Real priorities assessed

As ever, The Australian Jewish News (AJN) tackles the big issues and chastises those who dare not to:

Jews like to call themselves the People of the Book, but lately, there are more than a few Australian Jews discomfited by the actions of one of their own particularly bookish people – Louise Adler.In the space of 12 months, Melbourne University Press, of which Adler is the chief executive, published two stridently anti-Israel books, Jacqueline Rose’s The Question of Zion and Antony Loewenstein’s particularly notorious My Israel Question.

Both books have more holes than a block of Swiss cheese and it’s not just Jewish critics that have been lining up to slam these titles – even mainstream, non-aligned commentators have exposed the flawed logic and basic errors in both these publications.

As any decent publisher should, Adler has gone to bat for her authors and she has been particularly strident in her support for Loewenstein, predictably (and odiously) dismissing his critics as stooges of the Zionist establishment. But if she has already alienated mainstream Jews with her previous two titles, what would happen if she gets her way and publishes the story of David Hicks, whom she is starting to portray as Australia’s Nelson Mandela?

Hicks has been found guilty of providing material support for terrorism. Yes, he was the victim of a major and unacceptable miscarriage of justice, being imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for close to five years without any formal charges being laid.

But, as has been pointed out in these pages before, he is clearly no friend of the Jews, allegedly telling fellow recruits at his al-Qaeda training camp of his desire to “go back to Australia and rob and kill Jews”.

Adler has forged a fine reputation as one of Australia’s leading book publishers and as a champion of the arts. But she has also made some questionable judgment calls as to who she publishes. Rose, Loewenstein and Hicks might make a fashionable triumvirate for her fellow left warriors, but her fellow Australian Jews would hardly feel the same way.

The “controversy” created by Adler is a storm in a tea-cup,… designed by those loitering in the “war on terror” waiting room. Hicks, the “convicted terrorist”, may well be an anti-Semite, and he’s probably no hero, but why not publish his thoughts? Many will want to read how an average Australian man ended up in Afghanistan and beyond. For the Jewish community, publishers should clearly only publish books with a “sense of morality”. In other words, nothing… that trashes Israel, Jews, America, the West, the IDF, Howard, Bush, Blair…The list would be scintillating, of course. Just imagine the thought. Courageous tales of Mossad agents killing evil Arabs in Hebron. Or IDF soldiers murdering dozens of unarmed Palestinians in Nablus. Yes, Adler needs to really reassess her priorities.

And, finally, I wasn’t aware that my book was “particularly notorious.” Maybe for the handful of loudmouth Zionist bullies who hate the fact that they can’t shut us up,… and continue to publish “non-stories” week after week about some faux controversy or another. But keep it coming, ladies and gents. It’s all wonderful for sales (and most importantly, shows how out of touch mainstream Zionism has become.) Our aim is simple: to expand the public… debate and reveal the real Israel to Australia and beyond. And that’s what we’ve been doing now for years.