God spare us the Guardian's pet Azzajews. A few days ago we had one more of them, Howard Cooper, lecturing other Jews on how they should receive the transformation under way in Egypt, and saying, 'as a Jew I celebrate... the movement of the human spirit towards freedom' - this rather than being impelled by fear of the possible consequences for Israel. Now, as it happens, there's a core notion that I agree with here, as I tried to make clear three weeks ago; make clear not in Azzajew mode, but just on my own behalf as someone with a viewpoint on the matter. Why, then, does Cooper's lecture get up my nose? For three reasons.
(1) Jews have no special obligations in how they should react to events in Egypt, beyond whatever obligations people in general may be thought to have. Jews are merely people. They may freely form their opinions like others do, and if they go wrong according to Cooper's judgement, that isn't an act of bad faith - a notion he appears to misunderstand - unless there's some dishonesty involved in what they think. Cooper would have done better to confine himself to saying how he thought the world at large should be reacting to Egyptian events.
(2) While I agree that people - not just Jews, as instructed by Azzajews - should welcome the democratic struggles in the Arab world, and to that extent give some place to hope for a change for the better in all the countries affected, no one can be forbidden from leaving room, too, for certain fears. Above all, Jews in Israel and Jews who care about the future of Israel have some grounds for harbouring fears about its prospects, in view of the history of enmity towards that country in the region.
(3) Cooper's little lecture would have been offensive wherever it appeared. But for it to appear in the Guardian, well-known for its lack of balance over - no, its animosity towards - Israel, makes it especially repellent. No doubt, because it comes from an Azzajew, the piece will have been seen in the relevant editorial quarters as kosher. My response to that is that the Guardian can stuff its lectures to Jews (those from Azzajews included) into a green teapot. There are few journalistic organs less qualified to deliver them.