By Rev James Barr
The abusive and intemperate rant by Einat Weiss (”Article shows thorough misunderstanding of issue”, April 2, p9) on behalf of the Israeli Embassy attacking Bishop Pat Power over his opinion article in last Tuesday’s Canberra Times is disgraceful. Her piece is a stark contrast to the tone of the bishop, who closes his remarks pleading ”for patience and restraint on the part of the Palestinian people, for good will, a sense of justice and practical peace-making actions on the part of Israel.”
In response, Weiss accuses Power of various failings of intelligence and discernment, and raises a raft of accusations of bias. A number of myths about the failings of the Palestinians are rehearsed (without supporting evidence) and in her closing flourish Weiss apparently suggests the bishop’s position ”is unoriginal, it’s easy, and it’s lazy”.
Power is known and respected in the Canberra community and across Australia as a staunch advocate of social justice and a defender of the oppressed.
It is appalling that a diplomat representing a foreign government should make such an unjustified and unbalanced attack on a religious leader in this country.
If a rabbi or Jewish community leader in Australia (or in Israel) were to be addressed in similar terms by a representative of the Australian government the outcry from the Jewish community would be deafening. Why does the Israeli embassy think it appropriate for a Christian leader to be subjected to such a nasty attack? The Israeli ambassador should apologise to Power.