Cosmetics and censorship and slippery stuff


Political judgement can be a slippery, awkward-to-handle eel of a thing. In the past twenty-four hours I’ve come across two examples that’ve set me thinking.

The first involves cosmetics. It seems Garnier has air-dropped lots of their products so that Israeli women soldiers can look good as well as fight effectively in the offensive on Gaza. There’s been a call by many, including George Galloway, for people to boycott Garnier and send back to them any Garnier products they may have and tell them what they think of them. I’ve struggled with this one but in the end I’ve decided it comes under the Myles na gCopaleen heading. Yes, the boycott of Israeli goods, if it helps pressure Israel into ending the butchering of men, women and children, is a good thing. But I don’t know if Garnier is the most effective place to start. There must be surely other products used by Israeli troops that are more central to the slaughter. Like guns. Or tanks. Or bombs. When you mention this possibility to people who are committed to boycotting Garnier goods, they get quite tetchy. The implication is, if you don’t sent back your Garnier stuff, you’re pro-Israeli. Except that I haven’t any Garnier products myself to send back.

The other is over a full-page ad that appeared in The Guardian  yesterday. It was totally pro-Israel and accused Hamas of offering children in sacrifice, a practice the Jewish people abandoned thousands of years ago. They were doing this, the full-page ad claimed, by placing their rockets near schools and nurseries and the like, so when Israel shelled those places, children were inevitably killed.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure that this is a classic case of blaming the victim. “You made me kill your children – shame on you!”  That’s effectively the argument – one advanced years ago by former Israel prim minister Golda Meir. It’s so obviously a distortion of the truth, I would think there’s a fair chance that this would become an arrest-Gerry-Adams moment: that people would see the deep hypocrisy involved and redouble their efforts against Israel’s brutal policy.

But the slippery bit comes with the belief many hold, that The Guardian  should never have printed such lies. Mmm. I disagree (I think). The Guardian like most newspapers lives by advertising income. If it starts accepting some ads which chime with their general outlook and rejecting others, not only will they lose money but they could be accused of censorship. Something important is involved here. When you disagree energetically with someone, it doesn’t mean it’s OK to treat them differently. We had a local example with that anti-internment march in Belfast. Some people condemned the march on the grounds that dissident republicans, opposed to the Good Friday Agreement and all its out-workings, were involved. Again, I disagree. In fact, the more you disagree/dislike someone, the more important it is that you make sure those people have the same legal rights as you and your nice Auntie Maggie. Once we start turning our back on people because we disagree with them, we’re landed back in the bad old days of Section 31 and the British broadcasting ban.

As I say, it’s slippery but it can and should be grasped.

18 Responses to Cosmetics and censorship and slippery stuff

  1. Norma wilson August 12, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Tell me Jude,

    I don’t recall when the Irish were bombing and wrecking havoc all over England, and supporting hunger strikes, and dirty protests, I don’t recall any banning of Irish products?

    I don’t hear to much from you either about the Christians up the mountain without food and water, and shelter?

    Do you hate the Israelis so much? By the way, if you are going to start with Garnier, you are in for a rude awakening don’t stop there.

    You do not get 155 Nobel peace wards for being stupid! If the Israelis wanted to finish the Palestians off in the next 10 minutes they could, and I have told them through media channels, do not worry about world opinion.

    The truth is, you really don’t give a toss about the Palestians, why should you, their own people don’t, you make them out to be Saints, you pick through the one sided reporting and become anti-Semitic.

    I don’t care what you and your kind think, it just goes on to prove, we really don’t have anything in common.

    I am truly disappointed.

    • Jude Collins August 12, 2014 at 10:27 am #

      Well Norma I hope we don’t have in common wild statements. One example: “you really don’t give a toss about the Palestians”. How do you know that? You’re entitled to your viewpoint but I don’t think mind-reading of those who disagree with you is the best road to follow.

    • paul August 12, 2014 at 11:04 am #

      Norma you state that ‘I don’t c are what you and your kind think” . What does that mean

    • Ruaidri Ua Conchobai August 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

      Your “you’re being antisemitic” accusations are both predictable, tiresome and utterly unjustified – people who oppose the evil of Zionism are not being antisemitic.

      Holocaust Survivors
      The Jewish survivors and families of Nazi holocaust victims, condemn the genocide of Palestinians by Zionist Israel; see – now Norma don’t skulk-off without properly dealing with the opinion of these Jews whom you presumably imagine are antisemitic?

      Holocaust victims Son Dr Norman Finkelstein challenges and lambasts Zionist Israeli supporters who try to use the antisemitic/holocaust cards to deflect attention from the evils being done against the Palestinian people in the name of Judaism; see

      The Right To Exist
      Since the 2006 Oslo agreement, both Fatah and Hamas formally accepted the right of Israel to exist but Israel has never – not ever – accepted Palestinians have a right to their own state?

      The only party to the present conflict calling for extermination of an entire people is the Israelis e.g Israeli politicians such as Ayelet Shaked have openly advocated all Palestinian Mothers be exterminated

      Israel’s sham “democracy” exposed
      Are these dissenting Israeli protestors being afforded their democratic right not to be arrested for opposing the evil being done in their name against the Palestinian people by your evil Zionist Israeli state; see

      Israel’s Evil Colonisation
      Israeli General’s Son Miko Peled exposes in great detail the original and ongoing Zionist strategy to steal the whole of Palestine and wipe-out the existence of the land known as Palestine

      Palestinian Plight
      Do you deny Israel has illegally bulldozed many thousands of Palestinian homes (chasing them off their land and into walled ghetto’s such as Gaza)?
      What do you expect Palestinian people to do in relation to this aggressive Israeli theft and occupation of their land – should they sit quietly within their walled and blockaded Gaza prison while Israel completes its theft of the whole of Palestine?

      Israel is the aggressive, illegal occupier uninterested in a peace deal until it has completed its theft of all Palestinian land… the sate of Israel is evil… pure evil.

      • Norma wilson August 12, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

        It just occurred to me, if the holocaust had happened in Derry, and the Israelis had SF PR, I mean you make it sound almost flippant.
        6.000 as opposed to 14 or even 3.800 in Fourty years.
        Norman if that’s how you like address me.!!!!

        • Jude Collins August 13, 2014 at 10:34 am #

          Norma: I think one essential point should be cleared up. No, two actually. One, any civilized or even half-civilized person would be horrified by the incineration of millions of Jews during WW2. Two, what happened in WW2 has no valid connection to the morality of what is happening in Gaza or has happened in Gaza. So I really think we should park talk of the Holocaust: I don’t think anyone’s in dispute that it was monstrous. We’re dealing with the Gaza thing. OK?

  2. paddykool August 12, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    ..We really do live in a world of superficiality and illusion don’t we? When we get to the stage when a woman’s makeup has to be …just so….. before she gets down to the more mundane and lyrical art of killing . Mind you …getting any woman to dispense with her favourite make-up product these days would be nearly as hard as getting them to stop filling their chests full of silicon and their brows and lips stuffed with rat-poison.
    What’s a little thing like killing compared to these more important thoughts of vanity and seduction?How would anyone expect Garnier or any of the other dream peddlers of the fashion industry to do any other? Women would starve rather than miss that hair appointment . The spend on cosmetics would sustain an African family for a year or two.Look in any boudoir or bathroom and be amazed at how much H2O can be converted into so many little pots and tubes and sold back to the fair sex ..and a growing number of the rest of us poor brutes….for extraordinarily inflated sums of money .Hollywood is not the Dream Factory any more . The cosmetic industry drives the publication of shelf loads of magazines …each and every one selling the same story under different titles in our local newsagents.

    …….Very important then….much more important than the rough gun that kills…..especially if your prime objective is to hoover money out of women’s purses.Will there be a boycott?I don’t think so… .Not when you consider that many women would n’t appear in public without first “putting on the face” before facing the world . Should there be a boycott ? Of course there should …but then we all live in this world of illusion where if someone can’t bear to hear all that bad news on the radio or television..they’ll simply switch it off…or maybe turn on Celebrity Dishwashers or whatever…..

  3. Iolar August 12, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    Labelling like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder. Foundation creams are purchased here, foundations in Gaza are destroyed, face lifts are paid for, the scarred faces and bodies of children are deprived of proper medical care, cosmetic surgery irrespective of the cost is the norm in the “civilized” west, life saving surgery in Gaza is as scarce as electricity and water. American/Israeli democracy means death, destruction and subordination for Palestinians.

    At least 11 journalists have lost their lives during the current siege of Gaza. Other journalists continue to undertake their professional roles while placing their lives and careers in daily peril. They deserve credit. Censorship demeans the integrity and professionalism of journalists. Chomsky posed an interesting thought on censorship during an interview with Andrew Marr.

    Marr said, “I’m a journalist. People like me are self-censoring.”

    Chomsky replied, “I don’t say you’re self-censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying but what I am saying is, if you believed something different you wouldn’t be sitting where you are sitting.” (The Big Idea, BBC2, 14 February 1996)

  4. Perkin Warbeck August 12, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    Ah, yes, dear Golda Meir, former Israeli PM.

    Such a long time since last we saw a mench of the little old lady some unkind folk called ‘LBJ in drag’. That would be the LBJ about whom other peevish persons used to chant ‘Hey, hey, LBJ ! How many kids did you kill today?”.

    History they say is about faces while Geography is about places. Or, if you prefer, H. is about chaps, while G. is about maps.

    Myself, whenever the redoubtable visage of PM Golda Meir which resembled nothing so much as a classified and contoured ordnance survey IDF map of Palestine, would glower across the TV screen was immediately put in mind of two things: the geography of chaps’ faces in general and a certain Scottish lady in particular.

    That would be Lady Macbeth who once made the throwaway remark: ‘All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand’.

    Or, maybe it’s another Scottish lady I have in mind: the equally redoubtable Mrs Doubtfire whose motto was ‘When in doot, lassies, fire !’ and about whom someone once made the throwaway comment: ‘All the eyeshadow, liners, lipstick, glosses and even powder, be it face- or gun- itself, of Estee Lauder could never ever make over this big physiog’.

    And with regard to the conundrum in hand, to boycott / girlcott or not, Goodluck Perkin is at one with Esteemed Blogmeister on this one: there is no turning back to the days of turning backs on folk we don’t see eye to patch eye with. Goodluck Perkin did not come to this decision easily but took care to first don his Pork Pie Hat. This is a ritual he always observes when it comes to matters which require pondering of an unusual depth.

    No, we must not return to the bad old days of Section 31 (did one hear ‘good old days’? Quiet/ciunas, down at the back there).

    Which neatly segues one to the Guardian. For did not the Guardian Angel of Section 31, none other than Congo Crisis O’Brain, aka, Conor Cruise O Brien eventually end up as the Bwana in Chief of the same Guardian?

    Having totally disregarded the sage advice once proferred by the seanchai and shrewd political scientist, Eamonn Kelly of the Kingdom of Yerra: ‘Coimead do shuil ar an bpussy cat / keep your eye on the pussy cat, tis de wans ye don’t see, dem’s de wans to watch’.

    Well, ‘totally’ disregarded is pushing in; ‘partially’ might be nearer the mark. CC O’B made sure to keep a forensic eye on the letter pages of the since deceased Irish Press for purposes of, erm, ‘making a list’.

    No, the seanchai’s shrewd and sage advice is your only man. How else could we have learned about the unspeakable atrocities of, to take a random example, the Limerick Pogrom?

    If we had not been allowed to confront the litany (one chooses one’s words advisedly) of
    barbarities inflicted on the Middle Eastern Minority of the Mid West – one bloody nose, two cauliflower ears and three – count them and shudder, 1,2,3 – broken collar bones, we would never have achieved the catharsis of admitting our collective guilt. And never, either, have achieved ‘the contemporary maturity of our Free Southern Stateen’. A phrase culled from the collected soundbytes of the awesomely ageless Professor Emeritus John A. Murphy, D.Litt.

    Btw, one is gratified to see that J.A.M. is being afforded the privilege not normally reserved for the geriatric, of throwing down the gauntlet to the Contaminated in the letters columns of The Unionist Times. Where other geriatrics might be content to while away their seer and yellow days, cultivating their geraniums or playing possum with their pet gerbils, J.A.M. will have none of such frivolities. J.A.M. in a word, still likes to spread himself about. We are, it must be said, the better for it. Thank you, TUT..

    We must also thank the anti-Jihadist Jim Kemmy, a party colleague of CC O’B, for lifting us all off our arsis and for putting the Limerick Pogrom on every TV and radio programme, unaffected by Section 31.

    And as for the defensive shelling by the IDF on Gaza: it is easy to see where they learned that particular military tactic. By tuning in to RTE and listening on podcast to its round the clock strategy of shelling its defenceless listeners with remembrances of WW!

    Lest we forget.

    • Jude Collins August 12, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

      Smart salutes all round, Perkin. Your bowling arm is a deadly weapon…

  5. Paul August 12, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Re: the Guardian ad, I doubt they would have run an ad by the EDL or BNP making the same accusations against Palestinians or Muslims in general. Newspapers have to make money but they have to be careful about the source. Wiesel and Boteach are Jewish supremacists (I’ll not use the f word but I certainly could). Their money shouldn’t be taken as it is tainted with poison. As for child sacrifice, the Zionists have been sacrificing Palestinian and Lebanese children on the altar of their racist fantasy for a century now. To Wiesel and Boteach, these crimes prove how persecuted Jews are. It’s a inverted world indeed. As for Garnier, if you’re gonna boycott, boycott. Boycott it all or don’t bother. That’s how it worked in Mayo back in the day and that’s how it should work now

  6. Pointis August 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    Jude I would agree with you on your view that the Guardian should take an impartial view on advertisements as long as they are not seen to be grossly offensive by the overwhelming majority of people living in the circulation area (although I suspect many Palestinians would quite rightly see the advertisement as offensive).

    Anti-genocide supporters should sponsor a rebuttal and counter charge advertisement calling for donations to Gaza hospitals and rehabilitation funds. If the Guardian refuse to publish then it would be fair to call for a boycott as the paper would have exercised a prejudice for all to see.

    In terms of Garnier, these sponsored products would appear to have been made specifically to the IDF and if the timing occurred within the last month then the company has made a political statement that they support the Israeli army no mater how many war crimes are committed against civilians. In this regard a boycott is the correct response. Why should any Palistinian contribute to the profits of a company who use some of their assets to finance the war effort against 5 and 6 year old children on the Gaza Strip?

    • Jude Collins August 12, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

      Fair point, Pointis. (That sounds odd)

  7. Paddy everton August 12, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    Maybe a boycott of the farm produce grown on land illegally occupied would be a better start.
    I’m getting pretty tired of the argument that any and all criticism of Israel equates to ani semitism by the way. I for one deplore the persecution that Chrisianity has inflicted on the Jewish faith for hundreds of years. I don’t oppose Israel because of the religion of its inhabitants for one second but do see that the Israeli state is guilty of war crimes and view it as an entity, totally seperate from Judaism. It is those who support Israel who keep making this totally false connection. Perhaps that is because they can put up no other defence?

    • paul August 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

      Dead on Correct Paddy e

  8. Virginia August 13, 2014 at 2:26 am #

    “The implication is, if you don’t sent back your Garnier stuff, you’re pro-Israeli.” Seriously? Who really had that thought? Sigh.

    • Pointis August 13, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

      No the implication is definitely not “if you don’t send your Garnier stuff back you are supporting Israel”! How is anyone to know whether you have sent it back or not?

      Sending stuff back to Garnier will have no economic impact on Garnier it would just be sending the company a sharp message that the general public do not approve of their methods.

      Boycotting Garnier products will have an economic impact over the medium to long term which will feed back directly to the board of directors and the shareholders that the company policy is not sustainable outside of the USA and occupied Palestine.

  9. Francis D August 13, 2014 at 6:54 am #

    Censorship is a problematic issue when it comes to political opposition. Should it be emoloyed against the Far Right Zionist Regime, or apologists for it? Of course it is questionable if such a stance would not get Ariels tuning into “what do they think we should not know”. For the Nazis to take out an Add deriding the “Evils of World Jewery” and asking for sympathy for the Regime having to liquidate these “Parasites”, would rightly be unthinkible. An Add likewise from pre-Aparthied South Africa, asking for empathy with the Regime enforcing its Segregation policies against the “militant and genocidal Cafers”, equally would cause revulsion. To give unqualified, and righteous legitimacy for the Rights of all extremities to pedal whatever misinformation, hatred and tripe they wish, is folly.
    The Israeli State is an agressive War mongering one engaged in wholesale Murder and Ethnic Cleansing…..lend it any veneer of legitimacy through printed media or elsewhere, is dangerous and gives it an unwarrented platform to pedal its Rascism and irrationalism in a semi legitimised respectible forum, where the can then cite their ideology has equal weight of argument vis a vis the Palestinian People who are the victims of such apocalyptic blood lust.
    Yes Censorship is used against the Left, and Such Righr wing Zealots, or even liberals can cite the Good for the Goose Good for the Gander Argument. The Left and social Justice progressives are used to Censorship in its overt forms, and more subtle Varieties. The Far Right to be given such credence should be qualified with the Watch phrase,- “Be careful what you wish for”. If the Sun Newspaper, and I don’t know if they haven’t already, were to adopt similar Adds, it wouldn’t be long before there is a general Whip Round for the beleagered Settlers trying to steal land in Peace…..People can be easily led and moulded. This has been proved historically time in, time out. With such a clear case of butchery as this, damn liberal sentiments methinks and isolate the Butchers with Boycott and silence. Any legitimacy whatdoever, Especially in such an esteemed and usually Progessive Broadsheet will be siezed on by these beligerenrs as quasi-endorsement and Arguably prolong the Bloodshed…..our Boycott must be absolutist in its Remit, until these present day Nazis get the clear message from humanity that stans shouldet to shoulder squarely with the persecuted….as we should