Thursday 5 March 2015

Top trumps

There are plenty of opinions in the media and blogosphere with regard to the wisdom or otherwise of Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to accept ‘that’ invitation, and to make ‘that speech’; likewise, differing opinions on the content of the speech. Many are thoughtful and interesting, some are insightful and some very disturbing. 

However the outstanding topic with regard to this blog is Jeremy Bowen’s unfortunate tweet. 
.“#NetanyahuSpeech He acknowledges Elie Wiesel in audience. Once again Netanyahu plays the Holocaust card. Don’t repeat mistakes of the past”.
He can’t take it back. All that remains is the BBC’s attempt at damage limitation.

Don't repeat mistakes!

“A BBC spokesperson said: “Jeremy was using Twitter and journalism shorthand whilst live-tweeting PM Netanyahu’s speech. The context of his comment is that a major part of PM Netanyahu’s critique of the proposed Iran deal was based on the spectre of another holocaust. Jeremy’s tweet was designed to reflect that context. He absolutely refutes any suggestion of antisemitism.”

What’s “The spectre of another Holocaust”?  Even the definition of the word spectre includes a reference to a (nuclear) holocaust.

    • something widely feared as a possible unpleasant or dangerous occurrence."the spectre of nuclear holocaust"
    • synonyms:
    • threat, menace, shadow, cloud, vision

Yes indeed, the threat, menace, shadow, cloud, vision, widely feared, unpleasant dangerous. Precisely. 

So the BBC  is saying that the phrase Bowen used was intended to reflect Netanyahu’s genuine fear, sympathetically? “The Holocaust card” is a sympathetic phrase now?

The Holocaust CARD? I don’t think that excuse will suffice.

Once again Netanyahu plays the Holocaust card”.

“Once again?” Does ‘once again’ fit the BBC's excuse? Once again unequivocally means that Netanyahu is in the habit of ‘playing the Holocaust card.’ 

The Holocaust Card is a term is used by antisemites to disable all sincerely meant reminders of one particular lesson from history whenever and wherever it’s invoked. This cynical device is even employed by those who eagerly cite other lessons from history. “Look what happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran/Persia,” they say to justify a position over meddling in (or keeping out of)  the political / military conflicts of other countries, which imply that history tends to repeat.
They ridicule references to the Holocaust, or dismissively call it the “Holocaust Industry”, and accuse Jews and Israelis of exploiting self-pity to justify - here comes another phrase - “What They are Doing to the Palestinians.” 
To ‘play the Holocaust card’ means that ‘Holocaust’ is a trump card, pulled out to finesse the opponent and justify the unjustifiable. 

If there was one situation that justifies referencing a lesson from history, it’s this one. 
Iran is teetering on the verge of being left to acquire the means to do what it openly wishes to do. 
If the Israeli PM needed a way to emphasise the fear and apprehension that Israelis are experiencing over Obama’s negotiations with Iran, what better way would Jeremy Bowen suggest? 

Poor Jeremy Bowen is offended.  He’s used a notorious phrase straight out of the lexicon of antisemitic discourse, which was specifically designed to offend Jews, and he’s offended by accusations that his use of an offensive phrase was offensive to Jews. 
Bowen tweets:
Have been reading some recent tweets sent my way. Suggestions I'm an anti semite, or a denier of the Holocaust, are untrue and offensive”

Messages from his supporters include one from the BBC’s Julia McFarlane, (no stranger to BBC-bias blogs) She calls complainers ‘idiots’ and “not worth your attention”  “x” 

From one idiot to another, you’re playing the Idiot Card, and that’s not intended sympathetically.

1 comment:

  1. Check your privilege...

    Check your prejudice, Bowen!


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