It’s been said of Bowen that he comes across as a thwarted thespian, but I reckon that it’s Snow who’s the actor manqué. Yes, he really ought to be in show business, did histrionic Jon. Authoritative voice raised in pompous indignation, arms flailing to emphasise a point, the well-connected university drop-out (actually, he was rusticated when his leftist political activism went too far ) who admits to getting his start as a television reporter owing to nepotism, has almost become a pastiche of himself. A few years ago, around Remembrance Day, with the dismissive phrase “poppy fascism”, he announced his refusal to conform to etiquette (some might say "decency") and wear a British Legion poppy in honour of Britain’s fallen service personnel – the people who gave their lives so that democracy and free speech might endure. His hammiest performances have included shouting in self-righteous anger at Israeli media spokesman Mark Regev regarding Cast Lead and the Mavi Marmara affair, performances that reinforced Snow’s cult status in anti-Israel circles and made him the darling of those hateful types who post nasty judeophobic messages on YouTube whenever a video of Regev appears there.
'For those who are unaware, Levy is regarded as one of the most extreme and outspoken of the Israeli anti-Zionist journalists, notorious for demonizing Israel and supporting the most anti-Israeli groups. He repeatedly brackets Israeli behavior with that of the Nazis, accuses Israel of practicing apartheid and committing war crimes, and defines himself as anti-Zionist. He accuses Meretz, Peace Now and others on the far left in Israel of lacking the courage to open "the 1948 file."'Levy came Britain to appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and to promote his tome The Punishment of Gaza, an anthology of his Ha’aretz screeds, and he’s had plenty of opportunities to do so outside the Scottish capital, and to carry on the task of spreading hate against Israel, having (to quote Snow) “played to packed houses at last minute events in both Manchester and London”.
This evening both Snow (as interviewer) and Levy (as speaker) are appearing before the Frontline Club, reprising the roles that they filled last evening when they appeared, at the premises of Amnesty International UK's Human Rights Action Centre and under the auspices of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Jews for Justice for Palestinians (a motley collection of idealistic naive Jews, hard left Jews, as-a-Jews, and conveniently-for-the-purpose-of-bashing-Israel-halachic-but-not-raised-as-Jews/practising-a-religion-other-than-Judaism-Jews [delete as appropriate]). Seeing the 350 persons present (who judging from their questions proved in the main to be every bit as hostile to Israel as the speaker himself ), Levy wryly remarked "No-one would show up if I spoke in Tel Aviv", and then launched into his usual charm offensive and demonisation of Israel and its (Jewish) inhabitants.
Snow made it easy for him, gushing “How brave you are!” and being – in the words of a pro-Israeli present, one of the few people in the audience to pose a tough question – “cloyingly obsequious” and an "unctuous sycophant".
And in his Snowblog posted this morning, headed “An increasingly lone Israeli voice”, Snow continues his adulation of Levy, appearing to have swallowed his canards hook, line, and sinker. Just as well, then, that better informed voices, such as those of Jonathan Hoffman and Yisrael Medad, have been commenting over on that blog to set the record straight.