‘The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has written to ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie asking her to explain the ABC’s glaring lack of coverage of the biggest rocket and mortar attacks launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Israel since the 2014 war.
I just hope the ABC understands that AIJAC is nothing more than lawyer, Mark Leibler’s hobby horse – a private lobby group. It is *not* a representative organisation speaking on behalf of ordinary Jews.
I would therefore like to encourage the ABC to tell Rubenstein next time he decides to lecture them on news value, to bugger off. And if he doesn’t like it, to go cry on Leibler’s shoulder.
In the past, I felt conflicted sinking the boot into AIJAC. They’ve employed some decent people over the years, and showed actual leadership in being prepared to criticise the far right when all the representative Jewish organisations were cowering in a corner.
But then, earlier this year, AIJAC brought hate monger and fifth rate ‘scholar,’ Daniel Pipes to Australia.
Helpful hint: if your Middle East ‘expert’ embarrasses himself by his ignorance of Arabic, your ‘expert’ might be lacking in other crucial areas as well. Here’s another helpful hint: if your ‘expert’ is fundraising for neo-Nazis, he may not be all that bright.
It was AIJAC’s Pipes invitation that led to a series of unfortunate events resulting in the destruction of decades of interfaith work between the Islamic Council of Victoria and the Jewish Community Council of Victoria.
And as conflicted as I feel about AIJAC, double that ambivalence when it comes to its head honcho, Mark Leibler.
On the one hand, he is *tight* with the Liberal party.
*Anyone* who is tight with the Liberals is giving an imprimatur to policies that torture children.
But on the other hand, Leibler has done extraordinary work helping Indigenous Australians fight for justice, and is one of the community’s most generous donors.
It’s the community’s worst kept secret that if you want to set up a not-for-profit, you raid your network for a contact at Arnold Bloch Leibler (Mark’s very very big law firm) to help you set it up.
I’ll also disclose that I’ve used ABL myself.
Yeah, Mark runs a pro-Israel lobby group at a time when Israel’s democracy is being crushed by a combination of kleptocracy and theocracy. Whether you’re upset by the erosion of Israel’s civil society, its comfort with corruption, it’s ever expanding theocracy, or its treatment of Palestinians – there really is something to terrify everyone.
And yet, AIJAC stood firm against an astonishingly undemocratic land expropriation bill and has not seen the need to genuflect before Donald Trump.
This essential decency stands in stark contrast with Zionist Federation of Australia President, Danny Lamm, who never saw a Trump move that didn’t inspire fantasies of Lamm’s own run at (communal) dictator.
As an autiste, I despise nuance. I like everything explicit and clear cut. So it pisses me off no end that I can’t cast Leibler or AIJAC as evil bogeymen; nor can I laud them as messianic communal leaders.
All I can do is tell my dear friends at the ABC, don’t pay much heed to Colin. He’s just grumpy because the country he’s paid to defend is behaving very, very badly right now.