteenth century socialist revolutionary arena, self-hatred led to justifying pogroms as a lubricant to generate revolutions.

    Karl Marx was a prime example of this. Although converted to Christianity, he was a descendant of a long line of rabbis. His noxious self-hatred was the basis for his vile anti-Semitic tract “Zur Judenfrage”, in which he stated that “money is a jealous God of Israel… The social emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of society from Judaism.”

    The tradition of “self-hatred” was sustained by Jewish communists. In the Soviet Union, the Yevsektsia, the Jewish section of the Bolsheviks, were notorious for behaving more harshly and displaying a greater determination to destroy synagogues and Jewish cultural institutions than their non-Jewish counterparts.

    Western Jewish communists applauded Stalin’s murder of Jews and crimes against the Jewish people and were amongst the staunchest defenders of the Evil Empire.

    In Israel, the fellow traveling Mapam, the forerunner of Meretz, behaved as schizophrenics, seeking to combine their Zionism with love and allegiance to the Soviet Union, even when one of their leaders, Mordechai Oren, was arrested and tried on trumped up espionage charges in Czechoslovakia.

    Yet it was only after the Oslo Accords, when Labor (Mapai) was desperately trying to convince Israelis that peace with the fork-tongued Arafat was feasible, that the self -haters emerged en mass from the closet. They assumed prominent roles at universities and attained political respectability by infiltrating the Labor Party and obtaining excessive media coverage in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz and its English language website, which prior to becoming dominated by post Zionists, was considered the leading intellectual newspaper of the land. Today it vigorously promotes journalists who demonize the state with the same vigor as their communist antecedents.

    The Israeli self-haters range from outright political psychopaths like former Israeli musician Gilad Atzmon who justifies the Nazi murder of the Jews, to failed politician Avram Burg who delegitimizes his country. They include journalists who paved the way for the Goldstone report and charges of war crimes against Israel by demonizing the IDF, whilst defending the intransigent and duplicitous Palestinians.

    In addition, there are some diaspora Jews, ugly blemishes on the fringes of Jewish communities throughout the world, who stand at the vanguard of the anti-Israeli pack. Most of those engaged in these activities, unlike Avram Burg, stem from assimilated or delusionary leftist backgrounds and have no genuine involvement in Jewish life.

    But occasional despicable behavior by groups on the extreme right may also qualify as a manifestation of self-hatred. Ironically, I clearly recollect the late National Religious Party leader Dr. Josef Burg, father of Avram, confessing to me that he was having sleepless nights out of concern that some Jews residing in isolated settlements would absorb and transform the fierce animosity radiated by Palestinians surrounding them into a form of “self-hatred” which could manifest itself by anti-social behavior.

    In summary, “self-hating Jews” is unquestionably a term which should be employed to identify those small pockets of Jews who demonize their own people. But it should be employed in a highly selective manner and not utilized indiscriminately against naïve well-meaning “bleeding hearts” or legitimate critics of Israeli policies with whom we may disagree.

    The writer’s website can be viewed at http://www.wordfromjerusalem.com.

  • philip mendes says:

    It is shameful that LS defends AJDS’ support for character defamation. It is also revealing given AJDS has recently co-sponsored the launch of the Jewish anti-Zionist book by Abarbanel. I called AJDS “useful idiots” which some find offensive, but perhaps LS would prefer the term “fellow travellers” used in the 1950s with reference to groups who were not Communists themselves, but always defended the crimes of Stalin including his massacres of Soviet Jewish Communists in the early 1950s. Similarly, it seems one can always predict that if there is a debate between left-wing Jews who support Israel’s existence and anti-Zionist fundamentalists, AJDS will eventually decide to support the latter and find some high-minded philosophical reason for doing so. Once again, I encourage AJDS members who are not ashamed Jews and know something about history and the fatal errors that Jewish orgs made in the 1950s to urge their Executive to apologize for Rosenbratt’s endorsement of defamation and Stillman’s apologia.

  • Michael Burd says:

    It should be noted that AJDS are sponsoring arbabnel,s anti Zionist book along with Palestinian lobby group Australians for Palestine their spokesperson hardcore activist and B D S promoter samah Sabawi .
    AJDS is affiliated with JCCV and AJDS Palestinian activists use this affiliation to give them some sort if credibility when speaking with ABC , SBS and Fairfax editors when they bag Israel , Jewish community leadership and zionists.
    I wonder how many anti Islamic or anti Palestinian radical groups are affiliated with the JCCV equivalent Islamic Council of Victoria
    how dumb are we …

  • Levi says:

    “By cynically employing inverse McCarthyist tactics to silence their critics, the far left succeeded in intimidating politicians and writers into adopting a form of political correctness which suppresses mention of one of the primary factors motivating the bizarre Jewish involvement in the campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel.”

    One need to look no further than this blog to get a fine example of this – i.e.you get accused of trivializing the holocaust, by merely pointing out that the incitement by a bigot against an entire nation of people on this site would be better suited to a hate site like stormfront.

    Ironically, it’s the same people who play the race card and censor comments,who also give bigots from the Ajds the green light to vent their hateful rhetoric against Israel. Doesn’t that rhetoric constitute racism?

    Golus Australia indeed…all part and parcel of the golus mentality.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Mendes – “Similarly, it seems one can always predict that if there is a debate between left-wing Jews who support Israel’s existence and anti-Zionist fundamentalists, AJDS will eventually decide to support the latter and find some high-minded philosophical reason for doing so.”

    -but why is this? Is it the members generally? A portion? External pressure? Maybe some AJDS members can comment?

  • philip mendes says:

    It would be good if they did. I know from private memos that some were absolutely horrified by the press release defending Brull’s defamatory article. Its going to be interesting writing (dispassionately of course) about these issues in the Updated History of AJDS I am planning.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    I missed Eliot’s earlier comment about the fawning attitude etc on LNL and the black/white nature of a lot of the issue that is presented. As I have argued on FB and elsewhere, and you cannot be everywhere at the same time, there is a continuum of identity, and as Eliot notes,

    “. A casual reader would have got the impression that such figures were the only Jews raising views critical of Israeli actions and policies. The two option in the booook were to be an “Ashamed Jew” or an “Israel never wrong Jew”. The “Ashamed Jews” are portrayed as being totally antagonistic to all aspects of Israel, and in fact longing for its destruction. There is no hint of a substantial body of opinion in the Jewish community which is both proud of Israel’s many achievements but also critical of its approach to resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians. Most of the Jewish peace advocates I have come upon certainly fit into this broad spectrum, rather than that of “Israel haters”. ”

    This is what I may have failed to get across. In terms of the Alternate Jewish Voices book, there is a variety of opinion expressed in the book, and a variety of quality–but that does not mean that it should be lock stock and barrel condemned and it is important that we hear divergent voices. I’ll also add–and Philip consistently ignores this- that I and others are pretty harsh on anti-Zionist fundamentalists, but at the same time, we don’t excuse what we regard as the extreme politics of Israel.

    But in any case, Philip still hasn’t explained or apologized for why he made an ad hominen attack on Michael Brull associating him with the protocols of the elders of Zion (see the details in the post above) , or suggesting that I had personal problems which were an explanation for my politics.

    And it is this use of personality explanations and psychologicizing (also used by Melanie Phillips in the UK and others in the US) as a tactic of discrediting critics of Israel is an old trick which regrettably, Philip has indulged in as well as the use of pejorative labelling without qualification. It is unscholarly. Thus in conjunction with a weak theoretical basis, he generalises a particular set of observations about an outlier group to a whole class of Jewish left (and left critics)

    This is what I truly object to, as well as implied tittle-tattle threats in what he is going to write about the AJDS. I can’t find my long post on FB now on someone’s discussion, but I consider it sloppy and unethical research not to conduct interviews with members of an organisation when writing contemporary history or analysis. This means that a huge amount of tacit or other information is just not taken into account and this use of deviancy or other models will be applied. The result is biased. The right way to do it would be to send a draft out for comment.

  • michael Burd says:

    With all due respect Larry and we have debated each other before, you and fellow comrades at AJDS are no more ‘Peace Activists” than I am an orthodox Jew.

    For a start you or an Org. can not be considered a Peace activist if you take one of the protagonists side or if all you do is singly criticize one side and not the other.

    The fact that your most high profile member and editor of AJDS makes it known and publicizes on the most anti- Zionist anti- Semitic web sites like Green left Weekly , Palestinian web sites and other extremist web /Blog sites that he has been fighting for Palestinian rights for over 35 years does not sound like a Peace activist.

    That AJDS affiliates it self with Palestinian lobby groups Like Australians for Palestine and others , most recently your group on their web site promoting the anti- Israel book launch etc. I hope you don’t consider Australians Palestinian lobby groups as peace activists also?

    It is an insult to real peace activists if they really exist anyway to call yourself or AJDS Peace activists.

    Larry you can’t be a little bit pregnant you and AJDS have clearly chosen sides in this conflict and by your actions nobody in the mainstream Jewish community thinks otherwise and only consider AJDS as a fringe extremist left wing group which of course you are entitled to be .
    You perfectly entitled to have your own beliefs and doctrine but at least have the Guts to call a spade a spade.

  • Dan Lewis says:

    Well said, Michael.

    To their credit Hamas have always been up-front and honest in their statements about Jews and Israel.

    It’s a shame the so-called “Anti-Zionists” have less intellectual honesty than even a bunch of murderers.

  • letters in the age says:

    members gallery mentality

    nice observation

    posh heebs need only apply who have a lot of time on their hands

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Michael Burd

    1) I will let Sol Salbe whom you appear to attack speak for himself.

    2) We are not affiliated with any Palestinian organisation. For my own part, I have at times been quite critical of Australians for Palestine and others have also criticized the views and actions of others.

    3) Correct me if I am wrong please, but AJDS has not promoted book launches though people use postings on walls etc to promote their own interests. What it has been involved with is a forum about the book and the views of various authors. One key reason for this is that a number of people on the panel were ‘silenced’ even though their views are relatively unknown. It was considered that this, as well as the silencing of others was a flawed act by Limmud Oz and that in the interests of freedom of expression, their views should have been available to the large audience at Limmud Oz. If you look on FB and elsewhere, you will actually see that I have been critical of views put forward by (some of) the authors.

    4) The AJDS shares a broad range of views of what might be called the ‘Israeli left’ from the middle and leftward. Left, however, is really an inadequate term, as some people are not necessarily very left politically, but just share a different view on Israeli politics.

    5) We have always been critical of Palestinian crimes such as firing rockets or engaging in terrorist acts online, and in many statements over the years. The armed strategy has failed.

    See http://www.ajds.org.au/node/360

    But speaking ‘from the inside’ our concerns are much more with Israel’s conduct and what is viewed as problematic politics and military strategy, that make the issue not one of ‘balance’, as it the view taken by many, but accepting that Israel, as an occupier for so long, has caused many of it problems today and that in fact, there is an imbalance in power and territorial relations that has to be remedied in order for lasting peace to be achieved.

  • michael Burd says:

    I Guess Melanie is ‘ too Jewish”….

  • letters in the age says:


    Great to see a jewish voice at this new festival

    It would be nice to see a greater jewish presence here and a joint collaboration with two great communities!!

  • ian katz says:

    Larry Stillman’s comment that Israel as the “occupier”, has caused much of its own problems, is a classic exemplar of the historical revisionism humbug that one reads or hears from time to time.Perhaps according to Stillman, hes saying Israelis dont have the right or capability to elect governments, unlike every other democracy in the world.

    Israel was responsible for the massacre of scores of Jews by Arabs, whose descendents lived in Hebron for centuries, in 1929.Oh sure..

    Israel was responsible for Haj Al Husseini, the Palestinian leader, colluding with Hitler in the 1930s, and 750 000 Jewsbeing expelled from Arab countries from the 1930s.Oh right…

    Israel was responsible for the scores of Islamic and Arab suicide bombers, rocket attacks etc, AFTER it made its historical concessions at the Oslo Accords, and AFTER it withdrew from Lebanon and Gaza.Oh of course…

    Oh sure, Stillman, Israel is always responsible….

  • michael Burd says:

    Ian, you are wasting your time trying with logic , these type of people that are more politically aligned and more sympathetic to the Arabs have their own issues who knows what.

    I guess during WW2 there were also many Jews that were sympathetic to the Germans and blamed themselves for their own persecution.

  • Reality Check says:

    Larry, what particular views of Australians for Palestine have you been critical of?

  • Comments that in any way poke ‘fun’ at people with disabilities have and will be deleted.

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Reality Check, which particular realities have you been checking? Further to that point, please detail precisely how you have been checking them.

  • Elliot says:

    Reality Check asked –

    “Larry, what particular views of Australians for Palestine have you been critical of?”

    For one thing, Larry has been extremely critical of support for BDS. He has made this clear on many occassions. Interestingly, many people seem to believe he is a BDS supporter. I think this is yet another example of the tendency to put people onto one of two extreme camps on the whole Isreal-Palestine issue.

  • letters in the age says:

    Thanks Galus for that disability policy

    Could you also implement an anti-wanking policy as well for bloggers?

  • Levi says:

    “We have always been critical of Palestinian crimes…”

    Phew, now I can sleep better. Thanks for clarifying.

    “the armed strategy has failed”

    I’m not sure what’s more disturbing, what was stated earlier or the clarification that came later?

    “critical?” “strategy?” “failed”?

    While some may chose to call it a “strategy”, any normal person would call this cold blooded murder. And while he laments that it has “failed” – implying that it was wrong purely from a political and diplomatic status for the arabs – any person with the right moral compass would recognize what these barbaric acts of murder and mass murder really are – pure evil and an affront to civilised humanity and it’s values.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Reality Check etc (thanks Eliot)

    Now a preface–one of the huge difficulties in all of this is perception–that once a label is attached eg Stillmanite, ASHamde, BDS supporter, Stalinist, all the rest falls away. And people don’t read, don’t skim. And the kinds of conversations on FB in particular are a form of ping pong, not considered letter-pages or articles-in-response stuff where there were days or weeks to respond. Thus the compression of ideas and time, really leads to things getting out of whack, with truly idiot smart-alec comments popping up playing a kind of interference to considered ideas. I can also see a kind of lets-have-some-fun and gang up-on Larry mentality at work. Something to be proud of.

    My view on BDS

    1) By supporting AJDS positions on generalised, blanket BDS http://ajds.org.au/node/424 I have therefore offered criticism of the view taken by Aust for Palestines and others about BDS.

    Plus, in I don’t know how many posts on FB etc I have been critical of that position and the crazy tendencies and rhetoric it gets up too (and posted Norman Finkelstein’s harsh criticism of the BDS campaign).

    Then, in my own writing in Galus, I have taken on blanket BDS, but still remained critical of the occupation and supporting limited boycotts of goods and services from the occupied territories , see e.g. http://galusaustralis.com/2010/09/3494/why-the-ajds-are-right-to-support-a-limited-boycott/

    Or the need for fundamental reform in Israel http://galusaustralis.com/2010/05/2961/an-israel-for-all-its-citizens-rather-than-an-israel-for-all-jews/. I don’t resile as John Howard would say, that Israel has apartheid like symptoms much as I don’t like the term. But it is not something I particularly rejoice in.

    Then of course, I’ve gotten stuck into Students for Palestine on numerous occasions for their idiotic and out of control behaviour.

    Now, what did I write on Galus in Feb 2010–and the situation appears to have got worse, not better [ http://galusaustralis.com/2010/02/2640/a-most-unpleasant-word/ “If you care about Israel as a democracy (not just in a formal legal way, but in the way that rights and resources are distributed fairly for all its population groups-which they are not), and as a positive centre for Jewish life, rather than a myopic society living on borrowed time and others’ money, the policies that have developed under the excuse of security have gone on for too long, and the unchecked abuses have gone too far. The self-talk about ‘existential threats’, or pumping up fear of another Holocaust gets less and less sympathy as the settlers behave more and more like lawless thugs. You need to oppose what’s happening and realised that the Zionist dream, hijacked by money, power, and crazy nationalist and religious ideologies has become a nightmare.

    Israel does have an option, and that is to stop acting as an occupier and oppressor when the excuse of security has increasingly become an excuse for real estate and resource theft, the collapse of the rule of law, and forced movement of populations, called by some, ‘ethnic cleansing’, all in the name of Jewish majority. Short of behaving like the old minority regime in South Africa, Israel will have to come to terms with the fact that in future, Jews won’t be the majority population group, and this means that over time, the country’s identity will change. That’s perhaps the subject of another article: can Israel survive as a multicultural state? And if such a state can live in peace, does it matter that it is no longer a Jewish state?

    If you believe in Israel at all costs; not as a country with human rights and an effective democracy, but rather one based on exclusivism, religious imperatives, nationalism, and an iron fist; then you have to accept what is happening for what it is commonly known – institutionalised separation, known in Afrikaans as Apartheid, and be prepared to live with it.”

    2)I’ve made it known that I am opposed to generalize academic boycotts of institutions inside the 67 borders (but I will qualify this saying I won’t support warfare research in partnership with Israeli univ.) and I am in fact hoping to be partners in a project with Bar Ilan –you heard it here, Bar Ilan university (yes, that is right folks, guys with kippot serugot etc and some women with beanies) because, IMHO, being about to work constructively with Israelis is one of the best ways of changing their viewpoint, particularly in social justice project. And has-ve-halilah, I might actually be teaching people there and credit to them that they want to work with me. And the same applies to my alma mater, in smaller way, Hebrew Univ. Now if you ask me precisely what, sorry, that is not possible at this time because of academic protocols. There is at least one other prominent AJDS member who has similar relationships. Israel has as we all know, some of the best and brightest and it is one of the tragedies of the current situation that its universities are particular targets.

    3) Criticisms of Australians for Palestine in particular.

    Note above, and in many private emails on various topics, but also posts on their websites, and on Facebook, I have been quite open in being highly critical of them using any material from that slimebucket Gilad Atzmon–who is really, a self-hating Jew of the worst sort who appeals to bottom dwellers on the right and the outmost fringes of the left–well not even left–with his racists reductionist anti-Zionism. You can find my criticisms on their website. I’m not going to post links to his garbage because I don’t want to give him any credit.

    4) Levi–you are picking on words and then engaging in guilt-laden implications. The AJDS statement says murder is murder when applied to the Itamar killings. With respect to the armed struggle or strategy–that is the term that is used, in the same way that the Israeli army might use the term ‘collateral damage’ which covers up for other forms of criminality. Now, you might object to this point, but this is one of the problems –each side accuses the other of being a worse criminal. Thus you have said of Pal actions” “any person with the right moral compass would recognize what these barbaric acts of murder and mass murder really are – pure evil and an affront to civilised humanity and it’s values.” — and this is precisely what many Pals say of Israeli acts. I see this going nowhere. Rather, I see a complete imbalance of power and violence that goes nowhere. It needs a political breaker. But this is going over old territory. I’m not going to get into discussions of that here.

  • Michael Burd says:

    So now Larry has a PR spokesperson to spruik the line..

    You know what they say EL they can fool some if the people some if the time …..

  • Levi says:

    What I see that’s going nowhere is your moral inversion. It’s all done under the guise of moral equivalence of course e.g. “each side accuses the other”…we all know it”s really moral inversion…

    Of course, I agree that it’s the occupation and the Palestinians don’t have a choice. the “armed strategy” won’t stop until every last settlement will go and the occupation comes to an end. Once major settlement blocs like Tel Aviv and the entire Gush Dan region are dismantled and the settlers are relocated back to Poland, peace will become a reality.

    Until then the occupation will only lead to the occupied to desperation and this desperation will lead them to do desperate things like massacre entire families.

    Imbalance of power? I agree. the Israelis need to arm Hamas with tanks and fighter jets etc.

    P.s A person’s choice of words reveals a lot about who they are and what their intentions are.

  • Reality Check says:

    Larry, the reason I ask is that some of their views come very close, if not right on target, to advocating the eradication of the State of Israel. Now that is truely worrying, and I would never share a stage with a group like that. Think of the consequences. It’s similar for the right to say that if he wasn’t such an anti-semite, Hitler had some pretty good ideas.

  • Reality Check says:

    Sorry, I finished in haste. So, if the Australians for Palestine (from the river to the sea) weren’t so hell bent on destroying Israel, their views aren’t so bad.

  • Reality Check says:

    And another thing: the occuption of the west bank is quite seperate to the aims of many Palestinians who claim to represent the majority. Indeed, Israel can’t keep up this occupation, without turning into a fascist state, but we can’t ingore what her neighbours have in store to Israel, eg from the river to the sea.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Reality Check. I am worn out for today so I am not going to go into long explanations. I think you will find there is a division of opinion amongst Palestinians and AfP are just one voice in a frustrated cacophony.

    If Obama had been able to show true leadership, things might have progressed a lot and some of the unrealistic demands that are now converted into axioms would have been avoided.

    Normal Finkelstein, for all his faults, has been very good at grounding what is real and not for those who take a strong positions for Palestinian rights. There are other voices as well, but they are drowned out in the noise on the internet. But I only speak for myself here.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    And I encourage people to read the detail in the Geneva Accords appendixes for a detailed solution on many issues.

  • Michael Burd says:

    Larry u can’t be a little bit pregnant either you are for BDS or you are against , if u are partly for you are show your true colors and are no different than the fanatics , radicals , anti Semites that AJDS associates it self with.

    You must take all of us for fools Larry , fairdinkum mate .

  • Reality Check says:

    Larry, I want your reasoning, not what someone else said. I want to know how you can share a stage with someone who would like to see Israeli Jews thrown into the sea, but it can wait till tomorrow. We’re not going to change the world overnight.

  • Michael Burd says:

    There must be something in the water at Monash university
    We have the head of AC J C inviting these palestinian lobbyists as guest speakers to spread their propaganda amongst our kids , we have academics from the same department participating in anti Israel events and going on line praising the work Australians for Palestine do which this work includes promoting the B D S
    Now we having other monash academics like mr stillman and his fringe group of Israel bashers joining these palestinians on their web site as promoters of the anti Israel book launch
    with chutzpah mr srillman says but oh we don’t agree with everything they stand for..

  • Levi says:

    “Indeed, Israel can’t keep up this occupation, without turning into a fascist state”

    Holocaust trivialization? I would have thought that associating terms like nazi or fascist to Israel would be the worst type of holocaust trivilisation. We’ll leave it with the moderators to decide…after all they never shy away from pontificating about what is fashionably politically correct or not…

  • Michael Burd says:

    The Palestinians don’t seem to mind the occupation after name one thing they have done aftr all these years to show they really want to negotiate their own state

  • letters in the age says:

    Michael et al

    its time to go home ….,

    They use filtered water at Monash and its expensive

  • Imichael Burd says:

    The water must be flown in from Gaza

    Good night

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Larry, you must know that the IDF investigates civilian casualties caused by its operations. They’re certainly not brushed aside as “collateral damage”. That being said, the Geneva Conventions recognise that civilian casualties are part of war. A legitimate attack against a military target is not illegal simply because it involves the risk of civilian casualties; that principle would lead to far worse abuses of human rights as human shields became an accepted part of warfare.

    In contrast, the Palestinian use of suicide bombers and missiles against a civilian population is a clear violation both of the Geneva Conventions and a host of other international norms. It is utterly indefensible. When you describe attacks against civilians as “armed struggle” you implicitly justify genocide: if the murder of civilians is part of their “struggle” then it will only end when there are no more civilians left to kill.

  • letters in the age says:



    heres some bedtime reading next time to soothe the nerves

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Reality Check

    Reality Check–there are two parts to answering your question.

    All the mainstream Palestinian commentators as far as I can emphasize that throwing ‘Israeli Jews into the sea is not on the cards, despite the sloganeering. All clearly state that in their view, the ‘one state’ is one based on full equality of all citizens, that is, people of different backgrounds –thus the emphasis on the rights based approach in political argument, whatever the final political agreement. This certainly goes in the face of Islamicist arguments, but whether or not it can replace Arab nationalism is disputed and I have been critical of the games going on here and what it can lead to (including by outsiders — see this piece for example http://ajds.org.au/node/2840

    Now, you may argue with with the idea of one state, but the political idea, as far as I know, includes Jews as fully equal co-citizens[though Norman Finkelstein believes that the one state idea is in the clouds]. Essentially, if you believe in democracy, you have to accept the idea of one person, one vote and no ethnic privilege if there is to be one state. Now, I have put forward ‘their’ view, not my view, above.

    2) But it also includes a strong emphasis on right of return, which as you know is a highly disputed issue, because Palestinians do not accept their loss.

    My own view takes up the position expressed in the Geneva Accords–that it is real, has to be recognized, and go through a fair judicial process, including a solution within the 67 borders. The practicalities of this are of course controversial and it is fair to say that there is unrealistic idealism about what can be achieved in practice.

    I really don’t have time to detail what I see as problematic and difficult in detail, but see O. Yitachel for a breakdown of some of the intercommunal complexities, whatever the form of final settlement. What is missing from his model however, is the increasing number of non-Israeli non-Palestinian foreign residents in Israel, and Palestine itself will, or is, going to face exactly the same problem in the future. [see chap 12 of Ethnocracy, here http://www.geog.bgu.ac.il/members/yiftachel/books/chp_12_print.pdf. An analysis of the complex politics is also contained in Gershom Gorenberg–The Unmaking of Israel, which may interest people who are more religiously inclined and Zionist.

    Joe in Australia–human rights organisations in Israel completely dispute your assertions and I go with them.

    I won’t have much time this week for comment.

  • Reality Check says:

    Thank you Larry for your response. But I wish to draw your attention to the fact that all disputes, disagreements and, whatever political advancements have been made, are addressed with violence. Although my view is that all settlements in the west bank should be dismantled, the Palestinians don’t want any Jews living there if the west bank should become their state, so how the hell, when the Palestinians get their right of return, and become the majority, are they going to accept Jews in their midst? And that’s just one of many problems I have with the one state solution.

    Larry, get your head out of the clouds and face up to the realities on the ground.

  • Reality Check says:

    PS I love you Larry, because, and I am not patronizing you, you have your heart in the right place.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    ? You are contradictory. Who said I was embedded to the one-state solution? You asked a question, and I gave the answer as I see it from their perspective.

    But I also don’t believe in two entirely separate ‘ethnic’ states.

  • Reality Check says:

    I’m just glad that we all live here and are completely out of the way of the decision makers over there. Although I don’t envy the decision makers in Israel.

  • Michael Burd says:

    Let me under Mr stilman he doesn’t believe in one state, he doesn’t believe in 2 ethnic ly dived states , so he must believe in a “”Islamic State of Palestine ” which is what the Palestinians call for in their Charter but not a Jewish state for the Jews .
    So he would accept one Muslim state side by side with a Muslim / jewish/ Christian state for Israel . Obviously this favored state of mr srillman would be overrun by Muslims with in five minutes.
    And these are the type of people we have lecturing our kids at Univrsity
    Is it any wonder a friend often called university a hotbed of anti zionists .

  • Levi says:

    The one state solution works very well. Just look at neighboring Lebanon or even yugoslavia. What a fine precedent.

    “All the mainstream Palestinian commentators as far as I can emphasize that throwing ‘Israeli Jews into the sea is not on the cards, despite the sloganeering”

    Yep, It’s just a little “sloganeering” (you know certain people expressing their desire to murder other people and backing that up with missile barrages, shootings, stabbings etc) but what they really mean is a one state utopia where everyone is equal just like…Lebanon…

    “An analysis of the complex politics…”

    A very deep analytical mind.

    “I won’t have much time this week for comment”

    Great intellectuals always need time time out to ponder, think and analyze further. The fact everyone of your posts is the size of a thesis, probably explains why you’re so time poor.

    P.s. You did not address Joe’s points re Geneva convention at all.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Personal insults don’t get responses. Learn some manners Levi.

  • Levi says:

    What about writing and publishing libel against an entire nation of people?

  • michael Burd says:

    I would imagine everything posted on this website would be passed on to AJDS allies Australians For Palestine for them to have a good laugh>>

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Larry, I simply don’t believe that any genuine human rights organisation anywhere thinks that the Palestinian use of suicide bombs or missile attacks on civilian areas is a defensible tactic, or one that does not breach international law.

  • letters on the age says:


    Who or where do you think “your” comments be passed onto i wonder for a laugh?

  • Levi says:

    But then again organizations like Shalom achav and Btselem – who receive millions from the Eu and funding from other questionable sources – aren’t genuine human rights organizations.

  • michael Burd says:

    Letters in Age

    any one of A’PDS’s friends Green left weekly, AFP,Students for Palestine ,Socialist Alternative ,Scoop {NZ],IAJV,ACJC any or all of the above to show how fractured the Jewish community is over Israel…

    Levi That includes NIF

    Have been In China all week if anyone wants the best Felafel in Beijing highly recommend best Israeli cafe ”Bite a Pitta”

  • Marky says:

    Michael, the hot dogs in China are reputed to be the most genuine..

  • michael Burd says:

    Thanks Marky
    Now I understand why I cant see any Dogs around the streets .

  • Marky says:

    From what I hear, the opposite is the case India, where in addition to all the horrible traffic, one needs to look out for cows on the road, when driving.

  • letters in the age says:

    Thanks Michael


  • Michael Burd says:

    Marky with the risk of being black banned by the blog police for going off topic actually I was married in India in the only Synagogue in Delhi and the third ever Jewish marriage ( the second my wife sister) at the time.
    Cows and traffic havnt changed there 99percent ofvthectiny jewish population have immigrated to Israel
    Up until very recently India was one of the few places in that part of the world where Jews were never hassled
    Unfortunately like everywhere else in the world th e religion of peace people are now a threat to the few jews left , chabad and tourist Jewish Israelirs in India

  • Marky says:

    It seems the troublemakers are our cousins from across the border in Pakistan. Not from India. This is how it looks to me.

  • Pinchas says:

    The appalling ignorance,bigotry & lies of Herbert in Crikey is only matched by the appalling silence of the uberleft who claim they are “only anti Israel”.This type of garbage is found in extremist leftist piblications. Where are their comrades when it is time to speak up?
    Just one example from the Crikey article quoted above
    Re Antisemitism
    “It is generally attributed to Wilhelm Marr, who was called by the Israeli historian Moshe Zimmermann “The Patriarch of Antisemitism.” Marr coined the term in the 1870s to distinguish between old-time Jew-hatred and modern, political, ethnic, or racial opposition to the Jews. This term made great advances and soon became common usage in many languages.”
    Herberr does not like ” Holocaust”. No PC leftist likes to talk about the likes of the Mufti of Jerusalem, the Moslem SS and their support of Hitler.

    Rachel perhaps you could give us the website of Arab groups in Australia who speak up for Israel?

  • Michael Burd says:

    Yes pinches that guy Herbert probably a academic like another obsessed jewhafer prof Evan Jones who posts anti semitic stuff disguised as anti Zionism and of course Adrien Jackson
    The. Anti vilification rules do not apply to Jews or Israelis only the religion of peace … Pity

  • Michal Burd says:

    Yes Marky it’s definitely the Pakis stirring things up they can’t help them selves no joos in Karachi so they have to go across the border to look for them
    Perhaps rachael and her ind will tell us never mind these bad “”apples ” are only a minority the mantra of the leftist do folders each time news are killed by the religion of peace guys
    However I guess if my relative was blow up In a pizza shop in Jerusalem , Mumbai or Rio it wouldn’t make me feel better if I knew the guy or guys that did it were ” minority” Mussies

  • Pinchas says:

    Here is some of the regular incitement found across theArab/ Moslem world that AJDS & the rest are so busy bashing Israel for.
    Special Dispatch |4798 |June 20, 2012
     Website Of Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood: The Days Of The Zionist Entity Are Numbered
    |In an article posted on the website of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Jordanian cleric Dr. Salah Al-Khalidi called Israel a “boil” on the body of humanity, and said that its days are numbered.
    The following are excerpts:[1] 
    “The Jewish State On The Soil Of Palestine Is [Like A Rash] Of Contaminated, Reeking Boils On The Body Of Humanity”

    “On May 15, 1948, the Jews declared their state on the soil of Palestine. This year, their state (whose borders have changed since then) turned 64 – a short period of time in the history of countries and nations and [even] in the lives of men. The existence of the Jewish state on Palestinian soil is an anomaly and a deviation, [for] there is no basis for its presence or its continued existence. It has no historical, cultural, human or natural foundation – it is like an alien, stinking and festering boil that appears on one’s body, a repository of the body’s festering fluids, which one hurries to lance and to remove.

    “The Jewish state on the soil of Palestine is [like a rash] of contaminated, reeking boils on the body of humanity, and today there is no justification for its continued existence. Years have passed [since its establishment], and it will continue to exist for some years more – but not too many. With God’s help, future mujahideen will rid humanity of it.

    “The lifespan of a nation is different from the lifespan of an individual. The latter can last only decades, while the former can last centuries. A man might live 70 years, but the Roman [civilization] lasted 1,500 years. History teaches us that the former Israelite nation, of the pre-Islamic era, lasted less than a century on the soil of Palestine, i.e., less than the lifespan of a single man, though it contained some honest people. Its end came after the death of Allah’s prophet Suleiman [i.e., the Biblical Solomon], and the Jews then scattered all over the world, [and remained scattered] until the present era. Now they have flocked to Palestine, these infuriating and accursed infidels, and established their state on its soil. May God’s curses pursue the Jews…

    “History teaches us that occupation by an invading nation never lasts long. The Tartars swept like a destructive storm through the Muslim lands, but they only passed through, and did not remain. Before the Tartars, the Crusaders came to the Holy Land with the intention of remaining there permanently, but they stayed for only two centuries before being driven off by the Islamic nation, in whom the spirit of jihad for the sake of Allah had awakened. Two centuries in the life of the nations is like 20 years in the life of a man.”

    “There Are Indications That The Jewish Presence In Palestine Will Not Last Long”

    “Facing the Jewish challenge today, we must turn to history, which is a reliable witness. We must [also] look to the future, and not remain trapped in the wretched Arab reality or the hyped up, empty and arrogant Jewish reality. There are indications that the Jewish presence in Palestine will not last long, and these indications are increasing, but it takes a sharp-eyed Muslim to see them and draw the nation’s attention to them.

    “History will show that the Jewish state on Palestinian soil died in its childhood. Allah willing, it will fade away before it [manages] to stand on its feet. One of the cheering reports we received this Nakba Day was that the imprisoned [Palestinian] commanders, though unarmed, had triumphed over the Jews. The Jews were forced to reach an agreement with them in order to end their open-ended [hunger] strike, and most of the demands they presented in their campaign against the Jews were met. This is a tremendous lesson, which indicates the importance of determination and steadfastness in the confrontation with the enemy, and a sign for the future.

    “The brave mujahideen are striding towards victory, with Allah’s help, whereas the Jews are experiencing a defeat that will lead them to the abyss, Allah willing. Dear [readers], we are on the ascent, despite the [dire] reality that surrounds us, while the Jews are going down, Allah willing, despite their empty boasts, and this will hasten the end of their entity, with Allah’s help.”

    [1] Ikhwanjo.com, May 17





  • Pinchas says:

    Can’t wait to hear Rachel and the others who preach at Israel, condemn as “cowardly” the racist hatred, lies and incitement that comes out of the Arab/ Moslem world, in their official state controlled media.
    Why is it all routinely ignored??

  • Pinchas says:

    ” these infuriating and accursed infidels, and established their state on its soil. May God’s curses pursue the Jews…”

    Not antisemitic just antizionist right?

  • michael Burd says:

    These Left wing Jewish Bozo academics or a better term for them Dimmis who keep excusing the conga line of anti- Semitic hate-mongering clerics imported here who are promoted , supported or even worse ignored by the Australians Muslim community should be ashamed of them selves for not having the backbone to stand up and say enough is enough .Turn the other cheek, hope it will all go away blah blah its obvious nothings changed in 80 years.

    Meanwhile, Channel Ten’s “The Bolt Report” (17/6) featured a quick section on Kuwait Muslim Brotherhood senior official and TV personality Tareq al-Suwaidan who toured Melbourne and Sydney this month and has in the past made crude antisemitic remarks.

    A globe trotting Islamist motivational speaker, Suwaidan was seen in clips warning “but at the end of the day, power lies with the politicians, who are influenced by two things only: money and the media, both of which are controlled by the Jews” and “The most dangerous thing facing the Muslims is not the dictatorships. The absolutely most dangerous thing is the Jews.”

    Andrew Bolt asked: “Why did Melbourne’s Monash University let Suwaidan use its hall? And why is this tour promoted by allegedly mainstream Muslim groups like the Islamic Council of Victoria?”

    [ waleed aly’s Islamic Council of Victoria cant see him up SBS/ ABC slamming his fellow Muslims for importing these extremists.MB]

    The Australians Rowan Callick broke news of Suwaidan’s visit on June 7 in the Australian. [ Of course this would not of been broken by AL Age where ALy works}

  • Pinchas says:

    Imam Awalaki preached at the Lakemba Mosque via telephone.
    None of the” Ashamed Jews ,peace activists or the Sydney peace foundation seemed to have noticed that either.

    SMH” AN AL-QAEDA recruiter, described as the No. 1 terrorist threat to America, was engaged by a Sydney youth group to address hundreds of young people – a decision that has caused deep divisions at one of Australia’s largest mosques.
    At the same time as Anwar al-Awlaki was advising the extremist later charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in Texas, he was in talks with a group, Sydney Muslim Youth, about delivering a sermon to young Australians. He was already well known to security agencies as the spiritual guide to three of the hijackers on September 11, 2001. “

  • michael Burd says:

    Awalaki must be one of those ‘ Minority ” bad apple Muslims the type we are told to ignore by the interfaith Dimmis and they will go away..

  • Marky says:

    The threat is not from all 2.1 million muslims. It’s only from a minority of that amount. Yup, we’re all safe..

  • Marky says:

    Sorry, typo… i meant 2.1 bill, not mill

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