In my last post I quoted from an opinion piece, Take the free out of speech, by investigative journalist, Elisabeth Wynhausen. Published in The Australian on November 4, 2003, it was a trenchant critique of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council's boots-and-all attack on the Sydney Peace Foundation's decision to award the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize to Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi.
Wynhausen, the outspoken daughter of Dutch Jews, died earlier this month of pancreatic cancer. She was 67.
In his obituary in Thursday's Sydney Morning Herald, journalist David Marr cited Wynhausen's book The Short Goodbye (2011), "which investigated the human wreckage of the global financial crisis," and added, tellingly: "Its first chapter is a pithy report of her own sacking from The Australian."
Honest, unsparing reports on the darker side of Australian society were Wynhausen's trademark. The following snapshot of an Australian Jewish community under the Zionist thumb is surely a rarity in Australian journalism. It comes from Take the free out of free speech:
"Australia's 84,000 Jews make up about 0.5% of the population, or less than one-third of the number of those of Arabic-speaking descent. Only one or two electorates in Australia can be swayed by the Jewish vote. So why do a handful of representatives of a tiny section of the population have so much political influence? To answer money, or political donations, often gets you labelled as anti-Semitic. Indeed, after a couple of federal Labor backbenchers criticised the Israeli Government, Opposition leader Simon Crean hastened to reassure the Jewish community that he was a staunch supporter of Israel. The pressure to toe the party line is even stronger within the Jewish community because it feels perpetually besieged. Some relate this to the high proportion of Holocaust survivors among Australian Jews. In reality, a small, unrepresentative group of hardliners from AIJAC and the Zionist organisations have hijacked most debates, outflanking the moderates and positioning themselves as the voice of the Jewish community in Australia. Dissenters are often stifled."
I simply can't imagine today's Australian publishing anything like this.