In support of Fisk

My following letter appears in this week’s Australian Jewish News:

As an organiser of Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk’s visit to Macquarie University on March 10, it is highly unfortunate that the editorial (AJN 17/3) grossly misrepresented his speech.

It was claimed that he “stopped just millimetres short of suggesting that Israel was the cause of the 9/11 attacks” and was applauded by the audience for saying so.

In fact, he said the complete opposite on many occasions and stressed that Israel had no involvement in the crimes against humanity on September 11.

Furthermore, the suggestion that Fisk was “unchallenged” implies that his appearance would only have been appropriate with a counter pro-Zionist speaker. Next time a pro-Israeli speaker appears in Australia, I look forward to the paper advocating a pro-Palestinian perspective to ensure balance.

Finally, the history simulation courses offered by Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies, of which I am a board member, may have been dropped by the NSW Education Department after pressure by Jewish groups, but all the participating schools have offered nothing but support for the programs and are at loss to explain why they have disappeared.

Antony Loewenstein
Sydney, NSW

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