Freedland and the Death of History.

Simon Maginn
3 min readSep 22, 2022

Seismic developments in the Great Interminable Antisemitism Crisis, as literary doyen and omnipresent Guardian savant Jonathan Freedland airily declares that, whilst right-wing Jewish voices have not so far been heard, left-wing Jewish voices have been ‘overcovered’.

Now. No-one would wish to be in any way pedantic about this. Mr Freedland is an author, a commentator, a heavyweight (no disrespect) in his field. He isn’t some random-name-and-numbers twitter account shrieking out lurid, poorly sourced ‘theories’, he is a serious man, a person of gravity and a person of thought. An intellectual, if you will.

So I would not wish to contradict him lightly. I would not wish to raise some trivial objection to his comment. It deserves the most serious -

No, actually it doesn’t.

It is one of the most audacious assaults on reality of recent times. It quite literally seeks to rewrite — to invert — the last seven years, as if they were a troublesome passage in a novel. Just rewrite the whole damn thing. Reverse the polarity, so up is down and left is right and reality is brusquely shoved into a broom cupboard with gaffer tape over its mouth.

It seeks to assert that what we saw and heard with our own eyes and ears didn’t happen, and that, in fact, the opposite of what we saw and heard with our own eyes and ears was what actually did happen. So we didn’t see and hear an endless parade of anti-left antisemitism smears, whilst those accused were essentially silenced, we saw the opposite of that — leftists being repeatedly allowed on Newsnight and Today and Good Morning Britain to maunder relentlessly on about how they’d been falsely accused, whilst their accusers weren’t allowed out of the green room, and a BBC Panorama in which leftists told their stories, uninterrupted and unchallenged.

That’s what we saw, that’s what we heard, says multiple award-winning journalist Jonathan Freedland.

Don’t you remember?

I have as yet seen no rebuttal or challenge to the eminent Mr Freedland’s casual revelation of this poorly fabulated pseudo-reality. There appears to be no-one who will call out that this Emperor ain’t got a stitch on, that this rewrite has jumped the shark.

Tacit agreement. I imagine people looking at the floor, shuffling their feet. ‘Yes Mr Freedland,’ they say, ‘yes that’s how it was.’ They probably can’t look him in the eye. Or themselves in the mirror. The silence here is a yawning chasm, a queasy collusion with a falsehood so glaring, so simply undeniably false, that acquiescence with it has apparently all but erased their sense of reality. Reality is defeated, reality is tied up in a sack and thrown in a canal, and there are no witnesses, for all the witnesses are silent.

Playwright and novelist Mr Freedland has created his masterpiece, he has done what so few before him have ever achieved, and he has done it without the least opposition or challenge: he has written a new past. A new reality. A new history.

I salute the audacity, of course. I salute this bold new age, which writes whatever past it damn well likes.


History is whatever the honoured and distinguished journalist and author Mr Freedland says it is.