Two on the Z-Word

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.

13 Responses to “Two on the Z-Word”

  1. Susan Says:

    David Hare knows nothing about architecture. Tel Aviv is a treasure trove of Bauhaus architecture. It was declared a world heritage site by the UN.

  2. Lynne T Says:

    Tel Aviv looks like Florida, eh. Reminds me of a joke that was going around during the Clinton presidency, when the fate of a young Cuban boy whose mother drowned when the two tried to leave Cuba for the US. The boy was ultimately returned to his father’s custody in Cuba. It went something like this:

    96% of American Jews responding to an opinion poll agreed with Attorney General Janet Reno’s handling of the Ilian Gonsales case: they know what it’s like to be held hostage in Miami by relatives.

    Too many people seem to have forgotten, the barrier wasn’t constructed shortly after 1967, but early this century, after years of terror, much of it carefully cultivated and orchestrated by Yasser Arafat’s program of indoctrination and staged events, like the now debunked myth of the death of Mohammed Al-Dura.

  3. Hal Says:

    Recently made my first trip to Miami Beach. Enjoyed it far more than I expected; the Art Deco buildings (mainly South Beach) are magnificent. I would take any comparison with these to be a great compliment.

  4. Jacob Says:

    Has any one read Patrick Buchanan’s latest abomination?

    Here is Marty Peretz’ view:

    “Pat Buchanan: Apologist for Nazi Butchers”

    “Every time I see Pat Buchanan on C.N.N. I get the creeps. He hates Hispanics although they are mostly very pious adherents of his religion, Roman Catholicism. Some day a prince of the church will rebuke him and deny him communion. He also hates the Jews and Israel, the state that incarnates the nation which first gave substance to the idea of peoplehood itself. And, of course, as a corollary of this antipathy he has enormous passion for their enemies. The Palestinians, for example. But his weirdest soft-spot is for Nazis, particular Nazis, the most vicious Nazis. Pat has a strong stomach. How strong is his C.N.N. audience?

    Like the war criminal John Demjanjuk. Buchanan has compared Demjanjuk to Jesus Christ, twice in one article: He is a “sacrificial lamb whose blood washes away the stain of Germany’s sins.” The spirit behind his persecution “…is the same satanic brew of hate and revenge that drove another innocent Man up Calvary that first Good Friday 2,000 years ago.” Buchanan has also called the butcher of Sobibor, from which only a tiny number emerged alive, “An American Dreyfus.” Sacrilege in the first two instances; nuttiness in the third.”

    Read the rest here:

    • Bill Says:

      Oh yeah Jacob: that stuff as been out of the closet for a long time! He’s a piece of work especially with his love affair with catholic flavors of fascism. And even longer ago, Bill Buckley of National Review finally had to give up and say, to put it mildly, that he had too much trouble defending PB from the charges of antisemitism.

      He should be toast career-wise but even when conservative talking heads don’t agree with him or explicitly say they find him too toxic, they too often feel obligated to have him on. I guess that makes him the Right’s Jimmy Carter: The trainwreck of an embittered senile grandparent/exboss to whom you still have to show “respect” — but in his case, unlike Carter, there is no concrete reason to do so; and for that I’m sort of jealous (puzzled as all-get-out since they can and should cut him loose, but still jealous). Maybe they keep him around just so we don’t feel so bad about ours.

  5. Jacob Says:

    Z-Word has another important post on Derban2

    “Durban II: The Second Time as Farce”

    and this post too should be mentioned:

    This post deserves to be better known:

    “Durban II Dispatch: Libya on Trial”

  6. Jacob Says:

    Here is the latest:

    “Germany Withdraws from Durban Review”

  7. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    According to the bbc online news site, referring to “Durban2”:

    “Diplomats have walked out of a UN anti-racism conference during a speech by the Iranian president in which he described Israel as “totally racist”…The walkout is a public relations disaster for the United Nations, which had hoped the conference would be a shining example of what the UN is supposed to do best – uniting to combat injustice in the world, says the BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva.”

    Find the rest at

    Apologies for my machine not wanting to provide a proper link. Maybe someone else can turn it into one. Thanks.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      Don’t know my own strength! It’s come up as a proper link, of course.

      The BBC tv news this pm reported further that the UK were among the western diplomats walking out. And as previously reported by numerous others here, not many western countries left in formal attendance.


      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        Did anyone see the tv news coverage and notice just which states stayed in and applauded Ahmanedinejad? Interestingly, just those countries with much to hide about their _own_ human rights records.

        No surprise there, then.

  8. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Comment on the David Hare monologue “Wall”, as stated above: “Jews should have learned from 2000 years of suffering (that shameful, derelict point about persecution-as-education).”

    Having just come home from this, I must point out that the quote (it is actually that) is from Albert Einstein, and the whole of the quote is (as reprinted in the play and said on stage) “If we do not find the path to honest co-operation and honest negotiation with the Arabs, then we have learned nothing from over two thousand years of suffering and we deserve the fate that will befall us.” Now, if he misquoted Einstein, that’s another matter. But if he got it right, an apology is in order.

    I will admit, I sat down in the Royal Court trepidatious about what Hare was about to say, but, actually, Hare said a great deal that has been argued here over the past 4+ years, and not that much that would be disagreed with.

    Now I have to go back to the Eammon McDonagh comment and remind myself what _he_ said.

  9. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Having re-read Eammon, I stand by what I said above. Okay, not everything Hare said is enagage-standard: that comment on Gaza as a ghetto is a bit over the top: Hamas were murderous, mysoginist, homophobic, antisemitic thugs long before they took control of Gaza by force. But the other 98% of Hare’s monologue fits the prescription.

    Disagreement in the usual format, folks, and that applies in spades to you “David” – or are you just going to call this an adhominem attack on either or both of Hare & McDonagh?

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      I apologise to Eamonn McDonagh for having misspelt his first name _twice_! Unforgiveable clumsinessand rudeness.

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