Yesterday, I was invited into Radio Manchester again to discuss the Manchester celebrations for Israel's 60th anniversary, which will appear on their webpage. Here is a link to the original interview on Sunday:
The taxi was late, due to the aftermath of Wednesday's football match:
The driver told me he was a member of a Shiite sect from India, whose leader was extremely peaceful, unlike some other Shias, he added.
However, he then went on to tell me that the media (at least in America) was run by the Jews and that the Bill Clinton - Monical Lewinsky affair had been especially staged by the Jewish community to entrap the President, who had been moving towards the Palestinian side, he said. I thought it was a joke, but it wasn't!
Naturally, the murderous activities of Hezbollah were justified as a result of this Jewish conspiracy to take over the world - at least according to my friendly taxi driver, whose company has a contract with the BBC.
The driver did concede, however, that some of the media - the BBC for instance - were not pro Jewish, but 'objective'.
The guy was otherwise perfectly nice and civil. But nothing could convince him that in fact the Jewish population of the USA is now less than 2% of the total and falling. Rather a small percentage to be running the media and causing the downfall of a President, I should think!
The BBC laughed the whole thing off, stating that taxi drivers are notoriously bigotted and should not be taken seriously. But I have met some very bright taxi drivers before now, and do not agree that they are always bigotted.
However, the meeting at the BBC made up for all this. Not only did they want to know the facts of the celebrations for Israel's 60th, but the whys and the wherefores as well. What is the nature of the link between the Manchester Jewish community and Israel? What does the 60th mean for Jewish youth in the city? Should the whole of Manchester be celebrating - and not only celebrating Israel, but the huge contribution made by the Manchester Jewish community to the city itself?
It was a great meeting - serendipitous even - and hopefully I'll be able to link to the BBBC online piece when it is posted.
I wonder if the taxi driver will read the piece.