David Hare begins his latest monologue on reasons for Israel to take down its security barrier (only he calls it a wall) with an appeal to “be serious” and “think about this”. Not a moment too soon, David. He progresses through an interesting and worthwhile piece with occasional appeals for coolness, while relieving himself of a number of superfluous observations within which are buried some atrocious little sentences. Jews should have learned from 2000 years of suffering (that shameful, derelict point about persecution-as-education). Tel Aviv looks like Florida (what could be worse). And “you wouldn’t be very nice if you lived under permanent siege” – this is provoking, but we have to be cool, he says, so since we’re called upon to put ourselves in Hamas’ shoes, it occurs to me to wonder whether I would have got myself into the predicament of a siege. While Hare is probably right, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have been violent and hateful for a long time and fearful Israelis deserve more empathy from people like Hare.
Eamonn responds on Z-Word blog.
Also on Z-Word blog, Jonathan Hoffman reviews the BBC’s finding that its Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen failed to meet guidelines on impartiality and accuracy. Considering it’s well understood that Israeli military operations are the occasion for spikes in antisemitic activity in Britain, accuracy and impartiality are important in BBC reports. David T comments on Jeremy Bowen’s defenders in The Independent.