Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Making History

Antony Loewenstein's latest sellout appearance has me weeping for the future of our students.
I spent the weekend in Brisbane, Queensland giving the keynote address at the annual Queensland History Teacher’s Association conference.
Fortunately it wasn't an English Teacher's [sic] conference.
Over 220 teachers came from across Queensland, young and old, males but mostly females. 
Males that are mostly female?
I admit to being pleasantly surprised by the frank honesty expressed by countless teachers
Antony is surprised they weren't all liars? As for them being "countless" he also said there were no more than 220 teachers present. Once again, Loewy can't count. Probably a good thing it wasn't a Maths Teachers' Conference
(though I think I upset the conservative politician who opened the event) 
Who was probably also wondering who funds the Association if this is the calibre of "expert" they invite to speak to educators. 
I’ve been writing about the Middle East for over 10 years. I’ve visited Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestine and Iran.
Palestine is not a country. Geography Teachers should book him for their conference now.
Every country presented its own challenges. Language, culture, political persuasion, gender and religion. 
Countries have a gender? I always did think Belgium was a bit girly.
To be sure, I’ve faced threats and challenges but mostly I’ve found warmth.
Well, yes. There was that one time Antony got stoned. And let's never forget the (ahem) countless "death threats" he claims to have received. Antony makes Salman Rushdie look like a big chicken.
This is not to ignore or romanticise the hatred, racism and violence that’s become endemic across the region, especially since 9/11.
You would think at this point just one of the history teachers present might express some frank honesty. Such as: "You don't know what the hell you are talking about".
Much of this instability is fueled by Western meddling, arming the worst brutes and enabling the Mubarak’s, Qaddafi’s and Saddam’s.
How can someone write for ten years and still not understand how apostrophes work? Apropos Western Meddling, the absolute, undeniable largest source of conflict is Arab-on-Arab violence. It is nothing to do with Jews or the West. However, as Dan Gillerman once noted "we live in a world where if Christians kill Muslims, it’s a crusade. If Jews kill Muslims, it’s a massacre. And when Muslims kill Muslims, it’s the Weather Channel. Nobody cares."
We ignore our own complicity through willful ignorance.
Israel, the highest recipient of US aid annually, ironic for a nation that claims to be independent,
uses these weapons to occupy, imprison and torture millions of Palestinians.
Israel imprisons and tortures "millions" of Palestinians? Where do they find the time...
merely a few years after the greatest tragedy to befall the Jewish people, the Holocaust, an event that affected virtually every Jew on the planet including my family, most of whom were unable to leave Germany and were murdered in the death camps at Auschwitz.
Hmmm... After all these years I don't remember Antony ever mentioning family at Auschwitz. I do however remember Tim Blair's observation that "Antony visits Auschwitz and emerges questioning ... Jews." Truly a first.

Having rushed to get an EU friendly passport:
It’s a quirk of history that I recently became a German citizen.
He'll be getting fitted for the Marschstiefel jackboots shortly.
I wonder how my now deceased family members would feel about this, perhaps uncomfortable that anybody could forgive but not forget the past.
Curiously Antony doesn't care what his living family members think of him. Not very much.
None of this should distract us from the vital task of teaching Israel/Palestine and the Middle East to a new generation that is more connected and informed than any before it.
A guy who doesn't know the difference between Haifa and Lebanon probably shouldn't be involved in teaching anyone anything.

Antony complains about media bias:
“There is a preponderance of official ‘Israeli perspectives’, particularly on BBC 1, where Israelis were interviewed or reported over twice as much as Palestinians.
It's a conspiracy! Or.... It's because Israelis are better educated and more likely to speak English for the benefit of BBC viewers. Not as many Israelis interviewed on Al-Jazeera. It may also be because Israelis are statistically less likely to hack journalists' heads off.

Antony explains "occupation":
Without explanations being given on the news, there was great confusion amongst viewers even about who was ‘occupying’ the occupied territories. Some understood ‘occupied’ to mean that someone was on the land (as in a bathroom being occupied)
Are they teaching history in kindergarten now?

Back to Antony's resume:
Having been a professional journalist for over ten years, I regularly hear about fellow reporters and editors, in most media organisations,
A professional journalist? Antony failed to hold down a simple cadetship. He has euphemistically called himself "Freelance" ever since as it sounds better than "unemployable".

As for fellow editors, well... Joe Hildebrand said it best:
 Don't hate the media just because you can't get a job in it Antony.
The rest of his speech descends into the usual wild conspiracy theories and (of course) advocating for a boycott of the Jewish state.

You have to seriously wonder what other ideas Queensland history teachers could be feeding students.



Anonymous Ant L said...

Oh Danny Boy you are so picky, picky, picky and, as usual, as I am your favourite pickee.

You are truly the god of small things – spelling, grammar and minor details. If only you would get on the right side of history you could be famous like me. You are so much smarterer than me it would be a no-brainer, literally. You could have many new fiends on the left if you would only open your mind to modern thinking. The Greens are really lovely people. There were so kind to that nice Mr Toben.

In fact once you leave the ghetto mentality behind you the ABC will help you become a star like me. They don’t sweat the small stuff-ups like facts and details. They just love Jews baiting Jews.

There is no point in being a Jew in a post-Jew world. And here is the really grate thing – once the Jews convert to Islam they can live in Palestine forever. Problem sloved!

9:26 AM  

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