And there are many who believe that, as a journalist, I am also guilty before I have broadcast a word: guilty of being in hock to the all-powerful Jewish lobby, guilty of being in thrall to the Palestinian culture of victimhood, guilty of stirring over-heated controversy out of every spit and whistle in this corner of western Asia.
This presumption, that Jewishness must alter an individual's journalistic output, was applied to me recently too. Odd, since I'm not Jewish, have never been to Israel, have no Jewish ancestry whatsoever and am not even particularly interested in the region. What I do have is an Anglicised Irish surname - Leavy - that sounds vaguely Jewish.
A friend on Facebook had posted an article about Palestine and I responded by pointing out again that the Israel/Palestine conflict is very small compared with other, underreported conflicts. A mate of my Facebook friend was appalled with this, calling me a "racist zionist". I tried to explain that much outrage over Palestine was selective, since worse oppression elsewhere was often ignored. His response:
Levi fucck off. people like you have no idea.
Levi! I laughed, partly at the absurdity of it but also because "Levi" was a nickname in college, a joke on the similarity of my name to that of Jewish Italian author Primo Levi. So I was "Levi" once again, but this time without humour.
I'm not sure what he meant by "people like you". Was this an anti-Jewish statement? Did he mean that I, as a supposed Jew, could not understand the true situation in Palestine? To be fair this is unclear, he may have meant only people with my opinions. But it makes me wonder if this mix-up with my surname could happen again, and if it could affect how people read some of my work. How frustrating: to be considered part of a great Jewish conspiracy to control global media without getting to benefit from any of their apparent omnipotence!