LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I am a visitor to Ajijic. Although the Chapala climate is conducive to “the lamb lying down with the lion,” after reading “Thunder on the Right” by Paul Jackson in the December 2008 issue, I thought to myself: “Bah! Perhaps not just yet.”
Mr Jackson should watch whom he condones. Conrad Black is a convicted and incarcerated felon, not merely an ‘alleged’ one, as Mr Jackson eccentrically puts it. And Benjamin Netanyahu was once rejected by Canada as the proposed Israeli Ambassador—about the strongest statement of disapproval that one state can make of another. This fact will not make future Canadian-Israeli relations any easier. Mr Jackson’s glowing judgement of Netanyahu, based as it is on ‘Bibi-to-his-friends’ “soft voice and gentle handshake” is strangely reminiscent of Bush’s now infamous statement about Putin: “I looked into his eyes and found a man I could trust,” or words to that effect.
Furthermore, Mr Black, as owner of the Jerusalem Post, had nothing but a deleterious effect upon it. The internationally-respected Canadian journalist, Gwynne Dyer, fired from the Jerusalem Post immediately upon Black’s acquisition of it (by Mrs. Black!), had this to say about the event: “It [The Jerusalem Post] had previously been one of the liveliest venues for debate in the whole country, but under the Black regime it was turned into a house organ for the Likud Party and its hard right policies.“
And Black’s Canadian newspapers and media, amassed over a decade ago and then sold off in ruins prior to his current prison stint, underwent the same kind of Draconian changes and consequent disrepute under his mismanagement, arguably denying the Canadian people a fair and balanced view of politics in the Middle East for many years. Unless of course we read “fair and balanced“ in the sense that Rupert Murdoch, a soul brother of Black`s and one who shares his worldview, has endowed it with.
Logically, surveying the ruins left by the Bush Regime, Mr Jackson should by now have changed his views on pre-emptive strikes and unilateral action along with the rest of the sentient world. He has not. He is all for bombing someone. Anyone really. A strangely jihadist point of view for a staunch member of the stalwart right. A word of advice to Mr. Jackson: before you endorse a view, substitute ‘Jew’ or “Israeli” for ‘Arab,’ ‘protestant’ for ‘papist’ or ‘cracker’ for ‘nigger’ and then see how a sentiment scans. Thus transformed, Jackson’s closing anti-Arab statement would become: “Brute force is all that the Jewish world and Israel understand.” A statement I am sure he himself would abhor. And one that no doubt is frequently expressed by Mr. Jackson’s journalistic counterparts in darker corners of the Middle East.
A childish faith in appearances, gentle handshakes and unthinking tribalism have led the world into this mess. Only their opposite can lead us out.
Signed: A. Maidan
11 Cowan Avenue, Toronto, Canada
416 530 1408