General Antisemitism

The Guardian: Fuelling Denials of Antisemitism


This is cross posted by Mark Gardner at the blog of the CST.

The [June 3oth] Guardian editorial, concerning the detention by UK Border Agency of Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, typifies the bias with which most Israel-related antisemitism is treated by large swathes of the liberal-left and far-left. It is no surprise: after all, the Guardian is the single most influential purveyor and reflector of such attitudes.  

The editorial is summed up by its 2nd paragraph:

What has made our government so agitated by his presence? Is it the fact that the sheikh was accused in some British newspapers and one website of making antisemitic statements, which he says were fabricated, and for which he has started libel proceedings? If so, the home secretary is applying a higher threshold for the public good in Britain than Israel itself applies to a man it has not been shy of prosecuting on other issues. Repeated attempts to outlaw the Islamic Movement for incitement have failed in Israel’s high court. Mr Salah has not been convicted of antisemitism, and spoke recently on a platform in Tel Aviv University.

The editorial ends, for good measure, with a snide swipe at Israeli Jewish racists, casually conflating them with Israel as a whole: 

In a separate celebration, Jerusalem Day, rightwing Israeli activists marched into the Arab Old City shouting slogans such as “Muhammad is dead”, “May your village burn”, and “Butcher the Arabs”. This is racist incitement for which no action is being taken. Should Britain be taking lessons from Israel on incitement?

A reference to the antisemitism that is fairly endemic in many Muslim majority countries and utterly embedded in Islamist movements would surely have been more relevant when discussing (and so readily dismissing) whether or not Salah has a record of making antisemitic statements. Or, indeed, as to whether or not British Jews, and the British Government should be expressing concern about him.

This Guardian editorial, however, like the constituency it educates and reflects, clearly cares far, far more with bashing Israel than it does with seriously contemplating anything to do with Islamist antisemitism; why Jews have every right to fear it; why British Jews have every right to request Government protection from it; and why the British Government has every right to deny people entry on the back of this.

The Guardian editorial also reinforces and mirrors another aspect of the anti-Israel left’s response to the specific furore over Sheikh Salah: its gushing acceptance of his assurance that he is no antisemite; its ready belief that the widely quoted allegations regarding “Blood Libel” are somehow a fabrication;  and in believing that all charges relating to this alleged speech have been dropped.

We cannot be sure which of the antisemitic allegations the Guardian is aware of (the “Blood Libel” is not the only one), so we cannot really know which of the denials it accepts: but time will tell if the Guardian’s sources are as accurate as it (and Salah’s other defenders) obviously believes them to be.

Nevertheless, the symmetry between the instinct that this Guardian editorial displays, and that of the formal anti-Israel lobby is profound. Jewish concerns are essentially ignored. There is no serious attempt to contemplate them, nor to ask for their sources. Alan Rusbridger’s dismissal of anti-Israel media impact on antisemitism epitomises the attuitude.

Would other minority groups’ concerns be so readily ignored? No.

Would a far right activist facing antisemitism allegations be presumed the victim of a fabricated smear campaign? No.

Would a far right activist denying such allegations be simply believed at his, and his lawyer’s insistence? No.

When Sarah Palin mentions the “Blood Libel”, cue screaming Guardian articles. The contrast with their editorial on Salah, and their previous news reporting on it, tells you all that you need to know about the selective and predetermined outrage of the paper (and much of its constituency) when it comes to antisemitism.

Yesterday, CST Blog noted the unprecedented call by Communities & Local Govt Secretary, Eric Pickles, for the Equalities & Human Rights Commission to investigate the University and College Union for institutional antisemitism. Our article concluded:

…this is a potentially crucial moment in the struggle against the institutional antisemitism of UCU and similar bastions of far Left anti-Zionism.

The Guardian is certainly not the UCU, but some (perhaps most) of its staff clearly need to learn many of the same key lessons about treating antisemitism seriously.

The actual facts relating to why Salah was banned (the supposed subject of the Guardian editorial), was also covered this week on CST Blog.  

We emphasised that the banning was clearly the consequence of Government having very recently tightened up its definitions of “extremist” in the review of Prevent counter-extremism strategy, including its disparaging mentions of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-i-Islami circles in UK. Had Salah made his UK Brotherhood facilitated visit earlier in the year, perhaps he would have been admitted: but he did not. Our article included:

Jewish communities have every right to fear the antisemitism that permeates pan-Islamist politics. It should (but will not) shame those supposed anti-racists who offer unconditional support to Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat types here in the UK and around the world, and who consistently lie that Jewish concerns about antisemitism are a fake cover for Israel.

The Guardian editorial makes one solitary mention of the Prevent review, sneeringly stating:

If the home secretary is unwise enough to start applying her “prevent” policy to all Palestinian activists Israel has a problem with, Britain will face a backlash in the Arab world.

And there it is. Essentially, where Jewish communal concerns have been expressed as being about antisemitism: those are casually transformed into “all Palestinian activists Israel has a problem with”. The transition is so seamless, you have to wonder if the leader writer even realises what he or she has done. Which says it all, really…except, the clue lay in the title of the editorial all along:

Palestinian activists: unwelcome guests?

Not “Alleged antisemitic activists: unwelcome guests?”, nor “Muslim Brotherhood activists: unwelcome guests?”.

The editorial fuels and reflects all of the antisemitism denials of the anti-Israel movement. It is the same mind-set. Really, this has nothing to do with antisemitism, nor with a serious review of Prevent. Really, its all about Israel calling the shots over our Government; and what Israel wants, Israel gets. Israeli lies and Israeli control, all aided and abetted by its UK surrogates. “Antisemitic? Impossible, I hate racism, especially antisemitism. Nope, not me, guv. Oh, and by the way, not him either.”

21 replies »

  1. “We emphasised that the banning was clearly the consequence of Government having very recently tightened up its definitions of “extremist” in the review of Prevent counter-extremism strategy, including its disparaging mentions of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-i-Islami circles in UK.”

    Actually the banning directly followed the intervention in Parliament of one MP, Mike Freer, who represents Finchley and Golders Green:

    Mike Freer: “The Home Secretary will be aware that Mr Raed Salah has been invited to speak in the palace precincts. Given this man’s history of virulent anti-semitism, will the Home Secretary ban him from entering the UK?”

    Mike Freer is not Jewish but Finchley and Golders Green has the highest percentage of Jewish voters in the UK.

    • Actually the banning directly followed the intervention in Parliament of one MP, Mike Freer

      “Intervention”? I think he just wrote to the home secretary a while back.

      And if Mark Gardener says that the authorities have tightened up their definitions of extremists, then I believe him.

      What’s your point?

  2. Mike Freer is not Jewish but Finchley and Golders Green has the highest percentage of Jewish voters in the UK.

    Must be our long tentacles. Raed Salah naturally has nothing to say about gay rights and women rights to the citizens of the UK.

    You have to see this clip, undoubtedly you will like it:

    Dr Azzam Tamimi laughs with muslim Sheikh about a swastika on a blackboard

    • Yes, I saw it a few days ago. He is recalling a school boy prank, as many of us have done. The choice of anecdote and his (quite gentle) laughter are in bad taste but don’t prove antisemitism. The context, remember, was one of arab humiliation by Israel immediately after the 1973 war.

      • …are in bad taste but don’t prove antisemitism

        Is that because amongst the politically-correct progressive British antisemitism is not considered “bad taste” ?

      • So bragging about this when he is not a schoolboy anymore but a political activist is not antisemitic!?

        Thank you Sencar. You can’t restrain yourself from proving again and again to the readers of this blog your real identity.

        And let me show you a fact of life that you are not aware of:

        When someone (in this case you) sees in every political act (the banning of Sallah from the UK) the influence of the Jews (the voters of Freer in Golders Green) is called a textbook example of an antisemite.

        Maybe some member of the LGBT community also complained? Are they in the pay of the Elders of Zyon too?

        • “When someone (in this case you) sees in every political act (the banning of Sallah from the UK) the influence of the Jews (the voters of Freer in Golders Green) is called a textbook example of an antisemite.”

          I simply stated the facts on record. It seems unlikely that Freer didn’t have his voters’ interests in mind when he intervened. There are 649 MPs not representing Finchley and Golders Green who chose not to speak out on this issue.

          • His voters interests? Why? Are you sayng that the majority of the population of Golders Green belong to the LGBT community? Or have some negative attitude regarding Sharia and the denying of the equal rights for women?

            It seems unlikely that Freer didn’t have his voters’ interests in mind when he intervened.

            An interesting point. Until this day I thought that the job of a representative is to represent the interests of her/his electorate.

            • You seem to want it both ways. If I suggest that Freer was influenced by the perceived views of his Jewish voters, that’s antisemitism; but you then go on to say (quite correctly) that “the job of a representative is to represent the interests of her/his electorate.”.

              • Exactly. And maybe British voters – jews and non-jews – have a strong interest not to allow a well known hate preacher anti-gay and antisemite extremist Muslim to enter into the UK and incite racial hatred. But I’m ready to accept that this ban is against the interests of the Guardinistas in general and of you in particular.

                Tough luck Sencar

              • Sancer makes my point about democracy being a blunt instrument against Islamism very well. He points out one MP, one ( out of how many?), whose intervention he credits for Salah’s detention because the MP represents Finchley and Golders Green which Sancer claims has the highest percentage of Jewish voters in the UK.

                This is where democracy comes in (or exists upon your point of view): one against all those MP’s in Yorkshire, other London wards, the Midlands, several constituencies in Scotland…literally up and down the country whose very livelihood depend on the benevolence of their muslim bloc vote.

                As Britain becomes more and more Islamic/arabic, and less and less “western” Judeo/Christian, we will increasingly have Salah type of people representing us i.e more Lufter Rahmans, Jeremy Corbyns, Richard Burdens, Keith Vazs, and Yasmin Qureshis – less Mike Freers.

      • The context, remember, was one of arab humiliation by Israel immediately after the 1973 war.

        The only war that even the guardinistas wouldn’t say that Israel started.
        And humiliation? Sheikh Sallah would kill you for saying this. Weren’t you a total ignorant then maybe you would know that according to the Arab narrative it was a huge victory over Israel. You should visit the Victorious October War Museum in Cairo.
        This is itself is an interesting example of the anti-Israeli crowd’s perception of reality.
        The Egyptians have been forced to sign a truce in a tent about 1ookm from Cairo, the IDF on the Eastern side of the Suez-canal, the Egyptian army is in ruins, their main fighting force their 3rd army is in enclosed by the IDF and unable to lift a finger – a huge victory. Exactly like the divine one of the Lebanese colleague of Raed Salah who since his divine triumph can’t leave his bunker

  3. I have to say that it is a huge relief to me to know that Raed Salah’s anti-Semitism is merely the kind we all know from the days of our anti-Semitic schoolboy pranks. How we laughed at those swastikas daubed all over the dorm after we’d been humiliated by old Quelch! That showed him! Those innocent days of long summers and cricket and (quite) gentle anti-Semitic laughter and Sheikh Raed Salah of Greyfriars School…

    ‘I say you fellows.’
    Harry Wharton and Frank Nugent, in No. 1 Study, glanced round, as a voice squeaked in the doorway. Sheik Raed Salah blinked in, looking from side to side.
    ‘Oh, here you are!’ said Salah, ‘I’ve been looking for you.’
    ‘Now go and look for somebody else!’ suggested Harry Wharton.
    ‘But the Jews are the criminal bombers of mosques, the slaughterers of pregnant women and babies, thieves and bacteria down all the generations, human rejects sentenced by the Creator to be apes and moneys!’
    ‘And shut the door after you,’ said Nugent’
    ‘Oh, really, Nugent – We have never allowed ourselves to knead the bread that breaks the fast in the holy month of Ramadan with children’s blood, but what happened to the children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of Jewish holy bread?’
    ‘Buzz off,’ said both the juniors together.
    ‘Great God is this a religion?’ roared the Owl of the Remove. ‘Is this what God would want? God will deal with the Jews yet for these acts.’
    ‘If this is Salah’s idea of a joke, it’s time he learned not to be so funny,’ said Wharton.
    ‘Collar him!’ shouted Nugent.
    ‘Ow! Leggo! Beasts! I say – whoop! If my specs get broken you’ll pay, you bounders!’

  4. If the home secretary is unwise enough to start applying her “prevent” policy to all Palestinian activists Israel has a problem with

    What provocative bullshit that is – especially in an editorial. And where was the Guardian’s outrage at effectively the same ban being applied to Geert Wilders, Terry Jones (the pastor, not the Python) or indeed Moshe Feiglin?

    I don’t like any of them nor Salah – but where’s the consistency, Rusbridger?

    • Don’ go hard on them Pretzel. This editorial is only an bit stinkier the usual example of the steady stream of diarrhea coming out of the Guardian.

    • ‘I don’t like any of them nor Salah – but where’s the consistency, Rusbridger?’

      Well, we know the answer to that, don’t we?

      Shame Jonathan Freedland appears still in denial, though.

  5. sencar

    Raed Salah is a vile racist and homophobe, who believes in the subjugation of women. He is a contemptible hate-preacher whose presence in this country is an affront to human decency.

    Mike Freer did us a service by alerting the government and getting him banned.

    End of.

  6. Pretzelberg asks a pertinent question, but I doubt that he will get an honest answer from Sencar.

    Salah, as an Israeli Arab, gets a free pass from the likes of sencar to attack the state in which he lives, and according to the likes of sencar, we daren’t say a word.

    I won’t reiterate the antisemitism exhibited by Salah, but suffice it to say that sencar, in mentioning the Jewishness of Golders Green voters is subscribing to one of the oldest antisemitic canards, that Jews wield unnatural power. He overlooks, of course, that Mike Freer may well be perturbed by the antisemitism and other hatred spouted by Salah and his minions, and simply be wanting the best for ALL his electorate, by not allowing Salah to pollute the atmosphere here any more than it is polluted already. There are far too many Islamist antisemites and homophobes resident in the UK, who cannot be slung out because the benighted UK government has given them citizenship. It makes no sense at all to allow in any more if we have a choice in the matter?