Does anybody actually place related items alongside each other and just relish the irony?
Independent.co.uk May 14
There was always, in the past, a limit to this hatred. Letters would be signed with the writer’s address. Or if not, they would be so-ill-written as to be illegible. Not any more. In 26 years in the Middle East, I have never read so many vile and intimidating messages addressed to me. Many now demand my death. And last week, the Hollywood actor John Malkovich did just that, telling the Cambridge Union that he would like to shoot me
Thus a disgusting remark by an actor in the Cambridge Union led to a website suggesting that others were even more eager to kill me. Malkovich was not questioned by the police. He might, I suppose, be refused any further visas to Britain until he explains or apologises for his vile remarks. But the damage has been done. As journalists, our lives are now forfeit to the internet haters. If we want a quiet life, we will just have to toe the line, stop criticising Israel or America. Or just stop writing altogether.
–Robert Fisk, in the Telegraph today
THE Board of Deputies of British Jews is considering making a complaint to the police over a newspaper interview with the poet Tom Paulin in which he is reported as saying that American-born settlers in Israel should be shot dead.
Paulin, who appears regularly on the panel of the BBC2 arts programme Newsnight Review (formerly Late Review), allegedly made the comment in an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram.
The interviewer wrote that Paulin, a consistent critic of Israeli conduct towards the Palestinians, clearly abhorred “Brooklyn-born” Jewish settlers. Paulin, a lecturer at Hertford College, Oxford, was then quoted as saying: “They should be shot dead.
“I think they are Nazis, racists, I feel nothing but hatred for them.” Earlier in the interview, he was quoted as saying: “I never believed that Israel had the right to exist at all.”
Context is everything. If Fisk was willing to put his turmoil into contextto acknowledge that there were other, competing points of view, and that people on both sides were acting badlyit might be possible for him to put his arguments into a form where they were arguments, not dogma. And we need arguments and dialog right now.
Ill never excuse terrorism, not against Israelis, New Yorkers, Sri Lankans, anyone. But the fact remains that its not enough to kill terrorists (although Im all for that); we have to stop growing terrorists. And while I dont begin to agree with the Fisks of the world, I wish like hell that there was a constructive dialog to be had about how to stop growing terrorists, if such a thing is possible. I am sure that, like Japan and Germany, it will be a combination of destruction and rebuilding. Some people are good at one, some at the other.
But Fisk shares the romantic (note Berlin, below) intellectuals fascination with nihilistic violence aimed at the oppressive forces of order and conformity; and he wants both to be defended by those forces of order and conformity (how dare that Hollwood star threaten him!!) and to be free to stand in opposition to them.
Dylan said to live outside the law, you must be honest. If Fisk had an honest bone in his body, hed condemn Tom Paulin the same breath with which he condemns Malcovitch.
But he doesnt, and really, did anyone expect him to?