DANBY DISSES DREAMBOAT

Michael Danby, Federal Member for Melbourne Ports, responds to claims that he’d attempted to censor author, journalist, and dreamboat Antony Loewenstein:

I have made no attempt to censor Mr Antony Loewenstein, or anyone else. Mr Loewenstein is entitled to his opinions, and to publish them.

What I have done is to exercise my right to criticise his views, which I find abhorrent, and to urge people not to reward those views by buying his book. Readers are free to reject my advice.

I don’t need to read Mr Loewenstein’s book to know what he thinks. He has described himself as “a Jew who doesn’t believe in the concept of a Jewish state,” which he calls “a fundamentally undemocratic and colonialist idea from a bygone era.” He has described the Australian Jewish community as “vitriolic, bigoted, racist and downright pathetic” and as “incapable of hearing the true reality of their beloved homeland and its barbaric actions.” (These quotes appear at Mr Loewenstein’s own website.)

As a representative of mainstream, moderate Jewish opinion, who supports both Israel’s right to exist and defend itself and the right of the Palestinian people to a viable state, I find such opinions disgusting, and I did no more in my letter to the Jewish News than express that disgust. The response from the Jewish community to my comments has been overwhelmingly positive.

Finally, I am curious to know why Melbourne University Press thinks it is appropriate to be publishing two anti-Israel books at a time when Israel is making such a painful withdrawal from Gaza, when we have a new and more moderate Palestinian leadership and when the prospects for peace are improving. I can only conclude that someone at MUP has an axe to grind on this subject.

Posted by Tim B. on 08/29/2005 at 11:43 PM
    1. Danby should publish Flavius Antonius’ questions.

      And the “Jewish state” is a “colonialist” idea?  How many centuries have Jews been saying “Next year in Jerusalem” as part of their religious devotions?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 08/29 at 11:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. Out of curiosity, where was Danby’s response published? Am I overlooking a link here? Cheers…

      Posted by James Waterton on 08/29 at 11:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. No link, James, because Danby’s office sent this as an email. It was also sent to and published by Crikey.

      Posted by Tim B. on 08/30 at 12:06 AM • permalink

 

    1. Sounds like Dreamboat has been torpedoed.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 08/30 at 12:44 AM • permalink

 

    1. In the late ‘80’s, there was a ‘cause celebre’ in the US when a county sheriff went after a rap group called ‘2LiveCrew’ because he thought their show was obscene.

      Many Lefties subsequently bought the group’s sub-mediocre CD in a show of free speech solidarity. How many listen to it today? Wouldn’t the money have been better spent ‘down the pub’?

      I intend to support the idiot Loewenstein’s right to free speech by ignoring his stupid book and buying beer to piss it up the wall.

      I’m no chickenhawk.

      Posted by JDB on 08/30 at 01:14 AM • permalink

 

    1. Prize Loewenstein quote:

      Furthermore, it is revealing that he (Danby) thinks he has the right to question the publishing decisions of my publisher MUP.

      Asking questions? How rude!

      Posted by TimT on 08/30 at 01:20 AM • permalink

 

    1. #6 TimT: spot on. It’s not like the Dreamboat questions anyone’s decisions or anything…

      MUP will sell 250 discounted copies of Dreamboy’s book to university libraries and Glebe Books (where Margaret, David, Margo and the MW research staff will account for 90% of sales). MUP will then try to flog off the remaining 450 copies in remainder bins in book barns at 50 cents a pop. Deamtime Lad will subsequently argue that real censorship in Australia is the preserve of right-wing university presses and an ignorant public unwilling to confront tough issues (that’s what’s called self-censorship and is even more insidious than other-censorship). Mr Danby will be forgotten. As will Jews, Arabs, oil, sand and Robert Fisk. In that order. Because in the end, it’s all about Dreaming Boy. Welcome to the look-at-me-I’m-wonderful-lounging-in-my-smoking-jacket-and-slagging-off-Jews-because-I’m-one-too generation. Excuse me while I go and puke.

      Posted by Hanyu on 08/30 at 01:48 AM • permalink

 

    1. If some Victorian Jew was feeling mischievous, all it would take to put a black cloud over Melbourne University Press would be an official complaint under the religious vilification law.

      Because they do have real censorship in Victoria—most recently used against two Christians who dared to criticise Islam.

      Posted by Evil Pundit on 08/30 at 02:13 AM • permalink

 

    1. It’s a wonder to me how frequently the Lowensteins of this world keep popping up and grabbing for their fifteen minutes of spotlight time.

      To an outsider, it seems to me they share some characteristics. A certain personal shrillness bordering on the hysterical. Marginality in their personal attachment to Jewish life and community. Excessively (obsequiously?) understanding of the other person’s viewpoint on Jewish-specific issues… though rarely on others. Provocative to the point of childishness in reaching for images and analogies that used in any other context (like when attacking non-Caucasians or people of non-heterosexual persuasions) would be non-PC and grossly offensive.

      I have met one or two ‘Lowensteins’ myself in the past. Anyone out there know if this one is personally as icky as he sounds?

      Posted by RosemaryO on 08/30 at 03:19 AM • permalink

 

    1. Anyone out there know if this one is personally as icky as he sounds?

      We report. You decide.

      Posted by Evil Pundit on 08/30 at 03:38 AM • permalink

 

    1. #9 RosemaryO: is this guy icky? We publish. You decide. Warning: pic not work- home- coffee shop- Bangkok cyber cafe-safe.

      Okay: all other adults of sound mind and body can click here to determine how Dreamboat rates on the old icky factor.

      I’ve pegged him at around 7.1, with Phat Phil in a leopard-print g-string registering the full 10.0.

      Posted by Hanyu on 08/30 at 03:39 AM • permalink

 

    1. Okay, Evil. Are you channeling me?

      Posted by Hanyu on 08/30 at 03:41 AM • permalink

 

    1. Crikey, we came close to revealing the RWDB hive-mind there!

      Use the memory wipe ray before someone sees it.

      Posted by Evil Pundit on 08/30 at 03:49 AM • permalink

 

    1. Evil Pundit — Engaging HAARP now…

      TimT — To the left, “freedom of speech” means “no one is allowed to talk back to me.”

      Maybe Flavius Antonius could honor at least one piece of his heritage and retitle his work, History of the Jewish Whore…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 08/30 at 08:51 AM • permalink

 

    1. #8 EP, you wouldn’t even have to be Jewish to complain. All you have to do is find it offensive.

      That’s the beauty of the Nanyy State. Anyone can bleat about anybody else and get a hearing. 

      Unless you want to ask something of the Police Commissioner, of course. Yo’ll have to wait a week while she decides which way to spin it.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 08/30 at 07:09 PM • permalink

 

    1. Oops. I meant Nanny. My bad. PIMF!

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 08/30 at 07:10 PM • permalink

 

    1. Well, I followed the link. Now I have to wash my monitor. bleh. He is spectacularly sartorially challenged.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 08/30 at 07:20 PM • permalink

 

    1. Amusing Antony’s satricial sartorial.

      Posted by TimT on 08/30 at 11:37 PM • permalink

 

    1. #3 – thanks, Tim. Thought I might link to it if possible, but wasn’t to be. I had nothing interesting to say anyway and the story’s been covered plenty well enough.

      Posted by James Waterton on 08/30 at 11:48 PM • permalink

 

    1. I’d be interested to see what other commenters make of the ongoing ‘discussion’ at Antony’s blog.

      Apparently:

      – I don’t ‘have a problem with censorship’
      – I am with a ‘lobby group’
      – I ‘can’t understand the underlying agenda’
      – And I had best ‘suck on the Blair tit for a while longer’.

      Posted by TimT on 08/31 at 12:23 AM • permalink

 

    1. Sorry: link for that is http://antonyloewenstein.blogspot.com/2005/08/and-it-continues.html

      Posted by TimT on 08/31 at 12:25 AM • permalink

 

    1. TimT, Ant isn’t very keen on opposing views on his blog, is he?

      Who’s your lobby group? Enquiring minds want to know.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 08/31 at 06:04 AM • permalink

 

    1. I guess “lobby group” is Antony’s new code phrase for “evil Jooooooos”?

      Posted by PW on 08/31 at 08:03 AM • permalink

 

    1. I wish I knew, Nilknarf. I wish I knew.

      Posted by TimT on 08/31 at 08:35 PM • permalink

 

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