Neviim Tovim, blogs by Gillian Gould Lazarus

It Happened in Chile

Posted on: June 5, 2020

It has been claimed that during his spell as a sub-editor on The Times, Claud Cockburn and colleagues competed (with a small prize for the winner) to write the dullest printed headline. Cockburn only once claimed the honours, with “Small Earthquake in Chile, Not many dead”.

Locked down I may be, but I’ve had an eventful week on social media.

An energetic tweeter and blogger widely perceived as antisemitic entered into a conversation with me, explaining that he felt as insulted by the epithet antisemite as I do by antisemitism. When somebody describes their feelings, they are generally being more honest than when they tweet sarcastic gibes or laughing-crying emojis and I was mollified, even after one of his recent controversial tweets about the Chief Rabbi.

If there’s one thing I have in common with Jeremy Corbyn, it’s my belief that talking to the enemy could be the shortest path to peace. Bearing in mind that Mr Corbyn refused to enter a room when Chuka Umunna was sitting in it, I realize he has his limits and I do too. I tested my own limits by replying politely to an email I received a few years ago from Alison Chabloz, although I turned down her sarcastic invitation to meet for a chat and a coffee.

The day after my civil Twitter exchange with the provocative but emotionally intelligent tweeter/blogger, I found some offensive tweets in my notifications, from his followers or associates. Deploying the “talk to anyone” principle, I engaged with one of them, who seemed to have a nice side to his personality but the hour grew late, we were not reaching an understanding and I blocked. This angered him and he continued, blockside, to tell his friends that he felt dirty having engaged with the scum of the earth and with ultra right-wing ‘innocent killing, Jesus murdering filth’.

You win some, you lose some.

The next day, I saw the administrator of a relatively moderate Corbynist group on Facebook calling out fake news and doing it very well. I have said before that an honest, well-meaning administrator can make an enormous difference to the ethos of a Facebook group. While most of the posts on his forum concerned the tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, one post showed a soldier or policeman kneeling on an injured child and the text below the photo stated that the officer was an Israeli killing a Palestinian. The Spanish words on the officer’s uniform did make me wonder about the location of the event but Michael the administrator went further and identified the uniform as Chilean. Someone else researched the picture and found that the child, thankfully, survived. Members of the group were not one whit interested in the photo being from Chile. On the contrary, they continued to talk of the Israeli’s brutality and the murder of the child. To his credit, Michael and others as shown, explained over and over that the photo was not from Israel. My screen shots below show the trajectory of the ensuing conversation.

Regarding the gentleman who called me a Christ-killer, I have a screen shot for that too. Pilate may not have been a Chilean but I assure you, I never even met the man.

Some weeks later, on 7 July, the same photo appeared on another forum, ‘Jeremy Corbyn Should Have Been Prime Minister.’ This time, nobody saw the Spanish writing on the wall and the comrades got stuck in against Israel, at will.

Update: at last, news reaches Recognising Jeremy Corbyn’s Dedication to a Just Society that they’ve got a Chilean police officer in the photo. But as Jenny is quick to assert, ‘Israeli soldiers do use this horrendous method of restraint.’ How does she know? If the comrades don’t know that Spanish isn’t Israel’s first language, I’m not sure how much they do know.

3 Responses to "It Happened in Chile"

This is an eye-opener. These kids have obviously got a lot of humanity and compassion but relentless anti-Israel propaganda outweighs their limited knowledge and turns them into ferocious enemies.
Michael of course has infinite patience and a higher IQ and than all the members put together. Guides and handles them brilliantly. Has a writing style much in common with your own, Princess.

Thanks, L Sordo. One word I question here – ‘kids’. Many of these participants are mature, one might say senior individuals. Observing over a period of time, I see how often they mention their long years of voting or not voting, their retirement etc. And the photos, when they have them, often show them to be my own contemporaries, or even older! It came as a surprise to me at first.

They always strike me as being immature, semi-literate and gullible.I assume they’re late teens or under 30 left school at 16 as did I.
I read every word on the screenshots Quite a revelation. Extraordinary.

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  • Gillian Gould Lazarus: Thank you Keith x
  • Gillian Gould Lazarus: Thank you Keith, glad you read and liked it. Proximally and for the most part, Twitter continues to be a hellhole.
  • Keith Marr: Proximally and for the most part your blog is thought-provoking and informative as always. Thank you for sharing. Knowing you is one of the few pos
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