Israel/Palestine

Christina Patterson: vindictive and ignorant

Guest post by NicoleS

Christina Patterson, who back in July despaired of her Stamford Hill neighbours’ uncouth behaviour, is now surprised to find herself on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Top-Ten list of candidates for the year’s worst antisemitic slurs award.

Who are these bothersome people?

Simon Wiesenthal, as far as I could remember, was the Holocaust survivor who was involved in the capture and conviction of Adolf Eichmann.

A quick check online tells her that this obscure (where has she been?) organisation:

“confronts anti-Semitism”, “stands with Israel” and “defends the safety of Jews worldwide”. Its last press release, before the one in which I star, was headed “Wiesenthal Centre Welcomes Rejection by Budapest Court of Libel Suit by Convicted Nazi War Criminal Against its Chief Nazi-Hunter Dr Efraim Zuroff”. Personally, I think I’d put that in my Top Ten Unsnappy Headlines With Way Too Many Capital Letters of 2010, to be unveiled on my new website, Fishbowl Hackney, but style, it’s clear from the cake stands, fig baskets and salt and pepper shakers in the online store of the Simon Wiesenthal’s “Museum of Tolerance”, isn’t anyone’s top priority.

What a classy critique. How, she wonders, can this deeply uncool outfit dare to label her antisemitic for an article criticising the limits of multiculturalism, in which she mentioned the lamentably unsophisticated Jews of Stamford Hill merely in passing.

Patterson goes on to perform a Livingstone manoeuvre, so well executed as to be worthy of a spot on “Strictly Come Dancing,” showing off her bigotry to full advantage. The “Wiesenthal lot”, as she dismissively calls the people who keep alive the memory of the Holocaust:

seem pretty damn serious that their support for “Jewish Rights in the World” translates into direct support of Israel, too.

Naturally, their charge of antisemitism is meant to cover up Israel’s depravity.

It doesn’t matter if a UN report says that Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla “betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality”. It doesn’t matter if its soldiers use weapons banned by the Geneva Convention. It doesn’t matter if they use a nine-year-old child as a human shield. It doesn’t matter if its citizens raze homes and build new ones on someone else’s land. Or if they destroy their neighbours’ crops and treat them like criminals. It doesn’t matter what they do. “We stand,” says the Wiesenthal website, “in solidarity.” And we know what they call those who don’t.

Stirring stuff, piled on haphazardly to the accompaniment of plangent violin strings. The UN’s condemnation of Israel’s actions was influenced by a large Arab vote. The white phosphorous used during Cast Lead is not banned by the Geneva Convention, although the IDF was reprimanded for using it in a built-up area. The nine-year-old child is possibly a reference to an 11-year-old Palestinian used as a human shield during Cast Lead, but let’s not mention that Hamas fighters regularly hid behind their own civilians. Israel has not built on stolen land but on occupied land, which is not the same thing, and though perhaps ill-advised, is not the root of all evil. But never mind about context, anything that makes Israel look evil will do.

Patterson looks down her nose at Jews and is the kind of journalist who is happy to circulate lies and slanders about Israel without bothering to look into them. She may not be an antisemite, but we can safely call her a vindictive and ignorant person.

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