There have suddenly been a spate of issues that concern Jewish people and Jewish issues in the local press.
I found it exceptionally and refreshingly uplifting to read today’s West Australian, as the issues presented were a well balanced set of views, comprehensive and relevant. The paper really hit the mark well with its editorial on the Zentai case. There is no online link, but the editorial notes clearly that the passage of time does not diminish the need for justice to take its course. Included was the statement:
The overriding principle here must be that all efforts should continue to be made to find any remaining Holocaust perpetrators and to bring them to justice. It is a fundamental moral obligation for governments and individuals to co-operate in this.
There was another article in the West foreign section, about the Temple Institute in Jerusalem. Full credit to Fairfax correspondent Jason Koutsoukis for reporting from Israel a dimension other than violence and conflict, and for doing so with care and balance. Mr Koutsoukis has come under some criticism for his coverage of the Israel Palestinian conflict, although nowhere near the level that was directed to his predecessor.
This article is worth reading. There is an online version to the article here. Interestingly there are some subtle sub-edit changes, right in the one section of the article that did leave me wondering.
The print version of the article states that “According to the Jewish religion the Temple Mount is also the site of the first religious temple built by King Solomon”. The online version reads more simply “To Jews the Temple Mount is also the site of the first temple built by King Solomon.”
Either way, I would have thought that this is not just according to the Jewish religion, but also according to the Christian religion, and documented historical and archeological evidence. In short it is not an unsubstianted claim in accordance with a Jewish world view, but rather an indisputable historic fact. What a shame that the article can’t be written as such.
However with this noted, it was very pleasing to both see the topic as an item of news interest, and also to clearly articulate the Jewish position that Israel is not seeking the destruction of the al-Asqa Mosque or any removal of any Islamic entitlement to a holy site, even if the concept of a Jewish return to Temple worship does remain an “extremist provocation” in the eyes of the Palestinian’s.
There is one final error in the presentation of the article – nothing to do with the writer or the West. However when displaying the online link News.com.au demonstrate an appalling ignorance with their caption link by their use of the phrase “second coming” to describe the Jewish notion of Messiah. I emailed them and the link was taken down within minutes, however I did preserve the screen image for the sake of prosperity:
Moving away from the West Australian, I also received the Perth Voice in my mailbox. In addition to covering the issue of Peter Abetz’ statements in Parliament, they feature a headline article and commentary about the play Seven Jewish Children. On this occasion the coverage completely misses the mark. The reader is left with the impression that this is an issue of free speech, being stifled by the pressure exerted by the Jewish community. There is no research or demonstration within the coverage as to why this play is offensive, and as to how it transforms art into an odious political statement. There is plenty of information available to demonstrate why this is not just a matter of poor taste, but rather a performance of racial discrimination. The very ametuer nature of this reporting deserves to attract a strong response.
It is a mix of good and bad that we read in the papers. It is important that on each and every occasion that the Press gets it wrong that the real story is told.