March 14, 2010

Response to the Independent on Sunday swipe at Vanessa Redgrave

I'm really trying to get over to my mum's and then go to work but I keep finding post-worthy stuff. This time Brian Robinson has posted something to JPUK from the Independent on Sunday about the children of Gaza, two thirds of whom might be called children of Israel but let's not go there. Oh, they can't go there and I won't go there. Now where was I? Ah yes, the Independent on Sunday. Brian's post to the Just Peace UK list reminded that I had written to the Independent on Sunday protesting at their decontextualisation of Vanessa Redgrave's Oscar winning speech.

I know I already posted on this but here's what I wrote:
Dear Sir

I remember Vanessa Redgrave's Oscar acceptance speech where she applauded the Academy for resisting, "over the last few weeks", intimidation by the Jewish Defence League, who she described as "zionist hoodlums whose behaviour is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world."

It was an excellent speech and received gasps and applause in equal measure. It was falsely denounced on the night by screenwriter, Paddy Chayefsky, as the "propagation of personal political propaganda" when it was clearly a response to the violent politicking of a group characterised as "a right-wing terrorist group" by the FBI. And for David Randall to describe the speech as "embarrassing" strips it of its context.

It beggars belief that even in, arguably, the most Israel critical newspaper in the UK and even in an article about something as frivolous as the Oscars, space can still be found for a gratuitous swipe at an Israel critic over thirty years after an event.

Yours faithfully

Mark Elf

And here's what they published:
I remember Vanessa Redgrave's 1977 Oscar acceptance speech, in which she applauded the Academy for resisting intimidation by the Jewish Defence League, whom she described as "Zionist hoodlums whose behaviour is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world" ("Oscars Babylon", 7 March). It was an excellent speech and received gasps and applause in equal measure. To describe it as "embarrassing" strips it of its context.

Mark Elf

Dagenham, Essex
I can't complain. It was big of them to publish it at all really.

OK mum, here I come.

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