'Joseph' Wakim: why don't you hate them (Jews) like we do?

Kudos to Andrew Bolt for standing up for Israel:

“Permanently tattooed”?

I don’t think Jeremy Sher is overreacting at all:

I’m unsure if you have seen this article by Joseph Wakim (founder of the Australian Arabic Council) defending the Greens’ ‘“Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” campaign.  However, what I dislike about this article is that the taxpayer-funded ABC blog is promoting an article which has all the hallmarks of old-fashioned anti-Semitism. It has all the juicy innuendo that one expects in modish, leftish writing about Israel and the so-called ‘Israel lobby’:



“It is ironic that the Greens candidates who dared to take a moral and non-violent stand against the Israeli occupation have copped the wrath of those who carry the political whips

“With swastikas and loaded labels smeared onto the Greens candidates, the individuals are placed in a defensive position where they are permanently tattooed as guilty – defeated Greens candidate for Marrickville Fiona Byrne, successful candidate for Balmain Jamie Parker, and Senator elect Lee Rhiannon…“On cue, the major parties promptly paid their dues to Israel…

“If any of these whip crackers bothered to research the facts about the BDS, they would struggle to find any extremism…

“In our democracy, our politicians should shape our foreign policy based on our population and our national interests, not based on lubricated lobbying and ‘behind the scenes’ engineering”

The reason why this material is should be labeled anti-Semitic is two fold.

First, Wakim is obviously drawing a parallel between the Holocaust and the proponents of the Palestinian cause.  In particular, the use of the phrase ‘permanently tattooed’.

Second, it harks back to one of the more virulent strains of anti-Semitism, best typified by that awful tome, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  This ‘book’ alleged an international Jewish conspiracy, where Jews were seeking to control the world.  Whether deliberately or not, Wakim is suggesting that some shadowy figures are behind the bipartisan opposition to the racist BDS campaign.  Rather, Australia’s major political leaders have rightly and independently concluded that there are better ways to forge a path to peace than by punishing the Middle East’s sole democracy.

The activities of ABC Unleashed deserves more scrutiny – given its public funding and well-documented left wing bias… Wakim ought to be condemned.

Strangely, Australia’s PC laws don’t seem to apply to Jews, only to those who want to kill them:


“It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if the act is reasonably likely, in all circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people, and the act is done because of the race, colour or NATIONAL or ETHNIC ORIGIN of the other person or of some or all of the people of the group.”

Perhaps the Australian Israeli community – and Israeli government – should consider legal action against the Greens and their “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” campaign under Section 18C?

After all, most Israelis surely feel offended, insulted, humiliated, or intimidated by this act, one which – it could be argued – has been done because of their national origin?



One thought on “'Joseph' Wakim: why don't you hate them (Jews) like we do?”

  1. Let’s give sharia another flogging


    It is tragic and ironic that the recent ‘flogging of a Muslim convert’ story weaved another strand into the anti-Muslim whip.

    There was absolutely no mention of religion when this Sydney story was first broadcast on news bulletins, presumably based on the police and court reports.

    When I heard this report about the 40 lashes with an electrical cable, I immediately cringed as I evoked Opus Dei and self flagellation. Here we go again – mocking, then defending and contextualising the diversity of Catholics.

    But once the intoxicating word sharia was added to the cocktail, this local story spilled over into national banner headlines.

    The story epitomised all the ingredients that so many Australians love to loathe and it played right into the hands of Muslim-haters: a young convert whose name happened to be Christian; a gang of four bearded men; an attack in the middle of the night; whipping the victim while he is held down; punishment for allegedly having alcoholic drinks with the boys. All the stereotype boxes are ticked.

    Rather than feeling relief that this was not a Catholic, I empathised with the Muslim elders who braced themselves for a flogging. They pre-empted this with yet another condemnation of these (un)Australian crimes that have no right to incriminate Islam and no place in Australia. These crimes are neither sanctioned by Muslim clerics nor representative of Muslim communities, but executed by misguided Australians.

    The sharia label was draped like a burka to completely cover this story, as if quarantining some imported disease before it spreads, as if the case was closed even before it was open. But the label shrouded many questions such as the relationships between the offenders and the victim, their mental states, pathologies, personal debts and mentors. Even if a victim or offender blames a religion, or voices in his head, or a movie, or a book, or a media report, this should not justify generalisations and criminalisations about that source. Just as the Catholic faith per se cannot be blamed for paedophile priests.

    The story was no longer about a local crime which must face the full force of the law. It was now a renewed ‘I told you so’ moral panic that directly linked Islam with these barbaric crimes.

    Even Prime Minister Julia Gillard tried to placate the panic merchants before they whipped up a frenzy: “There’s only one law in this country, Australian law”. NSW Police Commissioner Andre Scipione was just as blunt “There is no place in Australian for sharia law, full stop”.

    What is always missing with these stereotypical stories is some sobering perspective.

    If this is an isolated case of misguided individuals, do the extreme actions of an extreme minority deserve such moral panic? The victim reported the crime to the police who in turn acted swiftly and responsibly, putting the religion aside, and concentrating on the crime. One of the offenders was arrested and another voluntarily turned himself in. Both are now out on bail and it is now revealed that the assault had more to do with bad debts than alcohol or sharia.

    In Arabic, sharia literally means the path (to the watering hole). It is derived from the teachings of the Koran and the Sunna – the example and utterances of Mohammed as recorded in the Hadith (narrative).

    For centuries, Islamic scholars and Imams have had diverse interpretations of sharia, with many cultural customs. It is akin to the catechism for Catholics, except that its application is more localised than universal. Among Catholics, local variations can be seen with the liberation theology in Latin Americans compared with the crucifixions in the Philippines compared with the monastic movements in Lebanon.

    Unlike Catholics, Muslims have no singular papal head of church or clear hierarchy of clergy. But like Catholics and indeed all faiths, there is the usual human spectrum of literalists, conservatives, moderates and progressives. The extreme interpretations of sharia criminal codes where the ‘haram’ offences are met with abhorrent punishments have attracted most attention, and need most perspective.

    Catholics have their own canon law regarding the status of homosexuals, divorcees, abortions, unbaptised children within the church. The consequences are not normally violent or inconsistent with Australian law, nor are they directly attributed to the Bible. But they have been practised and observed by Catholics in Australia since the First Fleet.

    Similarly, civil aspects of sharia have been practiced in Australia and not normally inconsistent with Australian laws. For example, customs relating to funeral parlours, businesses, Islamic banking, Islamic charities, halal meats. When family disputes reach stalemate, sometimes they turn to their local Imam where sharia is invoked to resolve issues of marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance. This can be problematic if the cleric has no formal training or accreditation in Australian family law. But it can also prevent the protracted and costly process of family court settlements.

    This compatibility between Australian laws and sharia customs has been the subject of a new report Good and Bad Sharia: Australia’s mixed response to Islamic Law by Queensland academics Ann Black and Kerrie Sadiq, to be published in the University of NSW Law Journal next Monday. Their report reveals that 90 per cent of Muslims interviewed did not want to change Australian law, and they conclude that “the wider Australian community has been oblivious to the legal pluralism that abounds in this country”. Perhaps our well intentioned leaders need to read the report before denying sharia practices exist. They may never need to be enshrined in Australia, but the blinding criminal aspects may blur out the civil pathways.

    Sharia criminal codes cannot be implemented by individuals or groups on their own accord. They cannot be self appointed law enforcers. This is illegal under both Australian and sharia law.

    One of the rules in sharia is that one must always obey the law of the land, which always prevails.

    Despite all these perspectives, I suspect that the offenders will receive heavy sentencing as a public deterrent to others who dare to take the law – whether Australian or sharia – into the own hands.

    There is always something ironic about such public ‘floggings’ in order to steer people onto the right path.

    Joseph Wakim is a freelance writer and former Multicultural Affairs Commissioner for Victoria.

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