Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Antony Loewenstein, the Rodney Dangerfield of Australian political writers, gets a non-mention mention in a report on Australian anti-semitism:
The shallowness and intellectual dishonesty in some of the debate on the Middle East in Australia was evident in the reception accorded a book written on Israel and Australia’s Jewish Community by an individual with no particular expertise, experience or skills but who identified himself as a Jewish critic of Australian Jewry and of Zionism. While the book was riddled with factual inaccuracies and sloppiness, it was speedily given iconic value by a range of critics of Israel, including overt antisemites.

It was promoted and sold by extreme right wing political organisations, available at a bookstand which otherwise exclusively sold fundamentalist Islamic texts at a Muslim fair and the author was promoted by a variety of far-left groups existentially opposed to Israel.

The author’s personal moderated internet discussion forum published a series of items making offensive comments about individuals opposed to Holocaust denial and others accusing critics of the author of using “every weapon in the Jewish armoury of self-victimisation” , while the author himself used offensive anti-Jewish language, but the utility to anti-Israel groups and individuals of having a self-identified Jewish person who was eager to criticise Israel and Australian Jewry seemingly over-rode any concern with factual accuracy or concern with racism.
Loewenstein responding:
The report’s authors are too gutless to actually mention my book by name, My Israel Question, or my name itself (they’ll be happy to know that there will be many more surprises on these matters in 2007.)

Despite the best efforts of Zionist agitators everywhere (including this report’s author, Jeremy Jones, who penned a review for the Australian Jewish News that reached new heights of hilarity), my book has become a best-seller and is now well into its 3rd reprint. Of course, Zionists may comfort themselves with the thought that my book appeals to a very narrow section of society, but in fact the amount of mail I’ve received from across the country and overseas - young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish, left and right - proves that My Israel Question has in fact spoken to many, sick of the tired, old militant Zionism that has failed time and time again.
Surprises? Other than embracing Zionism the biggest surprise Loewenstein could pull off would be to write something actually worth reading. As for not mentioning his book or his name, why bother? Everyone will immediately recognize the best selling book and its author.

Update: A quick check of Loewenstein's archive reveals no mention of the recently canceled school simulation provided by Macquarie University's Centre for Middle East and North African Studies -- as he so often reminds readers, he's on the board. The Centre's newsletter does, however, note the program's demise by stating without elaboration:
High School simulation closed down
Gee, lefties usually have so much to say.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It was promoted and sold by extreme right wing political organisations..."

He's talking about Borders' bookstores and Latine. Right?

The book was given 'iconic' status? Pfft. C'mon. That's more over the top than anything in AL's book.

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3rd reprint? 6,000 books have not been sold yet. The first print run was a negligible 400 books!

2:10 PM  

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