By Geoffrey Paul
November 25, 2010
I had to admit here recently that I do not get out enough, but unless, I am very deaf, I have not heard the echoes in the national media we might have expected after the JC’s comprehensive report of Mick Davis’s critical comments on some Israeli policies. Those reverberations might come yet, of course, and those who put their hands to their lips and urge “not in front of our neighbours,” may still be right. Mr Davis’s words could still be picked up and used against Mr Netanyahu and Israel. But it’s more than a week now and even a fastidious reporter, who did not wish to soil an ear by holding it close to the ground, must have heard rumblings of a communal controversy. Why, even David Milliband has joined in.
So why the silence? We know all the media read the JC by the freedom with which regularly they make off with its scoops. My own theory, still in the process of evolution, is that the newspapers, especially, just do not know how to handle this story. Here is a leader of Anglo-Jewry (and forget the Jewish Leadership Council, his role as head of the UJIA makes him a top leader) who speaks critical thoughts about Israels’ policies - or the potential outcome of those policies - which is not unfamiliar fare in the non-Jewish media. He seems to have the support of many of his peers. But Mr Davis and they remain dedicated to Israel, he most practically by heading the top pro-Israel fund in the land. Whoops! What’s going on here?
It is going to be interesting to see how the press resolves this conundrum. Or maybe they will not even try. And, suddenly, we will find ourselves nonplussed by the fact that it doesn’t really matter what we say in front of our neighbours. They don’t care. Just think what that might follow from that…