Monday, January 18, 2016

Reviewing the Review

Nicely nailed by reviewer Richard King:

"The first thing you find when you open Anti-Semitism is an errata slip informing you that its author, Frederic Raphael, has mistaken D.H. Lawrence for T.E. Lawrence, Arthur Koestler for Arthur Schnitzler and the figure of 16,000 for 1600 (the number of Jews killed in Jedwabne, Poland, in 1941). This is not a great start; one is entitled to expect a little more care, especially given the gravity of the subject and the brevity with which it is treated here. But none of these confusions, or all of them together, is a patch on the central confusion of this book, which is the equation of determined criticism of Israel with historical anti-Semitism." (The flawed equation at the heart of a timely analysis, Sydney Morning Herald, 16/1/16)


"For while it is undoubtedly true that the miasma of anti-Semitism surrounds much dark talk about the Israel 'lobby', and true too that many liberals and left-wingers are apt to downplay the anti-Semitism extant within the Muslim community..."

So, Richard, some talk about the "Israel 'lobby'" is OK, but not other? Can you give me examples? And why is the word 'lobby' in inverted commas?  What's that about?

May I suggest that maybe, if you'd taken the time and trouble to read Mearsheimer & Walt's The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy, as every informed person should, I really don't think you'd have used inverted commas in this context.

As for slandering Liberals, Left and Muslims in one fell swoop, I could ask you for chapter & verse on this, but, to take another tack: are you aware that, when all is said and done, for a Zionist, you yourself are actually an anti-Semite? As Chaim Weizmann, who should know a thing or two about Zionism, once declared: "Anti-Semitism... is a bacillus which every Gentile carries with him, wherever he goes and however often he denies it." (Richard Crossman, A Nation Reborn: The Israel of Weizmann, Bevin & Ben-Gurion, 1960, p 21)

"Disproportionate our emphasis on Israel may be..."

Hello? "Our emphasis on Israel"?

What with Zionists blowing their own trumpets on every conceivable occasion when they're not crying anti-Semitism; and the media taking extra-special care not to tread on Israel's toes for fear of coming under Israel lobby pressure (Look, Ma, no inverted commas!) or being smeared as anti-Semitic; and our politicians and journalists, so-called, streaming over to the apartheid state for pro-Israel programming; and Israel routinely testing state-of-the-art weaponry on Palestinian guinea-pigs before exporting it to every conceivable trouble spot around the world; and Israeli-PMs twirling US presidents around their little fingers; and... we're placing a disproportionate emphasis on Israel?!

"Though Raphael is right to say that anti-Semitism and 'anti-Zionism' cannot always be neatly separated..."

No, he's not. He's dead wrong.

Look, it's really not that hard, Richard. If you support the existence of a Jewish state in Palestine, you're a Zionist. If you don't, you're an anti-Zionist.  You are either someone who believes that it is right and proper to have a sectarian, ethnocratic state in Palestine, or you aren't.

Richard King btw is the author of a book titled On Offence. I haven't read it, but let me say that if those who make a show of being offended are his subject, and he hasn't got a chapter or two or three on the mob who have made a career out of taking offence at anyone who looks sideways at Israel, aka the Israel lobby, then he needs to do his homework and put out a revised version NOW.

Be that as it may, I'll forgive him for that great intro. above.

As for Frederic Raphael, who, on investigation, turns out to be a novelist and screenwriter, I thought I'd listen to Phillip Adams' interview with the guy (Anti-Semitism then & now, Late Night Live, 26/11/15)


I heard him [Raphael] say that "Israel has behaved badly," which is based on the incredible assumption that a colonial-settler state which has taken someone else's land, sent its people packing, and refuses them re-entry because it'd mess with the preferred demographic, has the capacity to behave in any other way than badly.

And - *...* - I heard him refer to the "so-called occupied territories."

Without Phillip Adams, who just had to slip in at one point that he was a "philo-Semite," pulling the bugger up, FFS!

1 comment:

Alex Wunderle said...

Look, Ma, no inverted comma's! Lol...that made my day. As always thank you Merc.