The Politics of Hypocrisy


The actions of the New York Yankees in pulling tenor Ronan Tynan from his gig at their stadium over a passing and rather innocuous comment he made to a Jewish doctor, displays a sickening hypocrisy which is becoming increasingly endemic in our society. Apparently the incident happened when the 49-year-old Tynan met a real estate agent who was showing an apartment on his floor to a potential buyer, Gabrielle Gold-von Simson, a Jewish pediatrician from the NYU Medical Center. The real estate agent said to the tenor,

“Don’t worry they are not Red Sox fans,”

To which Tynan replied, “I don’t care about that, as long as they are not Jewish,” Von-Simson told NBC New York.

“Why is that?” the good Doctor asked of the singer.

Tynan replied that two Jewish ladies had been looking at the apartment before and they were “scary,” according to Von-Simson.

The singer now says the remarks were made in jest, a reference to the fact that the two women were very demanding and somewhat unfriendly, an opinion both Tynan and the Real Estate agent had formed on meeting them. The doctor chose not to see it that way.

“I didn’t know him at all so how could I take it as a joke,” said Von-Simson.

Tynan, for his part, apologised and claimed it was just a “misunderstanding”, however this did not prevent the NY Yankees from rushing to judgement and banning him from singing at their game, in an effort one presumes, to satisfy the Jewish community that the Yankees are not anti-Semitic.

This is the sort of hypocrisy and moral cowardice that allows Israel to slaughter thousands of innocent men women and children in Gaza at the beginning of the year in an orgy of butchery and crimes against humanity now being investigated by the UN, yet punishes a man who clearly does not hold, nor ever did hold any anti-Semitic views. It is the sort of hypocrisy that rails against the ruthless cowardice of a suicide bomber slaughtering innocents in a crowded market, yet finds nothing wrong with doing the exact same thing from a F16 bomber plane. It is the type of hypocrisy that sees our own Alan Shatter, Fine Gael’s Shadow ‘Minister for Children’, defend the slaughter, despite his and his parties long-standing condemnatory stance against IRA violence here in our own country.

It is the sort of hypocrisy that allows Dr Gold-von Simson turn a throwaway remark about two Jewish women to whom Tynan clearly took a personal, rather than racist dislike, into an anti-Semitic controversy when clearly there was no anti-Semitism meant or intended.

In short it is a hypocrisy that on  many levels sullies the names of those lost in the holocaust by its blatant misuse of their suffering to further a political and religious cause, something which Mr Von-Simson seems to have no qualms about in his rush to take offence and to accuse an innocent man of anti-Semitism.

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About Ronan Gallagher

Writer and Film-maker living and working in Leitrim in the North West of Ireland. View all posts by Ronan Gallagher

2 responses to “The Politics of Hypocrisy

  • Martin Prendergast

    Ronan,
    Very interesting! Mr. Tynan can be forgiven for finding older Jewish ladies “scary”…..maybe he was overcome by a bout of “Early Hallow’een Fever”.
    Would Dr. Gold-von Simson have taken such offence if the quip had been “as long as they’re not Black” or “as long as they are not Hispanic”. Jews, and especially American Jews are hyper-sensative, and maybe deservedly so. I respect thier right to be sensative but I resent thier tendency towards self-pity and preciousness.
    An Irish guy gets fired from singing the American National Anthem at a baseball game because of a joking remark he made about two old Jewish ladies……you couldn’t make this stuff up!!

    • Ronan Gallagher

      Indeed Martin. I think that one can be too over sensitive and this can have catastrophic results for innocent people whose throwaway remarks are turned against them in a very non productive and destructive way. Having said that, and though I am not comparing like with like, I do know what it was like to be Irish in the UK at the height of the troubles. Sometimes it could be quite an uncomfortable even hostile place to be for many Irish people.

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