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Opinion Piece Re Australia In Haaretz

Opinion Piece Re Australia In Haaretz

Middle East News Service

Professor Fania Oz-Salzberger writing from Melbourne in the Hebrew Haaretz on the Australia Syndrome referring to Raphael Israeli who, as she put it, threw a stone into the Australian well.

I do not have the time to translate this item in full but the following free translation provides the gist of it.

Having backgrounded and quoted Prof Israeli's original comments she says:

“In a follow-up article Israeli notes that he did not anticipate the extent of the responses. He echoes Naphtali Tamir who didn’t expect either the impact his comments to Haaretz in praise of the Israeli-Australian ‘white race’ brotherhood (as opposed to slanted-eyes Asia). His comments rattled the public discourse in the country to which he was posted. The startled response of both the diplomat and professor is typical of those Israelis who expect the innocent bush bumpkins to drink from their fountain of wisdom.”

Prof Oz-Salzberger points out that Israeli managed to entangle himself in a myriad of sensitivities both local and global. Some of his audience may have been receptive.

“But the Jerusalemite researcher offered nothing to his audience. other than generalised oversimplification, an emotional shattering of political correctness and the provision of an academic cloak for populist Islamophobia…”

“Both the conservative and liberal wings of the Jewish community are generally speaking prone to enthusiastic Zionism (and also Australian Patriotism.) Both wings appeared to be uncomfortable. The speaker’s origin, his surname and the platform he chose to make his comments [The Australian Jewish News], aroused the ghosts of insecurity…”

Oz-Salzberger concludes:

“One of the more interesting responses was written by Waleed Aly, Chairperson of the Islamic Council of Victoria. He called on everyone to calm down. He calmly asserted that Israeli does not understand Australia. He argued that the exclusion of Muslims will not assist their integration in modern Western society. Herein lies the most positive lesson for the West’s Muslims: Rise up and expressed your moderate and balanced views. Only you can pull the stone out of the well.”

- Sol Salbe

Hebrew Original Of Haaretz Story


[The independent Middle East News Service concentrates on providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli sources. It is sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the AJDS. These are expressed in its own statements]

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