Newspaper column Goers beyond the pale

October 11, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council has expressed concern after columnist and ABC radio host Peter Goers published an inflammatory anti-Israel piece in Adelaide’s Sunday Mail on October 9.

Peter Goers Photo: Wikipedia

Peter Goers Photo: Wikipedia

Writing about his visit to Beersheva to visit Australian war sites, Goers said “Israel is one long persecution of Palestinians”, wrote of Palestinians being shot “by trigger-happy Israeli soldiers” in Jerusalem and that “I salute the forbearance of the Palestinians and commit myself afresh to their noble cause. Inshallah”.

He also called Beersheva a “a hot, dusty hellhole”, called his tour guide “boorish and inept” and called the battlefields there  “rubbish dumps”.
Goers has also been extremely critical of Israel in the past.

AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein said: “AIJAC is very concerned that ABC compere Peter Goers has publicly pledged to ‘commit myself afresh’ to the “noble’ Palestinian cause – a commitment that both in his latest article, and in his many previous forays into the subject, has led him not only to express general hatred and disgust for all Israelis, repeat untrue Palestinians claims about their victimisation, made slurs not only about Israelis but Jews more generally, and even express his understanding and apparent tacit support for Palestinian terrorism.

Dr Colin Rubenstein

Dr Colin Rubenstein

“It is clear that he has been using not only his Adelaide Daily Mail column, but also his taxpayer-funded ABC radio program to spread his extreme, inflammatory and ill-informed views on the subject.

“Surely it is time for ABC management to remind Goers that it is completely inappropriate for ABC comperes to publicly pledge their support, and campaign for, one side on any issue of public controversy – much less repeatedly allow their campaigning to degenerate into slurs against whole groups and expressions of sympathy for terrorism and violence.”

AIJAC Director of International & Community Affairs Jeremy Jones wrote of Goers after a similarly skewed piece in 2014, “By contributing to ignorance and rationalising hatred, Mr. Goers provided a reason for sadness beyond the plight of those who suffer while their political future is unresolved – sadness that he either is so ignorant that he believes what he wrote is somehow useful or that he is so hateful that he doesn’t care about the malevolent effect of his writing.”


8 Responses to “Newspaper column Goers beyond the pale”
  1. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    I have written to The Adelaide Advertiser and Peter Goers about his latest spiel on Israel and the Palestinians. I would urge others to do the same. Please see letter to Goers below, which he has acknowledged receiving:

    Dear Peter,

    Re: Israel & the Palestinians

    You will have likely forgotten me by now. During 2015 we were in contact off and on due to your writings on the above topic. I am now living in Brisbane, but your article in The Advertiser on October 8 re Be’er Sheva, from which you jumped to your favourite subject of the evil Israelis and the long-suffering goodies, the Palestinians, came to my notice. I have been meaning to write since, and in fact wrote a letter to the Editor of the The Advertiser complaining of the fact that you are using their pages on a regular basis to push your own personal political agenda.

    That particular article is a great disappointment to any reader, i. who has knowledge of Be’er Sheva, and the Palestinian/Israel conflict, and ii. who has any idea of good writing and what that constitutes. That you are doing a great disservice to readers without knowledge of either is a given. One would think if you were as passionate as you appear to be about the Palestinian cause, you would be less lazy and bother to research the subject properly. I have taken the liberty of forwarding to you an article that gives you something to go on with, written by Michael Kuttner and published by J-Wire, an edaily newspaper. Frankly, that October 8 article is a disgrace, and the fact that you embellish what you have to say with melodrama is disrespectful, both to the subject matter and, incidentally, to the Palestinian people themselves. I will not bother to attack your various statements made, which were without clarity or proper context, although due to the nature of the writing it would be easy to do so. You are allowing yourself to be used by a people with a false rhetoric, one which they now believe themselves, no doubt (this was not always the case, as history shows going back to the sixties, where there’s plenty of evidence for that), and I suspect enjoying the acclaim accorded you as you go along for the ride.
    Liat Kirby

  2. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    The correct spelling of Be’er Sheva in English transliteration has a ‘v’ near the end, not ‘b’, as per the Hebrew spelling, with Bet at the beginning and Vet at the end.

  3. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    I, too, have bothered to read the Koran and, even though I knew in general that Jews were castigated and attacked in it, I was shocked to see how clearly this was so, how vitriolic and aggressive the language. It’s the language of incitement. How can giving men permission to beat their wives be seen as giving women equality?! Also, overall, the Koran is lacking in multi-dimensional writing that gives one reason to think, to engage with what is written and explore it for deeper meaning, to work with it instead of reading passively (the Torah most definitely does this, and one could argue infinitely about some of the human behaviour elaborated and the outcomes, as well as what is behind the more suggestive language used, in order to come to more and more understanding; that is one of the beauties of it – read too literally though, we too can misuse more instructional text and must avoid that excess). The Koran lacks philosophical, or even deeply spiritual, content, and is more an instruction manual in glorification. It is no wonder that it is being used, or misused by some fundamentalist Islamic preachers and by terrorists to fuel their ‘holy’ acts. It lends itself to that. That many Muslims not of this ilk study and believe in it with sincerity and do no harm is a given. Societies are made up of all kinds. Many Christians believing in their New Testament were passive believers, while others kindled destructive fires with their interpretations.

    I think it highly unlikely that Peter Goers has read the Koran, and, if he has, he must see there what he wants to see. I agree with John Nash’s description of him, and would love to see him in a debate with someone who knows what she/he is talking about. What has cultivated his love for Islam is anybody’s guess. He is a dilettante of the highest order.

  4. john nemesh says:

    as from Andrew Bolt’s blog re Goers….

    ABC presenter Peter Goers believes that anyone with a criticism of multiculturalism – whether it’s the Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth, the British Prime Minister, the French President, the German Chancellor, a BBC Hindi presenter or a leading philosopher – is much like a Nazi. Yes, every one of them a proto-Himmler, because that saves Goers from having to actually engage with a single argument:.
    Clamouring critics of multiculturalism are motivated by ignorance, bigotry, racism, xenophobia, fear and hatred of Muslim Australians. They fear their beloved mythical Anglo-Saxon monocultural masterclass is threatened. The Nazis had similar values.
    I’m not sure how Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and the Indian BBC woman can be said to be motivated by a fear of “their beloved mythical Anglo-Saxon monocultural masterclass (being) threatened”. Or I, for that matter, with my Dutch heritage and love of things Italian, as well as of my country Australia. But why reason when you can abuse? Much easier and self-flattering. But don’t make the mistake of thinking Goers is the enemy of religious bigotry that he initially suggests. He’s quite against one faith and wishes it gone from this nation:
    Ironically, we may be better off as a Muslim nation. Christianity has never been less popular and Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. It’s a religion of peace, love, family values and respect, and the only faith to give women equality in its holy book.
    How cute. So clearly from a Leftist whose concern is more with the seeming than the reality. Islam he praises as “the only faith to give women equality in its holy book”, knowing that even he couldn’t with a straight face claim that it’s a faith that has in practice delivered the equality he claims to discern in the Koran. In fact, I’m tempted to believe that not only is Goers abusive, lazy, silly and bigoted, he may even be rather dishonest intellectually. In my opinion.

    In MY opinion, as per John Nemesh, Goers is outright Anti-Semitic, Jew hating,
    bigoted, and thus in love with a fantasy of Islam which does not exist.

    He claims the Quran full of love and peace.

    I have read the Quran. I would bet Goers has not, because as usual for religious and racist bigots, he has no idea of what he is talking or writing about when he attempts to blacken the reputation of Israel and Jews.

    I suggest he consult with a psychotherapist.

  5. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    I lived in Adelaide for a couple of years until December last year, and on a number of occasions have castigated Peter Goers for his melodramatic, extreme statements, both in letters to the editor of Sunday Adelaide Advertiser and to Goers himself. Each time, I provided factual information that showed how skewed his views were. The Advertiser has published various other letters I’ve sent, but never anything I write on Israel. I have, however, received replies from Goers, most very short, and one longer, in June 2015, which actually discussed Israel/Palestine in a more equable way, without though changing his view.

    There was a truly horrendous article he published in the Sunday Advertiser on May 18, 2014 that first drew my attention to his uninformed and bigoted stance. Its head caption was ‘WHY I WEEP: the 720km wall, a symbol of apartheid’, and three pictures accompanied the article: i. a so-called separation barrier in the form of a high ladder to be climbed by Palestinians to attend prayers in Al-Aqsa Mosque, ii. a painting of a dove of peace wearing a flak jacket on the wall [ho hum … here we go!], and iii. Israeli soldiers purportedly arresting a protester at the barrier.

    Goers started the article: ‘In Palestine, Jesus wept, and so did I. I weep for the Palestinians living under the (sic) Israeli apartheid. Last week on a visit with the Australian Friends of Palestine and Senator Nick Xenophon [mmmm, Nick Xenophon, no less] I wept for little children in Hebron unable to cross a deserted road to go to school. …//I weep for a woman who is a prisoner in her own home, unable to use her front door or her street. She’s stoned by American Israeli settlers and she’s had to build a cage around her little balcony. // She and our party – and a Palestinian friend – were abused by a very tense, pistol-packing American settler. // Minutes before our party was harassed violently by an Israeli soldier because the Palestinian with us cannot use the same street as the Israelis. Elsewhere, they must walk behind yellow lines on the side of the road. In the garbage.’ It goes on, using the phrase, ‘I weep’ as a refrain before each new travesty he considers he was accosted with. You get the gist.

    It’s a poor reflection on the Sunday Adelaide Advertiser to publish such an obviously contrived, melodramatic piece of schmaltz … yes, schmaltz because it’s sentimentalising the subject matter in a grandiose manner, creating a theatre of good and evil; it’s completely bereft of background facts and context. It’s an extremely poor piece of writing that makes its motivation perfectly obvious, although unfortunately those who want to run with it will.

    The paper didn’t publish my response to it, so I forwarded my comments directly to Goers himself, which commenced with:
    ‘Peter Goers weeps for those who must live behind the wall in what he calls Palestine. He weeps for much else besides, declaring the situation ‘apartheid’. He paints a picture of Israelis as demonic, violent occupiers. The history of this land is long and complex and he would do well to consider it more comprehensively, for in choosing to leave out of his article so much that offers fuller perspective, he creates imbalance and distortion. …’ et al.
    That the newspaper didn’t see fit to publish my response to such an extreme article, and allow a different perspective, is interesting to say the least. It certainly will not have been due to the fact that my letter was not well written. In comparison with Peter G’s turgid prose it was an exercise in reason and elegance.

    Seeing this latest effort on October 9, I shall have another go.

    It’s a big problem, all these politicians and journalists going to Israel and the Palestinian territories WITH AN AGENDA, rather than to learn.

  6. adri8an jackson says:

    Online the date of the article is 08 Oct 16. Put in a link to it too.

    In Australian & New Zealand we call this place Beersheba with a “b” not a “v” as per our military history books etc.

  7. adrian jackson says:

    I just read the article online and it was published on 08 Oct 16 not 09 Oct 16

  8. adrian jackson says:

    In Australia and New Zealand were spell this town Beersheba with a “b”. The same as we say Japan not Nippon.

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