Palestinian supporters protesting at Melbourne Park. Next time they'll use the phone booth.
A number of Palestinian lobby groups managed to muster up a measly ten people to their demonstration against Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe'er despite the fact that the Melbourne Age gave their cause a free publicity boost in the form of another friendly puff piece from Andra Jackson - PALESTINIAN SUPPORTERS TO PICKET ISRAELI TENNIS PLAYER.
So many column inches for a pathetic small gathering that was barely noticed by anyone (except for the reporter the Australian Jewish News sent along). The support for this cause which is based on the malicious lie that Israel is an apartheid state and that Pe'er has something to do with her country's policies was in direct proportion to the real human tragedies that the Israel/Arab conflict really bears to what's going on elsewhere in the world today.
In Israel's wars of defence against Palestinian terror about 10,000 on both sides have died over a span of two decades. In the Democratic Republic of Congo wars have claimed several million in the same period. Hundreds of thousands of Darfurians have died at the hands of Sudanese government and Arab terror and thousands in the conflict in Sri Lanka. Yet the Age devotes massive column inches favouring the Palestinian version with articles such as those which Ms. Jackson produces from time to time. Today's effort was in stunning contrast to the article written by the Age's tennis reporters Will Swanton and Linda Pearce - LOVE ALL IN NZ. Jackson didn't bother to introduce balance into the article by seeking out the views of spokespeople from the Jewish and israeli communities of Melbourne.
Nor did she question some of the blather she received from representatives of the groups that organised this little fiasco. One of the organisers Moammar Mashni claimed that he had received death threats whic he reported to police. I've heard that one before. It's been used by Israel critics Julian Burnside and Antony Loewenstein presumably to discredit the Israeli side but I've yet to see any conviction recorded against an alleged offender, let alone any credible evidence as such person's ethnicity or religious beliefs. I do know that Jewish schools, synagogues and community organisations spend millions for round the clock protection. So far, I have heard of no credible threat to Palestine supporters - not even from a Jewish grandmother with a lethal matzoh ball! Yet the Age and Jackson thinks this is news. And Mashni wasn't even noted in the pre publicity for the event so why would he be threatened?
Anyway, the Age did get some gratitude from the whole thing. The Australians For Palestine thanked the Age for the free publicity yesterday - even before Jackson's sloppy piece was published in the paper.