Melbourne Labor MP Michael Danby said the following in parliament this week:
Mr DANBY (Melbourne Ports) (13:49): On Monday and Tuesday I had leave for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. I thank the whips and the parliament. For 120,000 Australians of similar background, even the most secular families, this is like Christmas, a time for the gathering of the clan.
Tony Jones, the host of Q&A, explained to that segment of Australia’s population that Q&A focusing half of its program on Monday night on Israel was because he could not get his guest Mr Pappe other than that night. Irving Wallach did a brave job on the program. But I question Mr Jones; the ABC managing director, Mark Scott; and indeed the new chairman, Jim Spigelman. This was a studied insult. Having an academically undistinguished extremist on Rosh Hashana is like having someone from Hizb ut-Tahrir advocate the abolition of Christianity and Australia on Christmas Eve.
Nearby to Israel, a prosperous, peaceful, democratic country, 25,000 Syrian civilians have been murdered by their own government. Come on, Tony Jones! When are you going to have a program of half an hour on the situation in Syria? Stop putting Uncle Toms like Ilan Pappe and Antony Loewenstein on your program. Let some people who speak for the mainstream, either Left or Right, both of which support peaceful evolution of the Middle East, appear on your program.
Why does Tony Jones spend so much time giving a leg up to Jewish Uncle Toms to bash Israel?
The speech on Danby’s website has photographs of Pappe, my publisher Louise Adler and me.
It’s almost pointless even responding to such comical smears but here I go. I’ve never appeared on ABC TV’s Q & A. I don’t think Danby actually understands what the term “Uncle Tom” means because if he did he would not have used it. Here’s what Wikipedia says:
The phrase “Uncle Tom” has also become an epithet for a person who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures, particularly a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people; or any person perceived to be a participant in the oppression of their own group.
If we’re being damned because as Jews we dare criticise the noble religion known as Israel, then I’m guilty as charged. But I suspect Danby, or a very obedient assistant, inserted the term into his speech to indicate that my condemnation of Israeli war crimes somehow oppresses the Jewish people. That we’re piling on without thinking twice how this may affect the nuclear-armed Zionist state. Those poor Jewish victims.
Danby has spent the last years – since 2005 actually when he condemned my first book, My Israel Question, a year before it came out – trying to silence any critics of Israeli behaviour and the Zionist lobby’s endorsement of all and every Israeli policy.
What does this show? That Danby and his ilk would much rather speak about every other human rights abuser except Israel. And as the Jewish state descends proudly into a fundamentalist entity that codifies anti-Arab racism in every aspect of its being, Danby, his Jewish mates and pretty much every Australian politician who loves to praise “democratic” Israel are left defending the indefensible.
That’s the quality of Australian politicians, people.