Hate week
Our say

Hate week

Decent Australians should be outraged at the hate given a platform of legitimacy at Adelaide Writers’ Week.

It would be bad enough that no less than seven speakers are billed as being Palestinian with no countering Israeli viewpoints.

On the festival’s website, curator Louise Adler – a Mount Scopus graduate whose extended family perished in the Holocaust – writes “the notion of truth” weaves through the program of “literary luminaries”.

Yet statements made by these “literary luminaries” go far beyond criticising Israel or even wrongly laying the blame solely at its feet for the situation vis-a-vis the Palestinians.

They are a modern blood libel, plain and simple.

Susan Abulhawa, who is quite comfortable being pictured with a poster of terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who helped slaughter 38 Israelis including 13 children in 1978, has smeared Israel as demonic and sadistic, and said, “It’s possible to be Jewish and a Nazi at the same time. It’s called Israel.” She also called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “a depraved Zionist trying to ignite World War III”.

She will speak on three panels, the descriptions of which suggest they are heavily skewed against Israel. The blurb for one says, “First Nations people in Australia and Palestinians share a history of struggle and resistance against the racism of settler colonial states.”

Meanwhile, Mohammed El-Kurd tweeted in 2021 that “Across the country Zionists are beating, gassing, shooting, lynching Palestinians” and have an “unquenchable thirst for Palestinian blood & land”. He glorifies the Palestinian intifada and its suicide bombs.

It’s almost tame in comparison that Ramzy Baroud has accused Israelis of deliberately trying to infect Palestinians with COVID-19.

We commend MinterEllison for pulling its sponsorship of the festival, while we lament that it was only after pressure.

But the truth is if speakers were being featured spouting similar bile against and denying the self-determination of any other people, there would be boycotts en masse.

Readers will recall that just over a year ago all it took was Israeli sponsorship of a dance performance at the Sydney Festival for performers – albeit amidst a campaign of disinformation and intimidation – to withdraw.

It would appear there is a vile double standard.

read more: