The AGE apologizes for publishing Brackman's Dreck

* Apologies are in order, but how did Brackman get to deposit his turd in the AGE in the first place?

* Latest update: Jews consider legal action over ‘racist’ article in The Age

Brackman: a disciple of Mahatir Mohammed or just another Jew-hating Asshole?

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 20, 09 (11:47 am)

The Age apologises: 

The editorial team at The Age has offered an unreserved apology to the Jewish community for the controversial Michael Backman column that appeared in last Saturday’s newspaper.

A formal apology appeared 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”.

* The terrorist supporting AGE provides a forum for Mamduh Habib and “Gitmo Torture”

* Did the New Yawk Slimes find a buyer?

“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. 

Sounds like the dreaded counselling. No word yet from Backman himself. 

Tim Blair previously:

Age columnist Michael Backman: “The world’s Muslims have no head …”

Australian writer Caroline Overington: “Actually, it’s Daniel Pearl who has no head, but go on Mr Backman …” 

Caroline Overington shakes Brackman out of his tree in The Australian:

The Jews are to blame


UPDATE III: The Age apologises: 


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.’



The item is on page two of the print edition.

UPDATE II: 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’t anti-semetism. It’s free speech. 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’. After the German invasion of Poland, the fuhrer, Adolf Hilter, tells confidants he wants to show the plotters that killing Jews ”is cheap as chips.”

But enough about Hitler .. what about Arabs?

The Muslim world’s utter inability to transform the West 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 is Muslims – or more correctly, Saudi Muslims – that is at the nub of these events.

….. (The reason) is that Muslims do NOT seem to feel for one another in a way that Christians and others do …

In this respect, the West 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 distraught Jewish mothers beside the mutilated bodies of their children are circulating right now ….

Consider the United States. Every citizen of this outpost has printed in his or her passport that the passport is not valid for Muslims. And given that Americans are not allowed to hold dual citizenship, this essentially means that 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 many in the West now feel for Arabs has nothing to do with religion.

Trekking in Nepal is fashionable among young Arabs.  So much so that many shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara have signs in Arabic. But 
once you get on the trekking circuit and speak with local Nepalese guides and guesthouse operators you soon discover how disliked the Arabs are … they say that the 
young Arabs are rude, arrogant, and smell strange, like they’ve wipe themselves with their left hand, instead of using toilet paper.

The Arabic world 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? 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 the Arabs do not.

UPDATE:: The Age has apparently 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 behind all the problems between Islamic fundamentalists and Westerners, right across the globe?

The Jews are to blame!

So says Michael Backman, in this opinion piece in The Age.

Some choice cuts …

Israel’s utter inability to transform the Palestinians from enemies into friends …

Excuse me … Israel’s inability to transform the Palestinians into friends… ? Like, Palestinians want to be Israel’s BFF? (Then again, perhaps they do; they’re always sending things over.) But anyway, Israel’s refusal to take a missile as a hand of friendship in a cunning disguise …. 

… 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 was Jews that flew those planes into the towers, and carried those back packs onto London buses.  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 than Western decadence.

Rather, it is Israel — or more correctly the treatment of the Palestinians — 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’s Daniel Pearl who has no head, but go on Mr Backman: 

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 — 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. 

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 dead 15-year-old surfer girls in a bar in Kuta. 

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 the 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. 

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. 
They own perhaps most of the land in central Mumbai as well as the country’s largest conglomerate. And yet ordinary Indians admire and 
respect them. Violence against them is unthinkable.

Not violence against 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. 

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, as this article points out: 

A Parsi-only fertility clinic has been set up in Mumbai to encourage the community to reproduce itself.

But Backman goes on: 

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  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   

Nuff said…

Another update:


Tim Blair – Thursday, January 22, 09 (05:27 am)

Former Age editor-in-chief Michael Gawenda on his old newspaper’s Michael Backman debacle: 

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. 

Good luck. Further thoughts from Liberal senator Michael Ronaldson: 

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. 

I think we’re already past that point. Meanwhile: 

A source close to staff at The Age said employees were “upset and amazed” the article had gone to print. 

Except, one presumes, all the employees who were involved in its publication. 

9 thoughts on “The AGE apologizes for publishing Brackman's Dreck”

  1. I think the milk has been spilled. What kind of editorial staff do they have at the Age?

    Obviously pathetically qualified ones who haven’t got a brain in their heads.

    This is not unlike the sort of thing Nazis espoused,IMHO.

  2. sheik and gramfan – I read the Comments to Overington’s splendid rip, tear and shred job on Backman.

    Amongst a great deal of nonsense and hate and parroted propaganda there was one remarkable personal, eyewitness account, by a non-Muslim Brisbane resident, of his conversation with some resident-in-Queensland Muslim pro-Hamas pro-Jihad protesters whose march had proceeded past his front door.

    It was so very revealing that I promptly copied and saved it to my own files, and I will post it here as well, for it deserves to be spread far and wide. I have passed it on to the redoubtable ‘Hugh Fitzgerald’ of Jihadwatch, also.

    Here it is:
    – Jonathan Whybird
    Mon 19 Jan 09 (05:24pm)
    ‘Excellent article Carolyn.

    ‘I note the earlier poster who said that he/she has sent the article in question to the Anti-Discrimination Commission. I think The Australian should do this itself and report on the outcome – it would be very very interesting.

    ‘Marcus (the expert on everything) {another poster in the talkbacks – dda} I cannot agree with your view that most of the Palestinians are peaceful people.

    ‘On Saturday [17th Jan – dda] in Brisbane there was another demonstration in favour of Palestine at which anybody who bothered to go

    (I live in the city and they marched in my street so I had a front row ground level seat as my fiance and I had come back from a run)

    ‘would have heard Muslim Australians chanting “kill the jews”.

    ‘I even spoke to one protestor who confirmed he was Muslim and from Iran who said there would only be peace when Israel and the rest of the west was destroyed.

    ‘Now this man was supported by many of his fellow protestors who screamed with him {NOTA BENE – dda}

    ‘but for three men in the crowd who shook their heads and at that point left the protest (and apologised to us for the comments of the others).

    ‘When I asked the man why he hated the west he said “because you reject the prophet”.

    ‘Please explain to me how this sort of behaviour should be tolerated?

    ‘Also why is it that two weekends in a row have seen protests in their thousands against Israel – but the muslim community was silent over september 11, bali and London?’

    I don’t know who ‘Jonathan Whybird’ is, but I know now that there is yet another clearheaded resister of Jihad in Australia.

  3. dumbledoresarmy
    Glad you posted this because I started to read the comments yesterday and most were not only awful but inaccurate. I didn’t get as far as you did.

    The story of the bystander is a very good insight. At least the Iraqi was telling the truth – that is how they see things.
    I recently watched a very good documentary called “Farewell Israel”. It pretty much covers everything.

    (ps. I have emailed Robert Spencer as you suggested: waiting for a reply).

  4. Gramfan – I’ve just sent an email off to Mr Spencer.

    I have to admit, wading through those comments was mostly infuriating and tiring, but worth it, to find the one gem – hard information and clear thinking – toward the end. Like panning for gold…

    Something that serves me in good stead in this kind of research is that I am a total bookworm. Few indeed are the books that I have set down without finishing – they have to be *really* bad. I guess the other thing that drives me to wade through, say, an entire slew of comments, most of them ignorant or hateful, is simple curiosity. I do want to know what people are thinking. Call it data-crunching.

    One thing I have learned quickly, from visiting the talkback sections on a range of blogs and newspapers, is that the standard of comment and conversation – and general civility – at Spencer’s site is very, very high compared to that at most other places I have visited.

  5. Agree about Spencer’s site. Of course there are a lot of like-minded, and well-mannered people there,,,and the inevitable troll:)

    I admire your tenacity and have always enjoyed all your posts.

    I look forward to hearing from you via Spencer:)

    Am posting an excerpt from a much forwarded email. It’s from JCCV


    At a time when some of us in the Jewish community might be feeling a bit under siege, it’s important to realise that we do have some non-Jewish supporters.

    I have had a number of positive phone calls in response to the Backman article and here is the text of 2 messages I received today, senders’ names deleted (and even better, we’ve had no nasty public comments!).

    1 Please be assured that the Jewish community has the support of many Christians like myself in the current denigration of your race and Israel. The recent article in The Age newspaper shows that bias in so-called “journalism” is a worldwide disgrace, and seems to have some parallels to what preceded the terrible events before and during WW2.

    2 I wish to share with you my disgust at the publication of article by Michael Backman in the Age newspaper on 17 January 2009. It is the worst piece of vitriol and bigotry that I have every read in a supposedly reputable newspaper. I have written a letter to the Age editor expressing my disgust and have blogged a comment on the article reporting the apology by the Age today. I am perplexed by their “B-team” excuse which they themselves would not accept from any other individual or organisation involved in wrongdoing. Their invocation of the B-team excuse lowers their credibility. You do not have to Jewish to be hurt by such an article and you have my full support in your continuing efforts to confront and eradicate bigotry. Regards

    Geoffrey Zygier

  6. The Australian (Online Newspaper of the Year) roasts The Age (rightly), and then serves
    up sanitised horse manure …

    * Blaming Israel for terrorism completely misses the point

    GOOD for The Age’s editor, Paul Ramadge, for apologising in print for the anti-Israeli rant by columnist Michael Blackman, which appeared in the paper last weekend. But no amount of apologising can disguise the obvious: if Blackman’s beliefs are not held by senior staff at the paper, why did his piece appear?

    Fair enough, but then this …

    * Undergraduate, ill-informed nonsense. There is no doubting the rage of millions of
    Muslims all over the world at the condition of the Palestinians. But this is a convenient
    cover for Islamic terrorists who hate everybody, including Muslims, who do not share
    their evil interpretation of the honoured religion of Islam.

    “honoured religion of Islam”?

    “Online Newspaper of the Year” or “Voice of the Caliphate”?

  7. There’s an update in the OZ:,25197,24940098-7583,00.html

    IF anti-Semitism is truly the oldest hatred, the hallmark of this noxious ideology is the enduring nature of its bigoted beliefs. Business columnist Michael Backman recently dredged up the most venerable of anti-Jewish biases in the place where they should be least expected: the opinion page of The Age. What Backman wrote was an appalling piece that did not deserve a berth in one of Australia’s signature newspapers.

  8. An apology in 5 point type (probably the smallest legible size there is) hidden in column 1 where only those looking for the lotto numbers go is no apology.

    And BTW it’s Backman not Brackman as you have spelt it in your lead.

  9. I’d take all your accusations of anti-semitism seriously if there wasn’t a racist question (the one about face coverings) on the top right hand side of your blog. Backam’s comment about Israelis arguing over small amounts of money, if he made it up, is racist, but only as racist as your advert. The implication of both is that Jews are mean with money (false) and that Muslim women are hiding explosives under their garb because they hate our way of life (false). So simmer down and consider the mote in your own eye. Besides, in the context of the slaughter in Gaza, this really is too small to be even small beer isn’t it.

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