Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mr. Myers, I Take Your Anti-Semitism Personally

Mr. Myers has now apologised. See below.

Anti-Semitism is never far from the surface:

Sunday Times of London Op-Ed Called Anti-Semitic Is Removed From Website
By ED O’LOUGHLINJuly 30, 2017
DUBLIN — The Sunday Times of London has pulled from its website an op-ed article denouncing the campaign by women of the British Broadcasting Corporation for equal pay after the column sparked widespread accusations that it was anti-Semitic and misogynistic.

The article, by Kevin Myers, an Irish journalist

with a record of provocative right-wing statements [and a Holocaust denier; really], had been commissioned for the print version of the outlet’s Irish edition. Framing his piece as an attack on the push to close the pay gap at the BBC, Mr. Myers wrote:

I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC — Claudia Winkelman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted — are Jewish. Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity. I wonder, who are their agents? If they’re the same ones that negotiated the pay for the women on the lower scales, then maybe the latter have found their true value in their marketplace.

Claudia Winkleman is most probably a distant relative of mine, my grandfather and her great-grandfather originating in Zbarzh.  I am not sure if Myers is Jewish but he is now out of a job having

suggested stars Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz earned more money at the BBC because they were Jewish. 


Editor Martin Ivens said he has apologised personally to Ms Feltz and Ms Winkleman for these "unacceptable comments both to Jewish people and to women in the workplace". He added: "It has been taken down and we sincerely apologise, both for the remarks and the error of judgment that led to publication."

Joshua Zitser has noted

But, there is a more insidious racism at work in the UK as reflected in Myers' writing: even in the most well lettered circles, anti-Semitism is unquestioned and tacitly accepted. I have on more than one occasion nonchalantly been reminded that it makes sense that I’m a journalist because, you know, “the Jews run the media”. It is often accompanied by a smirk and insistence that the individual is not anti-Semitic...There are real-life consequences of these comments; so many Jews I have spoken to are fearful to be open about their cultural and religious heritage because of the inevitable fear of anti-Semitic bigotry and, occasionally, violence.

Too bad for the Irish.


After more research and resourcing, he seems to be a very poor reader of other people's sensibilities is a generous thing to say about him.*



And yes, he has defended Israel.  But employing such an anti-Semitic trope destroys any value that support has.



Some responses.

And on Twitter. ______________

*  Someone had this observation on his Holocaust piece:

...he is being semantic and pedantic. He “denies” there was a holocaust because in Greek it means burning. He denies there were six million victims because (a) he doesn’t seem to understand the concept of approximation, and (b) his logic is defective (i.e. he think that if you kill, say, 6.1 million people then you haven’t killed 6 million).  It’s an idiotic way of trying to say that people like David Irvine, however vile, should be allowed so say what they like.

From the apology:
"I have many flaws. One of my flaws is to … deal with major issues in throwaway lines. And I did that with regard to the two women whom I identified within the BBC hierarchy who were particularly well rewarded."Mr Myers also said he was "a great admirer of the Jewish people".When asked how the article got published, Mr Myers said: "I am the author of that article. I am the author of my own misfortunes. I am the master of my soul. And I must answer for what I have done."But I don't think it right or proper for me to start saying some how or other, other people are responsible for what happened. I must do nothing that will bring ruin or unhappiness to other people."He said he had lost his livelihood and he did not want anyone else to lose their jobs. "Enough damage has been done," he said.He said he would guess five or six people - some in Ireland and some in London - would have read a column before it was published.Last Friday and Saturday, he said, a number of people "nodded on duty and let something through that shouldn't have got through". "But I am the author of this."...
"I am very, very sorry that I should have so offended them and I do utter an apology, not for any reason other than out of genuine contrition for the hurt I caused them but I uttered those words out of respect for the religion from which they come. And for the religion that I still hold in high regard, particularly the Irish members of that religion who have been so forthright in their defence of me generally."

And this:

'In short, I believe that those who have vilified Myers for supposed anti-semitism are wrong. If he was fired for this – then he was fired unjustly.  Those of us who call out genuine anti-semitism have a responsibility to similarly call out wrongful accusations of it.'

A semi-defense:

The point about this awful writing, though, is that Myers can do much better. This suggests to me that he hardly bothered to read over what he had written – and that his editors hadn’t the heart to do more than glance at it either. And this in turn points to something larger: in the age of Trump, far-right insult has become a kind of automatic writing. What matters is what it is not, which is “politically correct”, aka in line with the most basic standards of decency and good manners. So long as it is not PC, you can sell it by the yard. It’s a generic, mass-produced commodity...
They broke the only rule that matters – don’t pick on people who can answer back. Jewish people have learned from the most abysmal experiences to be alert to the tropes of anti-Semitism and to call them out when they see them. It’s a matter of survival. Myers was probably half asleep and wholly bored when he threw in some of those tropes to try to enliven the corpse of a moribund column. He woke up out in the cold he has so long pretended to enjoy inhabiting.


Unknown said...

Kevin Myers is not Jewish but he has been a good friend of Israel
which means that he was one of a few Irish journalists in that category

He sometimes shows a tendency to be pedantic in the use of various terms and therefore got himself an underserved reputation as a Holocaust denier

NormanF said...

Pshaw... its nothing next to Jewish anti-Semitism.

If YM tries to pray on the Temple Mount, he can witness the furious rejection by the state of Judaism.

Ken Myers is not as dangerous as the Israeli government.

Mr. Cohen said...

Pro-Israel Articles from Aish HaTorah:

Melvyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

None of these comments are relavent

to the fact that Kevin Myers has been a supporter of Israel in UK and Irish press for over 20 years

YMedad said...

So, is his anti-Semitism relevant to his pro-Israel stance?
BTW, any examples of his pro-Israel writing?

Unknown said...

I'm looking for a few bugs in my post. But I think I should have someone look and point out it.