April 11, 2008

Who likened Israel to the nazis?

Well I've done it hundreds of times and a few Israeli ministers have done it. But Arthur Neslen doesn't go in for that sort of sensationalism or...wrong-headedness. The Jewish Chronicle gave Art a bit of a hard time last week over his haiku submission to their stupid competition:
A number made crude comparisons of the type sent in by Arthur Neslen, a Tel Aviv-based Jewish journalist:

Hitler’s final dues,
Hebrew headlines make the news:
“Shoah called by Jews”

We deplore such wrong-headed and offensive analogies.
Well Arthur wasn't having any of that, according to this week's JC:
My haiku was fine

Thanks for publishing my haiku (JC, April 4). However I’m unclear why you needed to add the “We deplore such wrong-headed and offensive analogies” disclaimer. Not only did I make no analogy or “crude comparison” between Israel and the Nazis, I artistically highlighted the dangerous implications of the fact that an Israeli government minister, Matan Vilnai, had just done so.

Curiously, your newspaper appears not to have condemned Vilnai’s comments at the time as anything more serious than a “PR calamity”. I would suggest that any wrong-headedness and offensiveness here, not to mention hypocrisy and misrepresentation, lie in the eye of the beholder.

Arthur Neslen, Ramallah, PA
Big of them to publish his letter, I'd say.

I wonder if they'll run the same competition next year.


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