General Antisemitism

Antisemitic reporter Mira Bar-Hillel pens op-ed (on antisemitism!) for The Independent

The Jews of today scare me and I find it almost impossible to talk to most of them, including relatives. Any criticism of the policies of Israel – including the disgraceful treatment of Holocaust survivors as well as refugees from murderous regimes – is regarded as treason and/or anti-Semitism. Most papers and journals will not even publish articles on the subject for fear of a Jewish backlash. Goyim (gentiles) are often treated with ill-concealed contempt, yet the Jews are always the victims. Am I prejudiced against Jews? Alas, yes. Mira Bar-Hillel

As we’ve reported previously, Mira Bar-Hillel is a British journalist who has admitted (per the quote above) to being prejudiced against Jews.  

Yet, despite this explicit admission of racism, editors at The Independent deemed her qualified to comment on the Ralph MilibandDaily Mail antisemitism controversy in October – a column which dismissed charges of racism against the DM and accused Jews (per the Livingstone Formulation) of trying to “gag into submission any critic of Israel…”.

In her latest Indy op-ed (an essay addressing the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism), Bar-Hillel again regales British readers with her ‘penetrating insights’ into the danger posed by ‘false accusations of antisemitism’ by organized Jewry – a piece riddled with distortions.

False claim that ‘EU Working Definition of Antisemitism’ has been “retired”

Here’s the headline of the op-ed:

headlineHowever, as we noted in a previous post on the issue, it is untrue that “the EU has retired its working definition”.

To cite a few examples: 

  • In 2010, the UK All-Party Inquiry into antisemitism recommended that the Working Definition should be adopted and promoted by the Government and law enforcement agencies.
  • An official document published by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) recommends the Working Definition as a valuable hate crime data collection tool for law enforcement agencies, and for educators.

False claim about Israeli Bedouin

Bar-Hillel writes:

There was not, in that lengthy and detailed definition, anything new or that I would disagree with – apart from a dangerous sting in the end. This stretched the definition of anti-Semitism from the simple 2,000-year-old Jew-hating and baiting to “attacking Israel … by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, or holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.”

It was this dubious extension which has been used recently to gag, or at least mute, free speech and most criticism of Israel in the UK media and beyond.

For example, the Prawer Plan, now being enforced in Israel. Under it, between 40,000 and 70,000 Bedouin, nomads who became Israeli citizens in the 1950s, will be forcefully removed from land they roamed for centuries to make way for “military firing zones”.

First, Bar-Hillel (much like Glenn Greenwald) implicitly smears the Jewish community with charges that they work to stifle free speech.  

Further, as we demonstrated in a post last week, the number of Israeli Bedouin who will be relocated is not “between 40,000 and 70,000” as Bar-Hillel claims.  Under what’s known as the Prawer-Begin Plan, most (about 60,000) of those currently living in unrecognized villages in the Negev will have their land legalized, while a much smaller number (30,000) will be moved a few kilometers (from their current encampments) to planned communities.  

Additionally, her claim that the land where some of these Bedouin currently reside will “make way for IDF “military firing zones” seems to be completely untrue.  Though new Israeli cities will be built where these encampments now stand, nobody is claiming that “military firing zones’ will be established in its place. (It’s possible Bar-Hillel is conflating the Israeli Negev with the South Hebron Hills, an area in the West Bank where a row over IDF “firing ranges” has indeed been reported.)

Almost no reports about the Bedouin issue in the British media?

Bar-Hillel, commenting more broadly on the Prawer-Begin plan for the Bedouin and the protests surrounding the row, also makes the following claim:

Moreover, only one newspaper in this country covered the proposal – or the extremely violent protests which followed.

However, a quick Google search shows that the Indy, Guardian, Telegraph and Financial Times have all reported on the issue.

‘Jewish pressure’ on the media?

Bar-Hillel then provides an explanation for the (erroneous) ‘fact’ that “only one newspaper in the country covered the proposal”. 

I can only speculate on the reasons why, but suspect that the “working definition”, which has recently allowed all those who criticise Israel – including myself – to be labelled anti-Semitic, had something to do with it.

Get it?  Bar-Hillel not only comes to the risible conclusion that British newspapers don’t provide enough coverage of Israel, but that this putative dearth of coverage is inspired by fear of being labeled antisemitic.

Of course, her working theory is undermined by recent studies on British media coverage of Israel (and, more specifically, the Guardian’s own data) which demonstrates quite the opposite: that news relating to the Jewish state represents something approaching an obsession to UK editors, reporters and commentators. 

Conclusive proof that British papers don’t fear accusations of antisemitism can of course also be found in the simple fact that Indy editors felt no hesitation in publishing an essay – on the topic of antisemitism – by a journalist who has admitted to possessing an antipathy towards Jews.  

If the organized Jewish community is indeed trying to stifle the free speech of anti-Semites, they’re clearly failing miserably at this task.

20 replies »

  1. “However, as we noted in a previous post on the issue, it is untrue that “the EU has retired its working definition”. ”

    Firstly all relevant EU spokespeople have denied that their is, or ever has been, any official EU definition of anti-semitism. This is made very clear in this report from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

    Endorsement of the definition by the bodies you quote (none of which has anything to do with the EU) does nothing to support your assertion that the definition still stands. It doesn’t. If other people want to support a similar statement that’s about as significant as CifWatch doing so (i.e. not at all).

    • Don’t worry sencar after reading your rants everybody knows who are you without any “working definition”.
      I understand that you didn’t find any of your writings fighting against any ethnic cleansing apart from the smears you penned against Jews regarding the relocation of some Negev Bedouin…

    • If you are not an antisemite you have no reason to fear the working definitions. But if ou are, you certainly have to fight them, Antisemite.

  2. Bar Hillel is a real Jew hater. Together with her colleague Ben White (who is a contributor of the Guardian), they are obsessed with Jews and what they want to see is Jewish blood running again on the streets – first in Israel and later on anywhere else. What is not surprising either but some years ago seemed impossible is the full cooperation between the left liberal European political and intellectual establishment, academy, media and the resurgent European nazism. The EU institution (FRA) whose only mission is the fight against racism and bigotry less than a month after presenting a survey about European antisemitism to the EP with extremely disturbing results (I mean disturbing for the European Jews) drops the most useful tool of their activity – the definition of the very subject they are fighting against and even doesn’t replace it with an other one.
    The European Union’s agency for combating racism dropped its definition for anti-Semitism and now is unable to define the term, an agency spokeswoman said.
    “We are not aware of any official definition [of anti-Semitism],” Blanca Tapia of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency told JTA on Tuesday.

    Tapia said, “The agency does not need to develop its own definition of anti-Semitism in order to research these issues.”
    In its 2012 “who we are” booklet, the agency listed “Define areas of work” among its tasks, but Tapia told JTA that the agency “has no mandate to develop its own definitions.” In 2008, the agency published a document that contains definitions for homophobia and transphobia. Tapia said, however, that the agency had defined neither and used “international standards” that “contain definitions, terms and concepts.”

    Perfectly clear: They are fighting against something what they are not able (or don’t have the balls) to define. Naturally every European Nazi and Jew hater worth his/her salt is very happy now – together with their leftist fellow travelers and allies at the Independent and the Guardian. Very sad times for Europe – again…

  3. I think people like Bar-Hillel have always been around, deservedly obscure and unpublished. But now they’re given a platform.

  4. Isn’t Mira Bar-Hillel a very Jewish name? Also she says:

    The Jews of today scare me and I find it almost impossible to talk to most of them, including relatives. [My emphasis]

    If she is in fact Jewish, I imagine she one of those Jews who detests any Jew who supports Israel and understands what Israel is up against. There’s a helluvah lot of these people, God, if there is a God, help us.

  5. I have corresponded with the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights regarding the EUMC’s Working Definition of Anti-Semitism. They stated: “All non-official documents produced by FRA’s predecessor, the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, have been archived and are no longer available on the FRA website.” i.e. The FRA was not specifically “retiring” their predecessor’s definition of anti-Semitism but rather “retiring” all non-official documents.

    The FRA Information Team also stated: “The Agency for Fundamental Rights will not be publishing new definitions of any kind as it is not a standard-setting body.”

    I then asked: “I’ve seen articles describe the Working Definition of Anti-Semitism produced by the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia as “discredited.” Can you please clarify whether the Fundamental Rights Agency has repudiated the working definition of anti-Semitism produced by its predecessor?”

    Here is the response I received:
    As the FRA, by its legal mandate, is not a standard setting body, it can neither set nor repudiate any definitions.

    We hope this helps clarification.

    Best regards,

    The FRA Information Team

  6. What next: An Indy article inviting Bernard Manning to share his views on PC humour?

    It was this dubious extension which has been used recently to gag, or at least mute, free speech and most criticism of Israel in the UK media and beyond.

    Gag? Mute? Most criticism? In which parallel universe does she live?

  7. Can I remind everyone who lives inside the EU that next May 2014, (on the 22nd May in UK) will be the European Parliamentary elections. I believe the elections will run from 22nd to the 25th May in the various EU countries.
    Once ‘electioneering’ starts in the New Year why not write to all the candidates for your Region and ask them what they are going to do to ensure that there is an EU definition of anti-Semitism?
    Don’t forget that next year the term of office for the current European Commission also ends, and it will be for the newly elected European Parliament to endorse or reject the new European Commission. For example if the UK Government nominates a new Commissioner from the UK next year, that will mean there has to be a new High Representative instead of Catherine Ashton.