01 May 2009

Gideon Levy - the summary of his life?

I've stumbled on this article accidentally. I don't really follow Gideon Levy, the Haaretz scribe and self-appointed moral compass of the country, all that diligently, if at all.

But the headline How Gideon Levy's first scoop got buried was definitely alluring, and who could have guessed that the article is by Gideon Levy himself? But even after seeing the byline, I was still interested. After all, what is a scoop if not a pinnacle of journalist's professional life and realization of his dreams? And who knows what it is about? Perhaps young Levy discovered some deeply buried Zionist secret, or a nuclear missile silo in his backyard, or... go figure.

And then the article appears to be about... discovery by Gideon Levy about Arafat's marriage (to the inimitable Suha), which discovery was "buried" by Haaretz shortsighted editor for two or three days. Imagine the chutzpa and stupidity of that editor!

It is May 2009 already. The man in question, whom another Palestinian aptly characterizes as "a man whose only notable skill is the ability to out-slime an eel in a bucket of olive oil", is dead for almost five years, and almost everyone tries to forget him. Not our Mr Levy, apparently. So much so that he doesn't see anything embarrassing in calling that act "royal wedding". Nor do his ever so sensitive sensors detect anything embarrassing in this passage:

Once when I dined at Arafat's table, I reminded him that I had broken the news of his secret wedding. The chairman looked at me and said nothing. Another time I phoned the house where Suha was staying in Paris and she answered the phone. Again, I identified myself as the person who had first published news of the nuptials and again my remark was met with distressing silence on the other end of the line, followed by a giggle.
Sorry, Gideon, I cannot even spare a giggle reading this. It's too pathetic a testimony of the life and achievements of a person who thinks he is really an outstanding journalist. Remember, you have done it to yourself...

P.S. It is as good a time as any to make myself clear on the subject. I don't have any problem with any conscientious criticism of Israel, Judaism or Zionism. Deity knows, all three could do with as much criticism as the media market could bear, definitely as much criticism as any other country, nation or religion. What I cannot abide is Levy's self-aggrandizing and the sanctimonious kind of scorn he heaps on Israel, especially the kind that readily and hungrily uses distortion, lies and lies of omission. He is precisely the "Conscience Pimp" we can do without.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com