Palestine/Israel is surely the only topic UNDER THE SUN about which a journalist feels he/she has to think twice before presenting the facts.
Here's Fairfax's Tony Walker, for example, writing an opinion piece about the Arab-Israeli war of June 1967, which, of course, is coming up for its 50th anniversary next month:
"On June 5, 1967, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against surrounding Arab states in retaliation for an Egyptian blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba." (Six-Day War has lasted 50 years and hostilities continue, Sydney Morning Herald, 29/5/17)
Such a statement, of course, is nothing if not unassailably factual, right?
But, hey, since when have pro-Israel propagandists ever allowed unassailable facts to get in their way?
Which is why Walker goes to the trouble of adding:
"Anticipating criticism in the letters pages, let's assert that Israel was a victim of aggression by the Arabs led by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, that it had every right to defend itself to the best of its ability and, in the process, make use of territory gained in the conflict to negotiate a just peace."
Well, if that isn't playing the Israeli devil's advocate and then some... But here's the thing, the bottom line, if you will, as Walker so clearly points out:
"What a smashing victory in 1967 did not entitle Israel to was to be a permanent occupier of territory and its people and settlers of land seized in defiance of international law."
No matter, our defenders of the indefensible, our 1967 denialists, have already fired off their editorial vollies to the SMH and The Age, and you'll see their concoctions on the letters pages tomorrow. Enjoy!