February 18, 2009

Howard Jacobson retires?

The increasingly insufferable Howard Jacobson has a piece in today's Independent. It's yet another hasbara piece where he defends Israel over Gaza and accuses Israel's critics of antisemitism. Now this is very strange for Howard Jacobson. Usually he does that on a Saturday in the Independent.

The headline makes the article barely worth reading: Let’s see the ‘criticism’ of Israel for what it really is. But let's try at least. Here's the editor's blurb:
Emotions have run high over recent events in Gaza. And in this impassioned and searching essay, our writer argues that just below the surface runs a vicious strain of ancient prejudice
Oh and what might that prejudice be? We might have to read at least some of the article.
I was once in Melbourne when bush fires were raging 20 or 30 miles north of the city. Even from that distance you could smell the burning. Fine fragments of ash, like slivers of charcoal confetti, covered the pavements. The very air was charred. It has been the same here these past couple of months with the fighting in Gaza. Only the air has been charred not with devastation but with hatred. And I don’t mean the hatred of the warring parties for each other. I mean the hatred of Israel expressed in our streets, on our campuses, in our newspapers, on our radios and televisions, and now in our theatres.
Very clever that. There have been bush fires raging in Australia so it's topical. People can picture what they have seen in the reports on the fires that have now claimed 200 lives. I wonder what imaginative leaps will have to be made for people to liken protests against Israel in which no one has even been hurt to fires which have killed 200 people - and rising. If a zionist had have tried to liken Israel's recent war crimes in Gaza to forest fires I would have been disgusted but topicality is topicality. But this was ludicrous even by the appalling standards of hasbara.

Now what's all this about Jacobson retiring? See this after he describes the condemnation of Israel:
But I am not allowed to ascribe any of this to anti-Semitism.
And then, after some more stuff on protests against Israel:
But I am not allowed to ascribe any of this to anti-Semitism
Then after complaining that there can only motive for those who compare the blockaded, overpopulated, besieged and starved area of Gaza to the Warsaw ghetto:
Anti-Semitism? Absolutely not.
And then after complaining about a play on at the Royal Court about hasbara, titled Seven Jewish Children, A play for Gaza here we go again:
Anti-Semitic? No, no.
So no more false allegations of antisemitism from Howard Jacobson then. If only.

By the way, surprise surprise, you can also read Howard Jacobson's drivel on Engage where it is claimed that Jacobson "says it all about contemporary antisemitism". You can't argue with that, but then, that's the whole point of these stupid exercises.


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