It is a ferocious beast, the Jewish lobby. Write just one sentence even mildly critical of Israel and it lunges from its lair, fangs bared. ''I rejoice every time a f---ing Palestinian dies, f--- them!!!! Israel should flatten Gaza with a nuclear strike and be done with it,'' said one of hundreds of Jewish emailers this week. ''How dare you insult Israel you over priviledged [sic] racist white moron, f--- you and your stupid article. I wish I could smash your dumb face in.''WELL SAID!!
The stupid article was last week's column, which suggested that Israel's attack on the Gaza flotilla was lethal idiocy and that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was an unprincipled thug addicted to the use of military force.
Few of the emails were as brisk as that one. Many, though, were nakedly racist, such as this from a man named Schwarz. ''Do Jews do drive-by shootings every other day like in Sydney's south-west? Do Jews or Arabs make up a large proportion of the Australian jail population? Do Jews gang rape young girls in Sydney?'' he mused.more here
Others like to threaten. A travel agent from Double Bay drafted an apoplectic denunciation and circulated it to his friends. ''The more of us write with a copy [sic] to The Sydney Morning Herald, the more chance we may have that the Herald will change its one-eyed view of the situation and give us a more balanced reporting and maybe even sack Mike Carlton,'' he said hopefully. One of his chaverim mistakenly forwarded it to me.
It's standard operating procedure for the lobby to hurl accusations of anti-Semitism with that peculiar Israeli blend of paranoia and belligerence. ''That you are happy to indulge in hate-mongering makes you quite the sadist,'' wrote a man from Melbourne. ''Your article gives you away as an anti-Semite and as much as you may hide behind the guise of a pro-Palestinian humanitarian, your Holocaust revisionism in comparing the conflict of the modern era to the systematic extermination of the Jews shows your true colours.''
That is just plain dumb. My Jewish friends would confirm that I am not a sadistic, anti-Semitic, hate-mongering Holocaust denier. But I did enjoy the sneers about my manifold failings as a journalist. ''You are a cheap hack making money out of lies,'' was typical. ''Journalists are generally recruited if they have an IQ larger that their shoe size,'' was another. Yuk yuk, guffaw.
None of this is accidental. The Israel lobby, worldwide, is orchestrated in Jerusalem by a department in the Prime Minister's office with the rather Orwellian name of the Ministry for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs. Less than 24 hours after the attack on the Mavi Marmara, the ministry hit the internet with ''important talking points'' for Jews around the world, the first of which was - surprisingly - that ''the Palestinian people are not under blockade''.
''Write letters to your local newspapers, comment on blogs and news websites, call in to radio programs and post links to social networking sites to help spread the real version of events,'' urged the deliciously named Mr Ronen Plot, the Ministry Director-General.