The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has condemned threats of violence against Jewish lawyers mentioned in a Nine Media story which claimed a lawyers’ group was linked to the dismissal of ABC Sydney radio presenter Antoinette Lattouf.
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reported on January 16 that “a high-level and coordinated letter-writing campaign from pro-Israel lobbyists” to ABC chair Ita Buttrose and managing director David Anderson demanded Lattouf, who had made social media posts against Israel, be sacked during a five-day assignment hosting ABC Sydney’s morning program. She was dismissed from the ABC after three days on air.
In her posts, Lattouf had accused Israeli soldiers of rape and questioned whether protesters had chanted “gas the Jews” outside the Sydney Opera House.
According to texts obtained by The SMH, a WhatsApp group, Lawyers For Israel, planned a letter-writing campaign to ABC management. On December 20, a lawyer named by The SMH had replied to a text from Robert Goot in which the ECAJ deputy president stated, “I understand that she [Lattouf] will be gone from morning radio on Friday.”
The lawyer had texted back to Goot, “And dismissed from the ABC altogether? Friday is 3 days away – too long” and “the more complaints the better”. The group shared a response from Buttrose in which she noted their concerns.
Since the story appeared, Jewish lawyers have received a torrent of abuse. Photos of one individual’s children have been posted and their livelihood threatened. One email stated, “You racist bunch of genocidal c**ts hiding behind a viel [sic]. The chickens have come to roost pieces of s**t.” In the emails, the lawyer was called a “Jewish rodent” and told they would be “hung from a bridge very soon”.