Absence seems to have made the heart grow fonder for those at the Spectator magazine: events of three years ago have been forgotten as Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips has once again been permitted to rant freely upon its pages. The subject – what else? – has been Israel, and why anyone not reporting from Gaza as she would wish is wrong, and evil with it.
Definitely not fair and balanced
After Alastair Crooke, director of Conflicts Forum, took legal action against the Speccy over one of Mel’s rants, according to Mehdi Hasan, “a well-connected source tells me that the payout to Crooke cost the Spectator ‘tens of thousands of pounds’ and left Fraser Nelson and Andrew Neil ‘furious’ with her”. This followed an apology to Mohammad Sawalha of the British Muslim Initiative the previous year.
So what’s in her latest rant? Do we need to subscribe? Not at all: she’s helpfully Tweeted a summary: “Silence of Cameron and Miliband in face of anti-Jew/Israel madness makes them complicit in British crisis of decency ... Warped dishonest reporting of Gaza makes UK media accessories to murder and incitement to hatred”. As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point.
And, as the man said, there’s more: “West’s hate-in v Israel has exactly same features as anti-Semitism: double standards, blood libel, Jewish conspiracy ... Zionism = Jewish self-determination: hating Israel = hating Judaism. Vilifying Israel causes pogroms”. That criticism does not equal hatred is not allowed to enter: the banshee scream howls down all attempts at reason.
Then she tells “What our leaders would say if they really cared about defending Britain’s Jews”, so yet another false assumption. And the veracity and reason behind this particular rant can be judged by what she in turn judges to be reliable citations. Like the Gatestone Institute, at present headed up by John “Wiggy” Bolton, and a haven for Neo-Cons with a reputation for Islamophobia.
Or how about Mark Steyn, another Islamophobe? Mel is more than happy to cite his rantings. She then sells the pass by citing the batshit collective that is Breitbart London, which, as I pointed out yesterday, features contributors given to exaggeration, sleight of hand and forthright dishonesty. But then, Mel would happily cite Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) as well.
And the desperation of her citations knows no bounds: here’s one of many citing the Times of Israel. That would be the same Times of Israel that published a post from Yochanan Gordon on the conflict in Gaza titled “When Genocide is Permissible” and suggesting that the IDF would be OK to wipe out the entire 1.8 million population, if that is what it takes to give Israelis a suitably quiet life.
It will be interesting to hear Fraser Nelson and Andrew Neil respond to that one.