January 21st 2006

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: B.A. Santamaria: the making of a political warrior

EDITORIAL: Unbalanced economy: the problems ahead

CANBERRA OBSERVED: The Coalition - a rocky road ahead for 2006

NATIONAL SECURITY: How Australia should fight terrorism

POLITICAL ISSUES: Muddled thinking in green politics and ecology

MEDICAL SCIENCE: D-I-Y abortion drug RU-486 endangers women's lives

CULTURE AND CIVILISATION: Western elites lack moral courage

The struggle against forgetting (letter)

Living standards and the labour market (letter)

A slogan for RU-486? (letter)

CINEMA: Paradise Now - Portrait of deranged killer as hero

CINEMA: C.S. Lewis tale brilliantly translated to big screen

BOOKS: JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH: His Life, His Politics, His Economics, by Richard Parker

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Western elites lack moral courage

by Mark Braham

News Weekly, January 21, 2006
We are witnessing the collapse of the Judeo-Christian standards which once underpinned western civilisation, writes Mark Braham.

In an address to the annual conference of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Melbourne's Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt reportedly "lashed the Australian media, accusing it of a leftist bias which, he said, had led to a generally anti-Israel stance".

He also named several prominent Jewish journalists - Fairfax Washington correspondent Michael Gawenda, ABC Radio's Jon Faine and Jewish academic and Age columnist Robert Manne - whom he said were leftists.

Bolt said that journalists are "largely to the left of the audience they write for".

He added: "We tend to hire them from the same class. We tend to give them the same education. They don't usually come from the top private schools but from state schools.

"They then go to media schools which are largely captured by the left. They come out with a set of values hostile to the conservatives and to the right ... You get a group-think, a willingness to write for your colleagues, not for your audience." (Australian Jewish News, December 9, 2005).

This, from an Australian gentile journalist, was matched by a report from another gentile, Dr Tashbih Sayyed, a Muslim, editor-in-chief of two California-based newspapers Pakistan Today and Muslim World Today, president of the Council for Democracy and Tolerance and adjunct fellow of the Hudson Institute.

On a recent visit to Israel, Dr Sayyed wrote:

"Although I understand why the media, which reasonably covers most events accurately, chooses to ignore all rules of ethical journalism when it comes to Israel, I could not fathom Israel's reluctance to challenge the negative press effectively. Media bias against Israel reminded me of the Nazi era German press that was recruited by Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels who picked up every hate-laden word against the Jews.

"Just like the German press who refused to print the truth about the gruesome atrocities in Europe's death camps - or claimed that it was all an exaggeration, the media today also ignores the Arab terrorism. I wanted to see if there was any truth in the media allegations that Israel was an apartheid state, undemocratic and discriminatory ...

"A Hindu journalist who came to visit me talked about the openness that Jewish society represents. He told me that more than 20 per cent of the Israeli population is non-Jewish of which approximately 1.2 million are Muslims, 140,000 are Christians and 100,000 are Druze.

"The big houses owned by Arab Israelis and the amount of construction that was going on in the Arab towns exposed the falsity of propaganda that Israel discriminates against Israeli Arabs from buying lands ...

"Looking at the development and transformation that the land has gone through because of the Jewish innovative spirit, hard labor and commitment to freedoms for all times to come, I am convinced that it is true that God created this earth but it is also a fact that only an Israel can keep this earth from dying." (Muslim World Today, December 2, 2005).

Sydney's race riots

What has so shocked me about the reporting of Sydney's "race riots" is the failure, even of our most reliable journalists, to recognise and report on the real, and growing, underlying "cultural clash" in the West.

Surely some, if not most, of these journalists have heard of, if not read, such books which are drawing commanding reviews, such as Bat Ye'or's Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide (2001) and Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (2005); M.J. Akbar's The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict Between Islam and Christianity (2002); and Samuel P. Huntingdon's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1998).

Just because we are still turning out magnificent footballers, athletes, swimmers and tennis players does not mean that we are not afflicted with a spiritual disease that is bringing western civilisation to its knees. Call it "moral cowardice", and let me give you an example from my own extended family.

Leonard Keysor, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty at Lone Pine Trenches, in the Gallipoli Peninsula", August 7 - 8, 1915, was related to my father twice; they both shared descent from the Joseph and Benjamin families, residents of west London in the 19th century, almost certainly members of the same Orthodox synagogue in Bayswater. He married his cousin, Gladys Benjamin, who was also a cousin of my father.

Leonard was educated at an Orthodox Jewish boarding school, Townley Castle at Ramsgate, home of the legendary Sir Moses Montefiore whose piety was recognised and admired by his many friends, including Queen Victoria.

Sir Moses' principles were such that, when he became Lord Mayor of London, at the height of that city's power, and some 300 distinguished guests arrived at the Guildhall for a celebratory luncheon, Sir Moses arrived carrying a cooked kosher chicken.

Enlistment in the AIF

Leonard Keysor, however, when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), registered his religion as Church of England. His biographer, great-niece Keira Quinn Lockyer, who is not Jewish, lamely comments that "that no doubt reflects upon the times".

That of course is true; but more importantly it reflects on the values of an outstanding soldier who lacked the courage of his forebears, the unknown warriors who quietly went about the business of maintaining standards which once underpinned western civilisation and are recognised as Judeo-Christian ones.

This is in no sense to suggest that the contribution of such as Leonard Keysor in defending our democratic way of life should in any way be devalued.

What I am saying is that without the "Aussie battlers" who have built up our society, not simply by hard work, but with the moral courage to stand up for and maintain the standards that stem from the Bible, there would not be a society worth defending.

Thus are we today witnessing a collapse of standards which readers of the Bible will recognise as the spiritual white-anting to which succumbed the buried civilisations of ancient Egypt, Sodom, Canaan ... and the dozens of other ancient societies whose remains are dust, relics and museum pieces.

In the present situation, one reads that the behaviour of those involved in the "race riots" in Sydney is un-Australian: it is also un-British, un-French and un-democratic. Which means that it is a betrayal of the values on which modern western civilisation finally developed post-World War II and the collapse of communism.

The churches in the democracies were able to live together and concentrate on what they shared, not on their divisions. This too spread to Judaism, in particular after the Second Vatican Council.

The vital difference between Christianity and Islam today is that the latter is not simply divided in terms of Muslim sects, each pursuing its interpretation of the Koran and quietly sympathising with their misguided brethren.

The Muslim states of Iran and Iraq went to war and died in their millions. Schoolchildren were thrown into battle.

The terrorists are indiscriminately murdering their own in Iraq, even in Jordan.

Such unity as the Muslim world can muster today centres on "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", hence the quiet approval of the proposal to "wipe out Israel" as the planned atomic bomb develops in Iran.

World War III began on 9/11: a new kind of warfare in which the Geneva Conventions on war have gone the way of the sanctity of facts and balanced reporting among our leftist journalists.

Turned on its head

There is just one convention insisted upon by such, and that has been turned on its head. David Hicks, a fighter for al-Qaeda - who was not in Afghanistan on a group tour - became a prisoner-of-war. As such, he is entitled to decent treatment and Red Cross visits. That is all.

Leonard Keysor, by the way, far from being Church of England, joined the phoney "Jewish" Liberal "Synagogue" in London. Following a custom absolutely forbidden in Judaism - cremation (which denies the resurrection) - a pseudo-Jewish service followed.

He knew more about soldiering and importing than about Judaism - just another ignorant Jew misled by pseudo-rabbis. May he rest in peace.

  • Mark Braham was a British Army officer during World War II, after which he migrated to Australia. An Orthodox Jew, he is author of Stronger than Fiction: Jews and Christians Are Natural Allies (London: Minerva Press, 1999).

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