However, I've never denied that the paper has some magnificent regular and guest contributors - that courageous prophetess for our time Melanie Phillips, the combative historian and academic Geoffrey Alderman, and the fine investigative journalist Martin Bright being among my favourites.
In the issue immediately before Passover the paper carried a wonderful satire by journalist and author Nick Cohen (who, despite his surname, isn't Jewish, though of course he's generally assumed to be), entitled "Dialogue with a Western Leftist".
Concentrating on leftist attitudes to Israel, his piece captures so well that essential hypocrisy and self-righteousness to which the Left is so incorrigibly prone.
"You say you support the Palestinians?" is the opening question.
"Yes," the leftie, a gem of a pastiche of the genre, replies.
"Which Palestinians?" comes the challenge.
"All right, stop there. You still have to choose. Do you support the Fatah leadership in the West Bank, which may be corrupt and unpleasant but is at least presiding over an economic boom and allowing some freedoms, or Hamas, which tortures its enemies and tramples on the rights of women."
"Hamas won Gaza in free elections. Palestinians must unite against the colonial enemy and the Israel Lobby in the West."
"It is not for us to intervene in Palestinian affairs. Hamas is an issue the Palestinians must resolve themselves."
"Listen to yourself. 'It's not for us to intervene?' You and your friends intervene all the time. You close down Jewish shops, oblivious to the ghosts of Kristallnacht that thuggish policy raises from the grave. You lobby to stop Israeli academics visiting our universities, and don't worry that the last movement to ban Jewish intellectuals was - "
"I agree it can be sometimes. But when you will not condemn Islamist movements that lift Jewish conspiracy theories direct from the screeds of European fascism, I am entitled to suspect that you suffer from a severe case of Judeophobia at the very least. Your repeated references to the 'Israel Lobby' and 'Zionist-controlled media' don't reassure me on that score either."
"I am a left-winger, how dare you accuse me of racism? I have fought racism all my life, and don't ignore the Islamophobic racism of Israel and her friends, as you do. If there are antisemitic elements in the Islamist movement, they are a rational response to Western oppression. You would hate Jews if Israelis were doing this to you."
"I worry that a two-state solution will not be full and just. The expelled refugees must have a right of return."
"That is a recipe for war without end. Israelis will never allow millions of Palestinians to swamp their state. Your trouble is that you are a voyeur. The violence of bearded reactionaries with a Koran in one hand and a Kalashnikov in the other excites you. You prefer the thrilling intransigence to the arguments of boring men in suits in Ramallah, who are willing to compromise for a better life. You need the burning corpses of Palestinians and Jews to bring light to your empty life."
"Don't worry, there are millions more like you out there, and I'll be having this conversation for the rest of my life. Send in the next one on your way out."
Yes, a great pastiche from Nick Cohen that certainly rings a great many bells for me!
Update: Below is Nick Cohen's "Dialogue" in video form:
I think maybe that is your problem, Daphne, you're not getting your 'bell' rung enough!ReplyDelete
So you've turned up again like a bad penny, Gideon.
When argument fails attack the speaker. Brilliant posting, love the video and Gideon's 'projection' is pretty weak.ReplyDelete
What a poignant video! Thank you!ReplyDelete
But I fear that, in its intelligent subtlety, it will be taken literally by the useful idiots and assorted vermin who follow the oh-so-fashionable Arab/Muslim/Leftist/Green Führers in moronic herd fashion!
Let's hope not, Rita!ReplyDelete
Ian, Gideon is an extreme judeophobe - he posts the most toe-curling far-out offensive religious antisemitism and conspiracy theory-laden stuff, which I refuse to publish on here.ReplyDelete
I have allowed a few samples to sneak through, and I felt sorry for the lad's wasted efforts so I decided to surprise him by allowing that one!