Cover your tracks and throw smoke

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Yesterday I wrote a piece for Crikey about the visit of leading Jewish activist Jeff Halper and the multiple, ham-fisted attempts by the Australian Jewish News (AJN) and Zionist lobby to ignore and censor him. Suffice to say, it’s back-fired spectacularly, even leading the Sydney Morning Herald to today editorialise in favour of a wider debate on Israel/Palestine.

So in predictable and almost scripted style, today’s Crikey features a letter by the AJN’s editor, Ashley Browne:

Having Anthony Loewenstein report on the affairs of the Australian Jewish community is a bit like having Joffa report on the Carlton Football Club. Lots of bias, a bit of hatred and little intellectual rigour.

I can help you find plenty more creditable commentators on our community, with a similar ideological bent to your otherwise excellent band of commentators.

Philip Mendes or Mark Baker from Monash would do the job, for starters.

Spelling my name right would be a good start. But notice the complete absence of substantive content. It’s play the man, play the man, play the man. No rejection of my original charges (because they were all true.) No discussion of the widely slammed decision by Ashley’s Zionist boss to censor info about Halper, leading to far greater publicity for his visit. And his suggested writers are those members of the Jewish community who are of the “left” but crave acceptance by the mainstream. And how the hell can regular contributors to the AJN be the most objective when examining the role of the paper itself?

A wonderful own goal by an increasingly out-of-touch Jewish establishment.

Fine work, boys.

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