I've got what it takes to lead the PLO: Jewish good looks

'When you have five Palestinians together, you end up with six different opinions'
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There was a treat in store for delegates at the Conservative Party conference last night: the Agents Ball was set to feature Tim Rice and Michael Ancram, the party chairman, playing and singing Buddy Holly tunes, and Jim Davidson was also meant to be there doing one of his hysterical comedy turns.

There was a treat in store for delegates at the Conservative Party conference last night: the Agents Ball was set to feature Tim Rice and Michael Ancram, the party chairman, playing and singing Buddy Holly tunes, and Jim Davidson was also meant to be there doing one of his hysterical comedy turns.

This reminds me of a Conference Ball held by the Young Conservatives during the Eighties, when Kenny Everett (who was, admittedly, whacked out of his head) came on to the stage wearing giant foam hands and shouted: "Let's kick Michael Foot's crutch away and let's bomb Russia!"

A while later, I was at the BBC light entertainment Christmas party, when the head of light entertainment then, Jim Moir, came up to me with Kenny. "You know who this is?" asked Jim. "Yes," I said and walked off, thinking that I had expressed my disdain for the sort of entertainers who get involved in sucking up to politicians, but in reality just giving Jim the impression that I was involved in some queeny showbiz snit with Kenny.

Generally, I abhor entertainers getting tangled up with politics, but maybe I am going to have to reform my opinions. The violent creation of the state of Israel and the subsequent oppression of the Palestinian people has always struck me as being one of the great injustices of our age. After all, the poor Arabs did nothing to harm the Jewish people of Europe; if the Zionists wanted a homeland, why didn't they take a piece of Germany?

The answer is, of course, that Arabs then and now were not considered fully human by the Zionists and their supporters in the West (does that sound familiar?), and therefore their land could be stolen and they could be murdered without any qualms. This of course suited the Western powers - in truth, Israel is the last piece of colonialism, the last colony established by white Europe in the developing world, an aircraft- carrier for the United States to protect its oil interests and a wedge to drive between the oil producers.

Now, among the many tragedies of the Palestinian people, one of the worst is that, in this image-obsessed television age, they have in Yasser Arafat the ugliest world leader bar none. I don't know who the PLO's public relations people are (I doubt if it's Matthew Freud) but really, guys, get your act together. I can't help feeling that if they had had somebody more telegenic as their president then the Palestinians might have had a more sympathetic representation in the world's media over the years.

With the slaughter in Israel and the West Bank continuing, there is a need for a new leader of the Palestinian people, one who is less of an ugmo (not a problem unless Andrew Lloyd Webber wants the job), one who understands the Western media, one who is above the factional nature of the Palestinian liberation movement and one who is not a corrupt autocrat.

As a Palestinian friend of mine once said: "When you have five Palestinians together, you will get six different opinions." Therefore, just as Martin Bell was encouraged to stand as an independent at the last general election over here, I am prepared to offer myself as the new leader of the PLO. I will now list all my qualifications and then just sit back and wait for the phone call to come from Ramallah.

1. As I have said before, the Palestinian movement is infinitely fissile, full of competing and mutually loathing factions, but I can't stand arguments so I will give everybody what they want.

2. I am Jewish, which should make me immune to the charges of anti-Semitism that fanatical Zionists trot out whenever anybody suggests that Israel's constant use of torture and ethnic cleansing might be a teensy bit racist and wrong. I say "should", but of course it won't. The Zionists have thought up a good psychobabble condemnation for those Jews like myself who think that Israel is merely Serbia with yarmulkes and felafel. They call us "self-haters", as if our recognition of injustice is somehow a psychological condition. Well, I say better to hate yourself than an entire other people. And it's bollocks anyway.

3. I already have the headgear. I've got a black-and-white Palestinian keffiyeh like Yasser wears that I bought in Jordan five years ago, and I've got a white yarmulke that says on it "Efram and Zoe's wedding, Mill Hill, June 1993".

4. That great Palestinian Edward Said once said in a speech that those of us who are Jews should confront our co-religionists whenever they show any signs of the unthinking kneejerk refusal to believe the truth about Israel that even the kindest of them can be prone to. I have never had the guts to do this, but I think if I am chairman of the PLO, then they will get the picture.

5. I am not ugly or Jim Davidson.

Comrades, I await your call.

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