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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Exposing the ideologues

Upon the news of Ariel Sharon's stroke, Maan Beydoun wrote this powerful letter to the Sydney Morning Herald:

"A war criminal is about to die and we start referring to him as a man of peace. I was in Lebanon in 1983. I remember as an eight-year-old boy sitting on the balcony with my dad at night, counting the light bombs sparkling in the sky over Sabra, the Palestinian refugee camp.

"For a kid like me, those bombs looked like fireworks. I counted more than 200 of them before I was told to go to sleep. We didn't know it, but we were watching the massacre of almost 2000 Palestinians. Apparently the Lebanese Christian militia, under Ariel Sharon's control, couldn't wait until daytime to do their killing.

"So for the Herald to now start equating peace with Sharon is a disgrace. He was, and still is, a war criminal."

A few days later, the paper published a letter by S.E.P. James with a unique reference: the Zionist lobby:

"My only reservation about the Herald letters page over the years has been that it has given too much space to the Israeli lobby, and not enough to the Palestinians. That has changed with some earlier correspondence from Ali Kazak, the Palestinian Authority's representative in Australia, and now a moving letter from Maan Beydoun (January 7-8). Judging from the number of furious phone calls I have had from Jewish friends today, this will result in a flood of protest letters, and even more when you don't publish every one of them. Who would be a Herald letters editor?"

The Zionist lobby is pernicious, aggressive and largely unaccountable. The biased and blindly pro-Israel coverage in the mainstream media is not solely because of its influence, but certainly contributes to an intimidatory atmosphere.


Blogger Wilbourne said...

Tell me Antony, will your proposed book be taking a neutral standpoint on the Arab/Israeli issue?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 11:54:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Just in case it wasn't clear:

For most journalists, "neutral" means pro-Israeli.

You can enjoy the book in a few months.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 12:01:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

I don't think he'll enjoy the book.

The facts cause most journalists to be pro-Israel. Can't blame them for being influenced by what actually happened.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 1:13:00 am  
Blogger HisHineness said...

Heh. "Enjoy".

Yeah... right.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 1:14:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

"The facts cause most journalists to be pro-Israel"

So this must imply that most journalists are pro Israel. Does Melanie know about this?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 1:47:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

I don't see how Melanie can't see that unbiased reporters mostly favor israel because of the facts.

Unbiased doesn't mean stupid.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 3:01:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

As for Maan's biased account, the report show only about 900 Arabs murdered by Arabs acting on their own orders or whims, not under the orders of Sharon.

But that doesn't stop the antisemitic lobby, which is pernicious, aggressive and largely unaccountable

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 3:10:00 am  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

I applaud the Zionist lobby and wish it well. If only the Towlies were as intelligent and accomplished. I wonder why they aren't? After all, they outnumber Jews by hundreds and hundreds of millions.

Though we are impressed with their suicide bombing and er, er, er, ah, that's it unfortunately.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 10:19:00 pm  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

"Towlies" I wonder how vitriolic your reaction would be if equally derogatory words was used when referring to Jews?

And it seems your 12 months of studying the Middle East hasn't yet uncovered the enormous contribution Arabs have made in science, medicine and the arts. Indeed the alphabet you use was devised in what is now Syria!

Thursday, January 12, 2006 6:31:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Look, they're Towlies, ragheads, camel jockeys..OK?

After all we have the right to freedom of expression as enlightened people living in a democracy.

neo, have you studied this one?

"While the politicians lie in order to perpetuate the occupation, the workers learn to lie in order to justify it. Israel Defense Forces soldiers have become used to seeing settlers prepare a road to yet another outpost in the morning, and then hearing on the radio in the evening that the defense minister and the prime minister "vehemently deny" the existence of any new outposts. So what do they do? They say (perhaps even to themselves) that this is a "security road.""
(Akiva Eldar, 24 November 2003)

Thursday, January 12, 2006 7:15:00 pm  
Blogger neoleftychick said...


It sure saounds like a very unpleasant part of the world. It must have been hell for the Israelis over the past 50 to 80 years. Still, they have prevailed.

I am just stunned at their patience. If I were in power in Israel, I would have moved things along a further, long ago.

Friday, January 13, 2006 1:26:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

You should be in power neo. There'll be a big vacuum to fill since the centrist Sharon has nearly croaked.
Go and run as a reformed lefty/uncompassionate neo-con zealot. (hoo boy, not another one...)

Friday, January 13, 2006 3:03:00 pm  

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