It seems that Richard Silverstein got a bit irritated with me for exposing his hypocrisy and double standards – and in particular his unabashedly evil criticism of Israel for sending a huge, well-equipped medical relief team to Haiti after the earthquake. He replied angrily, accusing me of being rude.
Let’s take a look at some of Silverstein’s own statements:
“When you can translate Hebrew as well as Sol Salbe then you can talk. Till then shutup.”
“If you ever mature enough to actually write comments w/o snark & all the other infantilisms you introduce into yours you may let me know”
“Either you can read them & respect them or you’ll lose yr comment privileges. I won’t even debate this noxiousness.” (After the woman he was banning had proved that a pregnant Palestinian woman was planning to use her pregnancy to stage a suicide bombing attack – which would have killed her unborn baby as well.)
“you think you’re the first numbskull to say these things here?”
“more like fucking obnoxious”
“If you wish to continue to be an ass” (Pot-kettle anyone?)
“Lord protect us fr. the idiot hasbara crowd.”
“You are really a very stupid person.”
All this from a man who accuses ME of being rude. And these are just a tiny fractions of the examples I could have given if I had more staminia for intellectual slumming in Silverstein’s cesspool.
Now let’s look at some of the comments he has tolerated from friendly commentators who support his hostility to the Jewish state:
MARY: my remark that Zionists have control over the news media is my own opinion, and there is nothing “dumb and thuggish” about it… I will not withdraw or repudiate my remark about control of the media…”
MARY: “You incredible, outrageous hasbarist. My temper is thinning fast.” (Hasbarist is Mary’s and Silverstien’s term for anyone who presents eloquent, factually based arguments in favour of Israel.)
SHIRIN: “You’re either an idiot, or a liar, or both.” (To the woman who exposed the case of the pregnant Palestinian woman trying to carry out a suicide bombing.)
MARY: “Are you really that dense, or are you being deliberately obtuse?”
ELIZABETH: “More verbal diarrhea from Cociella” (Elizabeth is another member of Silverstein’s ideology-brothel)
LYN: “Haitians are lucky Haiti isn’t next to Israel, or Israel would deem them the seething, angry, vengeance-ridden savages and test their weapons on them.” (Now that’s already an antisemitic lie. But Silverstein tolerated it.)
MARY: “what a bunch of fascist creeps you really are”
MARY: (again – sigh) “I’m actually gratified to have gotten under your rather reptilian skin” (If you’re thinking that Mary is a foul-mouthed whore, you’re probably right.)
Just as a matter of interest, at the end of his cesspool of lies about Israel and its excellent medical aid for Haiti after the earthquake, Silverstein uses cowardly innuendo (which is typical of Silverstein) to imply that Israel was responsible for the United States blocking the delivery of “desperately needed medical supplies.” This is after he has just spent paragraphs criticizing Israel for bringing in medical supplies on the grounds that such supplies were NOT necessary?
And we’re supposed to take Silverstein seriously?
When I wrote my last post about Richard Silverstein’s attack on Israel for giving medical aid to Haiti, I didn’t realize quite how mendacious and rude he was. (I should have done, as I have seen how rude he is when his arguments are refuted by his intellectual superiors – which most people are.) Here is an example. Some one responded to the article as follows:
This is quite a bad translation. Whole sentences are missing. I’ll deal with this tomorrow, I have productive activity ahead of me.
A perfectly polite and reasonable response. And how does Silverstein, who controls the blog reply? Like this:
When you can translate Hebrew as well as Sol Salbe then you can talk. Till then shutup.
“I have productive activity ahead of me.”
That’s it. You’re done. I’ve had about as much snark as I can take. If you ever mature enough to actually write comments w/o snark & all the other infantilisms you introduce into yours you may let me know & I can reinstate you. Till then you’re toast.
Note first the puerile sarcasm of the half-witted Silverstein: “When you can translate…” And the yobbish rudeness: “Till then shutup.” Next Silverstein has the audacity to accuse the other person of lacking maturity – that’s rich coming from Silverstein – and then he does what he so often does when he can’t refute an argument: he bans the person from his forum. And this is the same Silverstein who likes to pretend that he wants to hold serious discussion.
What can one say about Silverstein. Well, he’s a liar and hypocrite for a start.
Once in a while I like to slum it by reading Richard Silverstein’s attempts to demonize the Jewish state in which he uses the kind of unscrupulous methods that all decent people would rightly find repugnant. I’ve just fallen into the cesspool of his belief system yet again, reading an article he wrote on Israel’s prompt and effective disaster relief in Haiti after the earthquake there – relief which apparently bothers Silverstein immensely. In an article called “The Zionization of Disaster Relief” he subjects his hapless readers to the anti-Zionization of Disaster relief. That is, he uses an article that is ostensibly about disaster relief in Haiti as a peg on which to hang his anti-Israel beliefs.
Not content with limiting himself to the dishonest accusation that the Jewish state gave this assistance for purely publicity reasons (an accusation that is false but wholly in character for Silverstein) it seems that Silverstein has now set himself up as an expert on aid and has decided for others what is best way to help them – even as he sits on his toochas not actually lifting a finger to help them himself. Specifically he claimed that in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, portable toilets and digging equipment were needed more urgently than a field hospital and doctors. The one thing he omitted was evidence to support this assertion. He also didn’t mention that these other things were also available from other sources more locally based. Nor did he take into account that the Israeli medical team was dispatched before the situation on the ground was clear. Under those circumstances, it was only natural that medical aid was deemed to be the highest priority.
Now Silverstein’s defense would no doubt be that he was actually quoting an article by Yoel Donchin, a former Israeli relief worker who by then worked as Director of Patient Safety at Hadassah hospital. But Silverstein made no effort to interview or read anyone other than this one disgruntled former employee of the Israel army to get anything like a balanced picture. He simply seized upon words that he knew lent themselves to the demonization of the Jewish state, quoted them freely and looked no further – thereby showing his low regard for the truth and his determination to advance his anti-Israel agenda.
Some facts contained in the article are in fact pro-Israel in their import, but they are so cleverly camouflaged as to effectively negate their pro-Israel connotations. And of course Silverstein makes sure to avoid pointing this out, although he editorializes freely before and after quoting the article to stir up negative feelings towards the Jewish state. Take for example the following passage:
“I understood the purpose perfectly when the head of one of the delegations to a disaster zone was asked whether oxygen tanks and a number of doctors could be removed to make room for another TV network’s representatives with their equipment. (With unusual courage, the delegation head refused!)”
So the Israeli head of the delegation refused. In other words he placed the treatment of the injured above the wishes of the press or any public relations considerations. But that cuts no ice in the biased eyes of Silverstein or his equally mendacious source. Because it was “unusual courage.” So there we have it. When Israel does good it’s all for the wrong reason and when their behaviour doesn’t confirm the anti-Israel propaganda it’s “unusual.”
And Silverstein doesn’t stop there. He publishes a comment from a woman claiming that the Israel medical team didn’t even stay a week. He replies that they stayed 11 days, but does not take her to task for her dishonesty. He then claims, without offering any evidence, that they would have had to stay longer to make a difference – conveniently ignoring the fact that by then, many others had come. Next he publishes a comment from another woman claiming that “Zionists have control over the news media.” This woman is a well-known supportive contributor to Silverstein’s blog noted for her rudeness. On another occasion she described a Jewish contributor as having “reptilian skin” without public comment or warning from Silverstein. In contrast he is quick to warn or ban supporters of the Jewish state who use language that he claims to be impolite, as indeed he did a short while later in the thread about Israeli aid to Haiti.
Finally he allows an off-topic posting accusing Israel of selling arms to the Duvaliers in Haiti (going back a bit). Why this historical alleged information is any more relevant than weapons sales to other dictators by Arabs or Communists, he doesn’t say. But let’s not forget that this is the Jewish state and so it suddenly assumes a great relevance to a posting about recent earthquake relief.
And let’s not forget that Silverstein started it off by criticizing Israel for giving medical aid to Haiti. You can draw the appropriate conclusions about his ethics from that.
The more astute readers of The Moses Legacy may have noticed an error. On page 161 I stated that Daniel Klein got his PhD from Cambridge. But on page 257, I wrote that he got it from SOAS. I don’t know whether to blame the copy editor or the proofreader.
The Moses Legacy is selling quite well. 2,696 in its first week – which wasn’t even a full week – was enough to put it into position five on the Heatseeker chart. 3,767 in its second week took it to position 3. Then last week it sold 3,137, so it will be interesting to see where it stands on the Heatseeker chart. I decided to look up the two books above it on the Heatseeker list.
The one that was is an American book that has 220 reviews on Amazon.com, 12 on amazon.co.uk and is in position 625 in the amazon.co.uk chart (paperback edition).
The book that is second has 63 customer reviews in Amazon.co.uk and is in position 172 in ther sales chart, but more importantly it has 26 press reviews including in the Times, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Mail on Sunday, Independent on Sunday, USA Today, Washington Post, Marie Claire, Time Out, Bookseller and Red – as well as endorsements from Stephen King, Jeffrey Deaver and Sara Paretsky. I must admit that I am a bit miffed at this as Jeffrey Deaver told me that he didn’t have time to read books – even published books. And Sara Paretsky ignored my eMail altogether.
But that’s life. We must keep on trying.
I have noticed, every time I log on to YouTube to listen to my favourite music from the sixties through the eighties, that there is invariably some disparaging comment, contrasting the music of Justin Bieber with the great music of the sixties to eighties. I have seen this on YouTube videos of everyone from The Seekers to Jethro Tull to Melanie Safka, from Abba to Jim Croce to Dire Straits, from the Alan Parsons Project to Ace of Base. Whilst I certainly prefer all those acts – and many more – to anything that Justin Bieber has done thus far, I think those critics are being unfair to him – on a number of counts.
First of all, let us not forget that Justin Bieber is very young, barely seventeen, and has not really had the time to develop genuine musical sophistication. In spite of this, he managed to teach himself to play the guitar (left-handed), piano, trumpet and drums – and all by the time he was fourteen. To learn to play even one musical instrument is hard. To teach oneself to play four takes a degree of dedication that your average X-factor contestant, or even winner, simply does not have. It is for that reason that I suspect Justin Bieber has the kind of staying power in the music industry to avoid being a here-today-gone tomorrow supernova, as well as the self-discipline to avoid the all-too-familiar burnout that plagues the likes of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
But what implication does this have for his music? To answer that question we must look at older musical talent that has stayed the course. They may differ from each in many respects but the one thing they have in common is a tendency to change their styles as they mature, to experiment with different forms and develop new and changing interests in all aspects of music. I am not talking about Madonna reinventing herself every few years, although that is an aspect of the same phenomenon – and she is certain a role model when it comes to an almost Spartan regime of self-discipline. I am talking about people like Tom Jones trying his hand – and vocal chords – at religious music, Bob Dylan risking the wrath of the hippie crowd by picking up an electric guitar or Ricky Nelson moving away from fifties rock-and -oll to become Rick Nelson.
Not every transformation is equally good in the eyes of everyone. I still prefer the old BeeGees in melodious sixties “Run to Me” style than their pseudo-macho “Staying Alive” era. And I don’t like it when sixties artists re-record their hits at half the tempo, whether it be “Both Sides Now” or “Hello World.” But my personal preferences are not the point. It is the capacity to change ones style whilst living by the doctrine “above all to thine own self be true,” – as much as Alice Cooper’s dictum about separating ones public from by ones private persona – that enables some to stay the course while others fall by the wayside.
And this is the lesson that the old fogies of pop and rock can teach Justin Bieber. As he matures and grows musically, it is inevitable that he will vary his style and experiment with different forms. If he can also avoid the pitfalls that come with being surrounded by yes-men then we can be sure that he will stay the course and enrich the world with his music for many years to come.
NB The picture that goes with this posting is intended as humorous and should not be taken as implying that Justin Bieber has really read – much less endorses – The Moses Legacy or its content.
Last week I got the sales figures for The Moses Legacy. I cannot disclose the figures themselves, as they are confidential. But I can tell you that i sold almost as many of this title in three days as I did of No Way Out in the first two and a half weeks!
I am now nervously awaiting the figures for the first full week of The Moses Legacy.
Watch this space!!!!