An open letter to ABC Managing Director David Anderson

Nov 3, 2023
Controlling the narrative media manipulation or directing the conversation.

ABC reporters and program presenters always refer to Hamas’s non-recognition of the right of Israel to exist, but they never mention the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party does not recognise in its charter the right of Palestine to exist, why? An open letter from Ali Kazak, Former Palestinian ambassador.

Dear Mr Anderson,

While Israel is bombarding the hell out of the people of Gaza, the ABC Radio (RN) and TV (7.30 report) bombard us with Israeli propaganda, interviewing Israeli and pro-Israelis one after the another, giving them a free platform to spread their lies and deception without interruption or challenge, and when occasionally they interview Palestinians, to show as if the ABC is “balanced”, they are subjected to aggressive interruptions, demanding them repeatedly to condemn Hamas and the killing of Israelis, but they never ask the Israelis and their apologists to condemn Israel’s killing of Palestinians, nor condemn Israel’s occupation, racial discrimination against Muslim and Christian Palestinians, and never asked to condemn Israel’s ethnic cleansing and denial of their right to return to their country because they are not Jews.

Take, for example, 7.30 presenter Sarah Ferguson’s aggressive interview with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti on 10.10.2023, who repeatedly demanded the condemnation of Hamas military operation against Israeli colonies built on Palestinian villages most of those fighters come from. She also repeated the same aggressive questioning with a Hamas leader on 17.10.2023 and in her interview on 30.10.2023 with the Palestinian UN deputy ambassador, Majed Bamya, but never once did so with Israelis and their apologists, giving them a free platform to spread their deceptions and propaganda without interruption or challenge, such as the interviews Ferguson conducted with Tzipi Livni on 16.10.2023, and with the Israeli army spokesman on 19.10.2023. The same is the case with ABC radio RN. Furthermore, ABC presenters often use Israeli terminology and repeat Israeli propaganda and lies without substantiation as if they are facts. On 31.10.2023. The ABC reporter in Israel repeatedly said “Hamas and other terrorist groups”, does the ABC regard all Palestinian resistance organisations, including Fateh and the PLO, as terrorists?

Furthermore, ABC reporters and program presenters always refer to Hamas’s non-recognition of the right of Israel to exist, but they never mention the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party does not recognise in its charter the right of Palestine to exist, why?

I have been watching 7.30 program for over forty years, during which Israel practising apartheid, committed tens of massacres of Palestinians, carried numerous aggressions, continued its occupation, gross violations of human rights, international law and hundreds of UN resolutions, … all of which are well documented and internationally condemned, but I have never seen the ABC journalists and presenters question Israelis in such an aggressive way nor demand their condemnation of these crimes. Why?

The ABC deals with the Israeli Palestinian conflict from an Israeli perspective, adopting all its claims, propaganda, and deceptions without examining their credibility, as if Israel is an innocent party and the victim of Palestinian and Arab aggression, overlooking the fact that Israel is a colonial apartheid state established on the destruction and occupation of Palestine and ethnic cleansing of over 70% of its people on racial grounds.

Israel is an aggressor and occupier, racially discriminating against the Palestinian people and denying them their inalienable right to return to their country, equality, and self-determination.

What could explain the ABC’s huge concern of about 230 kidnapped Israelis and the feelings of their relatives, but never shown any concern about the over ten thousand Palestinian political prisoners, including women and children, languishing in Israeli detention camps for years, and over one thousand kidnapped prisoners without charges or conviction, and the feeling of their children and loved ones. Don’t all these different standards amount to blatant ABC racism against the Palestinian people? Unless the ABC believes Jewish blood is redder than Palestinian blood, and Palestinians are less human than other people and don’t deserve their freedom, human and national rights. The hypocrisy and double standards are too obvious and do not serve the ABC’s credibility and reputation.

It seems the Israeli lobby’s attack against the ABC, some time ago in collaboration with Murdoch’s media, and some elements in the former Liberal government to keep it in line with their conservative politics and pro-Israeli coverage has worked in intimidating the ABC and strengthened right-wing elements within its ranks.

For a long time, I have complained about the ABC’s biased and inaccurate reporting and more importantly, its non-reporting of Israel’s crimes, gross violations, and racial discrimination, but instead of improving it is getting worse over time. The ABC can’t continue dismissing our complaints, covering up on Israel’s occupation, violation, and crime against humanity to please and appease the extremist Israeli lobby to be safe from their intimidation.

We call on the ABC to deal with colonial apartheid Israel as it dealt with all aggressors and occupiers, and as it treated Indonesia in East Timor, the apartheid regime in South Africa and the way it treats Russian aggression and occupation of Ukraine.

The ABC must know that there is nearly one million Australians of Arab, Muslim and Palestinian background. They enjoy the sympathy and support of millions of Australians from all faiths and ethnic backgrounds and justice is on their side. It is overdue that the ABC respect them and their feelings and concerns and put an end to its unacceptable biased reporting and coverage of the Palestine question and the conflict in the Middle East. You promote the ABC to be ours and for all Australians. It is time you do that.

Ali Kazak, Former Palestinian ambassador


An Open Letter to Mr David Anderson, Managing Director, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). First published 31 October 2023.

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What a contrast in professionalism and civility. The 7/30 Report

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