Most thinking Australians, if asked their opinion of Radio National presenter (Late Night Live) and token Murdoch press 'leftie' (The Weekend Australian Magazine) Phillip Adams, would probably cite his progressive views, his avuncular amiability, or his many fine essays. Not me.
I simply cannot get past his hard-wired, almost subliminal, Zionism, imbibed during his youthful infatuation with Melbourne's coterie of leftist Jewish intellectuals, none of whom seem to have communicated to their worshipful protege the elementary distinction between being a Jew and being a Zionist. (See my 19/9/09 post He Just Doesn't Get It.)
Adam's default Zionism, only really surfaces, of course, when the topic under discussion is Palestine/Israel, and even then is generally so understated and fleeting that most listeners are probably unaware of it. Not to mention Adams himself.
As for me, time and again, while listening to his interviews on the topic, I find myself exclaiming: There he goes again! The bugger just can't help himself!
A case in point was his July 22 interview with visiting Palestinian doctor, Mona El-Fara.
The good doctor's harrowing account of the unconscionable levels of stress and malnutrition experienced by Palestinian women and children under Israel's unremitting blockade of Gaza - 75% are anemic - was met thus by Adams:
"We've done programs before on the stress, the terrible tension on both sides when you live in an area of bombardment."
Then, as if this assertion of an equivalence between Palestinian victims and Israeli perpetrators were not outrage enough, it was followed by an invitation for El-Fara to pin the blame for Gaza's suffering on its Hamas defenders:
"Now Israel will of course argue that the response to rocket attacks from Gaza is why they keep lobbing them on you. Are you critical of Hamas?"
Finally, there was Adams' reference to Palestinians "across the diaspora as you describe it."
Now how is one expected to take this, other than to conclude that Adams doesn't really consider that Palestinians whose grandparents were driven out of Palestine by Zionist terror gangs in 1948 constitute a diaspora?
Certainly, when the term was thrown around in true Zionist style (ie, as an ideological categorisation of all Jews not living in Israel) by one of his more recent (12/8) Jewish interviewees, US historian Deborah Lipstadt, Adams felt no need whatever to contest or qualify her use of the term - despite the fact that she was born in New York and has no real connection with Palestine.