The spin and bullshit that is sometimes inexcusably dignified with the label 'the Zionist narrative' pervades much of what we see and read in the mainstream media. So pervasive is it that even the most progressive, intelligent, competent and humane among our journalists, commentators and writers can fall victim to its insidious memes. They really should know better.
I'm thinking here of Fairfax journalist David Marr.
You may recall my earlier posts on David Marr: Howler (29/12/10) and Howler 2 (25/1/12).
They both relate to his misleading use of the Zionist fairy tale constructed around an attempt by Mossad in 1947 to breach the British naval blockade of Palestine using a vessel carrying displaced European Jews and renamed for the occasion Exodus in an article on the plight of boat people seeking access to Australia from Indonesia.
I emailed Marr a link to the second of my posts, and received the following terse response on January 26:
"My subject is - and has been - violence on refugee blockades and the British navy's detestation of the work they were ordered to do off the coast of Palestine. Whether the British government was right or wrong to blockade the coast is a subject for another time. So is the propaganda use the Jews made of those violent confrontations. There was a blockade; it was violent; the Royal Navy hated the work; that view has passed to the Australian Navy."
Feeling that Marr hadn't quite, to say the least, taken my point, indeed seemed somewhat resistant even to being reminded of the implications of what he'd done, I replied as follows:
"Thanks for your response. I take your point, but your earlier reference to the British 'preventing Jews from reaching their homeland' (the subject of my 29/12/10 post Howler), followed this time by your reference to the [Otto Preminger] film Exodus, as though it were some kind of historical documentary rather than a cheap Zionist propaganda flic, suggests the uncritical adoption of a Zionist perspective here.
"The plain fact of the matter is that Palestine was then no more the homeland of European Jews, whether displaced persons or not, than Australia was the homeland of our convict forbears or their jailers. Palestine was then, still is, and will always be, pre-eminently the homeland of its indigenous Arab inhabitants. I reacted to the content of your opening paragraphs because I feel you have given, albeit unwittingly perhaps, a free plug for what some term 'the Zionist narrative', not once but twice.
"Although I am generally in complete agreement with the positions you take in the Herald or on the ABC and admire your style as an exceptionally insightful investigative journalist, I have this thing about absolute historical fidelity to the historical record, especially in relation to that of Palestine, which has been falsified and distorted like no other. I hope you understand."
No response has been forthcoming. I can only hope that for Marr the penny has dropped. I can understand (just) the literati getting Palestine wrong in the 1920s, but in 2012? No way.