Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Silence of the Intellectual 1

As predicted, Robert Manne's critique of The Australian in the latest edition of The Quarterly Essay, Bad News: Murdoch's Australian & the Shaping of the Nation, shies away from one of the salient features of the paper - its zealous, no-holds-barred defence of Israel and related promotion of Islamophobia.

Not that Manne is not aware of it, as this solitary reference (on page 3) indicates: "The Australian is ruthless in pursuit of those who oppose its worldview - market fundamentalism, minimal action on climate change, the federal Intervention in indigenous affairs, uncritical support for the American alliance and for Israel, opposition to what it calls political correctness and moral relativism." (Interestingly, this was missing from the "edited extract" published in Friday's Fairfax press that sparked my first post on the subject of Robert Manne and his 'Don't mention Israel' blindspot.)

The question of why, in a 119-page essay, Manne chose not to go there (even in his chapter on The Greens, who have been more pilloried by The Australian over their support for BDS than anything else) was raised in my earlier post*, so I'll leave it there. It suffices to note that it is precisely the choice of prominent liberal intellectuals (particularly those who identify as Jews) such as Manne not to go there, not to speak out against Zionism and its crimes, that prolongs the agony quaintly known as the Middle East conflict. [* Who Speaks for Palestine, 2/9/11]

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