10 Jul 2012
If it is always difficult to be a judge of human character. All the more so when dealing with a foreigner, someone whose personality and deeds we can only know piecemeal.
Ms. Rahola is a highly dubiuos moral character who after retiring from active politics (the political party she founded failed cataclismically despite powerful backers and rich if shady donors) has been making a life as a TV personality on Spanish TV. She is well known for the detailed description of her sexual life on prime time ("My husband and I have already gone through three different beds") or for calling on air a rival politician "a dirty sow".
It is true that she has written valiantly about Israel, it is no less true that she tones down her stance when on TV. Ms. Rahola is, I am afraid far, far closer to Jerry Springer than to Orianna Fallaci.
10 Jul 2012
I do not know Pilar Rahola personally and so I am not prepared to comment on your negative remarks about her as a television personality. I leave it to readers to judge whether she is closer to Jerry Springer as you claim by a brief look at the following summary of several awards she has received....
From UN Watch
GENEVA, March 30 – UN Watch is proud to announce that Spanish journalist and human rights activist Pilar Rahola will be the 2011 recipient of the Geneva-based human rights group’s Morris B. Abram Human Rights Award.
The prize honors the legacy of the noted U.S. civil rights advocate and diplomat, born in the American South, who founded UN Watch in 1993 after serving at the United Nations in Geneva, and will be presented at the organization’s 18th Anniversary Gala Dinner next week.
Ms. Rahola was chosen for her tireless championing of the rights of women and children, defending the rule of law, and combating intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism.
As a member of the Spanish national parliament from 1993 to 2000, Ms. Rahola fought political corruption, working on the Roldán Commission. In recognition of her investigation of government wrong-doing, she received the parliamentary prize, “Azote del Gobierno” (“Scourge of Government”). Since leaving politics for journalism, Ms. Rahola has become a regular columnist at La Vanguardia in Spain, La Nacion in Argentina, and Diario de America in the U.S, as well as a frequent participant in radio and television programs.
Ms. Rahola’s work on women’s rights includes her authorship of the 2000 book “Mujer Liberada, Hombre Cabreado” (Liberated Woman, Bad-Tempered Man). She also wrote “Historia de Ada: Los Derechos Pisoteados de los Ninos” (Ada’s Story: The Violation of Children’s Rights), a 2002 book commissioned by Oxfam International that confronted the critical issues of child prostitution, AIDS, child labor, and child soldiers.
The book’s name comes from Ms. Rahola’s reflection on what might have become of her own daughter, Ada, whom she adopted in 2001, had she remained in a Siberian orphanage. It also explores the state of children’s rights worldwide through the stories of individuals. Her 1993 adoption of a son, Noe, inspired her to write the book “Letter to My Adopted Son,” which relates the fears, struggles, and yearning of her experience. The book has become a classic text on adoption.
Ms. Rahola has been an outspoken opponent of contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance. In 2003 she was awarded the “Betera en Lilà” prize for her struggle against gender inequality and violence. In 2004, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Santiago de Chile for championing fundamental human rights. She has been recognized by many others for her commitment to the principles of human rights, democracy and anti-racism.
Rahola is also a vigorous opponent of the inhumane treatment of animals. Her columns in La Vanguardia and other newspapers have sharply criticized bullfighting and other forms of animal abuse. She has been active with the Association Defensa Derechos Animal, a leading Spanish NGO for the well-being of animals, and Fundación Altarriba – Amigos de los Animales, an animal welfare foundation.
Previous recipients of UN Watch human rights awards include Esther Mujawayo, an activist for victims of the genocide in Rwanda; Nazanin Afshin-Jam, the founder and president of Stop Child Executions; and Dr. Massouda Jalal, the first woman in Afghanistan to run for president and to serve as Minister for Women’s Affairs
27 Jul 2012
Dear Mr. Berdichevsky,
Further to my previous comment I must add that Ms. Rahola is not only a highly dubiuous moral character but also has been implicated in several scandals of corruption. Ms. Rahola got fundedr her short-lived "Independence Party" from the "Palau de la Musica" as proved by the respected journalist Manuel Trallero who's written the book "Musica Celestial" (link only in Spanish I am afraid).
Please note Mr. Berdichevsky that I am writing to you as a long time friend of most of what The New English Review spouses and someone deeply worried that conflating corrupt, dishonest, mercenary Ms. Rahola with Ms. Undset and Ms. Fallaci could somehow taint the reputation of both these admirable women and that of the NER.
With best regards
30 Jul 2012
To Hannay (I am not sure whether to addrtess you as Dear Sir or Madam) and believe that your views would carry more weight if you submitted your full name rather than what appears as a pseudonym. I am certainly willing to concede that if you are indeed a resident of Spain with knowledge of Spanish and a sympathetic reader of New English Review, your sense of trouble and dismay over the character of Pilar Rahola may be valid. I wil suspend judgment.
As an American with a life long knowledge of American cultural and political affairs, I maintain that it is insulting and patently absurd to maintain that Pilar Rahola is closer to Jerry Springer than Sigrid Unset or Orianna Fallaci.