Publisher’s Note: At a time when organisations are divesting worldwide from companies profiting from Israel’s abuses of Palestinian rights, the newly appointed director of ABC News, Gaven Morris, has ignored polite calls over the past month not to speak at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) in Brisbane. So I made a request to attend the forum to cover it for Paradigm Shift [4ZZZ fm 102.1 Fridays at Noon].
Here is the response I just received from the ABC:
“This is not an ABC event and it is up to the organiser who attends, so you would need to work that out with them. We haven’t made any stipulations. This is intended as a community event where members of the public can talk to Gaven, not a media event, although we don’t mind if it’s covered or not.
ABC executives and senior journalists regularly speak to a range of community groups and organisations. That does not imply endorsement or support. The reason for speaking at the event is that we were invited and think it’s a good thing to get out and speak to people as much as possible. We would be happy to consider an invitation from any group.“
Below is my reply to Sally Jackson (ABC News) and Gaven Morris (Director ABC News).
10 April 2016
Hello Sally (and Gaven),
The event (organised by the) Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce does not fall into what you call ‘a range of community groups and organisations.’
An exclusive $160 lunch at Sofitel is not what ordinary people would term ‘a community event where members of the public can talk to Gaven’ .
AICC is a sponsored arm of the Israeli government which is building illegal settlements in Palestine in flagrant disregard of international law and requests to stop by the international community.
“ABC executives and senior journalists regularly speak to a range of community groups and organisations. “
ABC News is no angel, it is unashamedly supportive of the political mainstream which in turn gives uncritical support to Zionist Israel.
For example the ABC refused to cover Palestinian hunger strikes held in response to illegal administrative detention of Palestinian people including children. In particular, in May 2012, ABC News refused a request to cover Israel’s unlawful administrative detention of UN worker, Ridha Khalid for over 333 days.
This inhuman detention was the subject of a speech to the Australian Senate made on 22 June 2012 by Claire Moore, Senator for Queensland.
You say: ‘That does not imply endorsement or support.’
Yet the AICC co-ordinates propaganda tours of Israel by politicians like Mike Baird. The trip, a first by a NSW Premier to Israel, was ‘coordinated by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD).”[New Matilda]
Premier Baird made a short detour to visit Palestinian children in a West Bank refugee camp, Aida (north of Bethlehem). He asked the Palestinian children what their dreams were, and one replied “It’s hard to have dreams when you know they can’t come true.”
To this Baird replied ‘Well, I don’t know where the cycle of thousands of years of violence ends.”
A casual reader might think that the conflict is an ancient one about religion, or some vague force that causes Palestinian kids some unidentified type of deprivation. Not that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homes when Israel was created some 68 years ago, and that that continuing dispossession is why they are living in refugee camps rather than returning to their homes.
You state that: “The reason for speaking at the event is that we were invited and think it’s a good thing to get out and speak to people as much as possible.”
Has Gaven Morris ever spoken at a forum organised by the Australian Friends of Palestine (for example)?
As the poet says:
Today, my body was a TV’d massacre that had to fit into sound-bites and word limits – Rafeef Ziadah, Palestinian Poet
I think it would be best if Gaven Morris were not to speak at the lunch at all.
Community Radio 4ZZZ fm 102.1
10 April 2016