Prisoner “X” and the effect on Jewish Australians

March 8, 2013 by Michael Danby
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I wanted to raise some strong responses to the charges of ‘Dual Loyalty’ made against the Australian Jewish community. For perhaps the most ugly outcome of the tragedy of Prisoner X – Ben Zygier affair is the exploitation of this issue by the usual suspects to denigrate Israel and the Australian Jewish community…writes Michael Danby.

Michael Danby

Michael Danby

Given the official ethos of multiculturalism, no other Australian minority would have been so savagely disrespected by various academic and media commentators, including angry Arab spokesman Joseph Wakim, Professor Ben Saul of The Age,  the International Affairs Editor of the Financial Review Tony Walker (AFR 23/2/2013) (Yasser Arafat’s Biographer).

However, the most vile of all the divided loyalty allegations was broadcasted by ABC presenter Elizabeth Jackson on her AM program on Saturday February 16th with her guest Anthony Lowenstein (from the telephone box group AIJV). Like Eva Cox, the feminist who (though unaffiliated with any Australian Jewish organisation), used last Monday’s QandA (see below) to gratuitously attack Israel. The ABC seems to specialise in selecting Uncle Tom’s like Cox and Lowenstein who without any community affiliation use their ‘Jewish’ background as a platform to enhance their credibility to attack the values of the vast bulk of the Australian Jewish Community. I will be writing to all members of the ABC board about this ABC habit of using apologists to discuss issues related to the Australian Jewish community.

Some redress to this bias appeared in the Director of the Sydney Institute, Dr Gerard Henderson’s recent weekly “Media Watch Dog” which examines the prejudice of Wakim, Walker, Saul and Lowenstein and their claims of “Dual Loyalty” – Click hereOn SKY news’s“The Contrarians” I commented on this tragic story of Mr Zygier. Why the real threat to Australia, of Sydney based Shia and Sunni extremists slipping in and out of Syria and back to Australia was not getting more reportage was one of the issue of context raised. Whereas, as I argued on Skynews, non issues of Australian sovereignty, which critics like Walker argue seem to be ‘emerging’ from the Prisoner X case, are instead receiving excessive coverage.

Danby Added: “When Tony Walker, who should know better, raised this issue, he should have rememberd Sir John Monash who lead the five divisions which turned the tide of the First World War. Perhaps Walker could make these allegations against Sir John Monash who was the first president of the Zionist Federation of Australia. The allegations must be extremely hurtful for the parents of Greg Sher who gave his life serving in the Australian army in Afghanistan…and the million Australians who currently live overseas.”


George Dreyfus – Free Concert
PS: Composer George Dreyfus will be giving a free orchestral performance at the St Kilda Town Hall on Sunday March 10th at 3pm. The concert titled “Dreyfus, Dreyfus, Dreyfus” combines ‘the songs of the day’ with Dreyfus’s own most-loved pieces. The show is devoted to Dreyfus’s namesake Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jew who was persecuted in the late 18th Century. Please email George if you wish to attend [email protected]

QandA Monaday 25th February

EVA COX: Well, I don’t think they are held to a double standard because I think that this particular issue hasn’t arisen up in this particular way. There’s another Australian connection I think we need to remember, which is the Mordechai Vanunu affair many years ago, where he lived in Australia and then was kidnapped by Mossad and disappeared into the system. He was not an Australian citizen. I think what this sets up…

TONY JONES: And he wasn’t kidnapped from Australia either.

EVA COX: No, he was overseas by that stage, which is another issue. But, I mean, I think what it raises for me is the much bigger issue, and it goes to the point you’re making, which is that Israel is losing a lot of its legitimacy by involving itself I know it’s under threat, I’m a, you know, a Holocaust survivor in that sort of sense. I know all of those things but I do think that if Israel intends to survive its ability to be open and not to lock people up in jails, not to hide people, not to hide what they’re doing, really raises serious questions about Israeli democracy and about the openness of the Israeli government. I mean, one of the things they keep running is saying, “But we’re the only democracy in the Middle East.” But, I mean, when they behave like this, put people in jail, you can’t find out what they’re in jail for, regardless of whether they’re an Australian citizen or not, and there’s no information sort of flowing onto the outside it raises, for me, some serious questions about the legitimacy of the claims to be a democracy that Israel puts up.


7 Responses to “Prisoner “X” and the effect on Jewish Australians”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Dear Otto,
    I almost fully agree with your comments on Eva Cox, except for your throwaway referral at the end to ‘the badly misbehaved hormonal disorder type’. This is a tired old stereotype that I thought most men had almost stopped using now when discussing women’s logic or capacity to engage in things warranting discussion, besides Eva is way past the age for the kinds of hormonal disturbances you might be referring to. So, it’s inappropriate as comment on both counts.

    I think often men and women get caught up with their own image of themselves, whether as ‘public intellectual’, radical activist, or whatever … they like what they see through the eyes of others, and instead of developing more deeply and extensively as the person they are and could become, they play to that image. Germaine Greer is a good example of this, perhaps so too is

    All Australians are not ‘piss-pots’ either, as much as so many make it their raison d-etre.

  2. Liat Nagar says:

    Good on you, Michael Danby. You should be judged for what you do say on this issue, rather than for negative perceptions of other opinions you might have had in the recent past, viz. Geert Wilders.

    I personally support much of what Wilders has to say, however as I’ve posted elsewhere on this site, I’m not comfortable with embracing the Judaeo-Christian clique as espoused by him, with its implication of similar values and superiority, nor do I think it constructive, in what is after all seemingly an attempt to fight the Islamisation of the world, to focus so much on the traits or otherwise of Islam’s Prophet by way of name calling. I believe it completely defeats the purpose of alerting people to the very real dangers of Sharia law/culture creeping into the fabric of societies elsewhere, by deflecting the issue. As Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) said, “Freedom is always the freedom of the one who thinks differently.”

    As for the Attorney General, his position is not one of leader of the Jewish community of Australia – goodness me, such hatred and invective going on here.

  3. Michael says:

    I wonder if the Canadian media went balystic like Fairfax when the Americans illegally used Canadian passports to get their hostages out of Iran .
    We live on a globalization now The Hezbollah guy just caught in cypress part of a gang of peace living Muslims killing Israeli tourists had a Swedish passport , bet the Swedish press don’t go buzurk either .
    It’s called the Jew factor if a Jew is involved all the conspiracy theorists and anti Semites come out to play .

  4. ben eleijah says:

    Best way to defeat the “self haters” and “Jew haters” is to expose them. Challenge them to an open debate on Israel and Zionism.

  5. Paul Winter says:

    You are spot on Rita. Our leadership are a pack of trembling Israelites, licking the feet of pretend protectors.

    My letter defending Wilders (and pointing out creeping islamisation) was not printed in last weeks’ AJN and quite likely will not be published, because it goes against the community posture of liberalism, tolerance and turning a blind eye to anti-Australian acts by our enemies.

    But one of the biggest problems is that our “leadeship” refuses to identify, denounce and ostracise internal enemies and our rabbis are no more courageous by placing a herem on those.

    And for all the huffing and puffing, no-one dares to take up the point I made at last month’s NSWJBD plenum: there is a big fuss about Zygier, but the matter of a Lebanese/Australian murdering Jews in Bulgaria is dismissed by that great friend of Israel, our FM, with a slight tut-tut. And Danby seems to forget that little was said by any nation when British SAS troopers were caught in Libya before Ghaddafi’s overthrow. Only Israel is condemned for ungentlemanly behaviour by a shameless world.

  6. Otto Waldmann says:

    There has always been something about Eva Cox that NEVER attracted a wide appeal/audience/approval. I thought for a while that it was the atypical manner in which she approached almost all maters. Atypical Australian I thought for a while, but now, reading the Q&A transcript, I realised that she either has lost the grip on reason and reflection on the real stuff, delving in falsehoods, such as the Vanunu rference, or constantly derailing from what people would like to enjoy as rationale, simple logic.
    She has always been all over the place with rare moments of lucidity.Either she cannot control herself when in the public gaze and feels the need to spill out all of her bottled anxieties in one vomit or simply cannot sepparate sober accounting from the ecstasy of the badly misbehaved hormonal disorder type.
    As said on so many ignored times, the fault is NOT ABC for inviting “colourfull” pannelists but our Jewish communal leadership for not getting up there on the Q&A podium. And they refuse to front up as a………. well deviced tactic, would you believe !!!
    Australians with only one, if even that, passport in their wallets, dislike all wags of all colours and denominations. They will not consider a dual Jew as better or worse than a muslim, Chinese or Martian. They are all “bloody wags” and that’s it. They do NOT care if Aussie passports are used to knock off another bloody wag in bloody Arabia or Romania ( G-d forbd ). All they care abt is their cold beer and whatever intlelectuoal values derive from it………………..Same goes for the Australian POLITICIANS, just better dressed and better paid piss-pots.
    Michael Danby: wonderful musings, but why couldn’t you wait another fortnight or two before gracing us with your valuable insights and where is your mate ( and ours ) Attorney General whose portofolio covers pretty well this matter, why don’t you mention him also as a blok who could have contributed smthng to this important Jewish issue. Or isn’t he no more involved with “his” community, speaking of duality of affections !!!!!!!????

  7. Rita says:

    And yet, you – like the majority of the Jewish community in Australia (or at least those who assert to speak on their behalf) sided with those contemptible Jew-haters when it came to vilify and “distance yourselves” from one of the very few political defenders of Israel and the Jews, Geert Wilders. This blatant slap in the face of a very courageous man who dares to defend very unfashionable causes, instead of winning brown-shirt points, lost the Jewish communities more sympathies among your defenders than you might realise.

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