Sunday, March 16, 2008


Melbourne is gripped by Grand Prix fever today and, although I live some kilometres away from the Albert Park track, I can hear the cars warming up for practice. We've also been treated in recent days to some Grand Prix journalism here from our national daily, The Australian. There's a selection of it here, here and here.

The Weekend Australian's editorial forcefully puts the case why Australia cannot be bullied out of backing Israel and describes it as an "island of hope in a sea of darkness":

"The Weekend Australian supports the bipartisan goodwill shown to Israel in parliament this week that acknowledged the unique relationship that exists between the two countries and the shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law and pluralism. We share the Government's belief that the establishment of an independent and economically viable Palestinian state must remain a key objective in the Middle East peace process, just as Israel deserves the right to exist within secure borders. As Brendan Nelson told parliament, in a region of the world that is characterised by theocracies and autocracies, the state of Israel is the custodian of the most fragile yet powerful of human emotions, and that is hopeful belief in the freedom of man, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly."

In stark contrast we have the shrilling tomes of incessant Israel basher, the Sydney Morning Herald columnist Alan Ramsay who complains about the one sidedness of Wednesday's motion congratulating Israel on attaining its 60th Anniversary in Blinkers off for the other side of story.

Ramsay lauds right wing Liberal MHR Sussan Penelope Ley who spoke on the subject in Parliament on Wednesday evening:

"When Ley got the call 7½ hours later, at 7.38pm, to speak on the adjournment, there were five people in the public gallery, four Labor MPs and two Coalition MPs in the chamber, and one journalist in the press gallery."

Ley's message was nowhere near as rabid as that which Ramsay usually spouts on and on about but what the hell - anything to bash the Jews around the head will do when it comes to the spitefulness of his kind. That way, the Canberra Times can cover a story about 100 MP's voting overwhelmingly on a motion in terms of those missing MP's who are automatically assumed to have snubbed it (even though in most cases, the absences were for entirely unrelated reasons) but when 6 MP's are on hand to listen to Ley, Ramsay can only rant about the message being delivered by the speaker and the fact that "the other side of the story" isn't being covered properly.

Which is all a real hoot coming from a writer for the Fairfax organisation whose Jerusalem Bureau chief has a consistent record of failing to cover one side of the story for six years and Ramsay hasn't, to my knowledge, complained about it even once in all that time!

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