No s**t Sherlock

A post by Saul.

After years of the Jews for Justice for Palestinians and Independent Jewish Voices ranting on and on about the power of the “Israel Lobby” and how we need a “rational debate” about it and how influential it is in the UK and Britain, a piece containing the following appears in JfJfP’s latest newsletter, criticising Obama for a lack of pressure on Israel:

“While the “Israel lobby” thesis conveniently explains his failure to do so and absolves US policy-makers of responsibility for their ongoing support of Israeli apartheid, violence and annexation, it simply does not stand up under closer scrutiny.”

The newsletter, whilst replete with the normal misrepresentations of Israel as “apartheid” etc, claims that the “Lobby” argument does not stand up to scrutiny! No s**t Sherlock (or should that be Shylock?)!

Since the recent resurrection of this old canard, Engage has been saying exactly this, whilst simultaneously drawing attention to its formulation as a repetition of antisemitic myths.

JJfP and IJV have, from their inception, allowed themselves to be blown like a straw in the wind. Their tendency to uncritically accept any negative narrative that relates to Israel or Jews, whether it connects with antisemitic libels or not, is notorious.

Maybe now they can admit to themselves, and others, that their failure to connect with any meaningful section of their “target audience” (the so-called “Jewish community”) has nothing to do with the alleged omnipotence of the Board of Deputies, the Chief Rabbi or the Board of Deputies, but their own inability to recognise antisemitism when it stares them in the face.

From the UN to the US to the BBC, the Lobby knows no rest.

It seems that nowadays if something does not go your way when discussing/commenting/joking on matters relating to Israel, the immediate default position is to see yourself as the victim of “the Lobby”.

Although such a position has a long and unpleasant history, its more recent appearance began with the book, “the Israel Lobby” in which the authors, unable to believe that the US would support Israel on its own volition, can only explain such matters as the response of the (evidently, not so secret) machinations of “the Lobby”.

The Lib Dem candidate who cannot understand why there is not an arms embargo against Israel can only think of one reason; “the Lobby”.

And now, the comedian Frankie Boyle.

Lightly reprimanded by the BBC for a “joke” he made on a BBC Radio 4 programme, Boyle can only imagine that the cause for his chiding was – not BBC guidelines nor a commitment not to offend put into place following the populist overreaction to the Ross and Brand affair – but the result of “well drilled lobbying”.

In a parody of the well-known maxim, if “the Lobby” existed, it wouldn’t need to be invented.

Here’s a report of the story,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/apr/28/bbc-trust-frankie-boyle

And here’s Boyle’s response,
http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2010/04/30/10922/frankie_boyle%3A_bbc_are_cowards

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