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O’Loughlin spins for the Palestinians

Ed O'Loughlin 16 August 2005 wrote:

“ …the small but powerful religious Zionist settler movement, which believes that the secular state of Israel is an instrument for clearing all of the ‘Biblical Land of Israel’ of non-Jews in accordance with God’s covenant with Abraham.”

As you would be aware we are asking for suggestions on two counts. Firstly what kind of statement should be made? And secondly WHO should make it?

ICJS believes that in this instance someone who can speak authoritatively for religious zionism should make a strongly worded statement to the Age.

We want you to post a comment anonymously so that we can collate community feedback. Please help by making your suggestions here.

They WILL be plagiarised without attribution!

Readers' Comments:

Comment nr. 1

I'm an Australian-born Israeli. Ed O'Loughlin's reports of life in Israel are expressed with such conviction and authority that I hesitate before expressing a different viewpoint. But I see he has now written about a Zionist belief in rendering what he calls the 'Biblical Land of Israel' free of gentiles in accordance with what he alleges to be 'God’s covenant with Abraham'.

This nonsensical rubbish is not only incompetent and irresponsible but goes even beyond what some of the highly political Israel-bashing European journalists here have put out in recent years - but he goes beyond it into the realm of pure invention. The dangerous mischief that his fantastical reporting might cause can legitimately be compared with those notorious bogus reports in medieval times in which Jews were accused of poisoning the wells and spreading the black plague.

Looking on the web at coverage by other reporters, O'Loughlin's report comes closest to those of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

He brings personal and professional disgrace on The Age and on those who sent him here. His personal agenda is long overdue for analytical public disclosure.If it does not happen immediately, then shame on you, and shame on those who tolerate O'Loughlin's brand of incompetence, misrepresentation and overt prejudice.

Comment nr. 2

To what does Ed O'loughlin attribute the title "small but powerful religious sttler movement" etc.? If it were so powerful, it would be achieving that which Ed O'Loughlin claims that they desire.That a few are vocal, is a fact. Whatever their beliefs are, they are no more 'powerful'in a democracy than any other minority group.

The resistance to evacuation from Gaza is based on many reasons which are not necessarily religious only: they are mainly based on security fears, economic dislocation and plain anger at being forced to ethnically cleanse any area of a Jewish presence because the land is claimed by another group.That group shares the land of Israel, but the land of Palestine whenever it will be declared, has to be ethnically-pure Islamic?

Civil disobedience by Israelis, whether religious-Zionists or secular Zionists,- is a far-cry from what the palestinians exhibit amongst themselves! Israelis are all Zionists, first and foremost and Ed O'loughlin's gratuitous labelling of this or that group of Jewish Israelis shows gross ignorance and insensitivity.

Comment nr. 3

Shame on you The Age!

For a front page article, one would expect some degree of copy checking. From where does O'Loughlin get this nonsense regarding the beliefs of the "small but powerful religious Zionist settler movement"?

It would be impressive indeed if O'Loughlin were to acquaint himself with G-d's covenant with Abraham - perhaps then we would all enjoy an end to The Age of Flimsy Reporting

Comment nr. 4

Does anyone believe that Ed O’Loughlin has an objective bone in his body? That he provides a fair analysis of events in the Middle East? O’Loughlin has been permitted to spin his own brand of anti-Israel propaganda almost daily since the arrival of the new Age editor, Andrew Jaspan, a year ago.

Now he has gone too far, one too many times. His front page article is spurious, full of omissions, distortions and outright lies. Here is an example; “ …the small but powerful religious Zionist settler movement, which believes that the secular state of Israel is an instrument for clearing all of the ‘Biblical Land of Israel’ of non-Jews in accordance with G-d’s covenant with Abraham.” This is libelous material which must not go unchallenged.

ICJS Research calls on the State Zionist Council to make a public statement to counter these appalling lies and distortions and furthermore, to call The Age to account for their ongoing, substandard and biased Middle East reporting.

Comment nr. 5

I am no scholar nor as knowledgeable as most. I read the Age infrequently because I can no longer trust the information in the areas that I am most familiar with.

There are two sectors of the world community that should be asked to be more proactive on the quality of information issued to the public & the accountability of all contributors to public knowledge.

The first sector is the shareholders of the issuers of information. So the boards of the publishing companies such as CNN and Fairfax should become more accountable. Thereafter the Editors, of the tabloids, magazines and newspapers such as the Age should be asked to account for the quality & accuracy of their journalists.

The second sector that appear to be less vocal than their governments are all the religious groups that have Israel as an “epicentre”. When I visited Israel I saw many religions being represented, having a slice of history in Israel and more so in Jerusalem & or Haifa. Given Israel is the only site in the world where Christians, Catholics and others religious groups begin their history, have buried their humble sages & have assets\property for their followers. Then these groups and their leaders I believe should be more vocal and make a greater contribution to peace & "engines" that make them so powerful.

Comment nr. 6 (by Dr MDW, Jerusalem)

Mr. O'Loughlin reminds me of the Hebrew joke about someone misspelling a two-letter word in Hebrew with seven mistakes. Religious Zionists have two main characteristics: they are believing Jews who try to practice Judaism, and they are generally quite modern people who believe in the modern form of Jewish nationalsim known as Zionism.

Neither of these two doctrines has ever called for removing non-Jews from the land of Israel or forcibly converting them etc.

Similarly, even the most "extreme of the extreme" of the settlers would not dream of speaking like Mr. O'Loughlin, whose views come closest to those expressed by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was banned from the Israeli Knesset. Kahane (who was assassinated in NY by an Islamic terrorist), favored removing Arabs from Israel--but not on religious grounds or on zionistic grounds. He stated that Arabs would ultimately try to defeat Israel, and he favored a "transfer" based on security considerations. His views, however, were never accepted by more than one or two percent of Israeli voters, and he was ultimately banned from Israeli politics, because of the racist overtones of his doctrine.

The great Jewish sage Maimonides, born in North Africa and buried in Israel, recognized that Muslims were authentic monotheists, and he decreed deep respect for Islam.

Similarly, the Prophet Isaiah speaks of "all the nations" streaming to Jerusalem to hear God's words. Isaiah is a much better spokesman for religious zionists than Mr. O'Loughlin.

Further comment from MDW in Jerusalem regarding O'Loughlin:

What Ed O'Loughlin describes is actually Saudi Arabia, Syria or even Jordan: places where the government does not allow JEWS to live, as part of the reigning political or religious view.

Indeed, in Saudi Arabia, there are broad swathes of the ruling elite who would like to see the removal of all non-Muslims whether they be American soldiers or Australian businessmen.

In Israel--even in the most religious and most zionist of neighborhoods--Arabs move about freely. You can even see religious Arab workers praying at construction sites inside ultra-religious Jewish neighborhoods.

Maybe Mr. O'Loughlin should be posted to Syria or Saudi Arabia. That would make his editors' job much easier: they could merely switch around the words "Jews," "Muslims" and "non-Muslims," and the result would be much more accurate.

Comment nr. 7


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