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Taxpayer Funded Anti-Semitism

An Australian politician has criticized the taxpayer-funded television stations ABC and SBS, saying that they are anti-Semitic.

A Federal Government backbencher has implicated the ABC and SBS in anti-Semitism, criticising the broadcasters’ representation of conflict in the Middle East.

Speaking in favour of a bipartisan resolution condemning anti-Semitism, Queensland Senator Brett Mason yesterday said Australia’s publicly funded broadcasters were “bending over backwards to give the Palestinians the benefit of the doubt and portraying the Israelis as callous and cruel occupiers”.

Senator Mason implied the treatment perpetuated a documented increase in violence against Jews. “Where words lead deeds do follow,” he said.

Both the ABC and SBS declined to comment.

Kol hakavod (well done), Senator. Of course, no accusation of anti-Semitism would be complete without the mandatory “but not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism” response.

Senator Mason’s comments were rejected as “claptrap” by Labor Senator Kim Carr, who said not all criticism of Israel should be condemned as anti-Semitic. Israel was a society with a variety of groups, and many voices, including Jewish ones, were critical of the current Israeli Government policies, he said.

This disingenuous argument is truly entering cliche territory. It is now the response of choice, and can be used to stifle any debate on anti-Semitism. For instance:

Anti-Semite: You are a filthy Jew and a zionazi pig.

Jew: And you are anti-Semitic.

Anti-Semite: Not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, kike.

To Senator Carr and others who invoke this argument, I say this: D’uh! No-one is suggesting that criticism of Israel is always anti-Semitism. It all depends on the context. In this case, where the ABC and SBS are singling out Israel for unbalanced criticism, when the other side is perpetrating murder against innocent civilians, it is a reasonable to conclude that they dislike Jews.

Update: For more ABC/SBS bashing, I can highly recommend Tim Blair and D of Mangled Thoughts.

Update: As if on cue, I received this comment from “Sio” while writing this post:

Why is it that when anyone criticises the Israeli government and its policies, there is an immediate charge of “anti-semitism?” There’s no charge of “anti-christian” if one criticises the US or Australia government policies. The Israeli government seems to delight in the assasination of political leaders as well as women and children, sorry, I should say, Palestinian political leaders and women and children. It’s all very well to say “terrorists”. Nelson Mandela was once a terrorist. The Israeli Government disgusts me and yes, Yassar Arrafat disgusts me as well. Both as bad as each other. none of you have the high or low moral ground.

Update: Another example of the cliched response. But the author goes further, claiming that identifying anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism may actually increase the latter. I am guessing that he would advocate that Jews shut up, so as to reduce incidences of anti-Semitism.

One interesting point he raises is that Gottfried Wagner, the great-grandson of the rabidly anti-Semitic German composer Richard Wagner, has stated that the hallmark of the new anti-Semitism is opposition to Israel. At least I learned something from this article.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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