Thursday, February 08, 2007


The response to yesterday's beat up in the Melbourne Age was predictable.

As if on cue Dora McPhee wrote the following letter to the editor and it was duly published:-

The fear of being called 'anti-Semitic'

WHILE Andra Jackson's report on debate on Israel/Palestine in the Jewish community ( The Age, 7/2) indicates the stringent self-censorship that has occurred within that community, it fails to talk about the problem of criticism of Israel being a taboo subject in the wider community because people are fearful of being called anti-Semitic or of inciting anti-Semitism.

This has been an enormous problem in the Australian community: it has meant the Palestinian narrative of the injustice of their dispossession has barely been discussed. Because the media are complicit with this, the reporting of Israel's many human rights violations rarely get the coverage they should, that would make people sit up and think something very wrong is going on.

Dora McPhee, Melbourne

Poor Dora!

It seems that her concerns about being labelled an "anti-Semite" might just have been raised a little when she reviewed the contents of her previous correspondence to the same newspaper just nine days ago.

On the 31st January 2007 the Age published a letter written by Ms. McPhee (if that is indeed her name) in which Dora blamed Israel for the fact that Hamas and Fatah were firing at each other in Gaza (it's strange that people living in what is supposedly an "open air prison" can have access to so much firepower) and while she was at it, she decided to try her hand at some vilification as well by claiming that the Israelis were guilty of theft, that they coralled the Palestinians by policies of apartheid and that they committed "ethnic cleansing".

If she's right (and she's not) the Israelis have carried out this policy of ethnic cleansing so ineptly that they've allowed the Palestinian population to double in 25 years. That is a remarkable achievement and surely one that will hold pride of place forever in the Guinness Book of Records!

Now seriously, how does one conduct an open debate on a subject like Israel, Zionism and Palestine with idiots like Dora McPhee who, in all probability, really believe the drivel they come up with is properly categorised as "criticism of Israel" when it's clearly far more than that?

How can people maintain continuously that the Palestinians and their claims to dispossession are never discussed or that it's taboo to mention the subject when it's in your face in the media on almost a daily basis?

If you google the words "Palestinians"and "dispossession" or "Palestinians" and "human rights" you will come up with hundreds of thousands of entries. If you consult your back issues of the Age you will find an abundance of articles and letters discussing the subject.

So, is debate really being stifled because of anti-Semitism?

Yes it is, but not from those who support Israel.

I thank Daniel Lewis for this reference to a website Peace with Realism which notes:-

Ironically, the charge of anti-Semitism is now being used not so much to stifle criticism of Israel but to silence Israel's defenders. I read several newspapers every day, and I cannot recently recall anyone charging a critic of Israel with anti-Semitism unless that criticism actually was blatantly one-sided or based on a clear and demonstrable distortion of the facts. What I do read about and hear quite often are critics of Israel complaining that every time they open their mouths somebody is calling them an anti-Semite.

Also of interest on the subject of open debate on the Middle East, Melanie Phillips Diary has an entry today entitled Jews for Genocide in which she exercises her democratic right to criticise that collection of congenital Israel-bashers who have formed a small group calling themselves "Independent Jewish Voices".

Earlier this week Melanie was involved in a debate with an IJV (possibly on the subject of why there's no open debate on the Middle East?) which was a darn sight better than what jurist Alan Dershowitz got from addle brained former President and peanut farmer Jimmy Carter who won't debate his despicable book with anyone who has different views to those which he holds.


Anonymous said...

31/1/07 bwah - they never write about Palestinian suffering bwah!

8/2/07 - ditto

How many times can one person make the claim that her pet subject is never aired in the media?

Anonymous said...

On the subject of the Age, has anyone noticed Ed O'Loughlin's article in today's edition.

His observation is that Hamas is reigning supreme in Gaza and that the Fatah fighters have dropped off Al Aksa like hot cakes because of Fatah supporting an American resolution of the conflict by making peace with the Israelis.

I haven't read this anywhere else - not in the Israeli media or the usual places where you might find such a story. Does anyone believe it's true?

Anonymous said...

And on the subject of "open debate" where are the people who support frank and open discussion when it comes to anything to do with Islam?

Look at what happened in Denmark over the Mohammed cartoons. It's happening now in France. Certain Muslims who don't like what newspapers are saying go right out and try to get the courts to close them down -

Anonymous said...

According to Dora NcPhee, "..the Palestinian narrative of injustice..has barely been disscussed...and...reporting of Israel's many human rights violations rarely get..coverage..".

How is it that Dora and her ilk now so much of these matters??

From the oracle (Ed O'Laughlin) and the source (The Age) maybe???

If not every day or is it every other day that Israel and the Jews are vilified, demonised, pilloried besmirched, denigrated, stigmatized, slandered, defamed and

All that is offered up by The Age is the Palestinian narrative, most of which is fabricated, by many Palestinian mouthpieces, led by the
chief demonizer of them all, Ed O'L...

Hardly if ever, do readers see or hear the other side of the story in The Age. Why???

Sincerely, Abe P.