Rubenstein and Danby join the Fairfax Fray
Dr Colin Rubenstein, the executive director of AIJAC and Federal Labor MP Michael Danby have voiced their views on the Fairfax criticism of the IDF’s treatment of Palestinian children…
Michael Danby told J-Wire: “I felt The Age coverage was worse than the Sydney Morning Heralds as their headline was more biased and the graphics used were larger and more emotive.”
Speaking at the opening in Melbourne of the Israeli Film Festival, Danby said: “I was not surprised to see the Fairfax share price plummeting. On days when hundreds of civilians were being killed in Syria, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald were rehashing unverified rehashed propaganda against Israel.” He appealed to Greg Haywood, the chairman of Fairfax to explain why his chain gave such prominence to this story.
From Dr Colin Rubenstein:
In response to Australian coverage of the Breaking the Silence report “Children and Youth – Soldier’s Testimony, 2005 – 2011″, AIJAC’s Dr. Colin Rubenstein stated the following :
It was profoundly disappointing to see Australia’s leading broadsheets – the Australian, Sydney Morning Herald and Age - so uncritically repeating the latest rehashed propaganda from the controversial left-wing Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence.
There is little new information in the report. It is essentially a repackaging of some 30 existing so-called “testimonies” of former soldiers from the organisation’s files in a politicised attempt to portray the IDF as systematic abusers of Palestinian children, and gain headlines.
Moreover, of the 30 testimonies cited in the report, about half identify no actual wrong-doing – only that some soldiers were uncomfortable with certain perfectly legal tactical decisions such as conducting late-night arrest raids on homes.
Even in the unlikely event that the 15 or so incidents of alleged wrong-doing, occurring over six years, in this report were fully confirmed, this would not alter the fact the IDF remains probably the most moral army in the world. This is not merely sloganeering but a reality based upon the rigorous standards it imposes upon itself and the self-policing mechanisms in place.
On the other hand, Breaking the Silence has received much criticism over the years for failing to cooperate with the IDF to investigate alleged wrongdoings and for withholding the names of those making the allegations, as well as the details needed for the claims to be investigated. The group’s failure to take its claims to the justice system – where they could be properly probed – suggests that the organisation exists primarily to malign the reputation of the IDF on human rights, rather than improve its performance.
The group has also attracted controversy over its funding, which is sourced primarily from European interests.
Most of the world’s media wisely steered clear of Breaking the Silence’s attempt in this report to retread its threadbare and unsubstantiated allegations to get more headlines out of its increasingly dated “testimonies”. It is regrettable that Australia’s broadsheets were not among them.