Columnist banned for approaching the truth: Is the truth anti-semitic?

February 7, 2009

Michael Backman, an Australian writer now living in London, was effectively booted from the pages of The Age, a Melbourne paper, for supposedly penning an “anti-semitic” column.

Below is the column in question. Is the truth anti-semitic?

Israel living high on the back of the USA
Michael Backman
The Age,

JAN 17 — There’s a memorable scene in the Stephen Spielberg film “Munich”. After the 1972 Munich Olympic Games killings of Israeli athletes, Prime Minister Golda Meir tells confidants she wants to show the plotters that killing Jews “is expensive”. She then organises for the assassination of each of the plotters.

Today, it is Israel itself that has become expensive. Most directly, it is very expensive to the US, which subsidises and arms it.

But Israel’s utter inability to transform the Palestinians from enemies into friends has imposed big costs on us all. We have paid for Israel’s failure with bombs on London public transport, bombs in bars in Bali, and even the loss of the World Trade Centre towers in New York.

It is not true that these outrages have occurred because certain Islamic fundamentalists don’t like Western lifestyles and so plant bombs in response. Rather, it is Israel — or more correctly the treatment of the Palestinians — that is at the nub of these events.

The world’s Muslims have no head: no overarching caliph or pope equivalent exists — no single power source with whom to negotiate. Instead, Islam is remarkably decentralised. So, how extraordinary that Israel and the West have managed to unite this headless, diverse, dispersed grouping without any institutional framework, around just one issue — anger at the treatment of the Palestinians.

Otherwise dispersed groups of Muslims do seem to feel for one another in a way that Christians and others do not. In this respect, the international Islamic community is like a body: kick it in the leg and the rest of the body feels it. Kick it hard enough and the entire body will be energised to defend itself. Pictures of distraught Gazan mothers beside the mutilated bodies of their children are circulating right now among Muslim communities worldwide. It is pictures like these that make them want to do something.

Consider Malaysia. Every citizen of this outpost of Islam has printed in his or her passport that the passport is not valid for Israel. And given that Malaysians are not allowed to hold dual citizenship, this essentially means that every Malaysian citizen, including the 40 per cent who are not Muslims, are banned from visiting Israel.

“When will Malaysia recognise Israel?” I once asked the then finance minister. “Once Israel treats the Palestinians better,” was his reply. How would he determine that? “When the Palestinians tell us,” he said. It is not Israel’s right to exist that is at issue.

The enmity many Muslims now feel for Israel has nothing to do with religion. The historical persecutors of the Jews have been Christians — their punishment for the death of Jesus. Jews and Muslims have lived in peace for hundreds of years in many parts of the Islamic world. When Catholic Spain and Portugal expelled its Jews, the Ottoman sultan in Istanbul invited them in. It is the Palestinian issue that has ruined all this.

Of course, today Israel must defend itself. If the residents of Bendigo started firing rockets into Melbourne you would expect Melbourne to retaliate. But what must Melbourne have done to Bendigo to make them do such a thing? Constantly slapping an opponent in the face, kicking it down to its knees, and watching it struggle in the dirt will not teach the opponent to love or respect you. It teaches only hatred.

Persecuting people does not weaken them. Israel should know that. The Jews have been persecuted for centuries. It didn’t destroy them but gave them the impetus to survive.

One characteristic that is common among persecuted groups is a strong investment in education — when people’s physical wealth is in danger of destruction from war and persecution one store of wealth that stays with individuals even when they must flee as refugees is education. It explains why such groups often insist on their own schools — education is too important to be entrusted to others.

Hamas did not enjoy the support of all the people of Gaza. It does now. Why does Israel keep getting it wrong?

Trekking in Nepal is fashionable among young Israelis. So much so that many shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara have signs in Hebrew. But once you get on the trekking circuit and speak with local Nepalese guides and guesthouse operators you soon discover how disliked the Israelis are. Many guesthouses in this poor country will even tell Israeli trekking groups that they are full rather than accept them. This has nothing to do with religion or politics: Nepalese people are some of the warmest, most hospitable in the world. Rather, they say that the young Israelis are rude, arrogant, and argue over trifling amounts of money even though they clearly have means.
Israel needs to change. The Parsees of India might provide a model. The Parsees are a very tiny, very rich ethnic and religious minority. They own perhaps most of the land in central Mumbai as well as the country’s largest conglomerate. And yet ordinary Indians admire and respect them. Violence against them is unthinkable.

How have they achieved this? They are not flashy or arrogant. Their overriding characteristic is a deep interest in the welfare of others. They have established hospitals, libraries, schools, museums and many other institutions and, most importantly, not for the Parsee community exclusively but for everyone. So the Parsees have peace and the Israelis do not. — The Age


29 Responses to “Columnist banned for approaching the truth: Is the truth anti-semitic?”

  1. george Says:

    If I criticise america, am I anti-white,black,hispanic,chinese,japanese…..well you get the point.

    I agree with this article (mostly) and I am NOT anti-semetic. It is just healthy critisism of isreali policy.

  2. Max Fortres Says:

    Zionist Jews are the scum of the Earth. There is no redeeming quality for them at all. They are thieves, stealing from anyone , even their own. Look at Larry Silverstein, who blew up the World Trade Centers. He insisted that the insurance companies pay him double since there was two attacks on the World Trade Centers. Now years later, he has been paid billions of dollars for the “attacks”,and now he is sueing the airlines involved. He probably never paid a single mortgage payment and he has reaped billions from the insurance companies. Madoff is another shining example of Judism, he stole over $100 billion from his own tribe. He brought down the whole financial empire of the USA, and put us into a depression that will destroy our country. No one in their right mind will ever invest in the American Stock Market, unless they are completely stupid. When you lose your house, lose your job and your family is starving to death, thank the Zionist Jews, they are the root of the problem.

  3. tellallali Says:

    And people like to think they live in a free society eh? Such a joke.

    Telling the truth about the criminal state of Israel is indeed dangerous. What is more dangerous to state however is that true anti-semitism only exists with the Israelis who only last month slaughtered 1,400 semites, half of whom were women and children.

    They continue to keep 1.5 million semites in an open prison called Gaza. Israel is also a racist state that discriminates against semites in it’s written laws.

    Double-speak? Israelis are the masters of lies.

  4. Greg Bacon Says:

    One of the easiset ways to get called “anti-Semitic” is to use the P word when taking about Israel and Palestine.

    The P word being “peace,’ a word that seems to make most Israeli’s gag, get red in the face and go all hostile on your ass. Israel likes to celebrate the opening of possible “peace” talks in the region by bombing, strafing and sending in Shin Bet/MOSSAD assassination teams to murder some Arabs/Muslims.

    Americans mostly, but much of the world have been brainwashed into thinking Israel is a nation of “peace.”

    The only peace Israel wants is: a “piece” of Jordan; a “piece” of Syria; a “piece” of Lebanon; a “piece” of Egypt; a “piece” of Iraq; a “piece” of Saudi Arabia and whatever “pieces” are left after Israel finishes it’s genocidal extermination of the Palestinians.

  5. michael mazur Says:

    Mr Backman could have also mentioned how young Israeli tourists have been known to crap in the hotel bed or wash basin in Poland if something has not been to their liking during their stay.

    Camping grounds in Italy when hosting young Israelis discover that the swimming pool has been crapped in.

    Or that they steal from the other guests and try to sell it in the town. Some campers on becoming aware who the new arrivals are, leave.

    At least if you’re going to be dismissed, give the editor more unforgivable reasons.

  6. Dr. Dan Says:

    Israel DENIES the Armenian Holocaust, and IS committing SHOAH on the Palestinians TODAY, and they want sympathy ?! Israel allied with APARTHEID South Africa, trading weapons and torture techniques with THOSE “white supremacists”, SELECTIVE suffering, only the Jews should have sympathy and should be mourned. Israel, you collect your own War Criminals, they are walking free inside that APARTHEID wall you are building.
    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Prime Minister:”With this statement, they have retracted their previous erroneous step.”
    ANKARA (AFP-EJP)—A prominent US Jewish advocacy group has retracted its decision to call the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire a genocide, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.
    “The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has sent us a statement sharing our sensitivity on this issue,” Erdogan was quoted by the Anatolia news agency as saying.
    “With this statement, they have retracted their previous erroneous step.”

  7. Dr. Dan Says:

    Anti-GENTILISM is the problem. There was no such thing as “anti-semitism” until the Old Testament of the Bible, especially the Torah created it. They codified hatred of all NON-Jews (GENTILES) in their religion, and now wonder why Gentiles are “anti” them. So-called “antisemitism” is not “hate”, it is the normal reaction of any SANE person to a Group, Society, Organization, that openly preaches IT’s hatred of You. Judaism has been preaching it’s Hatred of NON-jews for thousands of years, and THAT is why any NON-jew with self-esteem, and self-respect, is PRO-Gentile..

  8. Eric Vaughan Says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t see the column as being monumental. Especially when you consider that the photos of those “butt pyramids” made from Iraqi prisoners still resonate through the minds of suicide bombers before they blow themselves up next to American soldiers.

    I see more stories about Israeli tourists being shunned lately and it’s not their behaviour, it’s the behaviour of their country that brings this about.

  9. Rick Says:

    The crazy thing is, they’re not even semites, the Palestinians are!

  10. Rachel Says:

    WOW all I can say is to pass on this famous quote from the past, “In times of Universal Deceit, telling the Truth is a Revolutionary Act.”

  11. Nathan Hale Says:

    everyone with even a half working brain can smell the Mossad connection to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S. ‘5’ dancing Israeli agents, with explosives residue in their ‘moving vans’, and links to half a million dollars paid by the U.S. government to these same ‘movers’ who were ‘flicking their bics’ and jubilantly ‘dancing’ while videotaping the towers coming down. needless to say, the ‘controlled demolition’ of the ‘3’ WTC complex buildings, using THERMATE, might never be fully investigated, but enough people realize that the PUT OPTIONS by Buzz Krongard and links to the MOSSAD, make Israel a very real and very significant threat/player in what took place that day, and indeed, throughout U.S. history, with attacks on the U.S.S. Liberty and other things covered up by the U.S. government, controlled by dozens of dual passport holding Israeli MOSSAD AGENTS who serve in high offices of that government in the U.S.

    so, what this guy wrote is nothing compared to the TRUTH ABOUT 9/11. Israel was behind it, but the did not do it alone. They had U.S. help in NORAD, via Cheney’s backchannel control with Richard C. Myers, who incidentally, got promoted, as did several other fuckups who aided and abetted the TREASON that day!

  12. zulfaqar Says:

    Its scary how society has been programmed, it’s been programmed to receive any criticism of Israel or Zionism as anti-semitic. To bad this article would never get to the Western world (U.S.) and even if it did, it would be labeled as anti-semitic, extremist, etc. Why are we allowed to talk about anything we want in this “free society”. We can question the landing of the moon, we can question the existence of aliens, we can question God. But anything that comes close to questioning motives, or policies, or anything resembling criticism of Israel is automatically labeled as Anti-Semitic. Just like the fact that even questioning the smallest detail or fact of the Holocaust can throw you in jail.

  13. […] religion I read about an Australian columnist being banned because his article was anti-semitic (you can read the full article here, but beware of really creepy comments), and I have to say that even if the article might have been […]

  14. chaya Says:

    I only read the first few paragraphs.

    Israel should not be critisized for the generosity the US chooses to show it.

    It is absurd to claim that the cause of terrorist attacks across the globe on the way Israel “treats” terrorists when there is no proof to indicate this.

    Israel needs to make the Palistinians friends?! The goal of Palestinian militant groups is its complete annhilation. Israel needs to protect itself destroying bombing points and targeting top terrorist officials.

  15. al Says:

    This man told the truth. THe world – South America included, has turned completely against isra-hell.

    A Latina

  16. Dave Says:

    So it seems we have another awakening of a generation of people to the abuses by Khazar Jews.
    I read somewhere today that in the last 1,000 years,they have been evicted from 46 countries in Europe.
    We must fight for our rights to speek freely in the USA and NEVER allow speech codes to be adopted in these lands by Abe Foxman.
    I you want to see REAL anti-Semitism,just make typing these words illegal in the USA

  17. thebasketpress Says:

    Nothing but love for Zion and all others will be turned back into perpetual confusion and defeat.

  18. Caleb Powell Says:

    This article is not anti-Semitic, nor should it be banned, but what is troubling about the article is that it is wrong. Or, as a form of journalism, not very well-researched, biased, and supports an absurd claim. The article is selectively open-minded, which is just another way of saying it is close-minded. The author, Michael Backman, has so many biases before he wrote the article that he cannot look objectively at the situation.

    Islam has many beefs with the West, Israel is just one of many. If Israel were to go away there would be other cries. Then, perhaps, this journalist would be saying that terrorists are killing because of Kashmir, or Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Algeria, or the Moro Liberation Front in the Philippines. Yes, those who are terrorists rally around Israel and Palestine. But they truly feel threatened by the West in all its aspects, and simply use Israel as a rallying ry. Israel goes, the hatred would still exist.

    But this author probably has not lived in the Middle East. I have. (My father is Iranian, as well). Not that this is a pre-requisite, for many expatriates that lived in Abu Dhabi, where I taught, had no clue about the Middle East and preferred to create their own private oasis. However, if one actually talks to Arabs and makes friends with the Muslim community then their viewpoint might change.

    The Arabs consider the Palestians as second-rate citizens. It would be unfair to say the Arabs look down upon non-Arab Muslims universally, but the way they (culturally and not as individuals, for many Arabs are great people) treat Muslims from Pakistan, India, Egypt, Palestine, the Sudan, and other Islamic countries is not as equals. One Palestinian friend of mine told me how his friend had wanted to marry an Arab woman and was flat out refused, even though this man had a decent job teaching and came from a respectable family, and the woman wanted to marry him.

    Every point the author of the article makes is valid, but as mentioned early, the author selected the arguments that fit his prejudices, and did not look at all sides. The author should be allowed to state whatever he wants, but if I were the editor of the newspaper I would not have hired him in the first place. Should Michael Backman go? Yes, but not because he is anti-Semitic, but more because he is a poor journalist.

  19. foxytoxin Says:

    LOL at all there real anti-semites crawling out.

  20. hell no Says:

    It is amazing to read all of these comments.
    Some of them are so full of hate and most are one sided.
    people seem to forget….
    palestinians were offered Peace many times, they declined
    They were offered help by jordan, they decided to overthrow the king
    They were offered help by lebanon, they destryed the whole country with hazbollah
    They were given gaza, they want complete obliteration of israel (source –hamas ‘democratically’ elected by people )

  21. magix Says:

    Brilliant article.

    Not everyone will like it though…of course. Since its creation Israel has been seeding hatred. Its ultimate aim is to exterminate all the Palestinians and take their land (just look at the amount of land Israel has taken from Palestinians since 1947).

    U.S. help them for two reasons: one, because Israel is the US enclave in the region, and second, because US itself is under control of Jews and Freemasons who work together to dominate the world.

    Is is surprising that there is such a lot of anti-semitic feeling all over the world? Is it surprising that the jews have suffered persecution over so many centuries.

    I wonder if the chief editor who dismissed Backman is a jew himself or if he was just following orders of another jew who controls the newspaper.

    I am not anti-any-race, but also I do not want to be dominated, robbed, explored and ultimately killed by any race who wants everything for themselves.

  22. […] a so-called “anti-Semitic” article that just got a writer fired. You need to read it and see what qualifies as anti-Semitism nowadays. […]

  23. Anthony Says:

    I have no axe to grind either way on this issue, I’m an Anglo-Australian with an objective view. All I know is each “side” in this debate is in a complete state of hysteria – each accuses the other of exactly the same crimes, each thinks the other the “enemy”. As far as I’m concerned, it is hate, anger, and violence that are the enemies. Not just that but a lack of willingness to see the other person’s point of view. This problem will never be solved using the same points of view that have always prevailed; each person needs to become a person of peace in their individual life before this painful conflict can be ended. Just my 2 cents.

  24. Nomi Says:

    SO, where’s the ‘anti-Semitic’ bit in the article? Or is it that plain truth in simple words is frighting to the decision makers at The Age?

  25. This calls for a blog campaign to support Backman!

  26. The world is finally waking up to this unfortunate truth. That post was just superb, and I hope it will circulate further.

    Kenya is feeling the pain of Palestinians. BY kenya, I mean me, and every other Kenyan that I know (read too many).

    South America is in, Africa is in, the Middle East is obviously in. The chorus is getting louder, asnd soon, even America will not save srael from the wrath of the world.


  27. […] bookmarks tagged historical trekking Columnist banned for approaching the truth: Is the… saved by 2 others     kewlAkane bookmarked on 02/25/09 | […]

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