Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dirty Tricks

In the relentless and highly organised campaign against Marrickville Council's adoption of the Palestinian BDS strategy, the Murdoch press was joined by some shadowy forces who deployed a range of dirty tricks:

"The day after the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, threatened to sack Marrickville Council over its push for a boycott of Israel, councillors received an email headlined 'Death Wish': Today's message from Barry... 'Pull Your Collective Head in or I'll Chop it Off!' Clear enough? Go ahead - Make my day! Hasten and Assure your own extinction. It was one of thousands of missives, many anonymous and abusive, received by representatives of the inner west council in the 4 months after it gave in-principle support for a global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel...

"[Labor] Cr O'Sullivan... received abusive and pornographic emails attacking her and the boycott... [but] most of the campaigning was directed at the Greens mayor... Swastikas were spray-painted on Greens corflutes, and thousands of anonymous leaflets were distributed throughout the electorate. The night before the election, Greens supporters photographed a group of men putting up posters and stickers accusing the Greens of homophobia, hating democracy and supporting terrorism. The posters have been the subject of complaints to the police and the NSW Electoral Commission.

"The Greens have also criticised a controversial phone poll conducted during the campaign. A group called the Inner West Jewish Community & Friends Peace Alliance claimed responsibility for the poll last week, but denied any wrong-doing. On March 3 a request from the group was accidentally published on the Jewish news website J-Wire and a blog, requesting $12,000 in public donations for activities 'to research what local people really think... carefully targeted media coverage and advertising in relation to the election... Please also pass this information on quietly to like-minded friends'. It was quickly deleted.

"Eleven days later Marrickville Council said it was investigating 4 complaints from residents about a survey 'asking residents to comment on the GBDS against Israel'. At least one resident complained the interviewer had claimed to be from the council. Cr Byrne labelled it a push poll and a dirty trick. The survey and its results, showing only one-third of respondents support the boycott, have been made public. The poll's introduction said the interviewer was doing a 'short five-minute study about your views and opinions of the Marrickville City [sic] Council'. It asked residents what factors should influence council policies and initiatives and provided a list that included climate change, traffic congestion and foreign affairs. It also asked whether the interviewee was aware of the boycott. After saying that the mayor was the Greens candidate at the state election, it asked whether that would influence their vote.

"Uri Windt, who is a member of both the alliance and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, said the poll was scientific and definitely intended not to mislead. 'It's not push-polling; it does not fit the definition. It was professionally conducted', Mr Windt said. The alliance has refused to comment on how much it collected and spent on its campaign... Vic Alhadeff, chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, said his organisation had no knowledge of the poster campaign, or the phone survey, until afterwards." (Two sides to thinking global, acting local, Josephine Tovey, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/4/11)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One may ask who can conduct such childish "pols".
You can find a ready answer in the "Hasbara Handbook": 15.000 entries on Google!
Nothing more to add.