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November 08, 2005

The Aussies Were Duped

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When Al Gore spoke at a Jewish National Fund event in Sydney yesterday, he drew a small pro-Palestinian protest and substantial media coverage, much of it based on a falsehood.

The Australian, a national daily paper, gave a platform to the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine to spread a falsehood without challenge:

The Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine said the funds raised at the event would be spent supporting the construction of new Jewish settlements in disputed territories.

Jamal Daoud, interim convenor of the coalition, called on the Howard Government to put a stop to the Jewish fund's use of its status as a tax-deductible charity to support construction activity in the arid Bnei Shimon region in North Negev.

"We are concerned that tax-deductible money is going to finance illegal settlements in North Negev," Mr Daoud said.

Only Bnei Shimon is not in disputed territory, nor are its developments--Jewish and Bedouin--settlements, illegal or otherwise.

But Glen Barclay, identified by reporters Jennifer Sexton and Elizabeth Gosch as "an expert on Middle East politicals at the Australian National University," apparently didn't know that pesky little detail. Instead, Barclay took the opportunity to warn about the nefarious Jewish lobby:

"It would be political suicide for [Gore] to reject [an invitation to speak from a Jewish organization]," Dr. Barclay sai.

"Whether he has political or academic amitions, he doesn't want to be the target of denunciation by the Jewish lobby."

Geez, good thing they called in the big guns to clear that one up. Now, have a map of Israel anyone? Comments to Michael Stutchberry, the Australian editor, at editor@theaustralian.com.au.

Posted by TS at November 8, 2005 05:37 AM

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