shadow

So the ABC Board has finally acted, issuing a warning to Q&A executive producer Peter McEvoy, and thereby indirectly to presenter Tony Jones, over giving Sydney Islamist Zaky Mallah a platform on the ABC’s million rating Q&A program.


Michael Danby
9 July 2015, an abridged version of this article was published in The Australian Jewish News

So the ABC Board has finally acted, issuing a warning to Q&A executive producer Peter McEvoy, and thereby indirectly to presenter Tony Jones, over giving Sydney Islamist Zaky Mallah a platform on the ABC’s million rating Q&A program.

Possibly the only thing that went unreported about Zaky Mallah was his tweet quoting Hitler:

“I destroyed 90% of the #Jews, leaving 10% of them for the world to understand why I killed them (Adolf #Hitler). #Israel”

Q&A’s slant on Middle East issues should be no surprise to readers of this newspaper. How often do we see Jews with anti-Israel views being paraded on the program? Usually these unrepresentative types use their ethnicity to bag Israel during flare-ups in the Middle East. They have little or no expertise in Middle East affairs.

That Horrible Harridan, Miriam Margolyes, is a prime example of this phenomena, and seems to have a permanent gig on Q&A. Remember she said earlier this year, “Look, nobody likes Jews” and attributed this to Israel because “People … associate Israel with Jews and Jews are killing people.  Innocent people …”.

It seems that every time there is a Jewish Holiday, our “multicultural”, “sensitive” and “progressive” Q&A baits the local Jews by putting on some hateful extremist. Many of those folks would normally be excluded by their inarticulateness, such as the obscure Israeli-born fanatic, Ilan Pappe. Q&A even disinterred British violinist, Nigel Kennedy, whom the BBC censored for making anti-Israel editorials during one of his concerts. His ‘expertise’ on the complexities of the Middle East was based on “having had a long-term Palestinian girlfriend when I was a teenager” and “having been to Palestine and … played with Palestinian musicians”.

My mate, Austen Tayshus (Sandy Guttman) is the closest I’ve ever seen to one of the very few mainstream Jewish representatives to have appeared on Q&A, and he was there by mistake. Guttman was on Q&A with the infamous, fourth Jewish Member of Parliament, Senator Lee Rhiannon, the far-left Greens Senator from NSW and daughter of the Jewish Stalinist, Freda Yetta Brown. Sandy memorably interrupted Rhiannon’s diatribe about the Gaza Flotilla. He demanded to know when the Greens Party Senator was organising a flotilla to Syria where around 250,000 thousand civilians have been killed, 100 times more than in Gaza (and more than half those killed have been identified as Hamas fighters).


Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and her doppelganger Elena Ceausescu

Jones is fairer, when he is hosting Lateline. Sometimes he interviews mainstream advocates or analysts on the situation in the Middle East, such as Martin Indyk  (the Australian expat who became American Ambassador to Israel).

Those behind Q&A remind me of one of my old bete noires from student politics – Rod Webb. Webb was a Trotskyite fanatic. In the 1970s, he turned Macquarie University into a fortress of “From the River to the Sea” Palestinian activity. Webb’s long march saw him subsequently become director of scheduling at SBS. Was it any wonder that it was dominated by pro-Palestinian films and documentaries through the 80s and 90s? It was comrade Webb! Isn’t it ironic that it’s taken a Coptic Christian like Executive Director Michael Ebeid for a great network like SBS to have resumed balanced programming in this area?

My old mentor, the late Robert Zablud, impressed on me the truth of the old Polish saying, “the fish stinks from the head.” Memo to Malcolm Turnbull: During these times of serious National Security issues, the Middle East agenda of Q&A has become of national concern.

Australia’s 120,000 Jews have been baited by this awful program for too long. But, as usual, the Jews are the canary in the coalmine. What happens to us first is then inflicted on the rest. Q&A’s long anti-Israel bias is coming home to roost. The ABC’s Managing Director, “the nice Mr Scott,” as Sydney Institute’s Gerard Henderson so wittily called him, seems oblivious to Q&A’s abiding agenda. Perhaps he privately agrees with it?

Giving Zaky Mallah a leg-up is not the main problem. The problem is allowing TV producers with hard-line political agendas, operating in the shadows, to distort the public debate, shifting it in a direction that only the “enlightened vanguard” like them, appreciate.