A LEADING Australian journalist has received an anti-Semitic death threat in an anonymous letter.
Sharri Markson, The Australian’s media editor, is set to report the incident to police this week after she was told to “choke to death”.
The Jewish journalist has been in the spotlight recently after highlighting the offensive emails that Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mike Carlton sent to readers who disagreed with his controversial views on Israel. In the wake of Markson’s revelations and facing suspension, Carlton quit the Fairfax press.
Most of the sexually-explicit letter sent to Markson is not suitable for publication because of its extreme and abusive language.
“Your genocide and cowardly masacare of the trapped Gazan peoples is a 21 century Holocoust! (sic),” the letter said.
“If ever there was any doubt that the devil exisits on planet earth – it is, and has been confirmed. Its the devil Jewish race: all liars, trickesters, two faced, cowardly money lending parasites (sic).”
Markson told The AJN the Communal Security Group urged her to contact the police. “I don’t think any of us have seen this level of anti-Semitism before in our lifetime,” she said. “It’s quite confronting for the entire community … we’re all outraged at the tone of the anti-Semitism that’s around at the moment.”
She said the fact that anti-Jewish sentiment is emerging in some of the press is “really disturbing”, and that’s why she has been targeted.
“I’ve been doing a lot of reporting on anti-Semitic coverage in the Fairfax newspapers, in both The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. Obviously not only about Mike Carlton, but the tone of the coverage generally speaking.”
As well as Carlton’s vitriolic attacks on Israel, the SMH came under fire last month after publishing a cartoon which showed a hook-nosed man wearing a kippah and sitting in a lounge chair with a Star of David emblazoned on it, while using a remote control to bomb Gaza.
“In my media pages, we really did hold The Sydney Morning Herald to account,” Markson said.
She noted that the newspaper was forced to apologise and parted ways with Carlton following pressure from the community, “and with the Jewish News’ help as well”.
Markson, who has worked as a television news producer and a magazine editor, said while “it’s never been an issue before, what faith you are as a journalist, at the moment you get a lot of people on Twitter demanding to know whether you’re Jewish or not, and asking about your background and asking whether you should be reporting on these sort of issues.”
But she said the recent spate of anti-Semitism has done something positive.
“I think in a way it’s bringing us, as a community, closer together.”
Sharri Markson received an anti-Semitic death threat.