Sunday, 1 May 2016

Andrew Marr and Mark Regev

Andrew Marr's interview with Mark Regev this morning is well worth catching up with if you've not already seen it. Ambassador Regev (as he now is) was on excellent form throughout, e.g.:
Mark Regev: You know, if historically anti-Semites targeted individual Jews, that they were evil, that they were behind the scenes, that they were manipulators, all the typical anti-Semitic stereotypes; if you listen very carefully today modern anti-Semites target the collective Jew, the Jewish state. Israel is evil. Israel must be eliminated. Israel is a perversion. The very same slurs are now targeting the Jewish state.
Andrew Marr: But you know, also people attack, for instance, Russia. They say Russia under Putin has become a dangerous rogue and in some respects dark and evil state. That’s not Russia-phobia. That’s attacking the Russian government.
Mark Regev: But no one denies Russia’s right to sovereignty and independence. No one denies the Russian people’s right to national self-determination. Why do they deny my people’s right to national self-determination? 
Incidentally, I do hope Andrew Marr meant that question purely in the spirit of 'devil's advocate' interviewing, as it would be a particularly dopey question to have put if he'd actually meant it. 

Andrew on the whole was OK though and let Mr. Regev speak, though I think introducing him as "a controversial figure" was unnecessary, and I do wonder just how representative his "lot of Jewish friends" really are: 
I’ve talked to a lot of Jewish friends of mine recently who feel that the actions of the Israeli government and the apparent lack of interest of the Israeli government in hearing criticism from outside has made their lives as Jews more difficult in Europe. 
Also to be noted here I think was Mr. Marr describing his regular sofa guest (on the show, that is) Shami Chakrabarti as "the very, very highly respected Shami Chakrabarti". Well, speak for yourself Andrew! (Ed - I think he already was doing).


  1. Regev did a fairly good job, but missed the key point. He was focused on the denial of Israel's right to exist, which is right, but not enough, and not the point that would nail anti-Semitism. Even more depressing is that Marr was rubbing it in his face.

    I've said it before many times but will again. Anti-Semitism is when the same people who insist that it's racist and wrong to associate all Muslims everywhere with Islamic extremism and terrorism are the same people who now say that it's understandable to associate all Jews everywhere with Israel's sins. Marr said twice that Jews were facing pressure and consequences for what Israel does, but Regev didn't point it out. Marr repeated that later with Diane Abbott who took that ball and ran with it.

    Every time there's an act of Islamic terrorism, the BBC and Labour worry about the possible anti-Muslim backlash. Yet here they are saying of course every time Israel does something we accept an anti-Jew backlash.

    This is anti-Semitism, and it is widespread not just in Labour but clearly at the BBC. And @#$% Andrew Marr.

  2. PS: I assume I'm not the only one to pre-emptively lose faith in this special investigation by Universal Shami because it's described by Marr - and by Abbott and Marr's Leftie paper review guests - as examining not just anti-Semitism but racism and Islamophobia, not just in Labour but in society as a whole. Recommendations on how to fight against racism in general? They're playing down anti-Semitism before they even start.

    1. No, you're not alone in that. Shami isn't going to say anything we don't expect her to say. Should 'Anti-Semitism is wrong - like all racism, including Islamophobia' be called 'the Corbyn formulation'?

    2. 'The Corbyn Formulation' it is.

  3. maybe instead of Russia Marr should have names the Basques or the Kurds or the Palestinians all of whom have their claim to statehood disputed - in the latter case by Israel