Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mike Carlton's 'On Air' 1

In earlier posts on the subject of Australian political memoirs that tackle the bullying ways of the Israel lobby, I dealt with those of former foreign minister Bob Carr and former prime minister Kevin Rudd, as well as journalist John Lyons' contribution to the genre, if I may call it that. It is now time to focus on the last of the four, journalist Mike Carlton's On Air (2018).

Those of you with long memories will perhaps recall that Carlton first came under attack in 2010 following his criticisms of Israel's Mavi Marmara massacre, prompting him to describe the lobby, in his Sydney Morning Herald column, as "a ferocious beast." (See my 12/6/10 post A Ferocious Beast.)

Then, in 2014, in the hardest-hitting opinion piece in the Australian corporate media on Israel's murderous Operation Protective Edge*, in which he accused the apartheid state of waging "a war of terror on the entire Gaza population," Carlton again came under attack from the aforementioned ferocious beast. (See my 27/7/14 post Carlton & Le Lievre Get Gaza.)

It is this lobby-orchestrated backlash that he deals with in some detail in his memoir.

He begins with the circumstances which led up to Operation Protective Edge and an account of its brutal 50-day course, and describes precisely what it was that led him to write his offending column, Israel's rank and rotten fruit is being called fascism:

"The ABC's Matt Brown reported for 7.30 on the killing of the four boys on the beach, interviewing the bereaved father and an eleven-year-old boy who had been injured by shrapnel but escaped. I watched his 7.30 story shaken to the marrow, choking back tears, achingly conscious of our own little boy peacefully asleep in his bedroom." (pp 504-05)

"With the column," he adds, "was a cartoon by the artist Glen Le Lievre, depicting a Jewish man seated in an armchair marked with a Star of David and operating a TV-style remote control to blow up a Gazan township. It was a pungent spin-off from news photographs - seen worlwide - of Israeli families relaxing with drinks and snacks on a border hillside as they watched Gaza being bombed in the near distance below. The column, its headline and the cartoon touched off a firestorm." (pp 505-06)

[*Sadly, typically, I'm not aware of any other.]

To be continued...


Anonymous said...

Just caught a report from the BBC world service. (30/31st) Jan They reported on Amnesty International's recent criticism of Air BnB et al for providing services in illegal settlements. ( I'm pretty sure the reader said "AI says that they (the settlements) are illegal under international law" - why the "AI says"?)
The report ended abruptly with a response something like- "Israeli officials stated that Amnesty International is antisemitic" !!

Yep, it was just pulled out. Completely out of nowhere and completely trivial with no attempt to address the issue.

Surely the word antisemitic is wearing out. LH

Anonymous said...

Isreal takes international opposition very seriously this investigation is a little long but well worth watching if you had not seen it before