Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ground Control to Major Greg

Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan's column in last Saturday's Australian was surely the mother-of-all Zionist temper tantrums:

"We are living in a time of infamous lies against the state of Israel and the Jewish people." (Evil & deeply untrue, 1/3/14)

Note the deliberate conflation: Israel = Jews.

"We are witnessing, even in Australia, a recrudescence of some of the oldest types of anti-Semitism."

So Adolf and his hordes have suddenly erupted, zombie fashion, onto the Australian scene?

Er... no, not quite:

"One of the worst recent examples of anti-Israel propaganda that led to anti-Semitic outbursts was the Four Corners episode Stone Cold Justice, purporting to be about treatment of Palestinian children in the West Bank."

So, after watching Four Corners on that fateful Monday night, viewers exchanged their thongs for jackboots, and made for synagogues and Jewish-owned shops with consequences so dire that they didn't even surface in the Murdoch press the next day?

"The program featured as a guest reporter John Lyons, of this newspaper. I have the greatest respect for John. He has produced some outstanding journalism in his time."


"In the aerolite he wrote for this newspaper on February 8..."

FYI, an aerolite is a meteorite. A meteorite FFS! Ground control to Major Greg. Ground control to Major Greg.

"... he made some of the same allegations at best unproved and generally unconvincing."

Unproved and unconvincing? Jeez, John, you got off lightly, but watch your back, OK?

But wait, what's this? The Curse of Zion!

"However, the Four Corners program was a disgrace, a crude piece of anti-Israel propaganda that revived some of the oldest anti-Semitic tropes."

Sweet Jesus, will Lyons ever be the same again?

"In the year 2014, are we really going to allege again, on the basis of the flimsiest non-evidence you could imagine, that Jewish soldiers systematically physically crucify innocent children? Is there a school of anti-Semitism 101 operating out there? Do you not think that before you would air an allegation like that, if you had any real sense of editorial responsibility, you would be 100% sure that it was true; you would track down the people alleged to have done it and get their testimony?"

What is this tosser on about?

This, it seems:

"Fathi Mahfouz: Because I didn't confess, he sent me to a room that has a cross in it and hung me on it. I was standing on the tips of my toes, and all my weight was on the handcuffs and my toes. I was hung and he kept hitting me."  (Transcript: Stone Cold Justice)

There you have it! This Palestinian Imp of Satan is talking CRUCIFIXION no less!

Well, only in the mind of our cut-rate Torquemada, because Fathi Mahfouz's testimony is entirely consistent with Israeli practice:

"The interrogee is forced to stand with their back to the wall, knees bent either at 90 or 45 degrees, sometimes while standing on the toes rather than on the feet. In this position, we have reports of the use of blows, slaps and punches." (Threat: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israel (2011), ed. Abeer Baker & Anat Matar, p 119)

Hey, but you wouldn't expect Greg to have that one on his shelf.

Sheridan, of course, goes on to spin the IDF ("My net judgment is Israel's army behaves with as much consideration for human rights as any modern Western army - US, Australian or European - would do in similar circumstances.") and Israeli settlers ("[P]erhaps 1% or less are genuinely extremist and some of them genuinely violent."), but I won't burden you with that.

There is one other thing though. At the conclusion of his tirade, there's a box which reads: "TALKING POINT NEXT WEEK: JOHN LYONS REPLIES."

It doesn't get much more bizarre than that - a newspaper's Middle East correspondent responding to a bagging by its foreign editor.

No comments: