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Christoper Pyne reckons the Abbott Government should be praised for dropping their attempt to repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

“It became perfectly obvious to the Government that there was limited community support for changing section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act … We should be getting a tick for listening rather than being criticised for changing our course,” the odious twerp opined.

You’ve gotta love the slimy language. For “limited community support”, read massive community opposition.

Ho, ho. The government labours for months, at the behest of an idiot Murdoch columnist, obsessively trying to give bigots the right to be bigots, against the views of the vast majority of citizens and the universal condemnation of ethnic communities, and when it finally realises that pushing ahead would be political suicide, Pyne reckons it shows how clever, caring, and consultative they are. The logic is impeccable.

Call it the “we’re listening” spin. What it pathetically attempts to conceal is how out of touch, and how beholden to the loony racist right the government was all along.

Tony Abbott’s spin was, if anything, more odious, and amounted to a sly piece of dog-whistling religious bigotry. He blamed the 18C backdown on the need to get Muslims on board with “Team Australia”, as if the vast majority weren’t good citizens. In fact 18C has nothing to do with a person’s religion. As the Act’s title suggests, it’s about racial vilification and says nothing about religion.

Which brings us to the hypocrisy of Mike Carlton being sacked by the Sydney Morning Herald. The SMH reckons it’s sorry for the Le Lievre cartoon accompanying Mike Carlton’s column about the assault on Gaza which so offended Australia’s Zionists. The caricature of the elderly man sitting in the armchair while blowing up Gaza with his TV remote control did look like the racially stereotypical Jew beloved of anti-Semites.

But wait, Arabs are mostly semites too, and except for the skull cap the caricature might equally have been of the late Yasser Arafat, or Anthony Quinn in blackface playing Auda Abu Tayi in Lawrence of Arabia. It’s the hook nose, you see. If Le Lievre had drawn the old bloke with a retrousse nose, the cartoon might have passed muster. As for the view that the offence was caused by the man wearing the skull cap of the religiously-devout Jew, well, you know, the Zionists do call Israel “The Jewish State”, and we’re regularly treated to news photos of devout Israeli soldiers and the Jewish “settlers” pushing Arabs off their remaining land wearing skull caps.

The truth is, the Zionists slip effortlessly from one definition of Jewishness to another, to suit the circumstances. At one moment the defining characteristic is religious – an adherence to the Jewish religion … now, or in the deep past. Sometimes the defining characteristic is biological heritage, but that won’t stand a moment’s examination because there are black African Jews and a big chunk of those claiming Jewishness aren’t semites at all, but got picked up by the religion, here and there, over many centuries. But somehow, a black atheist who doesn’t speak Hebrew can still be a Jew. By any rational standard, about the best that can be said is that Jewishness is an amorphous ethnicity that defies description.

In the end, the SMH, under relentless pressure from the Zionist lobby, sacked Carlton, but not for criticism of Israel in the column, eh. That would have given the game away, so they cunningly sacked him for replying to a shit-rain of abusive emails from outraged Zionists by telling a few of them to fuck off.

Fairfax’s stance is entirely hypocritical. A few days later, the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, a “Fairfax community paper” published an equally anti-Semitic caricature by Zanetti. Most cartoonists are of the left, but, to put it most politely, Zanetti is a mediocre dog-whistle pencil-pusher of the Paul Sheehan-type right. Just the man to appeal to all those flag-wagging Pauline Hansonites holding out in the Shire.

Now as mentioned, Arabs are mostly semites too, and Zanetti’s cartoon showed a heroic Bronwyn Bishop, George Brandis and Tony Abbott, dressed in superman costumes, confronting a hook-nosed Arab terrorist in army uniform. On planet Fairfax, it’s okay to publish racially-sterotyping cartoons of Arabs, but not of Jews.

Or to put it another way, if Le Lievre’s cartoon had shown the old man wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh, or wrapped in the Palestinian flag, and had it accompanied an article by Paul Sheehan attacking Muslim terrorists, all would have been in order, as far as the Fairfax editors were concerned.