Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Crushing Dissent

Antony Loewenstein is receiving heat from the Australian zionist community for his upcoming book on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

From The Age:

MEDDLER for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby championed the cause of asylum seekers in June when he declared: "They have the right of free speech." But a few months on, the Jewish Labor MP is selective about civil liberties, given he wants to muzzle Antony Loewenstein, the author of a book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It could be the spiritual insight Danby attained while hobnobbing with the Dalai Lama that has empowered him to urge the boycotting of a book he hasn't read and which isn't yet published — it is due out in May. The saga has drained the ink reserves of the Australian Jewish News, with Danby attacking former Mount Scopus schoolmate Louise Adler, chief of Melbourne University Press: "If, God forbid, it is published, don't give them a dollar."

It is remarkable, really. All discussion of Israel that is not favorable must be banned, harassed, boycotted or otherwise threatened out of existence. For example, the original blogger for this website suddenly found the need to delete the entire thing away, without any explanation. He has not been heard from since.

One can only imagine what type of pressure was brought to bare on him.

I have read Antony's blog and find nothing whatsoever to be controversial. Anyway, it is a good time to go to his blog and find out what is going on.

Antony Loewnstein


Counterpunch has published a summary of the situation from Antony: When the Truth Came to Town.

The intentions of my book are ambitious. I believe that the Israel/Palestine conflict is the defining foreign affairs issue of our time and yet remains woefully misunderstood. Danby and numerous pro-Israel supporters are clearly confronted by me posing questions about Australia's pro-Israel media, the Howard government's relationship with Israel and America, the role of the pro-Israel lobby, America's relationship with the Jewish state, my experiences in the Middle East, including through the Palestinian occupied territories and Jewish and Arab voices of dissent. I am a Jew who doesn't believe in the concept of a Jewish state, but then, I also don't believe in the idea of an Islamic or Christian entity either. [Consistency, what a concept!] There is surely room for a non-Zionist Jew to write about the true cost of Zionism both on Israel and the Diaspora.

Apparently some people think there isn't room for such a discussion.


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