General Antisemitism

On a political culture which tolerates accusations that British Jews aren’t sufficiently loyal to UK

Image from antisemitic site which states: UK Foreign Office has been under Zionist influence for decades

As is the case in the majority of Israeli homes, Friday is cleaning-up day in the Israelinurse household.

But in order for copious amounts of ‘economica’ (bleach), furniture polish and floor shampoo to do their magic, I have to prepare myself with two cups of coffee in rapid succession – usually consumed whilst trying to determine how many of the offspring will be home for dinner, checking e-mails and having a quick browse of the news online.

The third load of laundry is now hanging out to dry, the kitchen sparkles, the spicy pumpkin and tomato sauce for tonight’s kubbeh is bubbling away on the hob and sunlight filtering through the pomegranate tree outside the south-facing living room window makes dancing dappled shapes on a shiny terrazzo floor.

But throughout the polishing, wiping, scrubbing, chopping and mopping I’ve been troubled by one more thing I feel needs clearing up: a Tweet I noticed during morning coffee. 

It refers to the story which broke yesterday regarding the questioning, by British MP Paul Flynn, of the national loyalties of the UK ambassador to Israel, and was sent by another MP who, to the best of my knowledge, has an impeccable record on the subject of anti-racism. That makes it all the more puzzling to me. 

Tweet by MP Rob Halfon

Paul Flynn accused the British Ambassador, who happens to be Jewish, of being incapable of doing his job properly because of dual loyalties – a classic antisemitic trope, as is Flynn’s additional assertion – according to the JC – that Mr Gould does not have the required “roots in the UK”.

So Robert Halfon’s Tweet and the article on his blog are somewhat confusing from my point of view. Have we reached a point at which people – not least public figures – can make antisemitic accusations whilst secure in the knowledge that their reputations will remain squeaky clean?

If so, it wouldn’t exactly be a precedent in British politics. I’m sure many readers remember the remarks made by former Labour Minister Ben Bradshaw in 2009 regarding seemingly irresistible pressures supposedly applied to the BBC by Israel.

My personal view is that someone who is a genuine anti-racist would not have been susceptible to the kind of smears brought up by Giblin and Bartolotti against Ambassador Gould and would most probably have bothered to inform himself of the backgrounds and motivations of the accusers. A genuine anti-racist would certainly not have repeated such an obviously anti-Semitic trope in a Parliamentary Select Committee.

But the bigger question here is this: does the employment of anti-Semitic dialogue make one an anti-Semite or not? I think it does, but if not – what are the criteria necessary in 21st century Britain for someone to be defined as anti-Semitic?

I’d be very interested to hear what readers think. 

82 replies »

  1. Excellent article Israelinurse (and you’re welcome in PT any time to clean my house! 🙂 ).

    I agree with your assessment completely. I can’t understand how Robert Halfon can consider Flynn to be not an antisemite. Like the saying “in vino veritas” so one could similarly say “in Israel veritas” (or whatever the Latin euqivalent is). As Halfon himself admits on his blog, people’s true feelings about Israel and/or Jews pop out unconsciously when the word Israel is mentioned.

    I think part of the problem for well-meaning but rather naive people (although I wouldn’t have considered Halfon to be such) might be that people try so hard to distinguish between the classic Nazi-type antisemitism and its modern reinvention in the guise of anti-Zionism, or even anti-neocon-ism, when in truth they are the same thing.

  2. Is it time for us to push for an operational definition of what an antisemite does which labels him/her in such terms?

    The message above shows how deeply the rot has sunk in. Only an antisemite with the sensitivity of a stone would not only have thought what Flynn thought but actually felt free to say it (can you imagine him saying it about, say, a Muslim who held official office for the UK abroad?).

    Can the MP who defended him really be do dense as not to realise? Is he trying to defend the indefensible remarks by his friend?

    People, we have to DO something about this. CiF Watch is excellent – but it needs to extend its remit to wherever there is antisemitism and flag it up relentlessly, naming and shaming the perpetrators of it.

  3. “A Labour MP has caused outrage by suggesting that Britain’s first Jewish ambassador to Israel has divided loyalties because he has “proclaimed himself to be a Zionist”.

    In the opinion of MP Flynn, he has divided loyalties because he is politically committed to territorial Jewish nationalism in Palestine (Zionism).

    In the opinion of MP Flynn he does NOT have divided loyalties because he is a Jew.

    “Jew” and “Zionist” are not equivalent terms and you have you used them as such. This is a classical anti-semitic trope.

    The bigger question here is this: does the employment of anti-Semitic dialogue make one an anti-Semite or not?

    • So, let me get this right, Daniel. Are you saying that Flynn’s words are not to be categorised as antisemitic because they are a criticism of Gould’s Zionism rather than his Judaism?

      In other words, a Jew who believes in the right of his people to self-determination is fair game whereas one who does not is not?

      If so, I think you now have to explain why – of all peoples – Jews are not entitled to believe in their own self determination. Might be a good idea to re-read the EUMC definition of antisemitism first though.

      Your ‘argument’ does not, of course, take into account the ‘roots in the UK’ part of Flynn’s comments either. At best, such a comment hardly seems appropriate in a supposedly multi-cultural society.

      You know, I’m beginning to wonder if it isn’t awfully convenient for closet racists to have seemingly restricted the application of the term antisemitism to non-verbal attacks, preferably perpetrated by Combat 18 skinheads with tattoos. It certainly widens their scope.

      • “So, let me get this right, Daniel. Are you saying that Flynn’s words are not to be categorised as antisemitic because they are a criticism of Gould’s Zionism rather than his Judaism?”

        I assume this is rhetorical? That is exactly the point, as is abundantly clear.

        The anti-Semitic conflation of “Jew” with “Zionist” is yours, not MP Flynn’s. And it is an anit-Semitic trope. Consequent to your clear employment of anti-Semitic dialogue, are you an anti-Semite or not? If not, why not?

        • Daniel – I’m afraid that your claim is not substantiated by the EUMC working definition of antisemitism.

          Maybe you would like to explain the basis for your assertion that the ‘conflation “Jew” with “Zionist” ‘ is antisemitic.

          Clearly not all Jews are Zionists, and that is their right. But just as clearly any Jew (the majority) or non-Jew who does support the right of the Jewish people to self-determination is perfectly within his or her rights to expect not to be fair game for racist attacks, not least on the basis of his or her commitment to a basic human right.

          Your attempts to create new categories of antisemitism applicable only to anti-Zionists are, frankly, offensive. But they are also very revealing because they give a glimpse into the all too often seen accepted norm which has come to dominate so much of British society and gives a free rein to antisemites to attack Jews from behind the fig leaf of ‘anti-Zionism’.

          • “Daniel – I’m afraid that your claim is not substantiated by the EUMC working definition of antisemitism.”

            And this means what? Are you telling me that it is for the EUMC alone to define anti-Semitism? Nonsense. And you know it.

            In fact, your article concludes with an attempt to establish a definition of anti-Semitism that is precisely “not substantiated by the EUMC working definition of antisemitism.” How could you!!

            Let us recapitulate.

            To conflate the terms “Zionist” and “Jew” is anti-Semitic. This is >>your<< premise for the charge of anti-Semitism against MP Flynn.

            Now you are denying it.

            As it is not possible to deny the premise but retain the conclusion drawn from it I assume you are withdrawing your charge. Excellent. I hope to see a retraction published here soon.

            However, let me restate the facts of this case in order to clarify matters in the light of your muddleheaded thinking:

            In the opinion of MP Flynn, Gould has divided loyalties because he is a declared Zionist, i.e. he is politically committed to territorial Jewish nationalism in Palestine.

            That opinion can only be considered anti-Semtic if the terms "Zionist" and "Jew" are equivalent.

            They are not.

            You have made the equivalence precisely where MP Flynn has drawn the distinction.

            You are an anti-Semite – and he is not.

            I am afraid that the rest of your reply is of a similar stripe – completely without logic; with such arguments it is not possible to engage rationally.

      • I note that this is a tendency for this website, which participated in the “Big Tent for Israel”:

        An event that hosted the anti-Semitic seminar titled “Every Jew is an Ambassador for Israel, why don’t we use them?”

        Again, this is a clear anti-Semitic trope. Why did this website attend an anti-Semitic event?

        As for opposing Zionism being necessarily “anti-Semitic”. Please. The other one has bells on it you know.

      • “Your ‘argument’ does not, of course, take into account the ‘roots in the UK’ part of Flynn’s comments either. At best, such a comment hardly seems appropriate in a supposedly multi-cultural society. ”

        What are Mr Gould’s “roots”? Do you know? If so, what are they?

    • More conspiracy theories at best and this you say justifies a claim of dual loyalties. Following your reasoning no Muslim can therefore serve as an Ambassador anywhere because a practising Muslim owes his first alliegence to the Koran and in case of conflict the Koran takes precedence. Let us see Mr Flynn make that claim – he went after Mr Mcshane because of his Polish father and no doubt because he is as well a current Policy Council member for Labour Friends of Israel nothing like smearing anybody who supports Israel. However let him and you be consistent. Let’s hear him and you make the same claim against a Muslim MP and deny that they could serve as the the Ambassador to Pakistan or any of the other Muslim countries.

      • A devout Muslim is enjoined to emulate his prophet as the perfect man and the Muslim prophet enjoined his slaves not to befriend non-Muslims and to be loyal only to him and other Muslims. That being the case no Muslim can serve properly as an ambassador for the UK, which is not a Muslim country.

        Flynn daren’t make that claim, the UK being the sort of country it is.

  4. I wonder what incenses you so much that you have to make three posts in quick succession about this?

    You are wrong. Far too often Jew and Zionist are confused and conflated, particularly by the Muslims to whose backsides the western governments are so eager to kiss. Flynn has conflated them by mentioning the Jewishness of the Ambassador, and the fact that he has felt free to do so is an indictment on British society and of the fact that antisemitism has entered public discourse to such an extent in the UK that it is acceptable or unremarked on.

    Israel is a Jewish state, it is de jure and, in spite of all the attempts to delegitimise it, anyone who believes that it has a right to exist because it is de jure is a Zionist. I am proud to be one.

    Many criticisms of Zionism per se are antisemitic in the terms of the EUMC definition because they resort to antisemitic tropes and by implication they deny the legitimacy of Israel as a state. It is disingenuous of those critics therefore to argue that they are criticising Israel rather than Jews when their motivation is so blatant.

    Flynn’s remarks are antisemitic and therefore he is an antisemite. By virtue of the fact that he mentioned the Jewishness of the Ambassador, he fell into that trap.

    • “I wonder what incenses you so much that you have to make three posts in quick succession about this?”

      I am genuinely astounded, I am sorry, that a website “dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism” (sic) deploys unarguably anti-Semitic arguments conflating the terms “Zionist” and “Jew”.

      “Israel is a Jewish state, it is de jure and, in spite of all the attempts to delegitimise it, anyone who believes that it has a right to exist because it is de jure is a Zionist.”

      By all means create your own definition but for the real world it is the WZO, not you, that defines who is and is not a Zionist, which is and is not a Zionist party. Sorry.

      “Flynn’s remarks are antisemitic and therefore he is an antisemite. By virtue of the fact that he mentioned the Jewishness of the Ambassador, he fell into that trap.”

      And the author of this article is what? And The Big Tent for Israel which believes “every Jew is an ambassador for Israel” is what?

      • I am trying to understand the point you are making. The Big Tent event was to promote better advocacy on the State of Israel’s behalf. The State of Israel is the State of the Jewish people so natuarally enough it seems a good idea to tap a local resource so what pray is anti-Semitic in stating that every Jew is an ambassador for the State of Israel. I note you use the EUMC definition when it suits you but I have never heard the proposition that the Ambassador of a country is responsible for the actions of the country he represents. Perhaps you would enlighten me.

  5. I don’t care so much about the house, but I would really like to be invited to dinner!

    Flynn probably never of himself as an anti-Semite before. The problem for most Westerners is that anti-Semitism is part of the culture, moreso in some countries than others. The same inheritance of Christianity and the Enlightenment brought with it an institutionalized anti-Semitism, and unless one is vigilant about rooting it out of one’s psyche, there it remains to show its ugly face.

    Just the fact that he would accuse a Jew of dual loyalty almost as a reflex, where he would never think, let alone say, it about any other ethnicity proves it. “No roots in Britain,” indeed. Flynn is an Irish name, is it not? How long has his family lived in Britain?

    If he is an honest man, at least with himself, he will acknowledge this prejudiced part of himself and seek to purify himself of it. Many Americans, myself included, inherited a prejudice against African-Americans, but if one recognizes this unwanted group of feelings they can be purged from both heart and mind.

    As for Halfon, it seems from what he has said other places that this Flynn is his friend, and we don’t want to think ill of our friends. So he is supporting his friend in his trouble, which is honorable enough, if a bit misguided in this situation.

  6. I wondered what the entry requirements are for the Diplomatic Service with regards to nationality. This is what it says;

    “To join the Diplomatic Service, you must be a British citizen. You must have been resident in the UK for at least 2 of the previous 10 years immediately prior to your application, at least one year of which must have been a consecutive 12 month period, unless you have served overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of Her Majesty’s Government, or have lived overseas as a result of your parents’ or partner’s Government employment. To join the FCO as a European Fast Streamer you must be a British citizen.

    All applicants should be aware that a lack of sufficient background information may preclude an applicant from being granted security clearance. If you hold dual nationality (i.e. you are a British citizen and are also a national of another country) this should not preclude you from joining.”

    So the Diplomatic Service would accept entrants with dual nationality, as long as one of those is British.
    But, there are politicians who call into question your loyalty and suitability if your religion is Jewish. No ifs or buts that is anti-semitism.

  7. I really want to know that Mr. Flynn who has doubts about a British Jew patriotic credentials has an opinion on the continuing employment of Rowan “fuck the Jews” Laxton by the FO…

    • Good point, Peter. I wonder whether his mindreading defenders, (those gifted enough with ESP to know what he means without having ever had a conversation or any contact with him), would care to venture an opinion

  8. Me to Paul Flynn:
    “Re: UK Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould,
    Just in case you have not been made aware this is one of the definitions of antisemitism of the European Forum:
    “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.””
    Paul Flynn to me:
    “I have been an elected politician for 40 years. If I had an atom of racism or anti-semitism in my body someone would noticed before now. Not one of the thousands of people who know believe this accusation.”
    Me to Paul Flynn:
    “Your 40 years of Parliamentary experience did not stop you from uttering your ill-advised views about divided loyalty. You certainly upset a Chief Whip, a Government Minister, at least 2 Labour colleagues plus some Jewish organisations.”
    Paul Flynn to me:
    “They were all ‘upset’ before they read what I said. A provocative article when put a malicious interpretation on an entirely legitimate point was the reason.”

    Doesn’t look like an apology is about to come!

    • Maybe he’s having a post-mid-life crisis. But seriously: I read the transcript on Robert Halfon’s blog and what Flynn said and how he persisted in behaving is shocking.

      It seems to me that Robert Halfon won’t be seeing him as he did before. On the point of Israelinurse’s question I think that to say antisemitic things out of ignorance is one thing. Someone saying them could be amenable to change when the wrongness of what was said is pointed out. Such a person would not be antisemitic.

      But here is Flynn cleaving to two hateful women with huge axes to grind. That’s more important than the totally innocent Matthew Gould. To Flynn.

      Is any more evidence really needed?

      I wonder what all these important people were upset about before. Robert Halfon is a fairly new MP and perhaps there’s a history he’s not aware of.

      • Mr Flynn does more than cleaving to these two hateful women. Look at the publicity on his blog given to a book by Jonathan Cook, an author known for his spurious defences of Gilad Atzmon and Sheikh Salah against charges of anti-semitism, as such, not anti-zionism. Would one be right or wrong in thinking that the British taxpayer is asked for a contribution via MPs’ expenses?

  9. “Someone would have noticed before now..”

    ??? and this is a grown up elected member of the UK parliament! Why should “someone” have noticed when this antisemitic idiot himself didn’t notice enough not to engage what passed for his brain before he ventured a half-baked opinion?

    He compounds his utter lack of sensitivity when he believes that his was a “legitimate point”!

    OK here are some of my legitimate points to Paul Flynn:

    How many Islamists or sympathisers are employed by Foreign Office, particularly in positions where they can make decisions or influence decision-makers about which Islamists they can allow into the UK to address students, Parliament or other gatherings?

    If you are so keen not to sympathise with dual loyalties, have you insisted that all people in these positions at the Home Office be independently vetted to ensure that they are loyal to the UK rather than to the ummah? Remember that the ignominious Mockbul Ali was employed by the Foreign Office and lied through his Islamist teeth to try to get Yusuf al Qaradawi into the UK. Luckily he was found out and Qaradawi refused entry.

    What assurances can you give us that systems are in place to prevent Islamist sympathisers from being appointed by the UK government of whatever stripe to positions where they can endanger social cohesion in the UK?

    These are no less fair questions than yours.

  10. I would be better able to judge Mr Flynn if I knew whether or not he harbours similar feelings about other groups in multi-cultural Britain. Also, I’d like to know how he defines ‘divided loyalties’.

    Does he suspect the British-Italian community? The British-Polish community? The British Muslims who may speak about Kashmir? (link below to Lord Qurban Hussein’s comments on Kashmir and self-determination). The British Indians, Chinese, Asians, Africans, Iranians or any one of the many, many groups who have come to the UK?

    You see, this is where multi-culturalism starts tying itself into knots: if we celebrate diversity and hold no single culture to be better than another, then surely to goodness we must acknowledge that along with that culture there comes the country from which it sprang? Logically, then, there must be millions in the UK who have some degree of attachment to another country. Are they to be accused of having divided loyalties?

    Finally, has Mr Flynn any evidence against Matthew Gould apart from that given by Pippa ‘The Suitcase’ Bartoletti and her chum who, frankly, would see Zionist propaganda in a tube of toothpaste (especially the blue-striped variety!)

  11. “But here is Flynn cleaving to two hateful women with huge axes to grind. That’s more important than the totally innocent Matthew Gould. To Flynn.”

    I agree, Ariadne.

    To my mind, an MP worth the job would certainly listen to complaints from constituents, but he’d have to have a large chunk of evidence before giving forth in public.

    Mr Flynn’s behaviour would trouble me for another reason: when presented with an issue – any issue – does he habitually take the advice of a few constituents or does he undertake any thoughtful. careful and expert research?

  12. Michael Portillo, one time UK Defence Secretary, has dual Spanish and UK citizenship- he announced last week he was voting in the Spanish elections. I have never heard anyone doubting his loyalty to the UK.

  13. Good points, HairShirt.

    In January of this year the chairman and vice-chairman of an all-party parliamentary group tackling “discrimination” against Muslims resigned after the group granted a Commons security pass to an Islamist sympathiser. (So what, you may ask. The Houses have entertained Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the Muslim Brotherhood, although none of them on a regular basis. Myself, I’m surprised that Anjem Choudary hasn’t had tea with Nick Clegg…)

    That sympathiser was none other than the wife of Inayat Bunglawala of “Tribe of Judah” infamy. Bunglawala is an admirer of Maududi, and equally infamously refused to denounce stoning in sharia because it was decreed by his prophet and to denounce it would mean denouncing his prophet. He also is on record praising Bin Laden and admiring Sheikh Yassin, although he tried to wriggle off that hook by saying later that he was a changed person.

    According to parliamentary records, as iEngage’s head of research, Shenaz Bunglawala had been granted a Commons pass in her capacity as the all-party group’s secretary. The records also state that iEngage “acts as the group’s secretariat,” a role which involved taking minutes of its meetings and heavily influencing its reports and speaker programme.

    The pass allowed Mrs Bunglawala to enter Parliament without having to go through security checks and mix freely with ministers and MPs. It gave her the right to invite guests and to use Commons facilities. Although there was no suggestion that Mrs Bunglawala had been involved in any act of terrorism, an orchestrated lobbying campaign by Islamist sympathisers and other members of the group, including the Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes, resisted iEngage’s sacking.

    iEngage has consistently defended fundamentalist organisations such as the East London Mosque and the Islamic Forum of Europe. It routinely attacks all criticism of them as “Islamophobia”. The government persisted in treating with it.

    In June 2010 iEngage’s chief executive, Mohammed Asif, wrote to Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to protest against her ban on the extremist preacher, Zakir Naik, who has stated that “every Muslim should be a terrorist”.

    And this is the real kicker, which illustrates the total and utter blindness and denial of reality by UK politicians:

    Simon Hughes said iEngage “may occasionally represent views that others may disagree with. But as long as they stay within the law and enter into the sprit of a democratic dialogue, I have no problem with them providing support to the all-party group.”

    In February 2011 we get a stream of invective from Bunglawala against Robert Halfon at

    But the government continued to consult iEngage until July 2011 when iEngage was kicked into touch, and a self-pitying, paranoid article on Inayat Bunglawala’s blog described how the Israel lobby allegedly gloated at their removal.

    I believe that Halfon is suffering badly from the sort of cognitive dissonance which comes from the realisation that a good friend is not at all what he seems to be.

    But Flynn is no less an antisemite for all Halfon’s pain

  14. Someone who uses antisemitic verbiage is an antisemite. I dont’ even understand why that is a question. That the gentleman in question doesn’t’ consider himself an antisemite so waht…here’s food for thought…at his trial in Jerusalem Adolf Eichmann also claimed to not be an antisemite.

    Meanwhile something very similar happened in the US when Dennis Ross was accused by Obama insiders of dual loyalty because he didn’t follow the Obama hate Israel line. In response the Jewish-American community, right and left, came down on the topic and called the charge of dual loyalty what it was- antisemitism. Ross may have lost his backbone but the Jews of the US stood their ground.

    Where is the British Jewish leadership? Trying to blame Israel again because Jews defending themselves makes it hard for them to attend their super clubs? You know its time for the Jews in Britain to stop listening to your shastil leadership. they will get you marginalized in your own nation or worse make it ok to destroy you.

  15. IN

    Flynn’s comment was antisemitic

    If he makes such comments repeatedly he would be an antisemite. He hasn’t.

    There is a code among MPs even of different parties that they do not make personal attacks on each other. Hence Halfon did not say that the comment was antisemitic. Remember too they serve on the same Committee.

    It was antisemitic.

    • “It was antisemitic”

      Was the seminar titled “Every Jew is an Ambassador for Israel, why don’t we use them?” at the Big Tent for Israel anti-Semitic?

        • Why was the seminar titled “Every Jew is an Ambassador for Israel, why don’t we use them?” at the Big Tent for Israel not anti-Semitic?

          I would like to remind you at this point that “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel” is one of the specific examples of anti-Semitism provided in the EUMC definition.

          • Daniel
            I am trying to understand the point you are making. The Big Tent event was to promote better advocacy on the State of Israel’s behalf. The State of Israel is the State of the Jewish people so natuarally enough it seems a good idea to tap a local resource so what pray is anti-Semitic in stating that every Jew is an ambassador for the State of Israel. I have never heard the proposition that the Ambassador of a country is responsible for the actions of the country he represents. Perhaps you would enlighten me.

            • In the event of a dispute between the host country and the home country of an ambassador, that ambassador is called in by the government of the host country to give an account of his home country’s actions.

              In serious cases the ambassador is expelled.

              Is this what you want for British Jews?

          • Daniel,

            Since Jews strictly have nothing in common besides somebody claiming that they are Jews, which might suggest genetic heritage but that’s not necessarily true for converts or that they all worship according to the Jewish tradition, again not necessarily true because there are atheist Jews, their ambassadorship lies in the truth: they are representative of all mankind and the variation is infinite, as it is in any country.

            There is no collective responsibility suggested by the statement, just a profound truth

  16. And by the way the Board of Deputies/JLC statement condemning Flynn failed to call the statement ‘antisemitic’

  17. To be defined as antisemetic in the 21st century, you have to be a Nazi. All other forms of Jew hatred are seen as legitimate… and sometimes Nazi antisemitism is also permitted.

    • Islamist antisemitism was and still is strongly driven by Nazi ideology. There’s precious little to distinguish them in attitude

  18. Not many British subjects are loyal to the UK,not even the British themselves are loyal to the UK, these Brits would sell their mothers if there was a quid in it………

    Just take the racist Guardian and most of their writers,are they loyal to Britain……

    Why would any Jew want to be loyal to a country of two faced backstabbers…….

    • benorr, please don’t generalise. I am a British Jew. Whereas there is much to make me feel ashamed about successive British governments’ leaping into bed with antisemites of various stripes, and I am particularly troubled by their contortions to accommodate Islamism, which has antisemitism as its main driver, I guess I am still loyal to the UK.

      I just don’t like that the UK is a safe haven for Islamists.

      • PS: I am proud to count myself as an ambassador for Israel, particularly against the lies and other filth promulgated by the Guardian and other haters about her.

        Now, I don’t see that as a problem. It’s a matter of fairness, just as my protesting against Islamist influence is because I denounce its influence in the UK. I loathe Islamism, not Muslims. I am intelligent enough to differentiate between the two, unlike Islamists themselves.

  19. The problem with appointing the Zionist, Matthew Gould, to be British ambassador to Israel is not that he might let his Zionism come before his loyalty to Britain but that there is considerable circumstantial evidence to show that he has already done so.
    The ex-ambassador, Craig Murray, has pieced the story together here:
    Briefly it involves Gould’s frequent meetings with the then Defence Minister, Liam Fox, and his “assistant”, Adam Werrity. Fox and Werrity are known to have been conducting an unofficial British foreign policy promoting Iranian regime change in collusion with US neocons and high level Israeli officials. Gould’s meetings with them seem to have formed part of this conspiracy. In the course of them Gould behaved in a very un-ambassadorial manner, as Craig Murray is in a good position to judge. As with other Fox-Werrity meetings their number and nature have been dragged out of the British Foreign Office with much resistance, and much is still concealed. Two meetings were originally conceded; we now know of at least six although Fox-Werrity met with no other British ambassadors at all.

    • And I have to say all you Israel-haters are very thik. Craig Murray makes mountains out of molehills.

      Maybe Jews aren’t entitled to talk to one another and maybe government and diplomatic figures are meant to speak to uninformed and/or subverted people only.

      It’s a world of poisoned clouds I don’t want to live in. More than clouds really. “ZIonist” as nothing but pejorative: “neocon” a code for Jew(ish).

      Where have we seen all of this demonisation before?

        • Ariadne, I am surprised at you. Don’t you know that when two Jews are in a room there is a conspiracy? Even the kids are in on it.

          My husband and I sleep in the same bed; our conspiracies are now 28 and 20. I used to nurse the children to make sure they they would get their conspiracy genes activated with mother’s milk. It worked.

    • And Mossad was behind 9/11, the IDF harvested organs in Haiti and the Israeli Navy uses crocodiles to kill tourists in the Red Sea to ruin Egyptian tourism.

      • “And Mossad was behind 9/11”

        The thing about conspiracy theories is that some of them are true. The more we learn about Fox-Werrity (most of which was initially strongly denied) the more it becomes apparent that there was a conspiracy, and yes they did meet with Mossad. On the face of it Gould seems to have been a part of that conspiracy and to have acted in a manner inconsistant with his official role.
        I suggest that you read Murray’s blog. He knows how the British Foreigh Service works and continues to be informed by inside contacts.

        • Yes and Elvis is alive and living in Wapping. Murray has not a shred of evidence about what was or was not discussed at any meeting that may or may not have taken place. However the Jew baiters convict Gould on no evidence. I was under the impression that under English Law you are innocent until proven guilty but not it seems if you are Jewish and the British Ambassador to Israel. The you are the target of every anti-Jewish nutjob and their hairbrained conspiracy theories.

          • Gerald,

            Did you read far enough in the comments to see that Murray attracts the sort of hateful, heartless bigot who believes that the slaughter of the Fogel family in Itamar was done by Jews?

            That tells anyone who wants to know more than enough about this Murray creep.

        • Maybe, sencar but rarely and rarely in the way in which they are perceived by the conspiracy theory minded – conspiracy theorists tend to over-elaborate and exaggerate, for example, and, as Ariadne has said, make massive mountains out of molehills, which is a dead give away.

          Conspiracy-minded individuals are often paranoid and cognitively distorted in that they often mistake opinions and thoughts for hard facts and rattle on about them and pursue them as if they are hard facts.

          Being far too quick to foreclose on options (they rarely ask themselves what else might be going on and they are not fans of parsimonious explanations for what they believe to be true, however far fetched). they are the epitome of cognitive rigidity too.

          If you read my first article on this blog about a meeting I attended about conspiracy theories you will see that the died-in-the-wool conspiracy theorist may often be unable to distinguish between a true conspiracy and a false one. When asked whether he had ever investigated a conspiracy theory which later turned out to be false, Ian Crane fudged about and couldn’t answer.

    • I’m afraid you can’t just laugh off what Murray is saying (incidentally have you read it?). There is a substantial body of Israeli government opinion in favour of a military attack on iran, and a much bigger one that would support dirty tricks short of war aimed at regime change. US neocons (and no, Ariadne, I don’t use the term as ‘code for Jew(s)’) share these views as do some in the UK government (contrary to official British policy). It would be surprising if these groups were not talking to each other. This would be legitimate upto the point where the conversations include government ministers (such as Fox)) and diplomats (such as Gould) who owe their loyalty to official government policy.

      • Why on earth not? Is he allergic to being laughed at? (Mitnaged, is total lack of a sense of humour a key indicator of conspiracy theory mindedness, too?)

        • Very probably. Being paranoid, any criticism is very threatening to the conspiracy theorist and not to take him as seriously as he takes himself is a cardinal sin.

  20. Yes but do you not see what Mr Flynn has done is anti-Semitic. The result of this baseless accusation of dual loyalty means that Mr Gould cannot now make any suggestion to the Foreign Office derived from his acumen as a seasoned diplomat without fearing that because he is Jewish it will be looked at twice to discover whether it displays any loyalty other than that which he owes to the Crown. This was presumably was the intent of the two anti-Semites who made the outrageous claims in the first place.

    • Norman, do you honestly believe that Mr Gould will be so fearful as not to act in the best way for the UK? If that were the case, then he would be more of a shrinking violet than is good for him or his job.

  21. Accusing Jews of having divided loyalties is clearly an antisemitic ploy. Even if it were true, Israel happens to be an ally of the UK, whatever the Guardianites think, so what could be so bad about it?

    Automatically labelling everyone with a Jewish background a potential security risk for the UK is just arguing from typically ignorant and racist motives. This socialist MP Flynn character is perhaps unconsciously trying to ward off suspicions that his Irish roots might lead some people to accuse him of excessive sympathies with the political IRA or else the Roman Catholic Church.

    Looking at the Guardian, one might be forgiven for thinking that the vast majority of its readers are loyal to a foreign power, and what’s more, are proud of it.

  22. What the MP said was clearly antisemitic. I don’t see how this is even in question. Dreyfuss Affair, anyone?

    At the risk of being shot down, I would like to give a partial defence of Daniel. There is an argument that saying “All British Jews are potential advocates for Israel” is antisemitic, because such a statement implies the assumption that all British Jews share the same political position, and that they share this position BECAUSE they are Jews. Clearly, knowing that somebody is Jewish does NOT mean that you know very much of anything about their political beliefs, or their positions on political philosophy or major geopolitical issues. There are very good reasons for Jews (and, indeed, non-Jews) to be Zionist (and, of course, there are various forms and strains of Zionism too), but it would be racist to assume that a person’s ethnicity determines their political opinion.

    • The difference though surely is that the claim that all Jews are ambassadors for Israel was not made to denigrate those Jews it encompassed so how could it be anti-Semitic. Flynn’s comment on the other hand was made to denigrate Mr Gould.

  23. Norman – it is possible to make a racist statement without deliberately wanting to denigrate anyone. “You black people sure have a great sense of rhythm” is not a statement that is (usually) meant to be directly derogatory, but most people would recognize it as racist, because it implies that all human beings who happen to be black are broadly similar to each other, and likely to fit group stereotypes, rather than being individuals like everyone else. That doesn’t mean that it is always illegitimate to “play the odds”, as it were. But I do think we have to be very very careful with racial or ethnic stereotypes and generalizations.

  24. The problem is that you have a somewhat schizoid situation where expressions of anti-Semitic beliefs are not completely taboo, while adopting the term “anti-Semite” to describe oneself can lead to being immediately ostracizes to the political and social fringe, consequently, many people who express anti-Semitic beliefs are terrified at the notion of being labeled “an anti-Semite.” So actually calling Flynn an anti-Semite in a public forum would assure that Flynn would not apologize.

    Given Halfon’s good record on these issues, he might be attempting to hold the door open for Flynn to make a public apology.

  25. Ian, anyone who expresses antisemitic beliefs, being of (albeit questioningly) sound mind, is an antisemite. Once people try to make distinctions between spouting antisemitism and what the utterings convey about the person’s beliefs, we really are in la la land aren’t we?

    Calling Flynn an antisemite in a public forum should not make any difference to whether he apologised or not – if he felt any shame then he would have done so. That he didn’t shows him to be at best an ignoramus at least a stubborn antisemitic ignoramus.

    • I agree with your point, Mitnagted, that’s why I called the situation “schizoid.”

      My point is that in my experience, is that when I respond to a blatantly anti-Semitic statement by calling it for what it is, my interlocutor generally refuses to concede that he or she made an anti-Semitic statement and behaves as if he or she has been insulted as opposed to having been described.

      I’m only speculating on Halfron’s motives for parsing his criticism of Flynn’s statements in such gentle language.