Just got back from the Odeon at Muswell Hill.
I haven't laughed so much at the cinema for ages. This is an absolute "don't miss". On a par with Life if Brian.
Sacha Baron-Cohen plays Borat, a Kazakh TV Presenter, who travels across the USA to discover the wonders of that great country.
I wonder if Eastcliffe Richard has been along to the Alhambra, Ramsgate to view Sacha Baron-Cohen if full flow, or is he too busy with the lovely Ms. "very" Oapen?
Has the Thanet Blog Brigade been informed of this unholy alliance?
HOW does Israel choose its ambassador to Ireland? If he was struck by lightning two minutes after he was born; if his mother had inverted nipples so he could suck no milk; if the rabbi’s scalpel was rusty and blunt, leading to full amputation of the organ in question; if his school was infected by scabies and he spent his childhood scratching himself almost to death; if he went bald at the age of 14, and lost his teeth at the age of 18 - well, then clearly he is a chap who is used to misfortune, and is thoroughly qualified to be Israeli ambassador to Ireland.
For this appointment would wipe the smile off the face of the happiest Jew in the world. Indeed, when Danny Kaye was offered the job, he promptly became a Mormon, and grew a foreskin. Because, there is in this country almost no popular sympathy whatever for the plight of the Israeli people, and wherever the wretched Israeli ambassador goes, he’ll be met by renta-mobs of ignorant hullabalooing know-alls, howling their anthems of hatred.
The apex of this anti-Israeli pathology is in the Seanad - surely the most redundant, conceited and dim-witted upper chamber of any state in Europe. This is the home of that grisly and self-congratulatory Michael D Norris-tendency, with their regular, shrill peacock-screeches of denunciations of anything to do with Israel (usually after some disingenuous declarations about
their love of Jews). University campuses, in their more modest undergraduate way, tend to follow senatorial example, typically with their banners proclaiming, “Lesbians, Gays & Trans-Sexuals Against Israel”.
What welcome would the Seanad or our university campuses extend to Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, whose forces have ruthlessly showered Israeli civilian areas with rockets? What greeting would they give the Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, or the Hamas political leader, Khalid Misshal? These fine fellows want to introduce full-blown Islamic law to the entire area of Palestine, including Israel. Would they howl these creatures down, as they do the Israeli ambassador every time that gallant tries to speak in public? Do you know, I rather doubt it.
The truth is that any anti-Zionist Arab who comes to Ireland, regardless of the vileness of his general opinions, will be greeted as if he were the recently discovered love-child of Albert Schweitzer and Mother Teresa. No inconvenient questions for him about by which manner he
prefers to execute homosexuals - by pushing walls on them with bulldozers, as Taliban did, or the rather more existentially satisfying one of the crowd being allowed to stone them to death, as in Iran and Saudi. Ditto harlots. Ditto women who have been raped and can’t prove they didn’t
It is not merely the sheer stupidity of the reflexive anti-Israeli attitude in Ireland, but its
counter-emotionalism which is so stunning. If most people judge an issue by consulting their feelings - which, regretably, is usually the case in this country - then surely some hearts, if only out of sentiment alone, should be moved by Israel’s dilemma. After all, the Jewish state is
smaller in area than Munster, and is surrounded by a hostile Arab landmass the size of the continental United States. It has not known general peace in 60 years.
Instead, almost all traditions of supporting the underdog, of siding with the weakest, of sympathising with those who have been oppressed for hundreds of years, vanish completely when the weak, oppressed underdog is Jewish and Israeli. And please, please spare me talk about the powerlessness of the Palestinians compared to the military might of Israel.
Both are meaningless illusions when confronted by the demographics of the region and the cult of the suicide bomber. Laser-guided missiles can do nothing to prevent the Arabs of the region dramatically out-breeding Jews in the next half a century: smart technology cannot thwart the smarter suicide-bomber, who in a heterogeneous and open society like Israel will sooner or later blow apart the school bus or the bar-mitzvah.
The generalised Arab intifada against Israel took a new shape earlier this year, with the ceaseless rocket bombardment of Israeli cities - usually from the very areas which the Israelis had, under international pressure, obligingly just vacated. The Israeli response was exactly in
line with the expectations of Hizbollah. The latter’s men used civilian areas to attack Israeli towns, largely inaccurately, and imbecilic; but largely accurate Israeli counter-fire then killed sleeping civilians, as intended. Both sides were obediently following some abominable
master-plan in which Hizbollah behaved with diabolical cunning, and the Israelis with abysmal stupidity. The result? Thousands dead, and Israel’s international reputation even lower then before. Hizbollah is now the great political and military force of Lebanon, just as Hamas
is amongst Palestinians.
I write this today because I have just read - with weary predictability: and I say that with some justification, because I did, with great weariness, predict it - that Hizbollah are back in business on the Israeli border. Armed militants are re-establishing themselves in bunkers there, and Israeli intelligence reports they have 20,000 rockets. Their leader, Sheikh Nasrallah, disagrees. He says they actually have 30,000.
No doubt we’ll see who’s right over the coming months.