A warning against ‘left zionist’ infiltration of Palestine solidarity, 9 April 2021

Dear APAN,

We the undersigned supporters of Palestine are alarmed by your choice of former ABC journalist Sophie McNeill as the main speaker for your 23 May 2021 dinner in Sydney. We will not attend if Sophie remains as your keynote speaker.

While Sophie has been criticised by the extreme zionist lobby, she has also been defended (https://www.crikey.com.au/2015/12/01/abetz-and-scott-trade-barbs-over-abc-israel-coverage/) by conservative government appointees, like Mark Scott. This is because she was allowed to run the ‘Palestinians as victims’ line while ferociously attacking the regional resistance.

It is only western apologists for the multiple US wars who attack the regional resistance. The US strategy in the Middle East relies heavily on ‘divide and rule’, and that is why they have opened seven wars, including attempts to destroy or balkanise Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Without strong regional support from the Lebanese Resistance, Syria and Iran, helping Palestinian defence against the zionist onslaught, the cause of Palestinian is lost.

When US President Trump murdered General Qassem Soleimani, every Palestinian faction recognised his enormous role (https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2020/01/palestinian-armed-factions-mourn-qassem-soleimani-reactions.html) in support for the Palestinian Resistance. Similarly Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi recognised the role of Lebanon’s resistance leader (https://www.timesofisrael.com/soldier-slapper-ahed-tamimi-thanks-hezbollah-chief-for-support/) Hassan Nasrallah.

And Palestinian legend Leila Khaled, amongst many others, recognised the regional character of the US-led war on Syria (https://www.liberationnews.org/palestinian-hero-leila-khaled-html/), the Arab country which has hosted all Palestinian factions and refugees, while Israel occupies Syrian territory.

No serious supporter of Palestine ignores – much less attacks – these resistance links. To do so is to support the US plan for a New Middle East, dominated by Washington and its lieutenants Israel and the Saudis.

Sophie McNeill now works for Human Rights Watch (https://www.hrw.org/about/people/sophie-mcneill), a US corporate propaganda machine which demonises all US foreign policy targets. Its leader Ken Roth is a prominent liberal zionist. That is, he tries to put a human face on Apartheid Israel. Sophie’s current targets at HRW include China (e.g. the Uyghur scam). Human Rights Watch regularly makes false moral equivalence between Israeli massacres and Palestinian resistance (https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2021/country-chapters/israel/palestine).

Sophie repeatedly ran the US-HRW propaganda of ‘barrel bombs’ and ‘chemical weapons’ in Syria, to help keep that dirty war going; and repeated al Qaeda propaganda, about civilians being bombed in Idlib (https://twitter.com/Sophiemcneill/status/930091259225608192), when Russia and Syria bombed terrorist gangs. She ran the propaganda scam about the child Omran Daqneesh in Aleppo, and her excited attacks on Syria led American-Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah (who had mostly avoided the war on Syria) to ask her: “What exactly are you proposing (https://twitter.com/AliAbunimah/status/766020473016623104)? An Australian invasion of Syria?”

In 2017 she was nominated for a Lowy Institute award (https://www.lowyinstitute.org/news-and-media/multimedia/video/sophie-mcneill-her-lowy-institute-media-award-nomination), after her coverage of “the siege of Aleppo”, when Palestinian brigades helped Syrian soldiers (https://international-review.org/upward-mobility-aleppos-palestinians/) drive NATO-backed international ‘jihadists’ from Syria’s second city. The Lowy Institute is a firm backer of Israel, arguing that Australia and Israel should be “partners in Asia” (https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/australia-and-israel-should-be-partners-asia). 

We urge you to reconsider the unwise choice of Sophie McNeill as a keynote speaker; if not, we will certainly not attend.

Yours sincerely

For more on ‘Left Zionism’, see this article https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/28784