Perth's Real Jewish News
Jewgle Perth Skyline

A Puzzling Inclusion by The West

In July 2023 the West Australian Newspaper published a politically motivated  crossword question with Question 59 being An Occupied Middle Eastern Country.  To assist with the answer it was a 9 letter word beginning with P.

Representation was made a number of individuals to the West that the matter of occupation is disputed, that Palestine isn’t officially recognised by Australia as a country and that weekend puzzles are not an appropriate forum for political advocacy. 

The matter was also profiled by the Israellycool blog run by former Perth resident David.  In response the West issued an apology that read: 

“To our valued customers at the West Australian and to their readers, in particular the Jewish Community Council of Western Australia. We sincerely apologise for the content that appeared in the July 23rd Big One Crossword. This puzzle was compiled by a former staff member who inserted content that was not appropriate for a general crossword puzzle. We let you down by not spotting this and will review all puzzles compiled by this former staffer, who has recently left our employment. Again our sincere apologies for any offence this has caused.”

I also wanted, in addition to the above, to reassure you that here at The West we take such matters very seriously.

We do check our third-party provided content as closely as we can, but unfortunately we are human and so things can be missed. In this case, we didn’t have the answers to the puzzle to cross-check with the clues. We have now arranged for these to be provided to us in future to try to avoid such issues moving forward.

It would seem that the West Australian have in fact not managed to avoid such issues moving forward. 

In yesterday’s West Australian a seemingly innocuous Big Quiz (page 32) contained the question: 

“22. Last Year, Israeli Defence Forces dubbed two high-ranking operatives of which middle-eastern political and military organisation as “dead men walking”.

Two points for finding the word Hamas (number 22)

Hamas should not be extended the credibility of being described as a “political and military organisation”, nor should it be given prominence or glorification through a question of a credible quiz.  Hamas is in fact a listed terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code Act 1995 by the Australian Government.  Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has consistently described Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

So why can’t the West Australian?

The distinction between a “political” organisation and “terrorist” organisation is far more than semantic. It becomes even more important in the light of the recent statement by Martin Griffiths, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator: “Hamas is not a terrorist group for us, of course as you know. It is a political movement.” This strikes at the essence of the bias that Israel faces at the UN, which has become the theatre of the absurd through its agencies aiding and abetting Hamas.

The West Australian needs to apologise yet again for using its Weekend Puzzles to embed political advocacy into its content and socialising further discord amongst the community.  And if the quiz question does have to be included, at least give an appropriate description to Hamas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *