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Melanie Phillips speaks to a Melbourne audience

Here is a podcast of Melanie Phillips' lecture given on 25-February-2007 to an audience of 400. Kindly released by the SZC of Victoria. Listen to her address to the Australian equivalent of AIPAC. It's one half hour long but you won’t want to miss a word of it.

She was introduced by the same person (Mark Leibler) who rejected Raphi Israeli. He used the opportunity to support his reasons. Israpundit found himself in complete disagreement with him.

Melanie Phillips on Friday afternoon 2 March was interviewed by a fairly hostile Mark Colvin of the ABC.

Click for MP3 of the segment.


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I looked at the text of 11 of Mark Colvin's interviews. I classified 5 as soft, 3 intermediate and 3 aggressive. The aggressive ones were Peter Costello, Alexander Downer and Melanie Phillips. Surely the syle of his interview is not determined by his personal opinion on the issues discussed?

Posted by Paul Rozental on 2007-03-13 11:11:39 GMT


I think that Felicity Bloch should put up some evidence that Mark Colvin's interview was not "hostile". Certainly it is the job of the interviewer to expose the issues and opinions of his guest, but I dont recollect Colin applying the same hectoring, bagering style to others of his interviewees. Apart from interrupting the guest in a rude way, Colvin introduced obtuse, factually misleading examples to draw false parallels. The Anarchist/Marxist terrorism of the Late 19th century was not a "Jewish" phenomenon, and apportioning blame to the Jews for this terrorism was actually an excuse for anti-semitic persecution of the Jews. How Colvin can use this as a trump card to show how the "moderate" Muslims are being persecuted unfairly for the actions of the "Radical" Muslims (whose actions are in the name of Islam), is a nonsense. Thankfully, Phillips told him exactly that. But it should not be up to a guest to correct hostile interviewers irrelevant canards. Colvin needs to absolutely sure of his facts if he is going "after" an interviewee in this fashion. Applying different styles of interview depending on the opinions of the guest has another name - bias. Moreover Felicity, it gives me little consolation to know that there are still worse examples at the ABC.

Posted by Paul Rozental on 2007-03-12 10:57:39 GMT


I have nothing but praise for ICJS for: (1) Supporting Prof Raphael Israeli (2) Doing podcasts for Melanie Phillips and others

Posted by Paul Rozental on 2007-03-12 09:32:53 GMT


Faulty emails from this site are being fixed up. Sorry about this computer glitch

Posted by Ralph Zwier on 2007-03-06 20:07:59 GMT


I agree with Felicity on one point only: Mark Kolvin's interviewing of Melanie Phillips could be considered "mild" in comparison to Terry Lane and Jon Faine who're openly and unashamedly aggressive, hostile and biased on Jewish/Israeli issues. Though I would have added many more, lest we forget ABC reporters David Hardaaker and Matt Brown) However, I think some of the questions asked by Mark Kolvin were far more than "challenging". In making a comparison between 19th century persecutions of Jews to current war on terror, Kolvin attempted to distort history on one hand, and down play the real threat posed by Islamism today on the other. I wouldn’t call this a “challenge” rather twisting the facts to suit his own personal political bias, or perhaps, sheer ignorance. Melanie’s response was sharp, clear and factual: The persecution of Jews was due to anti Jewish conspiracy theories and prejudices devoid of any reality, while current threats posed by Jihadist Islamists are very real.

Posted by rachel M on 2007-03-05 03:23:47 GMT


We appreciate your comments PHenenberg

Posted on 2007-03-05 00:19:47 GMT


I agree with you Elaine !

Posted by michael on 2007-03-04 22:20:43 GMT


P Henenberg - you're response shows your total lack of understanding about what is being said by these comments and what ICJS stands for which IS "unfair treatment from the media". Sadly, you have fallen on your own petard!

Posted by Elaine Black on 2007-03-04 22:16:13 GMT


Thank you for that, it was refreshing and gave me a vicarious sense of victory to hear her slap him across the face.

Posted by MR on 2007-03-04 20:18:09 GMT


Any interviewee who has to say in the course of an interview, words to the effect of: "Can you please let me finish" is facing a hostile interviewer. The circumstances which precipitated this exchange were referred to as "badgering". To that extent the reporter was not in fact doing his job - allowing interviewees to have their say - properly.

Posted by Ronit Fraid on 2007-03-04 20:00:17 GMT


Melanie Phillips for President of the World!! She kept her cool, she made her points, she showed the difference between a "talking head" (Colvin) and a "thinking head" - hers.

Posted by R.E.D. on 2007-03-04 19:09:39 GMT


We Jews are blessed to have a Melanie Phillips in our midst. Her level of thought and articulation should leave no-one in doubt as to the accuracy and credibility she brings to her subject. She held the audience in total thrall at her talk in Sydney last week, they were shocked to hear her account of the reality of life in Britain and it's effect on British Jewry. She also displayed a wry sense of humour telling us that she was not disturbed by Ralph Fiennes on her Quantas flight to Australia. Thank you Melanie Phillips for the deep thought and insight into every word that you speak.

Posted by Elaine Black on 2007-03-04 12:33:24 GMT


Incisively and effectively perceiving existential threats is a core task for us all..Melanie Phillips and Caroline Glick do it brilliantly.And bravo to Ronit , Ralph and all the ICJS

Posted by Mat Gelman on 2007-03-04 11:35:03 GMT


I agree completely with Felicity Bloch; Colvin's interview, whilst unsucessfully trying to paint Phillips in a less than favourable light, was nevertheless balanced and enabled her to get her message across effectively. Colvin was doing his job as critical questioner, and the usual ABC bias and uninformed misgiuded assumptions where not evident here

Posted by Pinchas Henenberg on 2007-03-04 11:10:33 GMT


Avi, my apologies if I failed to make myself plain. Mark Scott has abolished ABC bias in much the same way as the former Democratic Peoples' Republics were democratic and for the people.

Posted by Nathan on 2007-03-04 10:16:08 GMT


Geoffrey Brahm Levey attacked Phillips in a letter to Jewish News this week but I don't think he would come off any better for wear against her than Colvin if he had the guts to debate her. It's easy to criticise with a few chosen words in a letter to the editor - much different having to face up to the person herself.

Posted on 2007-03-04 10:09:16 GMT


I don't think it is helpful to label any and every challenge or critique on the ABC or other news media as "hostile" or as you also suggest "badgering". I think Melanie Phillips put her case very forcefully, and she was given a hearing by Mark Colvin. He was, and was entitled to be sceptical. The essence of a good interviewer is to ask challenging questions which he did, in a reasonably neutral manner. He didn't endorse Melanie Phillips'views, but he didn't come across as negative either. I have heard unduly aggressive interviewing from both Terry Lane and John Faine on Jewish/Israeli issues, but never from Mark Colvin.

Posted by Felicity Bloch on 2007-03-04 09:44:22 GMT


ABC ‘s Mark Colvin like so many Jews use the ridiculous and immature argument when talking about how to solve the problems of Muslims not integrating into society and the violence, racism and intimidation many Muslims are causing by arguing’’ how would Jews like it if they were stereo typed or selected for special treatment. I would argue If Jews were not integrating into Australian society, expecting Australian customs to change to suit their beliefs, forscing other minorities into spending millions of dollars in security because of threats from Jewish fanatics .if Jews were in Australian jails for violent crimes out of all proportions to other ethnic or religious groups, if Jewish book shops sold hate material of other ethnic or religious groups, If Jews continually invited religious leaders from Israel to come to Australia to preach hatred and incite violence { in hebrew of course so they could claim the speach es were taken out of context] against other ethnic or religious groups, if Jewish day schools preached hatred towards other ethnic or religious groups, if special organised Jewish group leaders had to meet with government officials to work out how to stop violence,racsism and intolerance being carried out by young angry Jews ..Then yes I would expect Jews to be stereo typed and for the Australian community to be pissed off and even question if so many Jews should be allowed in by way of refugees and asylum seekers many illegally..

Posted by Michael Burd on 2007-03-04 09:05:59 GMT


It sounded to me that Ms. Phillips may even have converted Mark Colvin near the end. I wonder about "The listeners", for after all they are the real audience.

Posted by PmR on 2007-03-04 07:45:01 GMT


Melanie Phillips clearly and eloquently exposed Mark Colvin's biases when it comes to anything that is linked to Israel and Jews. Unfortunately, Nathan (1st comment below)Mark Scott has yet to "..abolished ABC bias". Far from it, as Colvin put it all on display in that interview. Then there are David Hardaker and Matt Brown that endeavour to demonize Israel at every opportunity, so Scott's got his work cut out in addressing what is on-going bastardry and in your face biased reporting and interviwing! Ms. Phillips rang rings around Colvin and out foxed him at every turn. It was a pleasure to hear him caught out, each & every time. Well done Ms. Phillips. Sincerely, Avi P.

Posted on 2007-03-04 06:44:35 GMT


Mr Colvin thought he could badger Melanie Phillips into confirming his worldview but got more than he bargained for from her sharp clear headed intellect. She acquitted herself outstandingly at the lecture last Sunday night and in every published media exposure. Hopefully her message has fallen on receptive and influential Australian ears.

Posted by Franita on 2007-03-04 06:02:37 GMT


Melanie sure fixed his wagon

Posted by ra on 2007-03-04 05:26:46 GMT


It's important not to allow those sections of society who accept threats against other counties and nationalities such as Israelis or Americans but not against the people of the home country such as Australia, to be moderates. This is racism and should be exposes as such. The other point from this interview which must be tackled by the Jewish community as it’s specifically trying to shut up Jews making claims such as Ms Phillips is making, not because she is a Jew, but because she is a thinking person. This an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the attitude of the interviewer regarding analysis made by Jewish commentators. Someone should ask him if he differentiates between analysis made by Jewish commentators and these made by members of other ethnic groups, what was the relevance of his question? She is absolutely right! Incitement is incitement and is against the law, no matter how many people are guilty of it.

Posted by yk on 2007-03-04 05:21:27 GMT


Thanks for posting that. Great to hear such an eloquent speaker tell it like it is. Mark Clovin did us a favour by displaying his small mindedness (that's putting it politely)

Posted by Susie on 2007-03-04 05:16:40 GMT


Compare this interview with say Tony Jones' 24/8/05 interview of Jacqueline Rose, author of "The Question of Zion" (http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2005/s1445490.htm). Most revealing. So good to see that Mark Scott has abolished ABC bias.

Posted by Nathan on 2007-03-04 03:37:15 GMT