John Lyons' Balcony Over Jerusalem: A Middle East Memoir (1917) is the most important book ever written on the existence and modus operandi of Australia's under-the-radar Israel lobby since Antony Loewenstein's 2006 My Israel Question.
Curiously, although it's been in the bookshops since July, the Sydney Morning Herald has so far ignored it - that is, until yesterday. Instead of the merited full review, however (and for reasons best known to those responsible for the book reviews in the Herald's weekend Spectrum), it was relegated to the following mere mention:
"On the balcony of their house in Jerusalem, foreign correspondent John Lyons and his wife, Sylvie Le Clezio, watched history unfold. 'Our balcony became our private time machine. We could fast-forward from the biblical past to the troubled present. We could see tear-gas being fired at Palestinians and rocks being thrown at Israeli soldiers.' From this box seat, Lyons ventured out into the Middle East covering the war in Syria, the downfall of Colonel Gaddafi and the Arab Spring. But it his reporting on the slow-motion tragedy within Israel and the occupied territories, and the public relations war waged by the Israeli government and media to keep its citizens and the rest of the world in the dark that gives this engrossing book its spine and force. 'If the whole world could see the occupation up close, it would demand that it end tomorrow'." (Fiona Capp, In Short Non-Fiction)
It has to be said here: it isn't only "the Israeli government" that keeps us "in the dark" on this issue - it's also the gutless, self-censoring Fairfax press.