Guardian

Oh, Mehdi Hasan, feel free to tell us to “bugger off to Tel Aviv”.


This is cross posted by Richard Millett

New Statesman Editor, and CiF commentator, Mehdi Hasan

Last Friday Luke Bozier, a Labour blogger, said of Mehdi Hasan, the embattled Senior Editor (politics) at the New Statesman magazine:

“Wouldn’t it be good if he just buggered off to Tehran.”

It was in response to Hasan’s [‘Comment is Free’] article the previous day If you lived in Iran, wouldn’t you want the nuclear bomb? which some commentators have interpreted as a call by Hasan for Iran to develop a nuclear bomb.

Yesterday Hasan posted a response to the criticism of his article and made the following curious remark about Bozier:

Can you imagine the media reaction if a British Jew wrote a column about Israel which prompted the response of “bugger off to Tel Aviv”?

I can’t see the parallel myself. Hasan isn’t Iranian and neither does Bozier’s remark seem to be an attack on Hasan’s Muslim identity.

It might be in dispute as to whether Hasan’s article amounts to a call for an Iranian nuclear bomb, but what is not in dispute is his coming to the defence of the vile Iranian regime, describing it as “surrounded on all sides by virulent enemies” and he doubts whether Iran is looking to create a nuclear bomb when he gives credence to the regime’s rhetoric that its “goal is only to develop a civilian nuclear programme, not atomic bombs”.

And so Bozier’s comment is not so different from those by people who tell apologists for Hamas to move to Gaza if they love Hamas so much. It’s the same with telling Hasan to go to Tehran. It isn’t a racist slur.

And in reality, and Hasan must know this, the equivalent far-left racial slur against British Jews is for us to bugger off to Russia. I, myself, was once told to go back to Poland at an anti-Israel event in London.

So what a nice change it would be for British Jews to be told to “bugger off to Tel Aviv”.

Implicit in such a suggestion would at least be a recognition of the Jewish connection to Israel, a connection which both the Palestinian leadership and the far-left refuse to make.

But it wasn’t like that before 1948 when the common refrain of racists in the UK was for Jews to go back to Palestine. After 1948 it became politically inconvenient for the racists to suggest Jews go back to Israel, so Poland and Russia are now the new hot spots designated for us by the far-left, irrespective of the fact that Jews got slaughtered there in their millions by the Nazis.

And how ironic that Hasan now chooses to employ British Jews in his defence when he has previously shown us such disregard with his casual attitude to anti-Semitism.

In an echo of Ben White’s article in 2002 Is It Possible to Understand the Rise in Anti-Semitism? in which White wrote “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are” Hasan wrote in his article Does Israel “cause” anti-Semitism?:

“Nothing justifies anti-Semitism…But I do find it both tragic and ironic that the state of Israel…through its actions today…provokes such awful anti-Semitic attacks against diaspora Jews who have nothing to do with the actions of the IDF or the policies of Netanyahu, Olmert and Sharon.”

As The CST‘s Dave Rich wrote in the comment section of that post:

“The people who are primarily responsible for racist hate crimes are the racists who perpetrate them; the “cause” is their bigotry and hatred for a chosen ‘other’…You would not write an article lamenting that fact that Muslim immigration “caused” the recent arson attack on the Luton Islamic Centre…Don’t make excuses for racists, and don’t use racism as an excuse to score political points.”

And anyway, Hasan and President Ahmadinejad do have similar ideas which suggests that Hasan might actually feel at home in Tehran. For example, they both wish for Israel to be wiped off the map. In his article I’ve changed my mind about a two-state solution Hasan describes his own solution as being:

“a single, secular and binational state for Israelis and Palestinians. No longer ‘two states for two peoples’, but ‘one person, one vote’.”

And in mid-July 2009 he wrote of the Iranian regime’s Press TV that “not a single critic so far has claimed that his or her views were ever censored”.

However, two weeks earlier Press TV interviewed Hossein Mousavi in his prison cell in Iran asking him questions prepared by the Iranian regime with Mousavi reading his answers from a script also prepared by the regime. (OFCOM recently upheld the complaint of unfair treatment and unwarranted infringement of privacy in making the programme containing Mousavi’s interview.)

So, Mehdi, by all means hate Israel, excuse anti-Semitism and support the Iranian regime if you are that way inclined but please don’t try to use British Jews in your defence when it suits you politically.

And if anyone does tell me to “bugger off to Tel Aviv” I will be happy that, finally, they will have stopped trying to force me back to Poland.

16 replies »

  1. I have no truck with Mehdi Hasan – but where does he “hate Israel”, where does he “excuse anti-Semitism” or “support the Iranian regime”?

    And where has he told you or anyone to “bugger off to Tel Aviv”??

    Surely there are better ways of challenging him than, well, just making things up.

  2. Now, although some of you may howl with derision, I can actually understand why this Islamist and terror sympathiser believes that Israel causes antisemitism, although he and his kind actually either do that or drive it. And an understanding of cause/effect and the realism needed to apportion blame where it belongs are not the strong suits of Islam, so it must appear to this dope that antisemitism just “happens” as a result of Israel’s existence, that Muslims themselves don’t actually do it, and even where they do they cannot help it and must be absolved from responsibility and blame.

    You see, being devout Muslim at the interface with kufar he cannot, dare not be found to be wrong. If a person can never be wrong then it makes him profoundly uncomfortable when he actually is SHOWN to be wrong.

    Mehdi (kufar are cattle) Hassan is literally stupid. He presents fiction as fact when it suits him, and because Iran is an Muslim entity and his duty is towards fellow Muslims, he is willing to go to almost any lengths to excuse their execrable behaviour as he is required to do by his Islamist leanings, and particularly when it is driven by essentially stupid people and their supporters who apparently speak with an authority they do not possess.

    Such mulish stupidity and refusal or inability to deviate from it towards common sense is in a par with that of the equally execrable Inayat Bunglawala who, when invited by Joan Smith of The Independent in November 2007 to condemn the stoning to death of women for adultery said that it had happened during the lifetime of his prophet and that she was asking him to condemn his prophet! (see http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/joan-smith/joan-smith-islam-and-the-modern-world-dont-mix-760717.html).

    How on earth can such people be taken seriously in the 21st century, trapped as they are in dark ages mentality? Worse, how can they be put in positions of authority where they can force their benighted thinking onto vulnerable and challenged others?

    • I think you’re basically right. Mehdi Hassan shills for Iran because it’s an Islamic country, and because it is a threat to Israel.

      But I get the impression he’s pretty relieved to be living here with the cattle.

    • Their former darling, Benny Morris:

      When Armageddon lives next door
      by Benny Morris
      Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2010

      I take it personally: Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wants to murder me, my family and my people. Day in, day out, he announces the imminent demise of the “Zionist regime,” by which he means Israel. And day in, day out, his scientists and technicians are advancing toward the atomic weaponry that will enable him to bring this about.

      The Jews of Europe (and Poles, Russians, Czechs, the French, etc.) should likewise have taken personally Adolf Hitler’s threats and his serial defiance of the international community from 1933 to 1939. But he was allowed, by the major powers and the League of Nations, to flex his muscles, rearm, remilitarize the Rhineland and then gobble up neighboring countries. Had he been stopped before the invasion of Poland and the start of World War II, the lives of many millions, Jews and Gentiles, would have been saved. But he wasn’t.

      http://www.factsandlogic.org/outstanding_morris.html

  3. pretzelberg:

    1. He doesn’t think Israel should exist.
    2. He claims anti-Semitism exists because of Israel’s behaviour, which is a way of excusing it. Read Dave Rich’s reply above.
    3. Ok, maybe support the regime may have been too strong, but defending the regime certainly and certainly supporting Press TV, the Iranian regime’s mouthpiece.

  4. ‘Can you imagine the media reaction if a British Jew wrote a column about Israel which prompted the response of “bugger off to Tel Aviv”?’

    I think Hasan has a point against Bozier, in this regard (not necessarily the rest). I find Richard’s response unconvincing. Why not just admit that, for once, Hasan has a point?

    • Hasan’s underlying position is this. Iran is justified in acquiring having a nuclear capability. He praises Iran with faint damns preferring the Iranian leadership’s explanation that Iran’s nuclear programme is for civilian purposes. Israel has to be one of the causes for anti-semitism and is a danger to the ME, not peaceful Iran.

      Bozier has distilled the points and concludes we don’t need to read this nonsense, hence the exhortation for him to go and live in Iran where he will feel more at home.Not racist at all.

  5. Literally stupid?

    There is such a thing?

    What is stupidity unless it is literal?

    Perhaps a better stupidity intensifier for Mehdi kafar Hasan and his ilk would be plumb.

  6. Mehdi (kuffar are cattle) Hasan would wail and gnash his teeth, lemmiwinks, and threaten to call a march on Parliament or sue or something big, brash and stupid which reflects his woefully exaggerated sense of entitlement to receive the respect he most certainly does not deserve.

    However, we do need to remember his little “lapses” (in quotes because they are a reflections of his strongly-held beliefs) because I don’t doubt that in due course, when he thinks the stink has died down and that people will have forgotten all about it; he will try to reinvent himself as a peaceable, “moderate” Muslim. In other words he will “do a Bunglawala” and bleat that the “kuffar are cattle” was all a long time ago when he was younger and more ignorant and he is a changed man now.

    He won’t be. Like Bunglawala, his sort of leopard is utterly incapable of changing its spots