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Manning Clark And Anti-Semitism
Hal G. P. Colebatch, The Adelaide Review, February 1997



There is a strain of anti-Semitism throughout the later volumes of Manning Clark's A History of Australia. I do not believe this fact has been remarked on by his admirers. It has certainly not prevented Clark being hailed by leading Australian politicians and others as `The Greatest Historian since Thucydides', and `Australia's Greatest National Treasure'. This anti-Semitism is quite blatant. Like most anti-Semitism, including the Nazi variety, it is linked to paranoid and ideological hatred of anything to do with banking, finance and Capitalism. Clark constantly referred to the hate-figures of "Mr Money-Bags", "the money-changers" and "Mr Fatman", code-words for "Jews" in the Australian radical-nationalist lexicon from the Nineteenth Century till at least the 1930s.
Beyond this minimal coding, there are repeated references to allegedly exploiting money-lenders and bankers as "Shylocks". On p.254 of Vol. VI we read: Political independence had no value when Australia was to be throttled financially and economically by the Shylocks of Great Britain. It is part of Clark's polemical technique that it is often hard to tell when he is allegedly quoting others or stating his own opinion but here he leaves no doubt this is the authentic voice of progress and enlightenment. On p. 268 we read: The Shylocks of London would throttle the liberties of the Australian people On p. 399, of the dismissal of Lang and the economic recommendations of Sir Otto Niemeyer we read:
The conservatives were using the Shylocks of Empire to defeat a people's hero. There are a number of other references in the same manner. The History is filled with references to vague but dark and sinister alleged international-finance conspiracies by the Shylocks and "the people in black" (no prize for guessing who they are). On p. 354 of Vol. V he quotes with obvious approval The Labor Daily of 23 August, 1930, claiming the economic proposals of Sir Otto Niemeyer would:
hand over our present and our future into the clutch of the foreign Jews. On p. 407 there is a reference to: "the money-changers, the bond-holders, the Otto Niemeyers" Since Sir Otto Niemeyer was not a money-changer but an economic advisor this is further anti-Semitic stereotyping. In Melbourne poor tradesmen were allegedly exploited by "self-made Jewish money-lenders". The source of this stereotyping of "Shylocks" appears to be Labor politician Frank Anstey's pamphlet, The Kingdom of Shylock, first published in 1915, probably the most anti-Semitic tract ever published in Australia. This work was suppressed after publication - and in 1915 when a kind of social anti-Semitism was widespread and Jews were excluded from some clubs anti-Semitism had to be pretty bad to attract censure. The actual reason for suppression was possibly that, in claiming the war was a device for Jewish enrichment at the expense of Gentile blood, it was damaging to the war-effort. It was, however, released again in 1917, presumably in modified form.
I have obtained a copy of the 1917 edition whose cover, showing a Jewish stereotype indistinguishable from that frequently portrayed in the pages of Der Stü rmer, speaks for itself. Among its claims was that the First World War was due to the financial machinations of the Rothchilds, who were worming their way into British society and corrupting it, rather as Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: fand man, wie die Made im faulenden Leibe, oft ganz gelendet vom plö tzlichen Lichte, ein Jü dlein. [one found, like the maggot in the foul corpse, often quite dazzled from the sudden light, a jewboy.] The pamphlet is an attack on alleged International Jewish money-power. Cartoons of War as a plot by the money-power are filled with the usual images of skeletons, cannon, bereaved widows, piles of skulls and slaughter in general for the benefit of the Shylocks. The chapter headed "The Clutching Hand" begins, under the sub-heading "Old Jewry", by attacking "The Jew Medina" for profiteering at England's expense in the War of the Spanish Succession and subverting English institutions, followed by : "The Jew Manessah Lopez", who profiteered on false stock-market rumours. Then came Samson Guideon and the Goldsmiths - Abraham and Benjamin. They were succeeded by the Rothschilds. (p. 5) The next sub-heading is: "The Reign of the Rothschilds" This claims, apropos the Napoleonic Wars: dead men on the battle-field - profits for the cormorants(p. 6) Other chapter headings include: "Lords of Lootery", "The Mighty Swindle", "The New Bondage", "The Dawning Slavery", and "Gorging the Vultures", with passages like: This warfills the treasury of Shylock to overflowingevery year Shylock is to draw hundreds of millions more in interest from his investment in wasted lives and bloody slaughter. (p. 33) It is probably unnecessary to quote more. These passages are typical of the tone of the entire pamphlet - and this is the presumably expurgated 1917 edition. It is classical anti-Semitism of the most virulent and venomous kind, plainly similar to Nazi anti-Semitism. When tens of thousands of families in Australia were bereaved by war-losses it was the deadliest form of hate-mongering to suggest Jewish war-profiteering was responsible - a fact not lost on Hitler in Germany a little later.
The Kingdom of Shylock was in its way on a par with The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. In has been a major source-book for anti-Semitism in Australian culture. It may have played a major part not only in perpetuating relatively petty social anti-Semitism but also in forming the climate of political opinion which prevented Australia taking more than a handful of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in the late 1930s after the Evian Conference. Manning Clark did not merely borrow the pamphlet's terminology. In Vol. V of A History of Australia at p. 414, he specifically refers to Anstey and The Kingdom of Shylock. It is plain that Clark endorsed Anstey and the pamphlet as being on the right side. Further, the inference of Clark's writing seems to be that The Kingdom of Shylock was suppressed not either because it was vilely defamatory or likely to aid the National enemies, but rather because it told the truth. Clark said: A section of the working class smelt a rat. They accused the bourgeoisie of making a cruel discovery: unemployment among the working class was such an effective recruiting sergeant that the bourgeoisie could stay at home. In The Kingdom of Shylock, published in 1915, the author, Frank Anstey, argued that the war was making the living worker a slave, and filling the treasury of Shylock to overflowing. The book was suppressed, strengthening the suspicion that the Labor political leaders were the secret agents of the bourgeoisie who encouraged the people to take pride in the glories of the British past. By contrast a section of the working class began to prophesy: there would be a new society. The workers were about to arise from their slumbers: the prisoners of want were about to rise. Humanity was about to steal fire from heaven. Not only does this passage endorse Anstey, but it ends on what can be seen as a decidedly Nazi-like note. Stealing fire from heaven to burn away burgeois society is a familiar concept from Nazi ideology. However, there is more to be said about Clark's comment: it demonstrates his capacity to invent facts without regard for objective truth in order to fit his own ideology. In the Clark Weltanschauung the good side were by definition anti-British. Therefore, Anstey, in this case one of the good side, had also to be anti-British, and opposed to "Those who encouraged the people to take pride in the glories of the British past". In fact, in The Kingdom of Shylock Anstey attempted not to oppose but to hijack precisely this pro-British sentiment for the service of anti-Semitism, claiming Jews had corrupted England's ancient traditions and beautiful landscape. Jews had allegedly given England a "blood-sucking, money-lenders' parody" of true patriotism. The first chapter, "Love of country" begins with, in a box in heavy type, a quote allegedly from a "Mother in England to her son in Australia": I look over this beautiful, delightful country, and I wonder if it is really true that there is so much bloodshed and horror in the world. Yet, last night by my window the wounded went westward, and this day, as for months past, go brave men eastward to the slaughter, and the Jews are making much money. It continues ( the following is a brief sample only of an introduction that goes for several pages in similar vein): Where is the Englishman who does not love the land of his nativity? Where is the one who, in the hour of struggle, does not forget all that is bestial in her cities, and remember only the beautiful things left undefiled. Hills and dales, rolling downs and valleys, woodlands and meadowlands, brooks and streams that yet flow unstained to the sea, daisies and primrose growing in the untilled pastures, blackbirds and thrushes, finches and linnets warbling in the hedgesThrough all the centuries long lines of unnumbered and now forgotten dead have marched forth from every village, along every road and byway, to do battle for this little seagirt isle Beside the King rode the fighting barony of England, and behind them ye (sic) yeomanry from Kent and Devon and the hills of far Northumbriano Shylock could make a profit from war - he got no interest(pp. 1-2) Clark endorsed Anstey elsewhere in the History, with the plain inference Anstey was a courageous spokesman for truth. On p. 419 of the same volume he wrote: Fourteen days after the two archbishops claimed divine approval for the war aims of the British Empire, Frank Anstey reminded readers of The Labor Call that Money Power was doing nicely out of the war. On p. 349: Frank Anstey, who believed the people were held back from the paths of progress by prejudice [!] and timidity
On p. 423:
Frank Anstey, the man with the picturesque appearance and the voice which could arouse thousands to passionate loathing of Money Power, collected facts and figures with which to embarrass Fisher during discussions at Party meetings. Clark implicitly endorsed the anti-Semitic pronouncements of his principal hero, the "wondrous" Henry Lawson, "the conscience of Australia", who blamed the Boer War on the fact that "the dirty Jewish talons reached from palaces and slums" and who demanded in verse a navy that would defend Australia when "the East is backed by the Jews". Others in the Radical-Nationalist and Republican tradition Clark supported also said similar things. However his endorsement of Anstey's anti-Semitism seems to have been far more explicit, immediate and unambiguous. One of Clark's disciples, the Marxist journalist Humphrey McQueen, gives further evidence Clark not only went along with but shared the grubby obsessions characteristic of many anti-Semites, claiming of Clark in The Australian Book Review of November, 1996 that: He wanted to dine at Government House in 1977 to see whether his sometime student Zelman Cowan would, even as representative of the Queen, still feel compelled to talk all the time for fear that if anyone else were to speak they might call him `jewboy'. Manning Clark, the Order of Lenin, Antisemitism and the `Shylocks in Black' Adelaide Institute Associate, David Brockschmidt, casts light onto Hal Colebatch's intellectual darkness Having read Mr Colebatch's article I remain at a loss at what this author actually had to say about Manning Clark. I read the whole page again and concluded that he really had nothing to say, merely quoting from one of Manning Clark's books. So here we have a wise writer merely under-achieving without committing himself politically at all. Not one word, not even a hint saying Manning Clark was not only a bad commie who would have loved to turn this country, with the help of Frank Hardy, into the People's Republic of Australia. No, nothing of the sort because Mr Colebatch has discovered that Manning Clark was an antisemite. This revelation for certain will put Manning Clark on the scrap heap of history. By making the antisemitic claim Mr Colebatch becomes super politically correct. He wants to be on the safe side and leave it to the reader to decide if Manning Clark was an antisemite or not and whether Manning Clark was right or wrong in regards to the `black Shylocks' of international finance. Colebatch has thereby re-invented the wheel because he has told us nothing fundamentally important - and he has done it in a fine art by filling a whole page in The Adelaide Review without saying anything. This is characteristic of our writers of the Brave New World: you quote only others, never give an opinion, never say what you think, never say whether a person is right or wrong. Such tactics ensure a writer's future job in the politically correct media and you also save your neck from any possible defamation actions. Well, as you know, this is not the way Adelaide Institute operates. We call a spade a spade and therefore let's have a look at Manning Clark's `Shylocks in Black'. Manning Clark is right, of course, spot on, in regards to international finance being run by the `Shylocks in Black' - the Ivan Boesky's and the Gordon Gekkos. This international money mafia, these parasites and blood suckers are the cancer of humankind. They are poisoning people's minds and they have spread their philosophy of making a fast buck, the philosophy of greed, corruption and moral degeneration. They are world-wide, robbing the nations of their wealth and resources thereby creating wars and starvation. They divide and rule the world. National governments are only puppets on a string dancing the Wall Street tango to the tune of this parasitic speculator cast - Jews and non-Jews alike.
Jesus chased them once out of the temple and the corrupt Hebrew ruling cast led by Caiaphas insisted that the Romans crucify him. Already, then ,they had betrayed the God of their forefathers by dancing around the Golden Calf. Today these evil and insane Shylocks, living in all the world's speculation centres, create giant financial profits for their clients and for themselves - and create misery, war and starvation for the rest of humankind. So, how can we get rid of them? Very simple. Control your greed and envy and don't speculate, don't gamble. Don't buy any shares. This rotten and corrupt financial system is based on the philosophy of supply and demand. You withdraw your demand and the system of speculation and moral corruption will collapse. It is up to every single one of us to make this happen. Our hard earned money is their blood supply. Without it, these fat men in black - Jew and Gentile alike - will just dry up and turn into dust. If you think my view in regard to these bloodsuckers is antisemitic and anti-Gentilistic, so be it!


Correction: In No. 54, p.9. Think on these things, it was Herbert Runge who stopped a pogrom in Lü beck.


Propagandist: bad company for an eminent historian

Manning Clark's defenders still have some explaining to do, says Christopher Pearson, editor of The Adelaide Review; from The Australian, 18 February 1997.

In the aftermath of The Courier-Mail's investigations into Manning Clark, the prevailing view among journalists was often summed up in four words: no medal, no story. As the possibility that Clark had been awarded the Order of Lenin receded, a mass of circumstantial detail damaging to Clark's reputation but less conclusive tended to be more and more heavily discounted. One of the odder aspects of the case was that it was generally conceded from the outset that there has been some sort of medal given to Clark, but his family and friends were insistent that it was the kind of dime-a-dozen decoration routinely handed out to every conference-goer. Now we know better. According to The Courier-Mail (February 8), Clark was awarded the Lenin Jubilee Medal on June 22, 1970. It was a decoration approved by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR under the chairmanship of Nikolai Podgorny. The citation from the presidential archive described Clark as "an active worker in the Australia-USSR Society". At the time of the award, Clark was in Moscow attending celebrations to mark the centenary of Lenin's birth. According to the archive, of the rest of the 24 who received the medal at the time, almost all were prominent propagandists from communist States. Among them were Le Khan, section chief of the military-political academy of the (North) Vietnam People's Army, and Nguyen Van Kin, a leading Hanoi intellectual. According to Oleg Gordievsky, the former KGB colonel who defected to the West, Clark's inclusion on this medals list establishes beyond doubt that he was an agent of influence. What are we to make of all this?
In his Higher Education Supplement column on Wednesday, Peter Craven described The Courier-Mail's investigation as a bizarre fishing expedition and urged the newspaper to abandon it. On the contrary, it seems to me to have netted a significant catch that warrants further archival trawling. It is not good enough to treat the latest report with sneers or that cavernous silence which is becoming such a feature of contemporary Australian journalism when faced with inconvenient evidence. Whether Clark was an active worker in the Australia-USSR Society ( which Dymphna Clark said he had never joined) strikes me as unimportant and certainly not a hanging offence.
The fact remains that he was given an important award, the significance of which has been relentlessly played down and trivialised. The onus is now on Clark's defenders to explain what he was doing in the company of an elite band of lionised propagandists. While they are at it, we still need a coherent explanation of Clark's Meeting Soviet Man. Humphrey McQueen's version, an essay in November's Australian Book Review, which Craven has hailed as the definitive account of the matter, simply will not do. McQueen says he sees the book as a work of irony: "more profound an attack on the socialist experiment than Krushchev's 1956 speech against Stalin had been" - a view which Brian Matthews, who is working on a biography of Clark, dismisses with derision. I think McQueen's argument is transparent postmodernist prevarication. No amount of special pleading can conceal Clark's longstanding besottedness with Lenin and no serious analyst of the subject should try to do so. In Australia Lenin is still something of a sentimental favourite in a way that is unthinkable with comparable tyrants such as Hitler. Probably it is a vestige of the traditional line, "no enemies on the Left". Manning Clark has benefited from a similar, but much more understandable, fuzzy feeling - the willing suspension of critical faculties. Surely whether or not the archives and the Venona decryptions provide further evidence to his discredit, he deserves better than that.


Communist sympathisers owe world an apology

Professor Joseph P Forgas,

School of Psychology, University of NSW; in The Australian, 21 February 1997


Christopher Pearson (Propagandists: Bad Company for an Eminent Historian, Opinion, 18/2) is right in pointing to a "willing suspension of critical faculties" by those on the Left and much of the media when it comes to writing about communists and fellow travellers, such as the late Manning Clark.
There have been several recent articles in which diehard communists are featured as either befuddled eccentrics or disappointed visionaries: noble in intent, unbroken in their idealism, if somewhat ridiculous in their belief and the communist utopia as prophesied by Marx and Lenin is yet to arrive. Yet these are the very same people who have spent their years trying to excuse and legitimise inhuman totalitarian regimes which are certainly responsible for the death of tens of millions of people, have left unspeakable devastation in their wake and caused untold human misery. Manning Clark's Meeting Soviet Man is an excellent case in point. Why this kindly sympathy for supporters of totalitarianism? Most of us would recoil from treating old Nazis in the same way. Yet supporters of Nazism and supporters of Communism occupy precisely the same moral ground.
How is it that many left-wing intellectuals who just a few years ago were loudly defending unspeakable regimes continue to claim the moral high ground when it comes to castigating liberal Western democracies, without any diminution of status and authority? Shouldn't we expect them to acknowledge, at least publicly, that they were wrong and accept some of the blame for legitimising and defending tyrannical regimes? They cannot claim ignorance. Detailed analyses of the nature of communist ideology (for example, by Sir Karl Popper) and the terrible regimes it spawned have been available for decades, not least from disenchanted sympathisers such as Arthur Koestler or George Orwell. We have rightly come to condemn those who sought to defend and justify Nazism during its brief period in power. The much more numerous left-wing supporters and legitimisers of communist totalitarianism in Australia are still with us today. Christopher Pearson has done us all a great service by reminding us of their culpability. Fredrick Toben comments: Colebatch, Brockschmidt, Pearson and Forgas each highlight an aspect of the intellectual/cultural crisis that flows from the Manning Clark debate. Our readers are familiar with the communist-totalitarian argument so well put by Professor Forgas. I wonder, though, whether he has always made such public pronouncements or is just hopping on the bandwagon because it is now safe to criticise Marxist ideology? I know that many Australian university teachers are still cowering to a dominant Marxist ideology. There is relief in sight for these intellectual cowards. Now that Colebatch has equated Manning Clark's criticism of international finance with antisemitism the signal has been set for the trendy `pinkies' in academia to swim away from their beloved perverse ideology which had led them into intellectual dishonesty and moral confusion. We invite readers to comment on Mr Brockschmidt's contribution because he rejects outright Colebatch's thesis. In any case, anyone who uses the word antisemitism ought to be opposed by a loud and firm response: Have you run out of arguments, coward? Stop smearing the person, get on with thinking about the issue at hand. Mr Brockschmidt certainly thinks a discussion of international finance is a worthy intellectual exercise.

 

Fanfare for State's $8.6 m production of `Ring'

From Tim Lloyd in Sydney, The Advertiser, 26 February 1997

Adelaide's $8.6 million production of Wagner's four-opera Ring cycle in 1998 was launched on the national and international market last night in Sydney. At a glittering reception hosted by the South Australian Governor, Sir Eric Neal, and the Premier, Mr Olsen, at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum, arts patrons from Australia and overseas were invited to the first Australian production of the Ring in more than 80 years. Speaking at the launch, the Federal Arts Minister, Senator Alston, said Der Ring Des Nibelungen was the biggest musical work in the history of western civilisation. "It's the ultimate entertainment and one that Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett would give his right arm to get hold of," he said. State Opera will stage this production of the Ring from the Chatelet Opera in Paris, using an enlarged Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and a cast mostly from Australia and New Zealand.
Rehearsals will begin almost six months before the opera opens in November, 1998. Last night, the Premier Mr Olsen announced the State Government was undertaking a feasibility study into following up the 1998 production with the first production ever created in Australia. "Then we would have the ability to stage the Ring in Adelaide every three or four years," he said. Mr Olsen said the SA Centre for Economic Studies had estimated that the 1998 production of the Ring would generate up to $14 million in economic benefits for the State, for a cost of $1.5 million for the SA Government. The Governor, Sir Eric Neil, invited patrons to Adelaide for the Ring.


Kosky vs Wagner The Flying Dutchman

The Australian Opera, September 25, Sydney Opera House

Reviewed by Elizabeth Silsbury, The Adelaide Review, November 1996

Wagner thought that his opera The Flying Dutchman was a relatively straightforward story about a Norwegian sea captain who defied the devil and was cursed to sail the world until he found a woman who would give up her life for him. Barrie Kosky thinks it is a psycho-drama about Senta, the woman who finally releases the Dutchman from his torment, and about all women who are shackled by stereotypical bonds and thereby condemned to remain forever repressed, forever unfulfilled. His production for The Australian Opera, which ran for 13 performances in August and September in the Sydney Opera House, constantly contradicted Wagner's plot and libretto in large and small detail.
Wagner won, of course, because he held the most powerful weapon. Kosky could not, and being musically literate and sensitive would not, alter a single semiquaver of the score, which is loaded with musical depictions of physical objects - the sea, spinning wheels - as well as direct (for Wagner, that is) expressions of emotion ranging from a maiden's romantic dreams to passion powerful enough to conquer death itself. Kosky declared war as conductor Gabo Otvos gave his first downbeat for the musically and atmospherically enlightening Overture, intended to occupy our full attention because it contains much valuable information which needs to be ingested before we have to start watching as well as listening. The horns announced the Dutchman's haunting and hunting theme, the low strings rumbled up a storm of crashing waves. Behind the scrim, scattered all over with vertical, horizontal and crossed lines a la Mondrian (spars, masts, gravestones until you read the clues in the program), a plinth bearing Senta as a monument glides across to her landing point. Not the bay where her father's ship has taken refuge from the storm ( still raging in the pit) but her own front parlour.
No ships. No sailors either. And instead of the portrait that has captivated, even obsessed, perhaps deranged the girl, a Mondrian abstract symbolising male and female, the sea, life and immortality. Just Senta, already looking bewildered and disoriented, and her parlour. And when Wagner set his sailors a-singing, Kosky sent a nondescript gaggle of men forcing their way into Senta's house, jostling past her as though she did not exist. And so it went on. The spinning scene was set in the ship's boiler room, the Dutchman crashed through the wall of Senta's house although he was still on board ship off the Norwegian coast, the treasure that bribed Senta's father to give his daughter to a stranger comprised four unidentifiable portraits, the Steersman played the wrong end of the piano The great moments of this great opera, like the show-stopping, heart-stopping first meeting of Senta and the Dutchman were quite deliberately trampled on in Kosky's anti-text, anti-plot, anti-feeling, over-intellectualised, ideologically fashionable but dramatically top heavy realisation.
No mystery, no magic, no suspense. Not on stage, anyway. Fortunately it was all there in the music. Once the Luftwaffe pilot gear and goose stepping gait of Richard Paul Fink's Dutchman had been absorbed, and mentally interpreted as an anti-Semitic gesture, it could be dismissed, leaving total attention to focus on his singing. Dark but clear, powerfully expressive in his despair and his hope for redemption, Fink's sound epitomised the romance of Wagner's wanderer despite considerable visual and scenic handicaps.
Because Kosky put Senta at the centre of the opera, Elizabeth Whitehouse was on stage for the whole two hours and twenty minutes ( no interval - blame Wagner for that), even when the action specifically excluded her or required her to be elsewhere. No actress should be required to register shock, horror, fear and confusion for that long, and inevitably Whitehouse went glassy-eyed from time to time. Vocally she was the exact opposite of the pathetic victim who crept from one hidey hole to another, or was manhandled by the chorus, or punished to the point of torture by relatives outraged at her passion for the Dutchman - both illogical and unfair, this, because it was her father who gave her hand to a rich ghost. Robust or lyrical, passionate or innocent, Whitehouse fleshed out the character of Senta with her singing much more effectively than through the extraneous business imposed upon her. Her marvellously rich quality is even throughout the range, without a rough patch anywhere, and her faultless control ensured unimpaired projection at the lowest, as well as the highest, dynamic levels. Donald Shanks filled the stage and the Opera Theatre with his authoritative bass as Daland, Julian Gavin brought considerable vocal and dramatic conviction to the jilted Erik, Rosemary Gunn (Senta's nurse, Mary) carried out some silly business without flinching and sang with more than customary warmth and Graeme MacFarlane earned his nice lie down on Senta's sofa after keeping watch as Steersman on Daland's ship.
If the chorus and the orchestra had conspired to defend Wagner they could not have sung and played with more conviction. Despite the absence of any identifying garb, the men rollicked heartily through their sailor's songs, though the women were distracted from equal effectiveness in the spinning scene by excessive and unrelated movement. And the more the stage departed from the text, the more determined Otvos and the orchestra became to assert Wagner's will through playing that expertly balanced foreground motifs and seascape backgrounds. Otvos followed scrupulously the composer's dynamic directions, ensuring that the singers soared through the orchestral texture without any sign of strain.
Most curious and least effective of Kosky's re-interpretations was his denouement. Wagner's music declares, with major keys and much brass, the triumph of love over evil. According to his instructions, Senta hurls herself into the sea in proof of her devotion, the Dutchman is released from his curse, captain, ship and crew vanish and Senta and her hero fly to heaven on the wings of victorious D major. Kosky's Senta sang her `faithful unto death' line, billows of smoke and fire emerged from the gaping hole where the ship was symbolised, Dalan and Erik tore off Senta's clothes, leaving her in an institutional smock with the mark of the man, a single black vertical stripe down her sternum, and she wandered vaguely away from her family to the forestage, as though she was in a different opera from the one concluding in a blaze of glory in the pit. The search by opera directors for originality, for distinctive and innovative approaches to standard repertoire is going on all over the opera world. There is only one inviolable principle, that what is seen should intensify and enhance what is heard. Deliberately to set sight and sound in conflict with each other, as Kosky did with Dutchman, might be dismissed as mere perversity, but such a judgement merely adds yet another ill-fitting piece to his jigsaw, painstakingly disarranged with some pieces still missing and some distorted, frustrating any possibility of assembling a complete picture. Perhaps he will relent and give his audience a few more clues to his intentions when the production is mounted in Melbourne next year. Like why Senta changes her demure plait for the balding wig of Uncle Tom's Topsy.

Fredrick Toben comments:

Mr Kosky's production is a classic example of a culture destroyer at work. I have been critical of Mr Kosky before, not because he is a Jew, but rather because his intellectual thrustings are either laced with ignorance or dishonesty. I do not believe him to be an ignorant man because directing a Wagner opera, no mean feat in itself, cannot be done by an ignorant man. It is therefore the intellectual spin he puts on his interpretation of Wagner's works that reveal Kosky's personal limitations; see Adelaide Institute No. 25, p. 16.

 

Race Debate blamed for increasing anti-Semitism

By Karen Middleton, Canberra, The Age, 27 February 1997

Australia's peak Jewish organisation yesterday blamed a national increase in the level of reported anti-Semitism last year on the race debate sparked by the Queensland independent MP Ms Pauline Hanson. The president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Ms Diane Shteinman, said the council had received 299 reports of threats, intimidation and vandalism directed at Australian Jews. She said the number of reports had risen from 243 in 1995 and 227 in 1994 and that direct harassment, telephonic and electronic threats and abuse had recorded new highs. Ms Shteinman said the statistics indicated more than half of the incidents had been reported in the periods immediately after the federal election in March last year and in the weeks after Ms Hanson's speech in Federal Parliament. "In 1996, anti-Semitic groups and individuals became more brazen in their rhetoric, more confident in their public posturing and more willing to directly harass Australian Jews," Mr Shteinman said. `Although the vandalism, violence and intimidation is unacceptable, this council does not for one moment suggest Australia is an anti-Semitic society." Ms Shteinman later said she was not suggesting Mrs Hanson had herself made anti-Semitic remarks.
But she said that her remarks criticising Aboriginal welfare and Asian migration had given rise to racial, ethnic and religious abuse. Last night, Ms Hanson rejected the suggestion that her remarks were responsible for an increase in anti-Semitism.
"They'll have me responsible for increasing the hole in the ozone layer next," she said.
A spokesman for Ms Hanson later rejected the council's link between anti-Semitism and Ms Hanson as "rubbish".
"They are looking to scapegoat her," he said.
"She has never said the word Jew and she only talked about Asian immigration once."

 

A Challenge to Amnesty International

The Australian Civil Liberties Union has been in the forefront defending individuals' right to free speech and association. The letter below has been sent to Amnesty's London office, 1 Easton Street London, WC187, U.K, followed up by five reminder letters. To date president of ACLU, Mr John Bennett, is still waiting for a response. Likewise, Amnesty's Melbourne's and Sydney's office refuse to acknowledge receipt of this correspondence. The Australian Civil Liberties Union believes in free speech and is concerned about apparent attempts to suppress free speech about the events of World War II.
A group of scholars called `revisionist historians' have presented views about W.W.II, including the Holocaust, that differ from the `received' or `orthodox' version, and the ACLU feels that these views should be given proper consideration and, if they are proven to be false, should be rejected on the basis of free debate and not blatant censorship or suppression. This is an aspect of `political correctness' that is a matter of concern to those who value freedom of speech. This suppression of revisionists is a worldwide phenomenon, involving persecution of thinkers in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, England. Canada, U.S., Australia, etc., and thus we feel it should be a matter for Amnesty International to investigate, because of the persecution of individuals and the suppression of free speech by jailing, fines, breaking up meetings, etc. This persecution includes blocking the admission of British historian, David Irving, in attempts to come to Australia. If others disagree with what he says, that is their privilege, but rejection should proceed along the lines of reasoned debate, not `blacklisting' or suppression, either by oppressive laws or by illegal or quasi-legal means. We hope that if Amnesty has not already examined this threat to free speech, that it will institute research into this matter.
ACLU, POBox 1137, Carlton 3053. Tel: 61 3 95341314; Fax: 61 9 96421460

News items 1995

Vanunu abduction 'ordered by Peres',

By Christopher Walker and agencies in Jerusalem, The Times, AFP, The Weekend Australian, 25-26 March 1995


The Foreign Minister of Israel, Mr Shimon Peres, personally ordered the kidnapping of nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu by Mossad agents in Italy in 1986, Israeli newspapers reported yesterday. Israel has never officially acknowledged the kidnapping of Vanunu, who was jailed for 18 years in 1988 for "espionage and high treason" after he revealed Israel's atomic secrets to the Sunday Times of London, backed up with photographs and sketches. Israeli television said the Shoken press group, which publishes the daily Haaretz, recently appealed to the Supreme Court to lift the military censorship of the Vanunu affair and won the case.
Mr Peres , who was prime minister in 1986, issued the order to kidnap Vanunu, an Israeli citizen, and bring him back to Israel alive, the newspapers said. The press earlier kept silent about the affair, in line with a request from Mr Peres. The first details were published yesterday of how Vanunu was smuggled from Italy to Israel by Mossad, Israel's secret service. The respected Tel Aviv daily Haaretz told how Vanunu, a Moroccan Jew, was lured from London to Rome by a Mossad agent called "Cindy", then carried on to an Israeli ship on a stretcher from a speedboat under cover of darkness. The story confirmed in previously unknown detail Vanunu's claim to his family that he was kidnapped by Mossad and taken to Israel in a ship. The story was acquired exclusively by the Shoken newspaper chain, of which Haaretz is the flagship. Israeli naval cadets who were aboard the ship when The Sunday Times story was published in October 1986, said in interviews that authorities tried to conceal what was happening.
Adi Raz, a Haaretz reporter, said: "The cadets tell of how the ship pulled without explanation into a Mediterranean port, assumed to be in Italy for three days. Then late at night ,the cadets were all ordered into the ship's "club". While the cadets were in the club they heard a speedboat, which was carrying two men and a woman, come up to the ship. They later discovered that Vanunu had been carried aboard on a stretcher. On the voyage, they occasionally saw the two men and the woman - who looked like photos they later saw of "Cindy". The Haaretz account, written by Mordechai Alon, a group reporter, confirmed British reports that Mossad abducted Vanunu from Italy and is likely to raise new questions from the Italian authorities about the diplomatic ethics of the Israeli action. It is believed the Israeli reaction plan was ordered by Mr Peres. Under the Mossad plan, it was decided that "Cindy" would be used to lure the lonely Vanunu out of England because it was considered diplomatically too sensitive for him to be kidnapped in Britain. The details have appeared amid a growing campaign to have Vanunu, who is still in solitary confinement, released.

1996

Jewish pair jailed for getting into the swastika business,
Jewish Chronicle, 16 August 1996

A Miami Jewish father and son were sent to prison this week for having vandals daub swastikas and damage buses at a Jewish school in order to profit from the clean-up. Car body shop owner Al Rubin, 47, turned to his wife and cried when sentenced on Monday to three years in prison and 500 hours of graffiti cleaning for theft. "Can you believe this?" he said. "Three years. Three years." His son, Steven, 29, was sentenced to eight years in prison and 500 hours of graffiti removal. Both had turned down a plea offered that would have spared them jail. "While we as a country and a community struggle against religious and racial hatred and bigotryAl Rubin and Steven Rubin opened old wounds," Judge Leslie Rothenberg said. As the school's transport director, Steven Rubin gave the repair work after the damage had been done to his father's Priority Car Care, which has the slogan "Where our customers and our honesty are number- one priority."

Apology over Hitler slur,
New York, Daily Telegraph, 4 October 1996

Cable News Network chief Ted Turner, who is fighting a business battle with fellow media proprietor Rupert Murdoch, apologised for comparing his rival to Adolf Hitler, a civil rights group said yesterday. The Anti-Defamation League, which counters anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, had written to Mr Turner saying that such a comparison "trivialises a profound historical tragedy". In his response, Mr Turner wrote: "I hope you and all those offended by this comment will accept my deepest apology."
*

Evita bagwoman claim by Holocaust avenger,
AFP, The Courier Mail, 29 November 1996

Buenos Aires: The Simon Wiesenthal Centre's top official for Latin America called for a probe yesterday of former Argentinian first lady Eva Peron's possible role in moving Nazi loot to Argentine and other nations. Shimon Samuels said it was time to stop turning a blind eye to the role "Evita" Peron and nations such as Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Sweden had played in helping Nazis escape to South America with wartime loot. He told the daily Pagina newspaper he would also press for the opening of the Central Bank of Argentina's archives. "In the first place," Mr Samuels said, "we want investigations of the shipment of gold, for example, to Argentina from Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal and Spain - four countries which supposedly were neutral ( in World War II) but which in fact allowed Nazi gold to get to these (Argentine) shores. Spain and Switzerland, above all, were the channels for those shipments," Mr Samuels said.
Then "in the second place, you have the Eva (Evita) Duarte issue", he said referring to the rags-to-riches radio soap-opera actress who married long-term president General Juan Domingo Peron (1946-55). His government was seen as at least sympathetic to the Nazi cause. Evita became famous for championing Argentina's poor, often draping herself in furs while handing out cash to those clamouring to queue up. "Let's not fool ourselves," Mr Samuels said. "Nazi leaders arrived in Argentina because there was a large German community here which sympathised with the Third Reich and gave war criminals protection.
"But they were also taken in by the Peronist government and no doubt had considerable wealth. "In this context, Mrs Peron's visit to Switzerland, `a country she travelled to somewhat mysteriously', had always generated some doubts."
*

Bard bared,
Rome, The West Australian, 19 December 1996

Playwright William Shakespeare was dropped from Europe's proposed single currency banknotes because of his alleged antisemitism in the portrayal of the money-lender Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.


1997
Aid from Swiss banks `prolonged the war',
AFP, The Advertiser, 24 February 1997

World War II might have ended in 1943 if Swiss banks had not co-operated with Germany's Nazi regime, a Swiss member of parliament claimed yesterday. "It is absolutely correct to say that Swiss banks prolonged the war. Without their co-operation, it would have ended much earlier, say, towards the end of 1943," Jean Ziegler, a Socialist deputy told the Dutch newspaper Haagsche Courant. He added that "thousands of people lost their lives unnecessarily". The highly secretive Swiss banking system is currently embroiled in a controversy over its role in buying gold from the Nazis that was plundered in various European capitals or deposited with them by Jews who subsequently perished in the Holocaust or fled abroad. Mr Ziegler, well known in Switzerland for his outspoken views, accused the banks of helping the Nazi war effort. "Hitler could not launder gold stolen in the concentration camps or in Europe or the world, so he made an arrangement with the Swiss banks," Mr Ziegler said. "The gold came to Switzerland and in return he received (Swiss) francs, money with which he could buy steel in Sweden, tungsten in Portugal and everything he needed to make war."
*

Pupils need `Asian attitude',
The Advertiser, 16 January 1997

The New South Wales Premier, Mr Carr, has called on all NSW students to adopt the hardworking attitudes of Asian students. Failure to do so would mean Australia would not be able to compete internationally with countries such as Singapore and Japan, he warned. Mr Carr said hard work was the key to success for all students, regardless of where they went to school. Hard work was integral to the success of students in the Japanese and Singapore educational system, he said. If Australia were to compete internationally, students had to be "introduced to the concept of hard work. If we're going to be a competitive nation we've got to be saying to our young people, whether their goal is an apprenticeship or university entrancemaking the most of it by studying hard, especially in that vital Year 12."


Scandal of Nazi pensions,
International Express, 5 February 1997

A Nazi concentration camp guard who was imprisoned in Britain after World War Two has won a "victims" pension. The unnamed guard, who was involved in a number of atrocities, successfully argued that he needed the extra pension because his kidneys were damaged in a draughty cell in England. He is just one of thousands of German war criminals who receive the money on top of their normal pension from the Bonn government. According to a German television network, the German government is paying out L5 billion to 1.1 million recipients of these special pensions. Military historian Gerhard Schreiber estimates 50,000 claimants are war criminals or belonged to notorious army units. The government says it is bound by law that was passed in 1950.

*
Helfgott health claim `nonsense'
AAP, The Advertiser, February 1997

The health of pianist David Helfgott had "clearly deteriorated" and the portrayal of him being "loved back to health" in the hit movie Shine was "nonsense", the prodigy's former doctor said. "In fact there are so many irregularities, it goes beyond the bounds of artistic licence." Helfgott made his return to public performance at Dr Reynolds's Perth wine bar, Riccardo's, where he played from 1983 to 1986. Dr Reynolds, who found Helfgott living in a hostel, said his contribution to the pianist's recovery was "deliberately written out of the script" because he had fallen out with Helfgott's wife, Gillian, and Shine director Scott Hicks. "I never helped David back to get something from it and I haven't," he said. Dr Reynolds said he had not seen Helfgott for eight or nine years until he saw a recent television interview. I was shocked . As his doctor for three years with experience in psychiatry, I can say that he has clearly deteriorated," he said. "It might be pressure, it might be that he is not taking sufficient medication. It might be the direction his music has taken." Dr Reynolds said he had seen Shine twice and enjoyed it as a largely fictional movie.
N.B.: Adelaide Institute Associate, Mr David Brockschmidt, made a similar claim about the film Schindler's List in which his father's significant role in helping Schindler's enterprise was ignored by both author Thomas Keneally and film director Steven Spielberg. Brockschmidt had alerted both Keneally and Spielberg to this fact - and still they ignored it.
*

Geneticist attacked over `abort gays' view,
Bruce Loudon in London, The Advertiser 17 February 1997

James Watson, the Nobel laureate who discovered DNA has outraged the gay community by saying women should be allowed to abort babies in whom a gene for homosexuality had been found. Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper, on its front page quoted Dr Watson as saying: "If you could find the gene which determines sexuality and a woman decides she doesn't want a homosexual child, well, let her." But the newspaper said the statement had been greeted with "outrage" and quoted a prominent leader of an AIDS charity as saying: "It is outrageous to suggest that there is a right for termination because there is a possibility that a child might be homosexual." It also quoted Sir David Weatherall, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, as saying: "To say this is controversial is a generous way to describe it." The report said Dr Watson, speaking from his home in Long Island, New York, recalled a discussion about the genetic implications of homosexuality, in front of a woman whose son is gay. The Sunday Telegraph quoted Dr Watson as saying: "Looking at the situation from her point of view, it was that she wanted grandchildren. Her son's homosexuality was the great tragedy of her life. And who am I to say otherwise?" The report noted that although American scientists claimed in 1993 they had identified a link between homosexual and genetic make-up, "it remains unproven and controversial".
The president of the South Australian Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service, Ms Jennifer Scott, said her response to Dr Watsons' suggestion was "sheer horror. There were "obvious parallels with fascism and Nazi Germany. I would be really interested to know what the attitude of some of the fundamental Christians would be with the conflict of interest it creates between their anti-homosexuality and yet right-to-life views," she said.
*


Multiculturalism our duty, says Einfeld
Michelle Gunn, The Australian, 13 January 1997

Australians must embrace cultural diversity and resolve to forgo jingoism, selfishness and insincerity, Federal Court judge and humanitarian activist Justice Marcus Einfeld said yesterday. In a speech to launch this year's Australia Day celebrations, Justice Einfeld applauded the achievements of multiculturalism and strongly rejected the views of federal independent MP Ms Pauline Hanson on Asian immigration and Aboriginal welfare. He said Australians had excelled in every area of human endeavour and that our country was "one of the truly great democracies". But he warned that if we wished to be "a really healthy and contented nation", we must come to terms with our cultural and racial diversity. "We Australians must understand that most of the differences between the people of Australia take nothing away from anyone," he said.
Justice Einfeld also gently rebuked his "old friend", the Prime Minister, Mr
Howard, over his handling of the issues raised by Ms Hanson.
He said Mr Howard was mistaken in believing that the debate had anything to do either with freedom of speech or with the notion of guilt over the mistreatment of the Aboriginal people. "There is no human right to lie or mislead or to be ignorant, whether deliberately or by omission to find out the facts," he said. "In addition the right of free speech in a decent country like ours ought to be tempered, and not exercised , where it causes intense personal, gratuitous hurt and insult to others" Justice Einfeld said today's generation of white Australians did not bear responsibility for the awful accumulation of mistreatment which Aborigines have inherited. "Guilt is, if I may say so respectfully, a false issue altogether from which narrow party politics must be kept away," he said. "The current question is what our generation is going to do about their situation. How are we going to right the wrongs of the past?"
Justice Einfeld said it was incumbent on all Australians to care for those less fortunate: "Let us resolve to make this year's Australia Day a forum for one clear message - to forgo jingoism, selfishness, insincerities and superficialities, and to encourage all our fellow Australians to join hands in a genuine crusade to build a humane, productive, compassionate heritage for this great country of opportunity."
*

Aboriginal art hoax revealed
By Ava Hubble in Sydney, The Advertiser, 7 March 1997

Acclaimed Aboriginal artist Eddie Burrup does not exist, and the paintings bearing his signature have been revealed as the work of 80-year-old white artist Elizabeth Durack. Durack - a prominent artist in her own right - is a member of the famous pioneering Durack pastoralist family of Irish descent, which settled in Australia in 1819. The affair is being compared to the Helen `Demidenko' Darville scandal and the Ern Malley poetry hoax of the 1940s. At her home in Perth last night, Ms Durack confirmed she had recently been working under the pseudonym Eddie Burrup.
"It's my last creative phase," she said. "I'm 82." She said she had entered paintings under the name of Burrup for this year's Sulman Prize, due to be announced on March 21. "But I'm not sure they'll be selected for hanging," she said. She said her Burrup work was featured in the touring Aboriginal art show, Native Title Now. "And they were very well received," she said. Paintings signed `Eddie Burrup' began making an impact about three years ago when they were apparently released by an agent or gallery. Burrup was widely assumed to be a reclusive artist of the Kimberley region of Western Australia. But it seems he was becoming too famous and pressure was mounting from art world identities eager to make his acquaintance.
The current edition of Art Monthly features an article by art historian, Robert Smith, a friend of Elizabeth Durack. He reveals that she recently sought a meeting with him in Perth and confessed she had "painted herself into a corner" and wanted to "come out". He explained that she regarded her Burrup character as a kind of alter ego. "If I think things through, I would say Eddie Barrup is a synthesis of several Aboriginal men I have known," he quotes her as explaining. Ms Durack has a considerable body of work that includes many paintings depicting Aborigines. Her sister, Dame Mary Durack, who died in 1994, is the author of the famous 1959 book Kings In Grass Castles, which chronicles the family's pioneering adventures in Queensland and the Kimberley region.
The Durack family had a reputation in the 19th century of being the only Kimberley pastoralists who did not shoot at Aborigines. But the Aboriginal community is understood to be outraged by what they see as her fraudulent and deceptive assumption of an Aboriginal identity and the misappropriation of their culture. The ABC's Aboriginal arts/cultural unit, which has been investigating the affair, will reveal details of its findings on the program, Awaye!. The program goes to air on Radio National today at 11.05 am. Adelaide Institute comments: On 30 December 1994, The Advertiser reported that artist Cheryl King had been disinvited from exhibiting her dot paintings in the Adelaide Town Hall because the Advisory Panel was "concerned about the response in the Aboriginal and arts community to the Aboriginal techniques apparent in your work". King claimed her style is `pointillism' as developed by French impressionists. At the time King claimed that "the Aboriginal community has never expressed any concern or reservation with my work. This whole affair smacks of yet another over-reaction to the race debate". The Elizabeth Durack affair highlights how the multiculturalists continue to hijack the art world with their internationalist program. We have not heard the end of this matter.
See: Adelaide Institute, No. 24, March 1995.

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