At least I think that's what happened. There's a BBC Radio 4 programme called Any Questions and this week's edition had George Monbiot, Doug Richard, Susan Greenfield and Kelvin McKenzie. You can read their credentials on the site. What I'd like you to do is give the programme a bit of a listen and see if you hear Kelvin McKenzie, in the context of western support for Arab dictatorships, saying "Israel is our friend". I've heard this nonsense many times but this time it was in front of a live audience and what I think happened next was that no one applauded. George Monbiot was applauded for his condemnation of the UK arming dictatorial regimes. Doug Richard had a swipe at Monbiot for that. But McKenzie clearly thought that "Israel is our friend" was a substitute for any reasoned comment about anything else in the Middle East but listen for yourself.
I'm a little anxious now that I may have switched the radio off too soon. Maybe he was applauded after all so perhaps someone could let me know.
UPDATE: Many thanks to Gert in the comments for listening to the programme and confirming that there was no applause for the vacuous statement, "Israel is our friend".
Chomsky at 85
2 hours ago