Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Paul Sheehan: Journalist Sans Frontieres

From Sydney Morning Herald columnist Paul Sheehan's obituary for Sabina Van Den Linden Wolanski (1927-2011):

"After creating a successful business importing elegant homeware from Europe and Japan, and astute investments in real estate, she became a woman of means. She then proceeded to give much of her wealth away. She supported a variety of causes which all had a common theme - to seek to increase tolerance between cultures.... She also funded a program for sending journalists to Israel, with no restrictions, so they could experience first-hand the complexities at the core of tensions in the Middle East." (Survivor used her loss to help unite world, 27/6/11)

Ah yes, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Journalists Mission*. And don't you just love Sheehan's spin: with no restrictions. Does that mean that our fearless, crusading journalist ventured to the frontlines of the Israeli colonisation of the West Bank, dodging 'rubber' bullets and tear gas canisters with Palestinians protesting the loss of their land to the Apartheid Wall; or venturing out with Palestinian farmers who harvest their olives while under attack by armed settler gangs; or walking to class with Palestinian kids in Hebron as they're pelted with stones by the brainwashed brats of settler scum; or witnessing the latest settler burning of a Palestinian orchard; or reporting on the Israeli demolition of a yet another Palestinian home?

Of course not.

For Sheehan, it means sitting at the feet of Israeli "warrior-scholars" such as former IDF chief Moshe 'Boogie' Ya'alon, listening to House Arab and Jerusalem Post 'journalist' Khaled Abu Toameh, or getting the drum on just how anti-Semitic Arabs really are from settler Itamar Marcus, before returning to pen Israeli propaganda without disclosing who sponsored him. (See my posts His Master's Voice (27/11/08); and Oriana Fallaci Meets Israeli PR at the SMH (13/1/09 & 19/1/09)

[*On what I term rambamming, of which the NSWJBoD Journalists Mission is but one component, see my 30/3/09 post I've been to Israel too.]

No comments: