hypocrisy

George Galloway – the man who praised Saddam Hussein at a time when the Iraqi dictator was known to be murdering his fellow Iraqis – has always denied being either an antisemite or a racist and has on a number of occasions threatened to sue people for calling him either. Yet he has recently (and not so recently) shown his true colours by making statements that attack people not for what they have done or  even what they have said, but rather for what they born.

The first occasion was when he walked out of a debate with an Israeli, at Christ Church College, Oxford, claiming falsely that he had been “misled.” Galloway had already spoken in the debate, but when his eloquent opponent, Eylon Aslan-Levy, started his response with the words “We wanted peace, we got war. We mustn’t make the same mistake again,” the ill-mannered Galloway interrupted him by asking rudely “are you an Israeli?” Now of course, if Galloway had genuinely thought the question to be relevant, he could have asked it before, at the time when the debate was being arranged. He chose not to do so.

Whether he merely assumed that the person speaking for Israel would not be an Israeli or simply didn’t think about it at all, I cannot say. But as soon as the opposing speaker used the word “we”, the rather excitable Galloway became agitated and interrupted to ask his obnoxious question –  a question that no right-thinking person would have thought relevant. The opposing speaker innocently and honestly replied: “I am. yes.” At this point, Galloway got up and said: “I don’t debate with Israelis. I’ve been misled.”

Now first of all, it was Galloway who misled the organizers of the debate, by not stating his terms and conditions up front. Secondly, Galloway then walked out, refusing to participate in the debate any further. And this was of course, rather conveniently, after he had made sure to have his own say before the ostentatious walk-out. In other words, he knew that he was out of his depth and was beating a hasty and cowardly retreat.

But what is interesting is that at no stage did Galloway ask his opponent if he was an Israeli by birth or by naturalization. That means that Galloway was equally unwilling to debate with Israelis whether they be born Israelis or became Israelis by choice. Now  of course, even if they became an Israeli by choice it would be silly to refuse to debate with them, because a debate – by definition – involves arguing one’s case against an opponent. And Galloway knew that he was there for a debate, so  he knew that he would be facing a man of differing opinion.

The fact that Galloway agreed to the debate at all, meant that he was ready to face off with a person who held a different view to his own. But the fact that he walked out only when he discovered that his opponent was Israeli, without so much as inquiring if that citizenship was acquired by birth or by choice, means that Galloway was showing prejudice against a fellow human being because of a fact of that other person’s birth. (It does not in fact matter whether Eylon Aslan-Levy was born an Israeli or became one. The fact that Galloway didn’t ask, is sufficient grounds to characterize Galloway as a racist).

But could this have been a one-off? Well not if Galloway’s most recent outburst is anything to go by. In a recent speech he said with customary arrogance and malice: “We have declared Bradford an Israel-free zone. We don’t want any Israeli goods. We don’t want any Israeli services. ” Now if he had left it at that, – referring to “Israeli” rather than “Israelis” and “goods” and “services” rather than people – he might just have got away with it. But Galloway – ever the bully – went on to say: “We don’t want any Israeli academics coming to the University or the college. We don’t even want any Israeli tourists.” By referring to people who possessed Israeli citizenship – again without specific reference to whether their citizenship was by birth or by  choice (as adults) – he was showing prejudice towards people because of what they were born. And this is classic racism. He didn’t even specify that he meant Israeli residents. From his phraseology, he could even have been including Israeli citizens who were not resident in Israel.

And for these reasons it is clear that George Galloway is a racist.

 

I remember after Michael Jackson was acquitted of child molesting charges, a silly little star-struck English girl who had flown all the way out to America to “support” him, telling a reporter that the verdict proved that the three people who had accused Michael Jackson of abusing them (at different times) were “liars.”  Of course she was talking a load of rubbish, but it gave a powerful insight into the warped mind of the immature, adolescent fan – the type who loves the famous and wants to be famous herself (probably a “modu”).

I remembered wondering at that time if the empty-headed little idol-worshipper would have dropped everything and travelled thousands of miles to support a poor man accused of a crime whom she thought to be innocent.  But then again, perhaps the question was unfair because she wouldn’t even know of such a case.  It was obvious that she didn’t take an active interest in miscarriages of justice, controversial prosecutions or the innocence project.  She was simply a muddle-headed schoolgirl who wanted to support her idol regardless of whether he was innocent or guilty.

I remember also Michael Jackson’s claim that children come to his bedroom and that he “couldn’t stop them.” However, as one news organization pointed out at the time: no one gets to Michael Jackson’s bedroom unless he wants them to.

The reason this all came back just now is because it is these same empty-headed lunatics who were demonstrating outside a Los Angeles  courtroom for a very different reason these last few weeks.  This time it was not to support the accused but to crucify him.  That Michael Jackson’s death was the result of the cumulative effect of his lifestyle, they simply didn’t care.  That Michael Jackson was an accident waiting to happen mattered not.  That Michael Jackson was a man who was not used to hearing the word no – at least not since he escaped the clutches of his violent father – was of no significance to them.  That Conrad Murray had been on Jackson’s medical team for less than a month was ignored by jurors and Jackson fans alike.

As far as these moronic fans were concerned, Michael Jackson could do no wrong.  When he was accused of wrongdoing, his accusers were “liars.”  When he was the victim of his own poor life choices, he was the victim of others.

In the trial itself, the prosecution lawyers made mountains out of molehills – such as the fact that the doctor used an unorthodox method of CPR.  This may have a mistake, but it hardly adds up to negligence.  It was merely used to make him seem like a man who didn’t care – when in fact all it shows is that he was a man who lost his head in a crisis.  That shouldn’t happen to a doctor, but it can.  Worse still, the defence lawyers put up a surprisingly lacklustre defence – almost as if they didn’t want to be tainted by trying too hard to help the man whom the Jackson fans “knew” was guilty – in case it had a knock-on effect on their defence of others in the future.  (This actually happened with Barry Scheck in the Louise Woodwood case after he had successfully co-defended O J Simpson.)

With such a one-sided contest, it is hardly surprising that the baying mob of Jackson fans got what they wanted. La Toya Jackson described the verdict as “wonderful.”  Now La Toya Jackson has had a less than happy life, so perhaps she should not be judged too harshly.  After escaping from Jack Gordon, her abusive husband (who had been hired by her father to manage her career) she claimed that it was Gordon who had forced her to support the accusations of child molesting aimed against brother Michael.  This may be true, but in the course of supporting those accusations, she did raise a legitimate question when she asked whether it was appropriate for an adult male to be taking other people’s children into his bed when he was not related to them or their parents.

Now I am not saying that I am in any way happy about Michael Jackson’s death.  His first hit, Got to be there, remains one of my all-time favourites, as is the deeply moving She’s out of my life.  But there seems to be something rather malicious and stomach-turning about the sight of those fanatics who supported Jackson when he had done wrong, baying for the blood of a man who was only on the periphery of responsibility to Jackson’s untimely death.  It is their double-standards, their sickening idol-worship and their general lack of morality that I find so deeply offensive.

 

Naomi Campbell has taken offence at an advertisement for a chocolate bar (called Bliss) featuring the words “”Move over Naomi – there is a new diva in town.” She has apparently decided the following:

  1. She really is the only Diva in (any) town, therefore the reference is to her and not any other Naomi
  2. That she is therefore being compared to a chocolate bar, and therefore
  3. That the ad is racist.

Now Ms Campbell had a similar problem in 2002 when she objected to being described as a “chocolate soldier” (i.e. some one who collapses under pressure).  This may in fact have been an inaccurate characterization of Ms Campbell.  A number of  cases have shown that she is more likely to lash out under pressure than collapse.  However, the inaccurate nature of the characterization, hardly made it racist.

Now, there are signs that Cadbury has sailed close to the wind on the use of racial stereotypes, if one looks at their past record of advertisements. Although in fairness to them, their usage has been humorous, to the point of parody.  But in any case, it is hard to feel any sympathy for Ms Campbell.  For she acts like a Prima Donna.  But she doesn’t have a monopoly on such behaviour and her actions hardly make her a role model – any more than Cheryl Cole’s violent episode in a nightclub made her a role model.  (She was Cheryl Tweedy in those days – and her antics were heralded by the brilliant tabloid headline “Girl’s a Lout.”)

It’s a thin line between “Diva and “Ladette” Naomi – even if one is from St Reatham.

 

For many years I loved YouTube.  As a child of the sixties and a teenager of the seventies I love it as a repositary of nostalgia offering me the sounds of Herman’s Hermits, Manfred Mann, Marmalade, the Hollies, Don McLean, Albert Hammond, Jim Croce, America, Colin Blunstone, Rod Argent and many others.

But lately I have seen another face of YouTube.  It has become nothing less than a conscious and willful hosting site for antisemitism.  This applies both to the primary content and the comments.  YouTube supposedly offers an opportunity to flag these hate messages.  But I have reported them on numerous occasions and not once has YouTube acknowledged my flagging, let alone removed the offensive material on the strength of it.

Thus it is clear to me that YouTube is both a conscious and a willing source of antisemitic material on the internet and it is getting progressively worse.  It is almost as if YouTube is inviting antisemites to post their hate-mongering sewage on their site.  This is ironic when you consider that YouTube is owned by Google, whose motto is: Do no evil.

Perhaps Google’s (and YouTube’s) motto should be: do no evil but stand idly on the sidelines and allow others to do evil while you rake in the profits.  (I suspect I know what the antisemites will say in response to this.  But if they do, then just on this occasion, they would be well-advised to do it anonymously – because my patience is running out.)