Bren Carlill, Policy Analyst with the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, writes: Re. “Howard and Rudd show their love for Israel” (yesterday, item 11). Antony Loewenstein’s spray about the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) in yesterday’s Crikey was fairly typical. Reacting to questions answered by John Howard and Kevin Rudd for AIJAC’s monthly magazine, Loewenstein slams both for wanting Hamas to remain isolated as long as it refuses to recognise Israel. He claims this position is lifted from George Bush’s manual, but declines to reveal it’s also the position of the European Union and the United Nations. He then asks “which Israel” Hamas is supposed to recognise, given Israel’s changing borders over the years. How about any Israel? Hamas’ charter maintains that Israel shouldn’t exist in any borders. I’m all for talking to my enemies, but only when those enemies no longer want to kill me. And Antony, one talks of the 1949, not 1948, borders. Excuse me for being pedantic, but I think if one wants to be accepted as a serious commentator, it’s important to have the basic facts correct. It astounds me that Loewenstein is invited to make comment on anything to do with the Middle East. His bias isn’t the problem. It’s his lack of knowledge. Dozens of factual errors in his book My Israel Question remain in the second edition, despite a year passing since the first was published. At least he managed to correct a map placing Haifa in Lebanon – but that wasn’t the only mistake on the map, sunshine!
In yesterday’s rant, Loewenstein was troubled by Rudd’s call for legal proceedings against Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for inciting genocide. Loewenstein seems indifferent to the fact Ahmadinejad regularly calls for Israel to be wiped off the map, in blatant disregard of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. But Loewenstein is right in pointing out Iran is more than just Ahmadinejad. The Iranian nuclear project began before Ahmadinejad was on the scene. Likewise Iranian military parades featuring missiles with signs declaring their desire to be fired at the Zionist Entity. Iran’s Supreme Leader said last year, “There is only one solution to the Middle East problem, namely the annihilation and destruction of the Jewish state.” Howard and Rudd’s answers represent the vast majority of Australians – that Israel has the right to exist in peace; that a two-state resolution is desirable; that Iran shouldn’t have nuclear weapons; and that Australia should be tough on terrorism. And Loewenstein thinks there’s something wrong with that!
Daniel Lewis writes: Antony Loewenstein is spewing, that a Zionist organisation dares to circulate a list of questions for Howard/Rudd and their respective responses. Further proof he feels, of some grand Zionist conspiracy. One can only assume he has no similar problem with the Muslim community, Union movement, churches, nurses organisations or any other lobby circulating “how to vote” guides to their members, or political parties attempting to attract them. Heaven forbid however, that Jews… Sorry, make that “Zionists” dare get involved in politics. Particularly, when you consider how (according to some anyway) they must be so busy poisoning wells, running world banks and controlling the media! On the other hand, it was nice to see Loewenstein flogging someone else’s “best selling” book about the “Israel Lobby” for a change, rather then continuing to flog his own, err… best-seller yet again.
It’s clearly not worth wasting time responding to the vast majority of these “complaints” (Lewis is little better than a dependable Zionist hatchet man, comfortable in the knowledge that he’ll support pretty much anything Israel does in the hope of getting patted by the Rabbi on the Jewish holidays.)
As for the AIJAC “policy analyst” – I wonder, does this involve spending days and nights working on cunning ways to invade Arab countries and converting all Muslims to Judaism? – it seems that after the predictable criticisms of my analysis, book, hair and choice of shoes, there’s little left.
Let’s talk about credibility. AIJAC strongly supported the Iraq war, praising the “liberation” within weeks of the 2003 invasion. The same mob are now trying to push Australia and the US into a conflict against Iran. Unspoken in all this, of course, is that Zionist lobbyists are dying for a fight in the name of Israel. It may be dressed up in a host of ways, but at least they should be honest about their manoeuvres.
Besides, AIJAC and their merry band of militarists rather dislike the idea of Jews speaking out of turn, daring to challenge their hardline (and failed) reading of the Middle East. As Jimmy Carter said late last year, Zionist lobbyists aren’t interested in peace, they’re interested in solely supporting the Israeli government. Not that they ever say this, of course.
Yes, AIJAC are highly credible.