The profound pro-Israel bias of the The Australian is a virtual given. It simply cannot help itself.
Take today's report on Israeli preparations to nuke Iran, for example. Its largely factual opening paragraphs may be unremarkable:
"Israel has test-launched a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to Iran, amid claims Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking cabinet support for a military strike. The test, believed to have involved a long-rage Jericho missile yesterday, came a week after Israeli warplanes practised a long-range bombing mission in Italy - prompting speculation that the cabinet is considering a pre-emptive strike before Iran can complete its first nuclear weapon." (Israel tests missile for Iran strike, AFP, The Times, AP, 4/11/11)
Yet, should Israel's intended victim so much as blink in response to these distinctly menacing moves by a known serial offender, it becomes Menace Inc: "Yesterday's test drew a menacing response ftom the regime in Tehran."
It's funny because when ordinary Europeans, who are not nearly as amenable to being pushed around as their governments (Hello, Italy?), are asked to play Spot the Menace, they have no problem in recognising the real McCoy:
"Results of a new poll commissioned by the European Conmmission show that Israel is believed by Europeans in 15 countries to be the greatest threat to world peace, greater than North Korea, Iran or Afghanistan." (European poll: Israel biggest threat to world peace, Jewish Federations of North America, informationclearinghouse.info, 1/11/11)
But have no fear, the Israel lobby can explain. You see, according to The Simon Wiesenthal Center, this has nothing whatever to do with Israel's decades of kicking arse in Palestine, its periodic wildings without, or its constant swaggering and preening on the world stage - no, it "only shows that anti-Semitism is deeply embedded within European society, more now than in any other period since the end of World War II." (ibid)
In the same press release, by the way, we are told that The Simon Wiesenthal Center "is voicing its outrage directly to European Commission President Romano Prodi..."
And they know they're on a winner with Prodi because back in 2006 "Candid TV footage of the Israeli PM Ehud Olmert and his Italian counterpart, Romano Prodi, showed Olmert coaching Prodi on what to say at their joint press conference in Rome." (Candid TV footage shows Olmert coaching Prodi, The Independent, 14/12/06)
Who knows? Maybe Prodi will be prodded by Bibi into declaring the EC poll a ghastly mistake for which heads must fall. And wouldn't The Australian have a field day with that?