Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Martin Amis on Israel ABE GREENWALD (Commentary)

In an interview in the Independent, British writer Martin Amis makes some noteworthy observations about Israel, Palestinians and the British Left:

I know it’s a great tradition of the British left to support Palestine, but when you come up against this question, you can feel the intelligence and balance leaving the hall with a shriek, and people getting into this endocrinal state about Israel. I just don’t understand it. The Jews have a much, much worse history than the Palestinians, and in living memory. But there’s just no impulse of sympathy for that . . . I know we’re supposed to be grown up about it and not fling around accusations of anti-Semitism, but I don’t see any other explanation. It’s a secularised anti-Semitism.

For a writer who’s supposed to be too obsessed with dazzling word-play to make a point, Amis gets to the heart of this matter with surgical legibility. And for a public figure who’s been excoriated for supposedly racist remarks, he seems to have a pretty firm grasp on the insidious pathways of genuine prejudice. In fact, Amis’ great gift to the discussion of culture and religion in a post-9/11 world is his ability to expose the moral tourism of the left and redirect their accusations at the proper solid targets.

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