* Apologies are in order, but how did Brackman get to deposit his turd in the AGE in the first place?
Brackman: a disciple of Mahatir Mohammed or just another Jew-hating Asshole?
Tim BlairÂ â€“ Tuesday, January 20, 09 (11:47 am)
TheÂ AgeÂ apologises:Â
The editorial team at The Age has offered an unreserved apology to the Jewish community for the controversialÂ Michael Backman columnÂ that appeared in last Saturday’s newspaper.
A formal apologyÂ appearedÂ on page two of Tuesday’s edition (January 20) of the newspaper, with The Age editor Paul Ramadge telling The AJN that the anti-Semitic views expressed by Backman “have no place at The Age. We completely reject his views”.
“We fully accept that the article has caused hurt and distress to the Jewish community and we apologise without reservation,” he said.
Ramadge said the story was published while he and other senior editors were on leave.
“We have a different crew editing the paper during the holiday period,” he said.
Ramadge would not comment on whether any Age employees would lose their jobs over the publication of the story, but did admit that more than one Age staffer were guilty of “errors of judgement”.
“We have taken steps to ensure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again,” he said, adding that the staffer was being dealt with internally.Â
Tim Blair previously:
AgeÂ columnistÂ Michael Backman: “The world’s Muslims have no head …”
Caroline Overington shakes Brackman out of his tree in The Australian:
UPDATE III:Â The AgeÂ apologises:Â
A column by Michael Backman headlined “Israel living high on US expense account’’ was published in error.
The Age does not in any way endorse the views of the columnist, apologises for the distress the column caused to many readers, particularly in the Jewish community and regrets publication of the column.’
UPDATE II:Â There are some who say that Michael Backman’s column, in which he blames Israel for the World Trade Centre attacks and the Bali bombings; and says that young Israelis quibble over small amounts of cash,isn’tÂ anti-semetism. It’sÂ free speech.Â Alive to that idea, here’s the Backman piece again, with word “Israel’’ replaced by free-floating words like “Arabic’’ and “Muslim’’ and “Islamic”:
THERE’S a memorable scene in the Stephen Spielberg film ‘Schindler’s List’. AfterÂ the German invasion of Poland, the fuhrer,Â Adolf Hilter, tells confidants he wants to show the plotters that killing Jews ”is cheap as chips.”
But enough about Hitler ..Â what about Arabs?
The Muslim world’sÂ utter inability to transformÂ the WestÂ from enemies into friends has imposed big costs on us all: bombs on London public transport, bombs in bars in Bali, and even the loss of the World Trade Centre towers in New York.
It is not true that these outrages have occurred because certain Islamic fundamentalists don’t like Western lifestyles and so plant bombs in response.
Rather, it isÂ MuslimsÂ – or more correctly,Â Saudi MuslimsÂ – that is at the nub of these events.
….. (The reason) is that Muslims doÂ NOTÂ seem to feel for one another in a way that Christians and others do …
In this respect,Â the WestÂ is like a body: kick it in the leg and the rest of the body feels it. Kick it hard enough and the entire body will be energised to defend itself.
Pictures of distraughtÂ Jewish mothersÂ beside the mutilated bodies of their children are circulating right now ….
Consider theÂ United States. Every citizen of this outpost has printed in his or her passport thatÂ the passport isÂ not valid for Muslims. And givenÂ that Americans are not allowed to hold dual citizenship,Â this essentially means thatÂ every Muslim person – including those who are not Saudis – is banned from visiting the United States.
“When will the US recognise Muslims?” I once asked the then finance minister. “Once Muslims treat the World Trade Centre with a little more respect” was his reply.
The enmity manyÂ in the WestÂ now feelÂ for ArabsÂ has nothing to do with religion.
Trekking in Nepal is fashionable among youngÂ Arabs.Â So much so that many shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara have signs inÂ Arabic.Â ButÂ
once you get on the trekking circuit and speak with local Nepalese guides and guesthouse operators you soon discover how disliked theÂ ArabsÂ are … they say that theÂ
young Arabs are rude, arrogant, andÂ smell strange, like they’ve wipe themselves with their left hand, instead of using toilet paper.
The Arabic worldÂ needs to change. The Parsees of India might provide a model. The Parsees are a very tiny, very rich ethnic and religious minority …. Violence against them is unthinkable.
How have they achieved this?Â They don’t fly aeroplanes into public buildings. Their overriding characteristic is a deep interest in the welfare of others. So the Parsees have peace and theÂ ArabsÂ do not.
UPDATE::Â The AgeÂ has apparentlyÂ pulled the vile piece.
Are you wondering about the root cause of problems in the Middle East – no, scrap that … are you wondering what’s behindÂ allÂ the problems between Islamic fundamentalists and Westerners, right across the globe?
The Jews are to blame!
So says Michael Backman, inÂ this opinion pieceÂ in The Age.
Some choice cuts …
Israel’s utter inability to transform the Palestinians from enemies into friends …
Excuse me …Â Israel’sÂ inability to transform the Palestinians into friends… ? Like, Palestinians want to be Israel’s BFF? (Then again, perhaps they do; they’re alwaysÂ sending things over.) But anyway, Israel’s refusal to take a missile as a hand of friendship in a cunning disguise ….Â
… has imposed big costs on us all.
It has? How so, Mr Backman?
We have paid for Israel’s failure with bombs on London public transport, bombs in bars in Bali, and even the loss of the World Trade Centre towers in New York.
Ah-hah! It wasÂ JewsÂ that flew those planes into the towers, and carried those back packs onto London buses.Â Who knew?
It is not true that these outrages have occurred because certain Islamic fundamentalists don’t like Western lifestyles
No. There is nothing Islamic fundamentalists like more thanÂ Western decadence.
Rather, it is Israel â€” or more correctly the treatment of the Palestinians â€” that is at the nub of these events.
Well, of course. Israel – that is, the Jews – are responsible for the death of thousands of people in the World Trade Centre and of footballers on holiday in Bali.
Mr Backman goes on to say that the Jews have managed to unite Muslims across the world in hatred of them:
The world’s Muslims have no head …
Actually, it’sÂ Daniel PearlÂ who has no head, but go on Mr Backman:Â
So, how extraordinary that Israel and the West have managed to unite this headless, diverse, dispersed grouping without any institutional framework, around just one issue â€” anger at the treatment of the Palestinians.
Is that not a touch racist? Backman seems to be saying that all Muslims hate Israel, and support gross acts of terror.
Groups of Muslims do seem to feel for one another in a way that Christians and others do not.
Which is why no Western nation has ever gone to the aid of an ally in, say, a world war; why there are no links whatsoever between, say, Australia and the United States; or indeed England and the United States; none between the nations of Europe; none between Christians across the globe.Â
Pictures of distraught Gazan mothers beside the mutilated bodies of their children are circulating right now among Muslim communities worldwide.
Which can mean only one thing. More deadÂ 15-year-old surfer girlsÂ in a bar in Kuta.Â
The enmity many Muslims now feel for Israel has nothing to do with religion …
No, of course not. If all the Jews of Israel were driven into the sea, terrorists would still be firing rockets into people’s homes and blowing up buses of others in Israel.
Besides, it isn’t the Jewishness of Jews that Muslims find offensive. No, it’s just that Jews are loathsome.
Trekking in Nepal is fashionable among young Israelis. So much so that many shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara have signs in Hebrew. But once you get on the trekking circuit and speak with local Nepalese guides and guesthouse operators you soon discover how disliked the Israelis are.
Because of Palestine? No:
This has nothing to do with religion or politics: rather, they say that theÂ young Israelis are rude, arrogant, and argue over trifling amounts of money even though they clearly have means.
A-ha! See, it’s not because they are Jewish! It’s because they are money-hungry, penny-pinchers.Â
Israel needs to change.
Or else …what? More dead civilians in many distant cities?
The Parsees of India might provide a model. The Parsees are a very tiny, very rich ethnic and religious minority.Â
They own perhaps most of the land in central Mumbai as well as the country’s largest conglomerate. And yet ordinary Indians admire andÂ
respect them. Violence against them is unthinkable.
Not violence againstÂ anybody else in Mumbai, however.
How have they achieved this? They are not flashy or arrogant.
Unlike Jews, with their bling-bling and their stacks of gold that they never spend but sit and count.Â
Their overriding characteristic is a deep interest in the welfare of others. They have established hospitals, libraries, schools, museums and many other institutions and, most importantly, not for the Parsee community exclusively but for everyone.
Well, actually no, asÂ this articleÂ points out:Â
AÂ Parsi-only fertility clinicÂ has been set up in Mumbai to encourage the community to reproduce itself.
But Backman goes on:Â
So the Parsees have peace and the Israelis do not.
And some people that hatred of Israel is a) justified and b) reason to kill; and some do not.
Andrew Bostom comments:
What rot and Â just pure crude Jew hatred —He refers to the model “Parsees” ie. the Zoroastrians of Iran/Mesopatamia (Iraq) who were victimized by a brutal jihad genocide and Islamization of their indigenous homeland and escaped to live under tolerant Hindu rule. This is the “model” example? So the jihad is acceptable? But what if the Hindus had not prevailed in part of their homeland, against the same and other Muslim jihadists who completely vanqusihed the Zoroastrians? There would have been no tolerant environment for the “Parsees” to be living in. And Jews have also lived peaceably with Hindus for centuries as well. The problem isn’t Judaism, or Zoroastrianism, or Hinduism–it is Islam Â Â
Tim BlairÂ â€“ Thursday, January 22, 09 (05:27 am)
I think the real question here is what publication of this article says about the prevailing journalistic culture at The Age. The apology is a non-apology really. It apologises for the hurt it caused some people, especially Jews. This is a clayton’s apology–the sort, for instance, that Wayne Carey once offered up when he apologied for grabbing a young woman’s breast.
The apology states that The Age does not hold the views expressed in the article. I assume The Age publishes many oped pieces that do not express the views of The Age.
What this apology seems to be aimed at doing is limit the damage to the paper from the publication of this piece. What I want to know is how it came to be published and how The Age has reached the point where racist rubbish like this gets published. And what the new editor in chief intends to do about changing this culture.Â
In the world according to Backman, the true cause of terrorism is resistance to terrorism. I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s famous definition of an appeaser as “someone who feeds the crocodile in the hope of being eaten last”. And the columnist neglects to explain how Israel is supposed to befriend a Hamas government whose covenant incites the murder of every Jew on the face of the earth …
I have great respect for The Age, but in this instance an apology is not sufficient. Instead, Backman’s services must be terminated immediately.Â
I think we’re already past that point.Â Meanwhile:Â
A source close to staff at The Age said employees were “upset and amazed” the article had gone to print.Â
Except, one presumes, all the employees who were involved in its publication.Â