... new class of dual nationality super-snivellers who believe mere possession of an Australian passport guarantees them security in their “other” homeland.But by Friday morning, Akerman was shedding what might be described as crocodile tears for Assaf Namer, the young Israeli-Australian dual-citizen who died in Souyth Lebanon whilst serving in the Israeli army.
Akerman’s views on citizenship (indeed on many other) issues aren’t exactly rational and consistent. One wonders whether Akerman’s distaste for dual citizenship would be further tempered should Mr Murdoch find economic incentive to re-apply for Australian citizenship.
Some weeks back, Mr Murdoch told Channel 9:
You have to be careful about Muslims who have a very strong, in many ways a fine, but very strong religion which supercedes any sense of nationalism wherever they go.
We’ve all heard theories of how Murdoch’s personal views are allegedly parroted by his columnists. I thought I’d test this theory. I wrote to Akerman (who, I understand, is still Deputy Editor of the Daily Telegraph) in relation to an article I was researching for New Matilda.
Three of my questions are reproduced in bold. Akerman’s answers are in non-bolded italics.
Do you think Mr Murdoch is questioning the loyalties of all Muslim Aussies? I think his remarks are legitimate.
Do you support his sentiments? Yes.
Do you think this expression is indicative of an official News Limited editorial policy when it comes to Muslim issues? No.
So I guess Akerman’s citizenship formula goes something like this …
a) If you’re a Muslim citizen (dual or otherwise), you’re unwelcome.
b) If you’re a Lebanese dual citizen, you’re unwelcome.
c) If you are an Israeli dual citizen who fights in the Israeli army, you are welcome.
d) If you are a dual citizen who doesn’t fit into a), b) or c), watch this space.
Perhaps Akerman should make his suggestions to the Deputy Secretary for DIMA responsible for policy development and implementation in the areas of migration and temporary entry, refugees, settlement, citizenship and multicultural affairs. Then again, in the eyes of Akerman and Murdoch, Mr Rizvi probably has dual loyalties.
Akerman’s Melbourne colleague, Andrew Bolt, remains unrepentant over his comments on dual citizenship. It seems not even the death of an Israeli-Australian is enough to convince Bolt that dual citizens are real Aussies.
In Sunday night, I visited a friend for our regular Sunday night movie on FoxTel. While waiting for the 10:30pm edition of some movie about a 40 year old virgin, we decided to cross to Fox & Friends (F&F) for some live entertainment.
What we saw was far from entertaining. A Fox News reporter was being filmed live at the scene in the southern Lebanese village of Qana. He was standing near the bombed-out building whose basement entombed some 57 civilian dead, including at least 30 children.
Both the reporter and F&F hosts were speculating how women and children could have ended up in that building given that Israel’s defence forces had very kindly dropped leaflets on the area warning people to leave.
The hosts canvassed a number of theories with the reporter. One theory was that the Hezbollah fighters wouldn’t let them leave. A number of other theories were used, none of which suggested that maybe the women and children were too poor and/or too sick to leave. Nor was it mentioned that Red Cross officials found the burnt-out wrecks containing charred remains of civilians trying to flee the south before being bombed by Israeli jets.
After canvassing all possible theories, both hosts and reporter agreed that the most plausible explanation was that the children were in fact somehow directly linked to Hezbollah terrorism. How such link manifested itself wasn’t explained.
In other words, Rupert Murdoch’s news network was effectively justifying the incineration of children in southern Lebanon.
Later on in the show, a former Israeli Foreign Service chief was interviewed. An F&F hostess prompted the gentleman to suggest that an existing UN Resolution to disarm Hezbollah was futile and Israel should just go on with its bombing campaign.
When the Israeli gentleman tried to suggest that the UN Resolution was fine and just needed to be implemented, the hostess cut him off, saying they needed to go for a commercial break.
So there you have it. Even the most hawkish Israeli political positions aren’t hawkish enough for Fox, a news network that invents theories to justify the massacre of children.
Words © 2006 Irfan Yusuf
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