Ten years ago – minus a couple of months – Deborah Orr declared herself to be “getting fed up with being called an anti-Semite”.
Clearly, Orr did not appreciate even then that the best way to avoid being called an anti-Semite is not to behave like one and her October 19th article in the Guardian indicates that the passage of a decade has done nothing to improve her ability for self-awareness.
This so-called “leading social and political commentator” obviously hasn’t got a clue concerning the subject about which she writes. The implication that it is Israel which defined the 1:1,027 ratio of the recent exchange shows her ignorance in a spectacular light. The fact that she fails to factor into her pernicious arithmetic the hundreds of Israelis – Jews and non-Jews alike – already murdered by the released prisoners, as well as those who will yet be kidnapped or murdered in the future, further indicates the malicious nature of her argument.
Her failure to mention that Israel made a similar deal with Hizbollah in the past in order to retrieve the remains of a Bedouin soldier and his two Jewish comrades can only be interpreted as deliberate omission. The fact that she even equates at all between a kidnapped soldier held in violation of all internationally-accepted protocols and terrorists convicted by due process in a court of law reveals that her motive for writing such drivel is solely political.
But of course Orr does not need to have any real knowledge or understanding of the subject about which she is writing, or to display any integrity in doing so, because her real design – as revealed in her final paragraph – is not the transmission of information to her readers or appropriate comment on a news item. She has absolutely nothing of relevance or interest to impart. Her sole aim in writing these four short paragraphs is to advance an anti-Semitic trope.
“At the same time, however, there is something abject in their eagerness to accept a transfer that tacitly acknowledges what so many Zionists believe – that the lives of the chosen are of hugely greater consequence than those of their unfortunate neighbours.” [emphasis added]
There is no point to Orr’s article without its anti-Semitic finale, and yet it clearly must have received editorial approval before being published. Apparently no warning bells sounded, no red lights flashed in the editor’s head. That could only occur in an environment de-sensitized to anti-Semitism by overfamiliarity.
These have been a difficult few days for reflexive Israel-haters such as Deborah Orr. Despite all the demonization of Israel over the past decade or so, the visuals of the exchange spoke for themselves. The difference between one sole pale and emaciated Israeli and the hundreds of well cared-for Palestinian prisoners was very clear to the world as a whole. The stark contrast between the Israeli public’s spontaneous outburst of joy at having saved a life (albeit at a terrible and painful price) and the meticulously orchestrated ‘celebrations’ of the release of mass-murderers, (complete with threats of new kidnappings) overseen by masked gunmen in the Gaza strip was not lost on the vast majority of onlookers who, unlike Orr, do not wallow in the bigoted idea that Israel is a “shitty and little” country.
Faced with the frustration of such an undeniable negation of her precious stereotypes, Orr did not reassess her stance, or even keep quiet. Instead she resorted to a four paragraph abusive rant.
Deborah Orr cannot be allowed to resort to the form of the previous decade by feigning surprise or indignation at being called out for that.