On 28/4/2010, The Australian published a story about a piece by me on the ABC’s opinion site The Drum (27/4/2011) about the Greens senator-elect Lee Rhiannon. Your report stated that I had “compared the public scrutiny of Ms Rhiannon over her support for a boycott of Israel to McCarthyism”. As readers who read my Drum piece will know, this is grossly misleading. As I explained at the beginning, my piece dealt with attacks on the politics and background of Ms Rhiannon which began before the NSW election and the public debate over the BDS. It was the attack on her past connections with socialism that I say smacks of McCarthyism. The only mention of the BDS was in the context of boycotts as being linked to a tradition of non-violent civil rights movements and Ghandi rather than authoritarian politics linked to Stalinism,
Professor, University of Technology, Sydney
Note: I have included here the last sentence which was omitted in The Australian version. The word ‘grossly’ was also cut. I have also corrected a typo of my own -smacks with an ‘S”.
Do we conclude from the deletion of the last sentence in my short letter that noone is allowed to publish any statement that could be perceived as positive regarding the BDS in The Australian?