Peter Hartcher, the Sydney Morning Herald's international editor, reckons that "Australia's been pretty naive in the way it sees China," and that it's Time to wake up to rats in the ranks:
"We need to be alert to politicians compromised by China's embrace... Perhaps unwitting paid-mouthpieces for the interests of the Chinese regime... Business people so captivated by their financial interests that they demand Australia assume the kowtow position... Front organisations, apparently innocuous friendship societies... " (6/9/16)
But not, it seems, to journalists or politicians compromised by Israel's embrace and acting as perhaps unwitting paid-mouthpieces for the interests of the Israeli regime. Nor to Israeli front organisations.
In 2009, Hartcher went to Israel on a NSW Jewish Board of Deputies-sponsored/paid trip. This resulted in a SMH puff piece on Israel's infamous Operation Cast Lead, in which he dismissed the UN as a "resolution factory," claimed that Israel had invaded Gaza "to stop the firing" after "enduring 800 rocket attacks," minimised the massacre of over 1400 Gazans (to 13 Israeli deaths) by referring to it as a "clash," regurgitated Israeli propaganda about Hamas using civilians as human shields, described Hamas as a "terrorist group," and quoted only Israeli "experts."
Hartcher disclosed the identity of his sponsors at the foot of the article. Following a comment thred backlash by Herald readers, he brazenly went on to claim that it was "routine" for journalists "to accept paid travel," so long as they disclosed it. (For the details, see my posts No Hidden Agenda (18/11/09) and Pawns in a Propaganda Game (15/3/10).)
In 2011, he spoke at a forum on Palestine/Israel at the Sydney Opera House. When the subject of the Palestinian right of return arose, he arrogantly dismissed it as "a reversion to old narratives," and variously referred to it as "unrealistc," a case of "Marrickville Council syndrome," and an "old grudge." (For the details, see my 20/6/11 post Hartcher Brings the House Down.)