Saturday, February 10, 2007


In stark contrast to the Melbourne Age whose "journalists" spent this week variously moonlighting as mouthpieces for Hamas, PR managers for a small minority of rabidly anti-Zionists in Jewish communities and experts in the art of bridge repairs, the Australian Newspaper continues to show its class with some balanced reporting on the Middle East conflict.

Yesterday, in addition to its usually balanced coverage on the Hamas/Fatah "unity" government, the Australian published an excellent opinion piece from self-styled Muslim refusenik Irshad Manji which debunks the senseless claims made by Jimmy Carter in his latest effort of promoting his Saudi paymasters - the book entitled "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" (readers to this blog would be well aware that Carter's rant is #1 on the Islamic Jihad best seller list).

Manji argues very persuasively in "Modern Israel is a far cry from old South Africa" that it is absurd to apply the term to Israel, "one of the most progressive states in the world".

So-called "thinkers" like Carter and others like Antony Loewenstein, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt claim that they want open debate on the subject.

What have they to say to this?

"Of course, certain Israeli politicians have spewed venom at Palestinians, as have some Arab leaders towards Jews, but Israel is far more complex - and diverse - than slogans about the occupation would suggest. In a state practising apartheid, would Arab Muslim legislators wield veto power over anything? At only 20 per cent of the population, would Arabs even be eligible for election if they squirmed under the thumb of apartheid? Would an apartheid state extend voting rights to women and the poor in local elections, which Israel did for the first time in the history of Palestinian Arabs?"

Manji concludes with this statement:-

"The better question might be: who's willing to hear what they don't want to hear? That's the test of whether a country is more than black or white."

Indeed, that's what it's all about - we can hear and to read both sides in the Australian but the Melbourne Age hides a great deal of what we need to hear and read in its blank pages.

Which suits the likes of Carter, Mearsheimer, Walt and Loewenstein right down to a tee.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A Muslim woman with an independant mind.

Congratulations to Irshad Manji for having the courage to say things that many of her co-religionists would fear to even think!