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Local academic accused of anti-Israeli bias

By Big Al - 14 August 2006 294

NineMSN is reporting that a local academic has earned the ire of the [allegedly] prominent Jewish MP Michael Danby .

Danby has accused two well-known academics of being one-sided over the Middle East conflict claiming that he grieves “…for the state of Middle East studies in Australia.” His spray is, in part, directed at ANU Dr Amin Saikal of the Arab and Islamic Studies program, with claims that Dr Saikal has unusual ideas about terrorism.

Apparently pointing out the bleeding obvious – that bombing entire villages in retribution for Hezbollah rocket attacks – might be a disproportionate use of force, and that although Iran’s version of government mightn’t be Westminster, it sure as hell is an improvement on a puppet dictatorship – is so way out of line that it places Dr Saikal in some form of ivory tower.

Now I’ll readily admit to having trouble telling the difference between shit and shineola – but isn’t a politician telling an academic that they have no idea about the real world stretching the bounds of credibility?

What’s Your opinion?

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294 Responses to
Local academic accused of anti-Israeli bias
Thumper 10:41 am 15 Aug 06


Absent Diane 10:40 am 15 Aug 06

Here is a solution get rid of all of their borders.. Put together a council of moderate jews and muslims that control the mega country.. put trade sanctions on the whole place until they work together and disarm the fucking lot of them, japanese styley.

Thumper 10:28 am 15 Aug 06

The aquaduct?

che 10:23 am 15 Aug 06

what have the Romans ever done for us then?

Thumper 10:18 am 15 Aug 06

I fully concur with those sentiments….

snahon 10:12 am 15 Aug 06

That region has been fighting for hundreds/thousands of years and sadly it will never be a peaceful place.

Thumper 10:06 am 15 Aug 06

It’s a mess AD…

And sadly there is no real solution in sight.

Absent Diane 10:00 am 15 Aug 06

The issue isn’t a simple one. I agree that both sides are at fault – their inability for diplomacy is disgraceful on BOTH sides. One wonders whether things would be so bad now if Rabin (sp?) wasn’t assasinated – he at the very least seemed (on the face of it) progressive and willing to bend on the behalf of the israelies…

Thumper 9:50 am 15 Aug 06

I’m sick of seeing anti Israeli demonstrations in Australia.

For fuck sakes, get some balance, hezbollah are firing hundreds of rockets at Israel as well.

No-one is totally without blame.

Ah, but I forget, it’s all about being anti US. Hezbollah good, Israel, and by association, the US, bad.

Fuck I love mantras….

bonfire 9:27 am 15 Aug 06

i have read some of saikals articles in the age. he is anti-israel and anti-us. his articles are not balanced and quite partisan. while they preach to their audience, people like him offer no solutions and only further hatred.

there was also an interesting article in sundays ct about how the ‘peace rally’ at the israeli or us embassy on saturday started cheering when one of the speakers named that aust/israeli who was killed in combat against terrorists several weeks ago.

on person was so disgusted at this ‘peace rally’ they left.

Ari 9:22 am 15 Aug 06

Ahhh, isn’t it great to be able to pontificate about Israel’s actions when you can sit around safely in boring old Canberra and not a Haifa bomb shelter.

Mr Evil 8:44 am 15 Aug 06

I think the real issue for some people has been that they believe that Amin Saikal is biased because the ANU’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies recieves a large amount of funding from the United Arab Emirates.

Of course it’s alright for the Jewish/Zionist lobby to carry on whenever they want on whatever issue they, no matter how biased that might be!

Publius, what does marrying a graduate student have to do with someone being “anti-US”?

publius 6:49 am 15 Aug 06

Saikal is absolutely anti Israel on every issue. Many of us were around when he married one of his graduate students. He fits in perfectly with the ANU left wing anti US version of the world. Scratch the surface and there is a lot of hypocrisy.

DrShrink 1:33 am 15 Aug 06

Whos Danby to call anyone else one sided. Saikal may be equally one sided, but he’s well informed and a reasonable scholar.(Though a terrible writer)

Danbys real problem is not that they identify with a side in the Middle East conflict, its that they dont identify with HIS side.

johnboy 10:51 pm 14 Aug 06

I thought all ANU academics were required to hate israel as part of their general self-loathing (insofar as israel is the country in the middle east most like ours).

Danby’s playing to his constituents. It must be very hard try and deliver the jewish vote in Melbourne Ports to the ALP when the left carries on like pork chops.

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