I see that that Yuval Noah Harari's over-the-top promo/Q&A by the Guardian's Andrew Anthony garnered over 600 comments. Most thought he was the best thing since sliced bread. A few evinced scepticism. Amazingly, none touched on his provenance as an Israeli living in an apartheid state built on the genocide and mass expulsion of Palestine's indigenous Arab population, or were interested in what, if anything, he had to say about this overriding matter. Ignorance is bliss?
Anyway, I thought I'd investigate Anthony. He's written a book called The Fallout: How a Guilty Liberal Lost His Innocence (2008). In it, he writes:
"I remember how disgusted I was by [the 1982 Sabra & Shatila massacre], all the more so because only months before I had travelled through Israel and the West Bank. At the time my friends had said that visiting Israel was just as bad as visiting South Africa, for it was just another vicious apartheid regime (whereas travelling to countries in the Middle East from which Jews were forcibly ejected, or countries where a sexual apartheid operated or torture a standard project, was a recommended means of broadening the mind)."
So Anthony's "friends" were talking about Israeli apartheid at the beginning of the 80s? Really?
And then he goes to the West Bank and sees nothing worthy of comment in that regard?
And also to Arab countries where he sees/hears nothing of Palestinian refugee camps full of people actually ejected from Palestine in 1948, yet can parrot Zionist propaganda about Middle Eastern Jews "ejected"* from Arab countries?
What to make of a guy who can see no evidence of Israeli apartheid while in occupied Palestine, but mutters of "sexual apartheid" long before hijabs and niqabs became all the rage after 9/11?
What to make of a guy who sees "torture" everywhere in the Middle East but in Israel?
I'm beginning to understand why he's working for the Guardian and spruiking YNH.
Now here's another telling extract from Fallout:
"The Iraq War and the events of 11 September 2001 do not enjoy a conventional causal relationship. No evidence exists... that links Saddam Hussein to the al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington. And yet without 9/11 it seems certain that Iraq would not have been invaded... The destruction of the Twin Towers transformed... global politics. It created a new paradigm - the rogue state as a facilitator of a previously unimagined scale of terrorism... "
No evidence exists... and yet Anthony seems to have no trouble in linking, however tenuously, Saddam Hussein with 9/11. It - the 9/11 acts of terrorism - created a new paradigm?
No, a cabal of Ziocons, both within and without the Bush administration, created that paradigm long before 2003, and Bush, Blair, Howard and the rest ran with it, invading and occupying Iraq, destroying the Iraqi state, sowing death, destruction, division and sectarianism wherever they went, and paving the way for AQI and its even more murderous offspring, ISIS. But, in Anthony's ambiguous characterisation, there's not a hint of this.
And isn't this bit of whataboutery so like that of every other Israel apologist you've ever read?:
"By convention, when it comes to Middle East affairs, only a terrible abuse performed by the Israeli army tends to provoke Western liberals into organized condemnation."
Any wonder he's promoting YNH in the Guardian.
[*Just click on the 'Arab Jews' label below for the facts.]