Thursday, February 19, 2009


This Howard Jacobson opinion piece in the Independent constitutes a staggeringly brilliant expose of the hate-Israel mindset pervading not only segments of British society but of other parts of the world as well, including Australia - Howard Jacobson: Let’s see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is.

What makes the story behind this piece even more staggering is the fact that it was published in a newspaper whose record of dishonest and blatantly antisemitic coverage of Israel's recent conflicts is so vile and so legendary that it gives our local equivalent the appearance of a high society gossip column comparison.

"And Israel? Well, speaking on BBC television at the height of the fighting, Richard Kemp, former commander of British Troops in Afghanistan and a senior military adviser to the British government, said the following: “I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare where any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of civilians than the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) is doing today in Gaza.” A judgement I can no more corroborate than those who think very differently can disprove.

"Right or wrong, it was a contribution to the argument from someone who is more informed on military matters than most of us, but did it make a blind bit of difference to the tone of popular execration? It did not. When it comes to Israel we hear no good, see no good, speak no good. We turn our backsides to what we do not want to know about and bury it in distaste, like our own ordure. We did it and go on doing it with all official contestation of the mortality figures provided by Hamas. We do it with Hamas’s own private executions and their policy of deploying human shields. We do it with the sotto voce admission by the UN that “a clerical error” caused it to mis-describe the bombing of that UN school which at the time was all the proof we needed of Israel’s savagery. It now turns out that Israel did not bomb the school at all. But there’s no emotional mileage in a correction. The libel sticks, the retraction goes unnoticed.

"But I am not allowed to ascribe any of this to anti-Semitism. It is criticism of Israel, pure and simple."

Well, not really just "criticism" of Israel as Jacobson explains in his article. Please read this magnificent deconstruction of Jew bashing trendies carried out with the deft skill of a master surgeon.

And the work could not have appeared in a more appropriate place.


Anonymous said...

"But there’s no emotional mileage in a correction. The libel sticks, the retraction goes unnoticed."


I hope you're still not waiting for one from our local rag?

If so, you're dreaming!

Anonymous said...

A brilliant piece, but sadly what befalls Israel & the Jews is beyond anything rational, beyond discussion. Just read the comments of the readers of Jacobson's piece to see what I mean.

Grace M Parker said...

I agree with the last anonymous and his/her observation about the comments of the readers of Jacobson's piece.

They might well be regarded as Exhibit A in an annexure to Jacobson's article.

By the way Jacobson has written some great books and also appeared in a BBC (not kidding) tv series. His writing, his humour and his no bullshit commentary are always a pleasure.

Anonymous said...

Is there any danger that the Age might publish this article?

Anonymous said...

Is there any danger that the Age might publish this article?

Gulliver_on_tour said...

Thanks for bringing this article to our attention Wilbur. It was wasted on the unwashed filth who frequent the Independent and others of its ilk. They truly are an indoctrinated group of ranters who go into automatic pilot with their abuse of anyone who has a rational comment to make about Israel and the Arabs.

I agree with Grace when she says they are living proof of the very sickness Jacobson is writing about.

Anonymous said...

Stunned at what a poisonous lot of fools they are who correspond with the Independent.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that the comments of many Independent readers on Jacobson's piece prove his main thesis about the so-called British intelligentsia’s racism.

They start with the implication that his name alone prevents him from being objective. Then follow wildly ignorant and demonstrably ridiculous assertions that Israel's actions are worse than any other nations, a complete lack of attention paid to the points he makes about the blood libel language in the Churchill play, the clear misrepresentation that he is defending child murder, the implication that the posters would not "fire into human shields" with England's history of violence towards not just aggressors but to occupied peoples throughout the world, the inability to acknowledge the one-sidedness of the play and the language about "breeding," the lack of awareness that in Palestinian territories and other Arab countries textbooks describe Jews as the breeding of "pigs and monkeys," and the identification with Palestinian victims to the exclusion of victims everywhere else in the world. These are all designed to make the Israelis/Jews scapegoats and it proves the point of the writer.

The vicious, overwrought, furious haters of Israel in Britain are no more rational, open-minded or even-handed than any other generation of Jew-haters throughout Christendom and Islam.

None of the author's comments is in defence of the IDF's actions in Gaza and yet he is admonished fordoing just that. The article is not about that anyway. It's about the wild, vicious, racist overreaction by people who wet dream about destroying Israel are simply the direct descendants of those in the 20s who vandalized Jewish homes and business with their "Jews to Palestine" graffiti.

Then it was Jews out of England to Palestine. Now it's Jews out of where? The sea?

The good thing about this is that Jews throughout the world see more than ever the need of Israel to exist. They see that the "host" people even of England think of Jews as some tribe of evil, selfish conspirators and are incapable of engaging their cognitive functions when a chance to ridicule Jews comes into play.

The bile and the hatred will not heal these fools but it will help the Jewish people grow stronger and stronger because some Jews had gotten too comfortable thinking that the pathology of Jew hatred in the world is on the wane.

You can see from the Backman saga and the condescending way the Age conducts its reportage of Israel and the Arabs that it's much the same here.

Anonymous said...

This is what the British far left and far right are giving succor to -