The Melbourne Age newspaper has stunned and appalled the Jewish community today by confecting a scandal about the fact that the Prime Ministerâ€™s partner works for a Jewish businessman Albert Dadon.
It inaccurately describes Albert as an â€œIsrael lobbyistâ€ which suggests he is paid to promote Israel. Thatâ€™s simply not correct and conveys a false impression.
Dadon is an investor, in property and many other things and was the Chair of Melbourneâ€™s international Jazz Festival and created the Australia Israel Leadership Forum, which we assume he modelled on the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue formed by Phil Scanlon.
We have never read Scanlon described as a â€œpro-American lobbyist.â€
(The Age) suggests that because Julia Gillardâ€™s partner works for a Jewish businessman that she is therefore incapable of making up her own mind about foreign policy matters relating to Israel.This is about as low and disturbing as it gets.
Indeed, we understand that the editor of the Age, Paul Ramadge, has previously put much effort into duchessing Mr Dadon in an attempt to rescue that newspaperâ€™s reputation in Melbourneâ€™s Jewish community which increasingly regards it as an apologist for misogynist and racist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah that are sworn to Israelâ€™s destruction.
Sources tell VEXNEWS that Dadon went to some effort to encourage The Age to open its eyes to both sides of the story in the Middle East and that a member of The Ageâ€™s staff was invited to attend Australia Israel Leadership Forum events, including one in Israel.
Ramadge endorsed this and went to some trouble to undo the damage done by his predecessor Andrew Jaspan whose attacks on Israel seemed to know no decent bounds.
That reputation will be confirmed by todayâ€™s breathtakingly anti-semitic attack that deems all Jews to beÂ â€œpro-Israel lobbyistsâ€.
Naturally the Age put it on the front-page and beat it up within an inch of its life.
We have previously written of the fact that Australiaâ€™s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has a real problem with anti-Israel bias. Ross Burns, a career diplomat who was given many sweet plum Ambassador appointments, is a perfect embodiment of this.
Burns has now retired into the comfort of superannuation and is completing a PhD at Macquarie University on archaeology in Syria. He very frequently visits Syria. He has a keen interest in its antiquities and ancient ruins.
He has a long history of blowing anti-semitic dog-whistles against Israel, with a steady stream of cranky letters to the editor, speeches, appearances on an appreciative ABC and so on.
His latest suggests that because Julia Gillardâ€™s partner works for a Jewish businessman that she is therefore incapable of making up her own mind about foreign policy matters relating to Israel.
This is about as low as it gets. Where will this obscenity end? Will The Ageâ€™s Jewish employees soon be subjected to tests to ensure they are not â€œpro-Israel lobbyists.â€
As for Burns, he is an old crank, who is just running out his private hatreds of Israel in public view, for his private benefit. No doubt heâ€™s prominent on the wily Syrian Ambassadorâ€™s invitation list to sip on Johnny Blue in the wee hours. Heâ€™s an angry old man who is entitled to peddle his nasty views.
But The Age has a greater responsibility than that.
And when journalists wonder why we will celebrate the imminent demise of this newspaper, this is why. Many journalists worry about what most regard as the Ageâ€™s inevitable end.
Two newspapers in a city are better than one, as a general proposition. Certainly better for journalists at both publications. Competition is a force for good, for consumers too.
But The Ageâ€™s sickening effort today reveals it not to be a force for good in any respect.
The newspaperâ€™s revenues are in freefall, its employees facing further redundancies, its circulation numbers rigged, the shares of parent company the most shorted in the entire stock market.
Its end is nigh. And weâ€™ll be dancing in the streets when that day finally comes.
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The Australian reports the scathing reaction of the Jewish community to The Age’s despicable attack.
Julia Gillard isn’t going to ban her partner working for a man because he’s Jewish and supports Israel, as much as The Age wants her to.