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writes from Alberta on Saturday, May
Saturday, May 13, 2000
DEBORAH Lipstadt's reference to your person as a "bug" and a "fly" and her adversarial relationship with you as matter of "pest control" (Asian Times, April 18, 2000) recalls other uses of such insect metaphors employed by her co-religionists to describe their opponents.
There are several precedents. Here are just a couple. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, at the opening of a West Bank tourist site, on rioting Palestinians:
"We say to them from the heights of this mountain and from the perspective of thousands of years of history that they are like grasshoppers compared to us" (Newsweek, April 11, 1988, page 21).
General Rafael Eitan, the onetime Israeli military Chief of Staff, was somewhat more vicious when he referred to Palestinians under siege as "cockroaches in a bottle" (New York Times, August 5, 1985, page 1).
See: It is not at all unusual. Indeed, Abba Eban has decried the use of such ugly metaphors for being (ironic, what!) the "language of extermination."
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I TASTELESSLY referred in one May 1993 speech in Bow, East London, to the Board of Deputies of British Jews as "cockroaches", in view of their behind-the-skirting-boards methods of destroying publishers and authors. That of course was "vicious anti-semitism", in the eyes of Mr Justice Gray (although the context was explained to him); the defence had incidentally re-dated the speech in which I made the remark to May 1992, before the Board's secret onslaught on my name began -- a clear case of manipulation.