Monday, October 08, 2007

Pedantry

Alan M. Dershowitz, the Decents' fave American lawyer is keen on Anthony Julius, their fave British lawyer. Anthony likes Alan too, as Alan's website tells us:

"Anthony Julius -- Great Britain's most prominent barrister -- described him as "the advocate for the Jewish people."

Were I not a deplorable pedant I'd refrain from pointing out that this statement isn't accurate. (No, not the "most prominent" bit!) Anthony isn't a barrister, he's a "solicitor advocate". It does make you wonder whether Alan gets any other facts wrong.

11 Comments:

Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

I have seen a couple of references cropping up in the British press to Anthony Julius having "defeated" David Irving in the Deborah Lipstadt libel action which also rather erases the barrister (Richard Rampton) who actually did it.

10/09/2007 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

I said something on Splintered Sunrise the other day with which I shall bother you here. It's another Orwell point and it relates to Orwell's suggestion that in the Soviet Union, many Thirties Leftists had found a substitute for the patriotism of their youth: the mental habits, says Orwell, remained basically unaltered but the object of their loyalty had changed.

I would put it to the panel that much the same could be said of the Decents, with their loud and aggressive support for Israel replacing the socialism of their youth.

10/09/2007 06:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are, as Orwell said, many cases where the mental habits of childhood (patriotism, the Catholic Church) are taken across into politics. And I think you're right that within politics the object changes but the unthinking aggressive devotion continues. Ironically Orwell himself seems to have become such an object of loyalty.

10/09/2007 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

I think there's something very weird going on - see for example this bit on Harry's Place, where the "whistleblower" seemingly thinks he's caught a load of absolute smoking guns of anti-Semitism but (to my eyes anyway) he definitely hasn't.

10/09/2007 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

You know, it's funny, but if anti-Semitism really were as rife on the left as the HPers and Engageniks claim, you'd think it would be a little easier to locate unequivocal examples of same.

Mind you, David can't recognise unequivocal hatred of Muslims when it appears in his comments boxes, so perhaps he's using some of those experimental glasses which cause the wearer to see everything upside down....

10/09/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

I can't believe that I forgot to note in passing that the worst charge they seem to have come up with is that some people on that mailing list compared Gaza to the Warsaw ghetto - which of course, Oona King also did when she was MP for Bethnal Green & Bow.

10/09/2007 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those smoking guns are not at all smoking, and prove beyond all doubt that the 'anti-semitism' they apparently display is truly in the eye of the beholder. In fact as usual it mainly resides in what the commentators decide is NOT being said, but is 'obviously' implied.

What makes the discussion even more ridiculous is that the main problem the HP bloggers seem to have with these people is that they teach at 'minor' institutions such as - shock horror- colleges. What's the name of the union again?

10/09/2007 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

David T's comment is particularly striking. "I was equivocal about the sacking of the racist academic, Frank Ellis: but I think I should have been supportive of him. Similarly, I would oppose the sacking of any of these academics."

I wasn't crazy about Ellis's sacking myself, but it wasn't a case of thoughtcrime - as of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 he was actually violating his terms of employment by expressing the views he did. (Universities are among the institutions which now have a legal duty to promote racial equality.)

I can't see anything remotely comparable in the extracts quoted here, most of which seem to fall into the "anti-semitism might lead to criticism of Israel" category. So what David leaves us with is "I support freedom of speech for racists, and on that basis I also support freedom of speech for critics of Israel." Cheers, David.

10/09/2007 09:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps ill-advisedly, I've put my tu'pporth into the HP comments, on the topic of our Oona. They really have surpassed themselves this time round. But not in a good way.

Chris Williams

10/09/2007 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

It is very very hard indeed to persuade me to access HP and I'm afraid you haven't quite managed there.

10/10/2007 07:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair point. On balance, it's still more worthwhile to spend the time productively - perhaps staring at the wall looking for cracks, or maybe counting your nose.
CW

10/10/2007 09:57:00 AM  

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