Did you catch The Australian taking a shot at its Mini-Me, The Australian Jewish News, recently? "It's always fun to see parochialism blossoming, so we salute The Australian Jewish News for the headline: 'Saint Mary [McKillop]'s Jewish connection'." (Strewth: She was a mensch, 1/3/10)
Parochialism? You bet, but there's more to the AJN than just parochialism. There's... beat-ups.
In its 19 March issue, for example, I came across the following rivetting headline: Anti-Semitism the 'worst form of racism' on campus
My God, thought I, our unis must be veritable cesspits of sulphuric anti-Semitism! Taking a deep breath, my heart beating wildly, I read on: "Anti-Israel sentiment is on the rise at universities and is being used as a disguise for anti-Semitism, according to the Australian Liberal Students Federation vice-president."
What a relief! It's not really anti-Semitism after all, but only anti-Israel sentiment being used as a disguise for anti-Semitism. And on very good authority too, that of a Young Lib.
The Young Lib is then quoted as saying, "I am very aware of the anti-Semitic views on campus and while I don't think it's extremely widespread, there are very small and vocal groups that are racially motivated..."
Hello? Anti-semitic views? What happened to the anti-Israel sentiment bit? Is the ground not shifting here? But then, whatever it is, anti-Semitism or anti-Israel sentiment being used as a disguise for anti-Semitism, it's hardly widespread. Which is reassuring. And those very small and vocal groups that are racially motivated? They may be noisy, but at least they're so small they can't even be named. More reassurance.
The Young Lib concluded by saying, "Anti-Israel bias that verges on anti-Semitism is the worst form of racism on university campuses..."
My God, thought I, she's all over the place! First it was anti-Israel sentiment being used as a disguise for anti-Semitism. Then it was the Real Enchilada, anti-Semitism. Now it's anti-Israel bias that verges on anti-Semitism. This particular Young Lib's obviously got a great future ahead of her in federal politics! And I'm so reassured (in terms of the overall quantity of racism on campus that is) that, although this anti-Israel sentiment being used as a disguise for anti-Semitism/anti-Semitism/anti-Israel bias verging on anti-Semitism - whatever - is barely detectable, exhaustive Young Lib polling shows that it's still worse than say anti-Muslim, anti-Asian, or anti-Indian racism. Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say.
Now far be it for me not to trust the Liberal Party and all who sail in her, especially your Young Libs, but I do have this irritating habit of wanting to see some sort of evidence for assertions such as the one trumpeted in the headline: Anti-Semitism the 'worst form of racism' on campus. Well, I'm pleased to say that the report didn't disappoint me on that score, citing the following conclusive data to back it up: "The latest incident noted was just a few weeks ago at the University of Sydney, where one student raised his arm and yelled 'Heil Hitler' during Israeli singer Ivri Lider's concert organised by the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS)."