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AIJAC statement: John Lyons’ “Dateline Jerusalem: Journalism’s toughest assignment”

Oct 5, 2021

Image: Ri Butov/Pixabay
Image: Ri Butov/Pixabay

Statement from Dr Colin Rubenstein AM, executive director, Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council:

John Lyons’ monograph, Dateline Jerusalem: Journalism’s toughest assignment, is a shoddy attempt to stop fair debate and discussion on Israel taking place in Australia.

Lyons lists a series of allegations against Israel that Australians would supposedly not know about due to the malign influence of the “Israeli lobby“, but his gross oversimplifications, misrepresentations and inaccuracies would be laughable if not for the fact the writer is a senior employee of the public broadcaster with a network of cynical supporters.

If Australians were to rely on Lyons’ book, they would not know that there was a Palestinian terrorist intifada in which over 1000 Israelis were murdered; that Israel has made several far-ranging offers of a Palestinian state which were rebuffed by Palestinian leaders; or that the terror group Hamas rules Gaza and is totally dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

Further, John Lyons falsely alleges that virtually all criticism of Israel is shut down by accusations of antisemitism – without providing even one bona fide example of a mainstream pro-Israel group making such an accusation. It is simply shameful that genuine concerns about antisemitism are being weaponised against Jews by an ABC employee.

Lyons’ book offers a perfect example of the type of reporting that should be scrutinised and held to account. AIJAC looks forward to continuing to constructively contribute to debate in this country and won’t be deterred by Lyons’ bullying attempts to shut down our efforts to expose one-sided, distorted or historically illiterate media coverage wherever it comes from.

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