July 09, 2007

Greenstein was good, shame about the rest

Ah well, it's over. Richard Littlejohn did his transparent best to link antisemitism and anti-Zionism but I don't think he was that successful. We saw some Community Security Trust people strutting around with the police. There was an imam suggesting that young Muslims who are ill-disposed towards Jews might be better disposed if Jewish leaders spoke out. It's a tough one that because if Jews in leading positions do speak out like say Independent Jewish Voices, they get themselves rubbished by the establishment. As it happens, IJV refused to participate and I thought Tony Greenstein shouldn't have got involved. But I have to say that he came out very well, surprisingly well given the agenda of the programme. Littlejohn tried to wrong foot him into blaming Jews for their own misfortunes but Tony simply said that some misguided people are too easily influenced by Jewish leaders who claim to represent all Jews and promote the idea that we all support Israel.

The programme itself was tosh but it does put a marker down in a great divide. There is an attempt by the British (in fact western) establishment to co-opt the Jews for imperial adventurism abroad and for a racist security driven agenda at home. Many Jewish leaders are more than happy in this vanguard role and a sure sign of our acceptability, indeed respectability, is Littlejohn's imprimatur. Thankfully his interview with Tony Greenstein, close to the end of the programme too, showed that not all Jews are on the same side and it's "an insidious form of racism" to say that we are.

Still no sign of Littlejohn on Engage.

UPDATE. Follow the link above and you will find an article on Hizb ut Tahrir by a chap called Ed Husain in which he calls Littlejohn's documentary "excellent in most parts." I must thank Brian Robinson in the comments for drawing attention to a more detailed review in The London Paper.
The War on Britain's Jews?

by Stuart McGurk. Monday, 09 July 2007

QAh, the question mark. The thinking idiot’s Get Out Of Jail Free card. Doesn’t matter what you put before it, as long as there’s a question mark afterwards, you’re home free.

The Daily Mail knows it, having memorably ran headlines such as “Were Hitler’s Bad Teeth Responsible For The Holocaust?”

And it’s a Mail bellower Richard Littlejohn – the ­baying mob’s columnist of choice – who’s at it again.

His question-mark doc proposes the following – Britain­ may be multicultural, but it’s Britain’s Jews, above any other race or creed, who are increasingly attacked.

So much so they now find themselves “under the greatest threat since World War II.” Yes, he actually says that.

If it’s true, a rise in anti-semitism is, of course, abhorrent and disturbing. But is it? Well, put it this way. There’s only one stand-out statistic here.

Apparently, anti-semitic attacks have doubled since 2001. Where’s this from? No idea. It’s one big question mark.

The rest of the time sees Littlejohn – with his trademark delivery of a market trader selling hot coals while in desperate need of the toilet – picking on disparate incidents, deciding the facts, and calling it a trend.

So he talks to a rabbi who was viciously attacked by youths. Nobody knows why – but Littlejohn does. He visits Manchester’s Jewish community, where they’ve built a school – and let’s be clear about this – with terror attacks in mind. They’ve even put in anti-bomb windows, says a police officer.

“ANTI-BOMB WINDOWS!” bellows Littlejohn, as if Manchester schools are being bombed daily by anti-semites. “IN A SCHOOL?”

If you told him you’d put “baby-proof” windows in your flat, he’d probably scream “BABY-PROOF WINDOWS!” under the assumption people were catapulting infants at your homestead.

It’s prevention, you idiot. Not cause. We’re talking about terrorists. They’re not just anti-semitic, they’re anti-sentient human beings. They hate everyone.

And so it continues, in the same nano-brained, ham-fisted, hysterical way.

He quotes the BNP (who similarly, hate everyone too), some random Arab chat-show (very relevant to UK, that), asks radio phone-in callers for their anti-semitic tales (let’s be honest – you could ask for tales of hamster abuse and be deluged, it doesn’t mean it’s on the rise) and finally – finally – arrives at a salient point.

Namely, that growing hostility to Israel is spilling over into anti-semitism. Maybe, but it’s not explored.

And it’s not helped by him getting a map of the Middle East, rolling up his sleeves, and wielding a ruler. Oh Lord, you think, Littlejohn is about to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict. It must have Tony Blair waking up in sweats.

Anyway, I have a better idea for a show. It’s called Littlejohn: A Total Idiot? Hey, it’s fine. I used a question mark and everything.
Clearly a difference of opinion between Husain and McGurk. But the gulf between "nano-brained, ham-fisted, hysterical" and "excellent" is so wide you'd wonder if they saw the same programme.

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