Rubenstein and Danby join the Fairfax Fray

August 29, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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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

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:

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.



11 Responses to “Rubenstein and Danby join the Fairfax Fray”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    You get luminaries like this bloke, or whatever it may be, Wilfred, rocking into a Jewish site and vomiting stuf like the Jews ” muzzling” the media. If only, you inbred aka Ben and Co. !
    Australian media or any other is completely free of ny interference. SMH/Age have been enjoyig provoking Jewish reaction with impunity, giving solace, comfort and support to all the Bens, Wilfreds and all those one name creatures.
    And while at it, yes, Wifred aka Ben, Clive etc. you are so right. Israel and its IDF are a criminal lot, unlike the peace-loving palestinians who would die to become martyrs of love, compassion, humanity, two-state solutions, all with humous and taboulli on side. Families of peaceful palestinians adorn their walls with portraits of loved ones who managed to murder as many Jews as possible so that no less than 28 virgins introduce them “afterwards” to the delights of kamasutra. What an ideal !!! And you, Wilfred seem to join in the same intellectual carnival of carnivorous feasts pretending to introduce “reason” into your rodent existence.

  2. michael says:

    Thank You Danny and Coiin for standing up for the majority of Jews in Australia that support Israel.

    The Palestinians are very lucky to have the left-wing Progressive Jews here in Australia as their cheer leaders.
    Never mind Israel may not be winning the PR war the main thing is Israelies are leading the Western world in most fields whilst the Palestinians and most of their brother and sisters still live in the dark ages.

  3. Rami says:

    Wilfrid, I am an Israeli who served for 20 years in the IDF and the IDF reserves. Breaking the Silence is an organization, supported by all sorts of European organizations to spread lies about the IDF. They have been caught out many times. The most well known was their nonsense accusations which they made in July 2010 which unravelled in a few day, much to the embarresment of the Haaretz paper which printed the allegations of soldiers’misconduct.. They do not bring their accusations to the Israeli authorities, neither do they give names, places or specific dates of the incidents they claim to have happened. rather, they go to countries outside Israel to spread their bile.

    • Shingo says:

      “The most well known was their nonsense accusations which they made in July 2010 which unravelled in a few day, much to the embarresment of the Haaretz paper which printed the allegations of soldiers’misconduct..”

      What specific allegations are you referring to and how were they unravelled?

  4. Benseon Apple says:


    I am an Israeli citizen, formerly of Sydney.

    I concur 100% with Messrs Lamm, Danby and Rubenstein on this issue. BtS is an avowedly left-wing organisation that seeks to undermine the Jewish and democratic character of Israel in its attempts to legitimise all aspects of the Palestinian narrative. In this regard it takes highly selective interviews with unnamed people who are allegedly former soldiers in the IDF. The tales they tell are highly unlikely but, even if true, do not represent the norm for the IDF as a whole (as so cogently pointed out by Rubenstein).

    Lamm, Danby and Rubenstein may well be armchair Zionists, but the vast majority of us Israelis (many of whom are expat Aussies to boot!) share their views and thank them for speaking out on this important issue.

    • Shingo says:

      May I ask how being a l left-wing organisation is supoed tobe a valid criticism, especially seeing as anyone to the left of Avigdor Liberman is considered left wing these days?

  5. Ben says:

    Interesting, almost a verbatims rehash of Lam’s staements. So Israel can hide behind the bloodshed in Syria ? And The independent in Uk carried a even more detailed report with names, places and dates. Don’t see Rubenstien and Danby objecting to PR fluff being published about Israel. So what is their objection to factual reprots ?

    • Rami says:

      Very nice Ben. Can the ‘Independent ‘verify those reports? Has it passed its proof to the Israeli authorities? Danby and Rubenstein are are objecting to the ;BTS’s non-factual reports. Stop hiding behind the ‘Independent’and make your vase about this issue and this dishonest organization.. Haven’t seen you objecting to the horrors happening in Syria either. Maybe because Jews are not involved.

  6. Wilfred says:

    It’s shameful that armchair zionists like Lamm, Danby and Rubenstein would attempt to muzzle the Australian press and trample the reputations if IDF veterans. Let real Israelis comment on the matters canvassed by Breaking the Silence. The ‘propaganda’ that Lamm accuses BtS of could equally be applied to their critics.

    • Raoul says:

      @ Wilfred – If Messr Lamm, Danby and Rubenstein were armchair Zionists; applying similar ‘logic’ what would that make your own good self? An armchair Hamas activist perhaps?

      If you can not refute the actual arguments with factual statements, why not bite your tongue next time? IMHO these cheap pot shots from the left, always trying to hit the man instead of the ball, are so a-penny-a-dozen.

      • Shingo says:

        @ Raoul – If you can not refute the actual arguments with factual statements, why not bite your tongue next time?

        What facts have Lamm, Danby and Rubenstein presented?

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