When someone says, 'He wouldn't know the truth if it hit him in the face,' we are seldom witness to an actual incidence of the phenomenon.
Well, I was.
It was last Sunday night, while watching the invariably gushing, always clueless, and unfailingly Israel-friendly Geraldine Doogue star in her own ABC Compass doco, Easter in Jerusalem.
There was clueless Geraldine, gushing away as usual, when the inconvenient truth of a situation, rudely entered her charmed circle, smacked her fair across the face, and then was gone, leaving her, unbelievably, still gushing, and worse, still clueless.
Here's a transcript of this most extraordinary event:
GD (off camera): The next stop on my journey, just outside the city walls on Mt Sion is the building known as the Cenacle, the site of the Last Supper. Now according to Christian tradition this is the upper room where the Last Supper took place, where Jesus had his final meal with his apostles and he gave them the immortal message - really emphasised it - love one another as I have loved you.
GD (on camera): But look, it's incredible this place because it's a church, a synagogue and a mosque all in one. The Crusaders built the church over this holy ground... then the Ottomans came and made it a mosque and they dedicated a little prayer area to King David. So it's an amazing example of interfaith, and you can hear the chanting 'cause we're waiting now for one of the great ceremonies of Holy Thursday, the Washing of the Feet where, effectively, aping Jesus washing of the feet of his disciples, the great act of service of a leader, of humility...
At this point an American voice, rudely interrupting Geraldine's exposition, can be heard above the din of the thronging faithful: 'This is not a Church!'
GD (off camera): Then an unexpected arrival...
The camera pans to a a newly-arrived, black-hatted, black-garbed Orthodox Jewish fanatic, ranting at the faithful:
Zionist Fanatic: This is not a church! This is a Jewish state! Medinat yahudi. This is not a church! It's a museum! We don't need your dirty money! We don't need your [inaudible]
Palestinian Christian: Go out!
ZF: No, you go out!
PC: Go out!
ZF: You go out! This is the Land of the Jews!
PC: I'll call the police.
ZF: Go ahead...
PC: I will!
GD (on camera, gobsmacked): Well, that was certainly unplanned. He doesn't think it's a church and he will not be evicted. So this is... he's really quite dramatically changed the complexion of events. I think the Washing of the Feet is still going to continue but, you know, it's really quite extraordinary to hear that level of passion up close and very personal. 'This is the land of the Jews. This is a museum. It is not a church. Do not pray here.' Quite something. He was later evicted by Israeli police and the prayers continued.
So even when the ugly truth of Zionist fanaticism knocks her down, scattering her interfaith fantasies all over the floor and leaving her gasping, Geraldine Doogue still doesn't get it.
'It's really quite extraordinary to hear that level of passion up close and very personal,' is the best she can manage.
To be continued...