Mike Sivier, a newspaper reporter for the best part of 20 years, according to him, was an unknown entity to me. It so happened that I've stumbled on a few posts by my Facebook friends who pointed to an article by Mike Sivier, titled Nobody bothered to check who created that “anti-Semitic” image Naz Shah retweeted, did they?. For a time the referred article was inaccessible for some reason, which only fired up my curiosity.
The article is available now, and isn't it an eye opener indeed! To remind you, the offending map (see above) was tweeted by Naz Shah, a Bradford West MP and, among other offensive tweets, was the reason for the lady's suspension, among several other recent scandals/suspensions.
So Mike Sivier studied the matter and came up with the following:
The map was posted in Norman Finkelstein Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict, on Monday, August 4, 2014, on his blog [link omitted by me].And here Mike triumphantly concluded, in bold letters for our better comprehension:
Professor Finkelstein is described by that hideously inaccurate Wikipedia as “an American political scientist, activist, professor, and author. His primary fields of research are the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust, an interest motivated by the experiences of his parents who were Jewish Holocaust survivors.”
That’s right – it was posted by a Jewish gentleman.To give another boost to our poor comprehension, Mike strengthened the message by the following addition, also in bold:
Not only that; he’s the son of two Jewish people who survived the Shoah.And now comes the killing point:
It puts a different complexion on this whole issue, doesn’t it?I shall try to answer this question using Mike's method, which assures full comprehension:
No.You see, Mike, the map that calls for ethnic cleansing is offensive and racist, no matter who produced it. This is the first and the main point. And if someone else (Ms Shah in our case) publishes it again, it doesn't become less racist or less offensive. Which is the second point. Now to the less important matters.
Wikipedia, with all due respect, frequently misses some points. To start with, the person in question is definitely not a gentleman. As for his Jewishness, whatever genetic traces of it he possessed, all of them were thoroughly wiped out by his hate of the said Jewishness, his leeching on the Holocaust-related matters and his other behavior traits. In short, if you belong to a small group of people who consider Kim Philby and Lord Haw-Haw British, go ahead and consider Fink-elstein Jewish, but don't make a public issue of it, please, to avoid embarrassment. And it might do you good to learn that there are Jewish antisemites, as well as Jewish thieves, Jewish liars and Jewish murderers. As for his parents being Holocaust survivors: the parents don't have to pay for the sins of their son.
Going back for a second to the subject of Jewish antisemites. The article we are discussing was reposted in full by one Gilad Atzmon:
Following the logic Mike Sivier applied to the case of Norman Finkelstein, the abbreviated version of Atzmon's CV will look like this: "A famous Jewish saxophone player, IDF paratrooper in the past, gentleman". The Sivier version of Atzmon's CV will certainly leave out some other details, like "Holocaust denier, Jew-hater, Israel-hater" and many others. The mere fact that a thoroughly repulsive character like Atzmon has chosen to repost one's article should lead one to some introspection, methinks...
A general remark: if you take the article discussed here on its own, it might be interpreted as a result of a well-meant attempt to defuse the explosive situation. The clumsy transfer of guilt from Naz Shah to a "Jewish gentleman", while not effective at all to justify the act by Ms Shah, could be explained by naivety of the author, although naivety in a veteran journo is a bit of a rarity. But looking at the other articles by Mike Sivier, where he fights tooth and nail against every single accusation of anti-Semitism aimed at this or another Labour figure, it becomes harder and harder to use the excuse of naivety.
What do you say, Mike?