Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Avoiding Trouble . . .

Latent Anti-Semitism?

The intellectual chattering classes throughout Europe and the English speaking world have moved over recent decades towards anti-semitism.  There are a number of reasons or causes--all of them either specious or evil.

One cannot help but wonder what was really going on amongst the bureaucrats at the Wellington City Council.  It's actions and words imply, either latent anti-semitism, or a fear of retribution from (unknown) anti-semites.  Here is the story:

Israel Spat for Wellington's Children's Festival Artsplash

NZ Herald
Wellington City Council has been forced to apologise to multi-award winning lyricist Sir Tim Rice, after the word "Israel" was removed from his work being used for a children's festival.  Lyrics from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat were being used as part of Wellington's annual children's festival, Artsplash.

But the song sheets soon sparked controversy, after the line "Children of Israel" was changed to "Children of Kindness".  Questions were raised on Twitter by Kate Dowling, who asked why it was done.  That tweet prompted a response from Rice himself, who warned he hadn't given permission for any changes.  He described the "totally unauthorised" change of lyrics as "a terribly drippy and meaningless alteration".  Wellington City Council moved quickly to fix the mess, apologising and telling Rice they loved his work.  "A community coordinator made an error in judgement which we will rectify before the schoolkids perform in Sept. Sorry, we love your work."  [Wellington City Council--Artsplash]
So far, so good.  People make mistakes, right?
  But what followed is more noisome: the Artsplash folk removed the song from the programme altogether.  What was so significant about the phrase "Children of Israel" that it had to be stricken out by a censor's pen?
Artsplash Coordinator Mary Prichard told Fairfax the change was made to "keep life simple" at a festival for primary school children.  After the complaints about the lyric changes, organisers decided to remove the song from its programme entirely, rather than change them back.  Prichard said it wasn't worth it to go "looking for trouble".
Trouble from whom?   The United Nations Human Rights Council perhaps? Or, is it that Prichard has friends who detest the nation of Israel, and by implication, the Jewish people?  No?  Well, trouble from whom, then?

At its most benign, the actions of the Council might reflect supine "political correctness"; at worst, it may represent an attempt to placate the anti-Semites amongst us.  Either way, something smells.

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