Tuesday, August 8, 2017

AIJAC Strikes Back

"The longer I was in Israel, the more I realised that key figures in the Australian Jewish community sat on the far right of the Israeli political spectrum. In Israel I was able to have meaningful discussions with key army or intelligence figures about the Palestinian issue. But with many of Australia's Jewish leaders this was just not possible. It was almost as if they felt that, given they were not living in Israel, they needed to take a harder line than many people who were living there." (Balcony Over Jerusalem: A Middle East Memoir, John Lyons, 2017, pp 260-61)

"In response to our legitimate articulation of an alternative viewpoint on the Middle East, Lyons has devoted a chapter of his memoir to falsely portraying AIJAC as an extreme, hardline mouthpiece for the Israeli Right. Is this the same AIJAC that sponsors programs for prominent Israeli Labor leaders to visit Australia, as part of our efforts to expose people from both countries to counterparts from across the political and social spectrum? Is this the same AIJAC that issued a media release in February this year openly criticising Israeli legislation that would retrospectively legalise settlement outposts on land owned by Palestinians? In a healthy democracy, holding the media to account is arguably as important as holding politicians to account. Lyons ended his comment piece by quoting hard-left Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar's demonising of AIJAC and saying the Australian government did 'not (give) a shit' about his children. Nothing could be further from the truth. Lyons also describes as a hero another Israeli journalist even more extreme, Haaretz's Gideon Levy, an advocate of economic, artistic and academic boycotts against Israel. That's like forming your view of Australia from Green Left Weekly. It's sad that Lyon's response to the normal functioning of interest groups in a pluralist democracy is so vitriolic but it does demonstrate the value of AIJAC and others in advancing additional evidence and alternative views to his." (In Israel, as anywhere, objectivity, balance, multiple voices are critical to credible journalism, Mark Leibler, The Australian, 7/8/17)


Anonymous said...

"Pluralistic democracy", sorry, I have to resort to crudités, WHAT A CROC OF SHIT! I would hate to see Leibler's interpretation of a monoistic right wing oppressive State! The level of self delusion is truly unbelievable.
Come on 'folks', stop the justifications, the continued acrid hostility and have the guts to RECTIFY the HARM the last 100 years of occupation has caused.

Anonymous said...

Let me guess Leibler supports BDS in a pluralistic democracy?