30 August 2014

Gideon Levy: pimping for more hate - for fame and profit

For three decades, the writer and journalist Gideon Levy has been a lone voice, telling his readers the truth about what goes on in the Occupied Territories.

There couldn't be a better epigraph to this post than the caption under the picture above. Both the picture and the caption were borrowed from an article Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?, written four years ago. Not to forget the absurdity of putting the words "Gideon Levy" and "truth" in the same sentence, the other remarkable thing about the article is its author, one Johann Hari:
Johann Eduard Hari (born 21 January 1979) is a British writer and journalist who has written regular columns for The Independent (London) and The Huffington Post and made contributions to several other publications. In 2011, he was suspended from The Independent following multiple charges of plagiarism and was separately accused of making malicious edits of several of his critics' Wikipedia pages under a pseudonym, an allegation he later admitted to. The exposed plagiarism led to his being forced to return his 2008 Orwell Prize and later was a contributing factor in his leaving The Independent.
Now would you accept a testimony about a liar from another - officially confirmed and appropriately punished - liar? While Independent, for all its faults, had the guts to get rid of this excrescence, Haaretz apparently, cannot clean its stables in the case of its senior liar editor.

Well, here is one Gideon Levy and the sordid story of his life. The man whose proudest achievement was to record what he called "royal wedding" - the marriage between Arafat and Suha, unselfconsciously painting an embarrassing picture of himself in the process:
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.
And here is Gideon Levy, aptly named by Ben Dror Yemini "baron of deceit industry"...

But why this eulogy for a man who is so obviously alive and kicking (till 120, please)? This is the reason why: an article What it's like to be the most hated man in Israel (behind a pay wall). The article, laughably or not, starts with a (proud?) reference to the above mentioned piece by Johann Hari.
It was four years ago. The British newspaper The Independent published an interview under the title: “Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?” The question was groundless – I wasn’t the most hated, and certainly not the most heroic. In the summer of 2014 the answer would be more succinct – I’m the most hated, second only to Khaled Meshal. Unpleasant, but not too terrible, at this point. The narrator must not become the story; a journalist is always the means, not the end.

And yet, it’s impossible to ignore the troubling question: How did one journalist – and not the most widely read or the most widely distributed – become an object of such rage and hatred? How is one small cracked mirror, a tiny pocket flashlight, capable of evoking so much fury? How is it that one voice made so many Israelis, from left and right, north and south, blow their top?
Well, you must say: it only proves that Mr Levy is not the most incisive mind in the universe, and you will be right at that. But there is another point: feeling that the audience, once more captive and eager, is slipping away (notice the mention of the left blowing their top with the right), Gideon Levy is still trying to get traction. After all, there is no such thing as bad publicity, and who knows it better than our protagonist?

So, instead of sweating and looking for new ways to attract readers, Gideon Levy tries to further his career by drumming up hate. Hate, after all, makes the front page more frequently than love, admiration, agreement and other positive but comparatively weak feelings.

The only problem is: the hate Gideon Levy craves is not coming from the right quarters. Getting spit upon by  street rabble, about which Mr Levy so verbosely laments in his report on personally visiting Ashkelon and Sderot, only supports the known and not particularly pleasant fact that we, as any other people, have our measure of that rabble. Nothing more, nothing less.

So Levy's lament continues to reverberate - mostly in the largely empty Pantheon he is trying to create for himself:
The spiteful looks in the street, the curses and attacks have made no difference. Nor will they. The thuggish right wing, the complacent, indifferent, doubt-free center, even the always smug so-called left, which claimed that I was “ruining the left,” all joined in one shrill choir, proving that the differences between them are smaller than they had appeared.
The only problem with that, Mr Levy, is that the people who matter, the ones of the right, center and "so called" left don't really hate you. Despise you - somewhat, pity you - somewhat, deride your lying ways - quite a lot. But hate? Nope, sir, this is a sentiment most people keep for more important occasions. Because, and you must try to make peace with this revelation: you are just not important enough. No matter how strong is your desire to put yourself in the same league with one Khaled Meshal - nah... doesn't work.

But let the bygones be bygones. Gideon Levy is slipping into uncomfortable obscurity he so richly deserves, and we all shall keep in mind the following, said by the same Ben Dror Yemini:
...earlier this week I was asked by a young Israeli I do not know personally, how can I sit in a television studio with Gideon Levy, and not boil from indignation. I assured him I was proud to live in a country where there is a Gideon Levy, who writes and kicks freely. Any other option will be worse.


Dick Stanley said...

Worse would be George Galloway with a broken jaw: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/08/29/Anti-Israel-Galloway-Beaten-Up-in-Street

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yes, this story is going around today. Mostly people are clapping hands...

peterthehungarian said...

The perpetrator is a known Christian anti-Muslim bigot called Neil Masterson.

peterthehungarian said...

Levy is deluded, Israelis hate the traffic police, the Tax Authority but nobody else (sorry I forgot the government). He's definitely confusing the emotions hate and disgust.

Brian Goldfarb said...

Off topic, but how could I resist this one: couldn't happen to a nicer British (antisemitic) MP: http://www.timesofisrael.com/british-mp-beaten-up-in-london-over-israel-stance/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=2c5b0dab84-2014_08_30&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_adb46cec92-2c5b0dab84-54417869

Sadly, Gorgeous George is now out of hospital (broken jaw and all), but hopefully a little less "gorgeous" and maybe (we should be so lucky) less able to mouth off with the anti-Zionist and antisemitic rhetoric.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Oh, you mean they cannot pin this one on Jooz. Interesting, they must find a way after all somehow.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

He is confusing a lot of things where reality is concerned. This is why he has an important post in Haaretz after all.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

As I said somewhere on Facebook, The Spiv keeping silent is more than I could bear for a long time. Let him talk... this way he is doing himself more damage.

Dick Stanley said...

Be nice if it was Jooz, actually. Fighting back is good.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

But this way it is more interesting, even exciting. Wait till The Spiv starts talking and finds a way to pin it on the Zionists.