Public Broadcaster’s Office Vandalized with Pro-Palestinian Graffiti

The ABC’s Melbourne office has become the target of vandalism, with red paint splashed across the building in the midst of controversy surrounding coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Overnight, the main window of the national broadcaster’s office in Southbank, Melbourne, was marked with the words, “Tell the truth about Palestine,” in white paint.

Police have opened an investigation into the “criminal damage incident.” According to a Victoria Police spokeswoman, “Officers were called to reports unknown offenders had spray painted sections of the building on Southbank Boulevard about 3.50 am.” Fortunately, no injuries were reported from the incident.

In a previous protest on Dec. 20, 40 portraits of Palestinian journalists who lost their lives in the conflict were placed on the doors and windows of the ABC office. At the same time, activists also blocked the entrance to Nine’s television and newspaper masthead offices.

Drawing attention to the issue, Free Palestine Melbourne said they blocked The Age headquarters entrance in Docklands wearing press vests and helmets to “protest the Australian media silence on journalist deaths in Gaza.” The group wrote on X, “To protest the killings of 95 journalists by Israel in its war on Gaza, activists have staged a ‘die-in’ at the Channel 9/The Age headquarters this morning calling for the Australian media to end its censorship, bias, and conflicts of interest in its reporting on Palestine.”

The ongoing demonstrations and protests have been fueled by the conflict between Israel and Hamas, with the initial attack by Hamas militants on southern Israel on Oct. 7 leading to 1,200 deaths and up to 200 people taken hostage. In response, Israel’s military action in Gaza has led to an estimated 20,000 deaths, according to the UN.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, ABC Sydney’s breakfast radio presenter Antoinette Lattouf is contemplating her options after being fired for sharing pro-Palestinian content on her social media account on Dec. 20. Ms. Lattouf raised questions in an article about allegations that pro-Palestine protesters chanted “gas the Jews” at a rally near the Sydney Opera House.

A Jewish woman expressed her concerns to ABC Managing Director David Anderson, asserting that Ms. Lattouf demonstrated bias by disputing the authenticity of the chants. “Her actions, in my opinion, contribute to a rewriting of history that is not only inaccurate but also harmful,” the woman said.

Ms. Lattouf, who was temporarily hosting the breakfast show in place of Sarah Macdonald, declared she was “currently considering her legal options.” She added, “I believe I was terminated unlawfully,” and lamented, “The termination is not a win for journalism or critical, fair thinking.”

With tensions escalating and emotions running high, these incidents reflect the deep divide surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict and the impact it is having on media coverage and freedom of expression. As the situation continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how the media and the public will navigate these complex and sensitive issues.


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