I recently reported from Gaza for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age. The piece was spread widely online around the world.
Unsurprisingly, it upset the Israel lobby because I hadn’t simply republished Israeli government talking points. Furthermore, humanising Palestinians is always a problem for people and groups that loathe empathetic Arabs.
A major, Zionist lobby in Australia, AIJAC, condemned the piece:
Then on April 9, the Age ran a full-page feature from extreme anti-Israel writer Antony Loewenstein on Gaza that was all about the Palestinians as victims and their utter lack of culpability.
Falsely calling the blockade a “siege”, the piece quoted IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Gadi Eisenkot out of context making him sound like he admitted Israel uses disproportionate force when responding to Hamas terror. It also gave the benefit of the doubt to Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ new leader in Gaza who “reportedly opposes reconciliation with Israel” before quoting another expert who said Hamas doesn’t hate Jews, only Israel.
The nadir was reached when Loewenstein quoted a Gaza expert blaming a string of social problems, including domestic violence in Gaza, on Israeli occupation. The occupation ended in 2005!
And then in another, massive attempt at criticism (as usual with AIJAC, the Israeli government could have written all of its articles), the organisation spends a huge amount of time trying to challenge my reporting by comically quoting any number of Israeli-aligned journalists, commentators and think-tanks. By the way, thank you, AIJAC, for picking a photo of me taken in Afghanistan, another country that induces fear and hatred against Muslims amongst many in the pro-Israel rabble.
There are so many factual inaccuracies in these screeds, it’s hard to know where to begin. Suffice to say, since I’ve been writing about Israel/Palestine from 2003, and publishing books and investigations about the issue (with a lot more to come), Israel-aligned lobbyists have constantly attacked my work (a few examples here and here from over a decade ago and there are so many more). Throughout this time, public opinion has massively shifted on Israel and there’s far more public sympathy for Palestinians and against Israeli occupation than ever before. This must infuriate Israel propagandists who spend their days ranting about the supposed evils of Palestinians.
Keep it up, please, you’re hugely helping the Palestinians cause.