(For information on Prof Israeli's Melbourne speaking engagement 11 March 2007 go to bookings.php )
As an Israeli, one becomes used to the bias of the world's media and the frustrations of being misrepresented in the face of hysteria. But as a visiting academic to the land of the fair go, I didn't expect to find the same thing here.At the end of last week, the Australian Jewish News interviewed me about my research into Muslim communities in Europe. Having spent much of my life studying and writing about this subject, I was asked by a reporter about my views and how relevant they were to Australia. He pressed me as to whether the violence that Europe was experiencing with its Muslim population could happen here.
I said it could happen anywhere, including Australia, that Muslim immigration occurred unchecked.
The response in the media has been less than friendly. Sydney radio broadcaster Mike Carlton and The Sydney Morning Herald implied that I was a racist, and I have been denounced by some leaders of the Jewish community.
I came to Australia to speak about Islam and the Middle East and to share the fruits of my books and research. But I've been dragged into an argument on a sensational issue that was not part of my schedule here. The many audiences who were to attend my lectures throughout the land were deprived of hearing them, except that private organisations, Jewish and non-Jewish, picked up the sponsorship of those lectures and I will end up giving more lectures than previously planned.
I am vastly rewarded by the multitude of supporting voices and the outpouring of calls and emails, from Jews and non-Jews, in Australia and abroad, and by the pressing queues of learners who've signed up for my classes. (There have also been a few hostile callers, some of whom identified themselves as Muslims or Muslim converts who typically use abusive language instead of a civilised voice of reason.)
I have been researching Islam in Europe and have come to some disturbing findings about the new third Islamic invasion of Europe: specifically, the Muslim neighbourhoods that breed violence and trouble and the home-grown European Muslims who have sworn to change Europe to their tune, to Islamise it and to use violence, if necessary, to that end.
So much so that erstwhile proponents of immigration such as France, The Netherlands and Britain have had to revise their laws, introduce new restrictions and shelve the marvellous utopia of multiculturalism as simply unfeasible and counterproductive.
There is nothing racist about adopting those policies, much less about describing them in a scholarly fashion. Moreover, it's fair, honest and educative to infer from those data to other parts of the Western world, such as Australia, which face the same issues.
I do not wish to play the victim and I appreciate that Australia is noted for robust debate. But when a scholar who has no axe to grind honestly describes and analyses what policy-makers in Europe have done, and draws a straightforward conclusion about Australia, to be abused and branded as a racist is extraordinary.
Shouts and abuse are not a policy, nor do they encourage public debate. If someone wishes to dismiss data by providing alternative sets of facts and arguments, that is a debate, but by shooting the messenger instead of addressing the issue, no public cause is served. It is a fact that since 2000, Jewish facilities were attacked by Muslims in Europe and Australia, but never the other way around. To state that is racism?
Some, of course, prefer to hide behind hollow slogans of "inter-communal harmony", "inter-faith co-operation" and "multiculturalism" instead of exposing Muslim violence and inflammatory rhetoric and act, together with Muslim moderates, to uproot these phenomena.
Aware of the European parallel, I am neither surprised by the Muslim leaders' attempts to shut off any debate in Australia and intimidate anyone who raises his voice against such actions, nor by the Australian press complicity in that process. Only yesterday I received threats from a Chechen Islamic website. So much for civilised debate.
But I am stunned by the behaviour of some Jewish leaders, who didn't seek to find out what I had said but instead relied on a report in the Australian Jewish News that misrepresented the context (not distorted or falsified) of what I said. Instead of supporting free debate in this country, these Jewish leaders have elected to shamefully disown it in statements that were geared to placate Muslims.
People who lack courage and stamina to stand up for principles, who whisper in my ear that they agree with me but then act in public to protect their positions and the illusions they are trying to cultivate in this society, do not act in a Jewish, Australian or even civilised fashion.
Raphael Israeli, a professor of Islamic, Middle East and Chinese history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has been brought to Australia by the Shalom Institute of the University of NSW.
Original piece is http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21264602-7583,00.html
History repeats itself. In the 1930's,Egon Kisch came to Australia to lecture on the dangers of European fascisim.He was eventually deported as an unwanted alien,and his important message was dismissed. Sadly,Islamofascism exists,and we ned to know about it. And,by the way,this is a democracy.If Muslims are allowed to have a voice,so can Professor Israeli
Posted by Fiona on 2007-02-28 05:08:48 GMT
I give up ! where do I go to convert ,is it as easy like when a Muslim man wishes to divorse his wife he just has to say 3 times ""I divorse thee"'I divorse Thee,''I divorse thee'' so to convert I just have to say three times I am a muslim,I am a muslim ,I am a Muslim ...it will make life much easier and people like Felicity wont have to stand up and be counted!
Posted by youknowho on 2007-02-26 02:22:55 GMT
I don't agree, Felicity. Jews are being directly affected (negatively) by the growth of Muslims populations in the West, and the larger the numbers, the more problematic. Whereas Jews have flourished under the freedoms of the West, and added greatly to their host societies, in some countries they are now coming under increasing threat from aggressive, violent Muslim groups. Even without the risk of terrorism, the damage to many communities in the West is happening by violence, intimidation, and the demands of an arrogant, absolutist, Muslim culture which always cries 'victimhood' as they put out their hands for more funding and special conditions. Therefore, this is not just a problem for the host Western countries, but is one for the Jewish minorities too, both as citizens of the countries and as Jews (who spend millions in security to counter this rising threat). Hence, based on all the evidence, Jews have the right and knowledge to speak up when appropriate to alert the (often more complacent/naive) host communities about the threats from large Muslim populations in their midst. AIJAC seem to be running an illogical vendetta aginst the Prof Israeli for speaking about a subject he knows well.
Posted by MT on 2007-02-26 02:13:24 GMT
2 issues get blurred. Israeli complains that there is a media beatup, but you would expect controversy on any negative comments about Muslims, especially by Jews because this is a political and cultural minefield. In this respect he seems a bit naive. 2. He is upset by the reaction of the gatekeepers in the Jewish community: people agreed but didn't want to be associated with his remarks. I sense that AIJAC has done the right thing. As a vulnerable minority we have to think strategically. We don't need to take the offensive in critiquing Muslims. Critiques are in plentiful supply and the relevant conclusions have already been drawn by policy makers. So nothing for us to gain by banging on about it, and perhaps a lot to lose. (see point 3) More productive and helpful to everyone to continue efforts to build rapport with the Muslim community and gain the trust of moderates, who are naturally defensive about negative comments re Muslim immigration.
Posted by Felicity Bloch on 2007-02-26 00:42:20 GMT
The following two articles combined are more in line with my current views: Article By Debris Trail in FrontPageMagazine.com | March 1, 2006 The web site is http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21447 and Letter published in the AJN print edition, February 23, 2007 by Grahame Leonard President, Executive Council of Australian Jewry. The website is http://www.ajn.com.au/news/news.asp?pgID=2618
Posted by Vivienne on 2007-02-25 01:26:34 GMT
Long ago I learned that most public officials, most media sources, most "leaders" rarely rock the boat. Pretending that Professor Israeli is provoking a problem, instead of describing one that should be confronted, is ridiculous. It is a short term escape from a long term problem. Ignoring Moslem aspirations and behavior, embracing "appeasement" "and "peace in our time" is the most common and foolish response worldwide. However, Winston Churchill pointed out the consequences of this failure to confront evil when he said. "He who feeds the crocodile will simply be eaten last."
Posted by R.E.D. on 2007-02-24 20:57:53 GMT
I heard Neil Mitchel's morning programme calling Raphael Israeli all sorts of names and accusing him of inciting division within the community. I was mostly disappointed but not surprised. The Australian community will never accept what Israeli says until some major catastrophe will be brought about by the Islamic fanatics here in Australia. And it is forthcoming. It's happening all around the world, we here in Austrlia are always the Johnny come lately. These fanatics are talking the talk and soon will be walking the walk.
Posted by Menachem Pushnitz. on 2007-02-22 05:16:19 GMT
I was looking forward to hearing Pfr Israeli in Perth and was disappointed when his lecture here was cancelled. As Holocaust Memorial day approaches it is timely to recall the abject failure of any and all attempts to appease or otherwise moderate the genocidal ambitions of the nazis and remember that only a fool does the same thing over expecting a different result.
Posted by DS Perth WA on 2007-02-22 05:14:31 GMT
. What chance is there of Prof Raphael Israeli's absolutely sensational response in The Australian to the Jewish Community and the Lefty Politcaly Correct to be published in the 'al Age, Sydney Morning Jazeera or Australian ''Oil'' Review.
Posted by Michael on 2007-02-22 04:31:57 GMT
It is gratifying to hear that Prof Israeli will now be coming to Melbourne as a result of the large groundswell of grassroots opinion, stimulated by certain individuals and the ICJS team, and latterly picked up by some Jewish organisations. It is most important that we hear his studied opinions and have an open and informed debate. Self-censorship to appease sensitivities -- despite worldwide experience -- is not the way to go.
by MT on 2007-02-22 04:24:00 GMT