Friday, August 19, 2016

Done Under 18C for Daring to Criticise Israel

With support for the retention of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act sometimes being used as a measure of one's stand against racism, it is well to keep in mind its potential for misuse.

Former Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mike Carlton put his finger on the problem in a recent tweet:

"RW nutters now howling for the repeal of 18C once wanted me to be done under it for daring to criticise Israel. Fucking hypocrites." (17/8/16)

He is referring, of course, to a complaint lodged under 18C against his passionate denunciation of Israel's 2014 genocidal attack on Gaza in the Herald.

Guardian journalist Amanda Meade pointed out at the time that "it is possible that the complaint will be thrown out because it is understood that the complainant - said to be Wayne Karlen, a constant critic of the paper on Twitter - is not Jewish. According to the act: 'Only an 'aggrieved person' may lodge a complaint. In the case of the racial hatred provisions, an aggrieved person is someone from the group targeted by the behaviour who is offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated because of his or her race'." (Mike Carlton's column and SMH cartoon: racist complaint lodged, 14/8/14)

This implies that if the complaint had been lodged by a Jewish Zionist as opposed to a non-Jewish Zionist, Carlton may well have become embroiled in a protracted legal battle fought on the false Zionist premise that criticism of Israel is a form of anti-Semitism.

The outcome could conceivably have come down to whether or not the presiding judge accepted this claptrap. Therein lies the problem with 18C for critics of Israel.

See also my 17/8/14 post Using Section 18C to Silence Critics of Israel.

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