Marrickville, Israel and poor reporting

Regular readers will know that my approach to journalism starts and ends with one simple rule: journalism must inform. It doesn’t matter if it’s political journalism, science journalism, health journalism, sports journalism or celebrity journalism, it needs to give readers the basic facts so they know why the story is in the news, and so they can make up their own minds about it. And usually, it fails. Over and over again, “colour” – what someone was wearing, what someone in the crowd yelled out, a slogan from a politician – trumps information.

We’ve had about a month of news about Marrickville Council and the Israel boycott, and I’ve deliberately avoided doing my own research to see if the reporting told me what it was all about. Guess what? It didn’t.

(Disclaimer: I’ve been following the story in the Sydney Morning Herald and on SBS and ABC. I don’t read News Ltd papers, so if you do, and if their coverage is any better, please post the links below.)

The latest SMH story (on the 23rd – hey, my blogging frequency is inversely proportional to the amount of Easter eggs in my belly) is Two sides to thinking global, acting local. Of the 931 words, this is the only sentence that could even vaguely be considered an explanation of the boycott:

It was one of thousands of missives, many anonymous and abusive, received by representatives of the inner west council in the four months after it gave in-principle support for a Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [GBDS] campaign against Israel.

Do you know what the boycott is about? Because I sure as hell don’t, and I’m an engaged reader.

Five days ago, in Marrickville Council’s move to boycott Israel sinks in stormy sea of debate, we found out that Antony Loewenstein was spat on, that one woman called Arab councillors “fucking cowards” and stormed out, and that hundreds “attended the passionate meeting, which was filled with shouting, flag waving and jeers”. But nothing about what the BDS Movement is about, nor why a Sydney local council would want to be involved, nor why the new State Government threatened to sack the council over it. Sure, colour is important to a story – it helps people connect with it – but colour shouldn’t replace the very basic information the story should deliver.

If you believe that news should inform, then every story about this boycott should include a basic explanation of the boycott and what it means for a local council. Councillors are getting death threats over this, yet the reporting hasn’t even told me why.

Now for some Journalism 101 or, as I like to call it, a basic fucking Google search. On the BDS Movement website, it says it’s a “campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights”.

Every story about the boycott has explained what the letters BDS stand for, but it’s the second part of the sentence above that’s useful because it explains why the campaign started. It’s not many words to add to a story, is it?

A single sentence explaining that the boycott plans to target “products and companies that profit from the violation of Palestinian rights, as well as Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions” (quoting the campaign website) isn’t many words either.

So what about the international law bit? It was reported in 2002 that Israel holds the record for ignoring UN Security Council resolutions. And according to Foreign Policy Journal, there are 79 UN Security Council resolutions against Israel between 1948 and 2009. Some of these directly criticise Israel for violating the Geneva Conventions – the international rules for protecting people who aren’t engaged in the fighting, ie, health workers, aid workers, civilians, and injured fighters.

Now, I’m not running an anti-Israel position here. Israel isn’t the only country to get up the arse of the UN Security Council. I am simply looking at whether the reporting of this issue has performed its basic function: to inform. Whether it has explained why a local council in Sydney wanted to join a global campaign against a country, and why other people got the shits about it.

Thing is, Marrickville Council also has a policy of not purchasing goods or services from companies that do business with Burma’s military dictatorship and I don’t see that making the news. This means not doing business with Jetstar Asia, Andaman Teak Supplies, Barrett Communications, Gecko’s Adventures, Sri Asia Tourism, Lonely Planet, Chevron and Twinza Oil. Other local councils with this policy are Leichhardt Municipal Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Moreland City Council, City of Sydney, Warringah Council and City of Yarra.

Maybe, just maybe, what would be really useful to your audience is to explain what the BDS actually means for a local council. Some of the companies on the boycott list are Ahava, Eden Springs, Motorola and SodaStream. Is that really unworkable for a local council? It certainly isn’t extraordinary enough to warrant ridicule by the federal member, Anthony Albanese, or to have the NSW Government threaten to sack the council. Surprisingly, the BDS site doesn’t have a list of companies but Scribd has a list that includes Kimberly-Clark, McDonald’s, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Nokia. Again, all workable within a local council. Particularly if that local council explained to ratepayers exactly why they weren’t doing business with those companies, and I’m not sure that Marrickville Council did that. But that could be a result of the Oz and the Tele using the story to attack Greens candidate Fiona Byrne ahead of the NSW election – while the council was still discussing the issue – and the Greens leaving her high and dry. It turned into one big yell-fest and none of us are any smarter as a result.

47 responses to “Marrickville, Israel and poor reporting

  1. So did you at all find any explanation of what it means in real terms? I did a search of my own, and all I came up with was either anti-Israel hate speech or pro-Israel hate speech (well, articles, not speech, I guess).

    • Other than the companies listed in my post, it was quite difficult to find out how the BDS works in the real world. Your hate speech point is a good one and something I was trying to make clear in my post – that with all the yelling, it’s hard to find out how it would work.

  2. Hi, you ask a lot of questions in your piece, but here are a few more:

    1. You say that “Journalism must inform.” I agree, but by the same token, if you are going to act like a ‘media watch’ service then your work should inform. This piece does not really do that, except to point out that you believe the MSM missed the point of the story.
    2. You say “I don’t read News Ltd papers” and then “Do you know what the boycott is about? Because I sure as hell don’t, and I’m an engaged reader.” There is a contradiction in there somewhere.
    3. The BDS website does not really say much. Using it as a primary source to understand the philosophical and economic bases of the ‘movement’ is like referring to the PETA website to explain the ‘vegetarianism movement’.
    4. The real question is why a local council should involve itself in global affairs. I disagree that a council should be undertaking boycotts and whatnot. I pay my rates to fix the roads and ensure the provision of local services. If I want to boycott Israel I can do this as an individual, not have my compulsory rates used for this purpose. You imply that because Marrickville (and other councils) have actions against Burma that the BDS is okay. Well, no.
    5. You also say “what would be really useful to your audience is to explain what the BDS actually means for a local council.” Really? I think the real point is what the BDS means to the ratepayers / residents / other stakeholders. A council serves its ratepayers and residents. I doubt you would have made this statement re a corporation.
    6. The Australian’s main complaint with Fiona Byrne (based on my interpretation of their stories) was that she kept changing her professed views on the BDS and why she was a supporter, such that it was difficult to pin down her position.

    • Hi Mark, welcome to the News with Nipples. I’ll answer your questions one by one.

      1. I disagree completely. There is more information in this post about the BDS than in any MSM story I’ve seen.
      2. You’ll see in my post that I read the SMH, watch SBS news and ABC news, yet the only way I found out what the boycott was actually about was by doing my own research. So, you’ve pretty much missed the whole point of my post.
      3. Your third point is just rubbish. The BDS website should be the place you can find out about what the BDS is. Your example of PETA and vegetarianism doesn’t work because they are two different things. I was vegetarian for 14 years and I always disagreed with PETA’s approach, which was – and still is – “animals as meat is bad, but treating women as meat is good”.
      4. That is not what I was implying at all. I’d hate to think you’re deliberately misunderstanding what I’m saying simply to have a go at me. I used the Burma example to illustrate that this isn’t the only council thinking global on ethical grounds. As I mentioned several times in my post, the issue of why a local council “should involve itself in global affairs” hasn’t been answered by the reporting. As I clearly point out, I’m looking at whether the reporting of the issue informed the readers.
      5. Now you’re just contradicting yourself. See my answer to point 4. And perhaps read the post again. It is not the mainstream media’s responsibility to inform ratepayers of what a local council is doing. That is the council’s responsibility. The MSM’s responsibility is inform their audience.
      6. The Australian has made its attitude towards the Greens very clear. (See, for example, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/09/09/the-australian-announces-that-it-wants-to-destroy-the-greens/). And yes, Fiona Byrne did a pretty bad job of defending her stance. My point about The Oz is that when everyone started yelling, none of us learned anything.

      • I love the way Mark lists “the real question” as No.4. It’s way more important for him to insult NWN’s intelligence in the first three points.
        He makes six points, but never addresses the topic question, which is “how informative was the coverage?”

        • Of course he doesn’t. People like Mark never do.

          • I didn’t mean to insult your intelligence after all. It’s just that you get on your high horse about the media but your writing doesn’t seem to shed any light on anything. It’s all a bit circular. And how is ‘Pure Poison’ in Crikey any kind of valid news source?

            • Did you actually read that link, or did you just look at the URL and make up your mind? It quotes The Oz editorial and links to it. I don’t like The Oz website so I didn’t want to spend ages rummaging around on it.

              As I said previously, this post is about whether or not readers learned anything about the BDS and how it applied to Marrickville council from the reporting in the MSM. I was not reporting the story, but looking at how it was reported. I don’t know how I can make that any clearer.

  3. Actually, I noticed that about 98% of mainstream reporting on this issue used the shorthand reference to an ‘Israel boycott’ – leaving out the all-important ‘divestment and sanctions’ part. (And, with respect, NwN, I notice you repeated this shorthand reference in your own article here.)

    So, not only did the media fail to explain what the BDS was, it mostly only reported one of the three forms of protest involved – and the most agressive but least used one at that.

    Another way in which the media underinformed the public was by constantly framing the issue only in terms of The Greens and Fiona Byrne, leaving out the all-important explanation that just as many Labor and Independent Marrickville councillors formally voted to support the International BDS campaign.

    Another passing fact I found out, while making up for what the media failed to explain, is that one of Marrickville’s three sister cities is Bethlehem – a Palestinian city in crisis and severely suffering as a result of official Israel policies. Surely, this was an important fact that should have been routinely reported in media coverage of the Marrickville issue, one that only required a short sentence of explanation.

    • It’s true – I have used that shorthand. I wanted to keep the word length down (it’s a really long post) and in doing so I’ve been just as bad as everyone else. But also because the divestment and sanctions bit is out of the realm of a local council, so I didn’t want to go into that too much. I was looking at the issue simply as it relates to a local council, because that’s why the story was in the news. But you are absolutely correct – it’s just one part of the movement.

      And yes, the whole story was framed in terms of Cr Byrne and the Greens. I think this has a lot to do with The Oz and the Tele gunning for her during the election campaign, and the SMH covering the story the same way, because journalists tend to cover all stories the same way.

      The Bethlehem point is also really important. I didn’t know that, so thanks for informing me. It does go a long way towards explaining why Marrickville Council was thinking globally. Loads of Australian local areas have sister cities all over the world, so they are already thinking of themselves as global citizens and have done for decades. Orange City Council and Mt Hagen in PNG are sister cities and people from Orange go to Mt Hagen to share knowledge and help out.

  4. “Now, I’m not running an anti-Israel position here. ”

    Of course you’re not. Here’s a Socratic question for you.

    In Israel, everyone has the vote, women have equal rights, and everyone has equal access to the courts (ie rule of Law) including Arabs and Palestinians.
    So, why does Israel have the most UN violations?

    I’ll make it easy for you: it has the most UN violations, because the UN security council sits around passing anti-Israel resolutions.

    Syria is on the security council. Syria, who is as we speak murdering its own citizens by the hundreds – where women have no rights – where there is an unaccountable police state – Syria collects no tickets.
    Iran, where young men are hung for homosexual acts, where hundreds of protestors and pro-democracy activists disappeared recently – same story…

    There are dozens of countries that are run by sadistic strongmen, that are living hells for the populace. These countries have a seat at the UN. The strongmen go along and pass resolutions against Israel of all countries. Why?

    • DA Munroe, welcome to the News with Nipples. I’m not running an anti-Israel position at all – as stated in my post, I am simply looking at whether the reporting of Marrickville Council and the BDS actually explained what it was.

    • Er no. Israeli citizens have the vote. The residents of the Occupied Territories do not get to vote for the Knesset, despite the fact that they live under the control of the Israeli government.

      Countless *Israelis*, among them former PM Ehud Olmert, have criticised the situation in Israel, where despite official equal rights, discrimination against Arabs is widespread.

      Arabs and Israelis are subject to different laws within the occupied territories, with the general outcome being Palestinians are punished more severely than Israelis for the same crime, committed in the same place.

      Then there’s the settlements which are in direct violation of the 4th Geneva Convention. And the use of incendiary weapons in urban areas by the IDF.

      Syria and Iran have not been ignored by the security council. They (and other similarly dicky regimes) have been protected from sanctions by China and/or Russia abusing their veto power to protect vested interests in those countries.

      Yes, there are worse places. No, that’s not relevant.

      If a cop is walking down the street and sees someone being mugged at knife-point, it’s not okay for them to say to themself “oh, well, I shouldn’t do anything about that until I’ve fixed gun crime”.

  5. newswithnipples. I wasn’t saying you were running an anti-Israel position – merely noting that something you took at face value is not quite as it seems.

    Chris: Which “occupied territories” are you talking about? Gaza is completely self-governed with Hamas as the ruling party, and also the Palestinian authority administers the West Bank.

    • Palestine was granted independence while I wasn’t looking?

      There is limited self-governance, yes. But that is still subject to myriad, often arbitrary, restrictions by the Israeli government. There may not be an occupying military force, but Israel still exercises jurisdictional power over the West Bank and Gaza.

      I’d be interested to know what else you would call them, other than “Occupied Territories”, given that Israel does not recognise the existence of a Palestinian state. If it’s not a country, and not occupied territory – despite being territory taken during a military conflict without the consent of its occupants – what is it?

      Am I to assume that since you’ve failed to address my counter-points, you’re conceding those matters?

      • Well done Chris it is territory taken from it’s occupants without consent…by Mohammed. The entire basis of Islam seems to have been to allow mohammed to build a large army of followers who then helped him steal Jewish lands and become very rich in the process.

        • Rhiannon Saxon

          Islam mostly took or CONVERTED Zoroastrian lands actually.

        • The people that did the taking over from the Jews were Greeks, and then Romans. There were various others before then (Egypt, Babylon), but it was Europeans who finalised the destruction of classical Israel. Hundreds of years before Islam existed.

          Even then, Mohammed was dead by the time Islamic armies pushed into the ‘Holy Land’. Which was taken from the Byzantine Empire.

          lrn2history

  6. (Disclaimer: I’ve been following the story in the Sydney Morning Herald and on SBS and ABC. I don’t read News Ltd papers, so if you do, and if their coverage is any better, please post the links below.)

    Not really. The News Ltd publications take it as a self-evident truth that sanctions against Israel are anti-semitic, and proceed from there. I think one journalist somewhere made a similar point to my point above, that if you sanction Israel but don’t sanction all the really atrocious dictatorships around the place, then what’s your real motive?

    • Tackling one problem at a time?
      Tackling each problem in different ways depending on the situation?

      You said it yourself, Israel is a democracy. For a democracy to be engaging in the behaviour that Israel does gets it attention precisely because nations claiming to be modern democracies need to act like it. They get held to higher standards, because anything else is hypocritical.

      Historically, boycotts against utterly brutal regimes (Iraq, say) do bugger all except make things harder for the little guy. A brutal dictator is still a brutal dictator, even if they have a little bit more money. If the people who get hurt complain, they get brutally repressed. That’s kind of the nature of a brutally repressive regime.

      In a democracy on the other hand, the citizens have a voice, and there is much greater capacity for boycotts to work.

      Different circumstances require different responses. One size does not fit all. And there is a massive difference between criticising willful, ongoing violations of international law by a country that knows better and odious racism. Trying to pretend otherwise is known in these here internets as a Godwin.

  7. Chris, fine then – as long as the host of this blog doesn’t mind a drawn out debate, and as long as I don’t get bored, here we go.

    The residents of the Occupied Territories do not get to vote for the Knesset, despite the fact that they live under the control of the Israeli government.

    They don’t vote for the Knesset, because they’re not in Israel. They don’t live “under the control” of the Israeli government -they have self-rule. Gaza isn’t under Israeli control – why else is there an Israeli blockade? Countries don’t blockade themselves. Now, we can debate the rightness or wrongness of the blockade but I’m saying it’s pretty clear evidence that Gaza isn’t controlled by Israel in any way.

    Countless *Israelis*, among them former PM Ehud Olmert, have criticised the situation in Israel, where despite official equal rights, discrimination against Arabs is widespread.

    That’s just not true. Arabs have equal rights and occupy positions up and down Israeli society, including supreme court judges (Salim Joubran), political leaders, business leaders, ambassadors, and so on. Just because a Jew said it about other Jews doesn’t make it true, and it’s not.

    Arabs and Israelis are subject to different laws within the occupied territories

    Yes, because the Israelis are outside Israel. The Palestinians who run those territories don’t treat Israelis as citizens.

    Then there’s the settlements which are in direct violation of the 4th Geneva Convention

    Well I agree that the settlements are problematic, and I’d prefer to see them stopped. But I’d like to point out that the evilness of these settlers is blown out of all proportion. People building a house with a garden and picket fence then moving a family into the house – is an act of total war? Give me a break. Oh sorry I forgot… those people living in those houses are Jews. Now I understand.
    Given how terrrible you think the act of Jews daring to live near Arabs is, I’m really curious what you think of the Palestinian habit of launching rockets across the border into Israeli neighbourhoods (I’m expecting something along the line of “yes, it’s wrong but…”)

    Syria and Iran have not been ignored by the security council.

    Syria, China, Russia, Sudan, Libya… there are plenty of countries oppressing their citizens, denying human rights, starting wars and so on. The UN – like the Western left – is obsessed with the Palestinian situation beyond all other issues, and out of proportion with the situation itself. Also, the fact that Hamas is openly, officially dedicated to genocide against Jews seems to escape the attention of the security council.

    Yes, there are worse places. No, that’s not relevant.

    Yes it is. if there are 20 kids on the playground misbehaving and the teacher always reprimands the black kid, what’s going on? Not relevant?

    Don’t tell me this has nothing to do with race. Or as they say colloquially, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. This has everything to do with race. The Palestinians admit that routinely. They want to kill Jews. And, they don’t just say it either, they do it at every opportunity.

    Did you have other points, Chris? I lost track. That will do for now.

    • You’re both free to debate this as long as you like, but you’ll never change the other’s mind.

      DA Munroe, your point about the settlers is disingenuous. You know very well that Chris isn’t saying that Jews and Arabs living together is terrible. You also know that the UN Security Council/West/World isn’t just focussing all their efforts on Israel and ignoring other countries.

    • The have limited self-rule. Subject to the authority of Israel. If, as you maintain, Israel has no control over the Palestinian territories, then how is the settlement happening? If Israel has no control over the territories whatsoever, as you claim, then why is there not a sovereign state of Palestine? Aside from anything else, Israel claims jurisdictional control over the territories. To suggest Palestinians are completely self-governing is farcical.

      I wouldn’t be so certain that internal blockades have never been put in place. China maintains strict control over the transport of goods and between Hong Kong and the mainland. But even if nothing like it has happened before does not mean it’s not happening now. I’m not suggesting it’s anywhere near as bad, but nothing like the Holocaust had happened before. Unprecedented does not mean impossible. To say otherwise is fallacious.

      I was not suggesting it was true because it was said by a Jew. I was suggesting that the opinion holds weight because it is held be a citizen of Israel, and granted more weight by his years of service as a leader in Israeli life. There’s a subtle difference. Yes, someone just saying something does not make it true. But it doesn’t make it untrue. Given that he said there was “deliberate and insufferable” discrimination against Arabs at the hand of the Israeli establishment *while Prime Minister* lends a lot of weight to the assertion.

      Yes, Arabs occupy many official positions. But women occupy many official positions in Australia, yet still don’t get paid the same as men for doing the same job. One point does not preclude the other.

      So… the entirely self-governing Palestinians, who hate Jews, decided to make a legal system where foreign Jews are treated more leniently? Huh?

      If the IDF (or the ADF) came along and took a bunch of land that belonged to me, my family, or my friends, I’d have a problem with that. If the people who invaded your home, and took a bunch of it away from you, then started building houses for their compatriots, *and* said you’re not allowed to visit huge swathes of your own country, I’d be pissed. Hell, even if the land was empty, being invaded and then having a bunch of foreigners get special treatment in your homeland is bound to make anyone pissy.

      Rocket attacks are disgusting. Yes, there’s also a ‘but’: violating international law to get a bunch of people living on land you don’t own serves no strategic or tactical deterrent to terrorism. A bunch of the dicky stuff Israel does serves no purpose in that regard. And I’ll refer you back to “incendiary weapons in urban areas”, as well as to the number of civilians killed by the IDF vs the number of civilians killed by terrorists.

      Hamas are a bunch of cocks. That does not excuse other people being cocks.

      The UN is not a school teacher in the yard. *If* that analogy was valid, yes, it would be wrong. But it’s not valid.
      The ‘teacher’ is a committee, made up of people with vastly different agendas. Some of those people have veto powers. Some of those people with veto powers have vested interests (whether they be strategic, political or economic) in certain regimes being left to their own devices. So they use their veto. That doesn’t make the security council racist. It just means that some of the people on it are selfish.

      Aside from anything else ignoring everyone but Israel is obviously not what’s happening. Have you noticed all those dead soldiers coming home? They didn’t die in Israel.

      I’m not saying it has nothing to do with race. I’m saying it isn’t only about race. And that it’s only about race for some people.

      Yes, there are racist pigs in the world. Yes, we should tackle racism wherever we can. No, we shouldn’t ignore a serious problem, just because some of the people who want to address it have ulterior motives.

      If a cop is walking down the street and sees someone being mugged at knife-point, it’s not okay for them to say to themself “oh, well, I shouldn’t do anything about that until I’ve fixed gun crime”

      You missed that. The point of which was: do you think Israel’s human rights abuses should be ignored until all the other problems are solved? If you can’t solve a problem until all the other problems are solved, how does anything get done?

      • “But women occupy many official positions in Australia, yet still don’t get paid the same as men for doing the same job. “

        aggh! Don’t get me started. That’s a myth, Chris.
        I challenge you to find a single workplace where men and women are being paid different amounts for the same job. They don’t exist.

        before you leap in and point to the statistics, yes the statistics show that the average female earns less than the average male. But it does not follow, and it is not the case, that women are systematically paid less. There are reasons for that statistic that have nothing to do with discrimination.

        re your example about the cop fixing knife crime… yes, that’s a good point. But Israel is not guilty of “human rights abuses.”
        They’re surrounded by legions of racist, ignorant people who hate Jews, and who want to kill Jews, living just across the border only a stone’s throw away. And these guys have connections, and get their hands on some seriously kick-arse weaponry from time to time. And when they do, they use it.

        They’re managing a dangerous and potentially cataclysmic situation.

        • Wrong wrong wrong. I’ve worked in places where I’ve been paid less than my male co-workers, even though I had the same level of experience. And sure, that’s illegal, but my contract had a clause saying I wasn’t to discuss remuneration with colleagues, so they could get away with it. In the finance industry the gender pay gap is 28 per cent. Don’t get me started on how wrong you are.

          And Israel is guilty of human rights abuses. I think I’m going to have to stop you two at this point because you’re not getting anywhere and, like I said earlier, you’re not going to change your position.

          • It was only recently I saw the stats for the income disparity. It made sense to me that of course there’s an income gap, given which jobs have higher proportions of men and women. There’s also probably some discrimination in the ‘which job’ department. I figured that was bad enough. But same job/different pay almost broke something in me.

          • I know someone who was offered significant thousands a year less than a male colleague, despite her having more experience. They discussed it, against the ‘rules’, and neither accepted the job. Yes it happens, no matter with what people would like to comfort themselves/sneer at feminists.
            I guess if women want equality they should not pick finance industry jobs?

        • “They’re surrounded by legions of racist, ignorant people who hate Jews, and who want to kill Jews”
          Seriously?
          Pot kettle?
          How can you not see how ignorant and racist that ridiculously broad generalisation is?
          Fucking Hell…

          • I suspect that people who say “Israel is not guilty of human rights’ abuses” really mean “Arabs are not human”.
            Very very ugly.

  8. You also know that the UN Security Council/West/World isn’t just focussing all their efforts on Israel and ignoring other countries.

    Actually we started with that as a premise. In your post, you pointed out that Israel had collected more UN violations than any other country. My broad point in response is that this is not because Israel is so bad, but because of the machinations of the UN.

  9. I’m saying that the number of resolutions is out of proportion to the wrongs of the country; and the imbalance is caused by anti-Israel sentiment at the UN.

    When Hamas – completely under self rule – was lobbing rockets into Israeli suburbs on a daily basis the UN turned a blind eye. But when Israel said, basically “we’ve had enough of this crap” and went into Gaza and destroyed the rockets there were screams of outrage; UN resolutions flying all over the place.

    When Israeli families live in houses in the West Bank, that’s denounced (in fact it’s “total war” apparently), but when Palestinians murder those families, that’s not denounced.

    There’s a double standard. That’s the point. Syria, Egypt, Libya have all had a free ride until now… even though the people in those countries are so fed up with their hideous dictatorial rulers that they are now dying in the streets.

  10. I knew that someone like D.A. Munroe would come along and derail, er defend Israel. S/he has stuck to script almost perfectly. Didn’t do “Arabs who say Zionism is racist just hate Israel” , but covered:
    -Shift subject to the political systems and statements of Syria/Iran/etc. Let’s not talk about Israel’s political systems and statements. Nothing to be gained from that.
    – Criticism of Israel’s political policies=anti-semitism. Get your anti-semite Finger of Blame ready, it’s a sure-fire way of shutting down/turning the discussion.
    – Israelis are just protecting themselves from people who hate them. We all know there is no other way of dealing with people who hate you, other than attempting to beat them into submission with overpowering military booms.
    – Israelis are just making homes for themselves and their families. No-one else has any claim on the land , or would like to make homes for their families.
    -Always talk about the rockets, and not the figures on exactly who is getting killed by whom.
    – Make statements suggesting Israel is an orphan state, bravely going it alone against the world. Never mention the massive support Israel receives from every country with a significant Jewish community.

    Good to know that women just happen to choose to work in lower-paid, lower status and part-time work, the wage gap doesn’t exist, and it’s the fault of women anyway.

    “Shut your eyes and talk loudly” – works for the person using it.
    Sigh.

  11. I knew that someone like D.A. Munroe would come along and derail, er defend Israel.

    Hey, come on, it’s not exactly off-topic.
    The Marrickville issue is entwined with the issue of Israel’s actions and whether sanctions are justified. But I’ll leave it go from here.

    • Actually DA Munroe, your comments have been completely off topic and derailed the discussion – just like you intended.

      My post was NOT about the Israelis versus the Palestinians. It was VERY CLEARLY about the issue of reporting the BDS Movement in the mainstream Australian media.

  12. “It was NOT about the Israelis or Palestinians”, yet you decided to drop in a statistic about UN Security Council resolutions. That statement in your original post is what prompted my response as I made clear. Now, you don’t want to engage and that’s fine… but don’t dishonestly pretend that I wasn’t addressing the content of your post.

    You don’t like conservative voices on your blog, fine. Ban away. There’s no point, however, because I’m not coming back to your one-eyed, narrow view of reality. Maybe you should start reading The Australian. It might broaden your mind.

    Bye.

    • Aww, diddums. Go on, have a sook. Conservative voices are fine here. Ones that deliberately derail discussions are not. The UN Security Council resolution statistic was included because it was relevant to discussion of the BDS Movement. Like I said in my previous comment – and all through my post – the post was about the mainstream media’s reporting of Marrickville Council and the BDS Movement. You made no attempt to discuss this.

    • Australia’s broad. It’s also pretty empty.

  13. “The UN Security Council resolution statistic was included because it was relevant to discussion of the BDS Movement.”

    So what? You included it. I took exception to it. Chris wrote three and a half books explaining why I’m wrong. Learn to roll with it, rather than having a coronary because someone turned up who doesn’t agree with your view of the world.

    • Reallly, DA Munroe, you want to have this argument? You also wrote several books and yours were off-topic. Chris was responding to your comments, and without the attitude you displayed in your own. I think you’ve had more than enough chance to have your say. If you don’t like it here, then go away. It’s pretty simple. Start your own blog, they’re free you know.

  14. Topic posted by NWN:” Did the reporting on the Marrickville council and the Israel boycott inform the reader about the events?”
    DAMonroe replied: “The Marrickville issue is entwined with the issue of Israel’s actions and whether sanctions are justified.”
    Very much exactly off-topic.

    • Oops! This reply should be under DA’s post of April 28 6.34.
      My reply to his last reply is:
      NWN: you are off-topic, DA.
      DA:No I’m not. You brought up the UN resolution which everyone knows is a code for “Attack on Israel!1!”
      NWN: I brought it up because it was relevant to the topic.
      DA: So what? You are anti-conservative and close minded and should read The Australian and Chris is worse than me.

      I’m sensing he knows he’s at the end of his logic rope. Or, he is 12 years old in RL.

  15. Hi News with Nipples
    I’m from Marrickville and have followed the reporting on this very closely as it has been an issue that has directly affected my family.
    I think your right in suggesting that the News Ltd network and right leaning media generally have gone to town on this issue and the Greens here really put their head on a platter and as a former supporter I don’t feel much pity for them at the moment.
    The smh hardly touched the boycott at all and was mostly supportive in a non committal way of the Greens (which may or may not have had something to do with the large amount of advertising the greens were placing during the election).
    It was in my opinion the ABC coverage that did the most damage for the greens, in particular the interview were Fiona was caught denying statements that she had made in regard to her willingness to Boycott China and also not pursuing the Boycott at a state level.
    Something I noticed being routinely left out of articles on this issue was that the Council motion passed called not only for a boycott of Israeli goods and services but also for a ban on cultural, academic, sporting and institutional exchanges with Israel, something that, particularly the implementation of a cultural ban that greatly upset a lot of people in Marrickville and hurt Israelis and Jews locally.
    Another interesting observation was that there doesn’t appear to have been any kind of due diligence analysis done by commentators or the council on the BDS as a strategy for change. Like what impact would a successful boycott have on the Palestinians as there is a link between the Palestinian and Israeli economies?
    Would a successful boycott soften Israel or harden its resolve and further entrench a state of hostility between the two peoples?
    It would be good if our media gave better analysis otherwise we just end up with endless arguing like above

    • Hi Carlos, welcome to the News with Nipples. I agree wholeheartedly with you last sentence. It would indeed be a good thing if our mainstream media gave us the analysis we need to make up our own minds.

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