Irish Times

Irish Times op-ed: ‘Zionist ultras’ see antisemitism everywhere


We’ve recently been commenting on op-eds by Irish Times columnist Eamonn McCann, the socialist (and former Trotskyite) who regales readers with anti-Zionist rhetoric so vitriolic that it could have originated from Soviet Department for Agitation and Propaganda.  

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Eamonn McCann, Marxism Conference 2013

In one memorable column, McCann prophesied on the inevitable demise of the Jewish State – the natural result, he suggested, of the corrosive effects of its official racist ideology.

His latest ‘meditation‘ on Israeli villainy appeared in the Irish Times on Feb 6, and included the following headline:

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Here’s the simply risible – and, of course, fact-free – opening passage:

We are all anti-Semites now, including US secretary of state John Kerry. That’s according to a clutch of ministers in Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, plus a mixum-gatherum of colonial settlers, super-Zionists and most US senators.

What evidence does he produce to back up his claim that a “clutch of ministers in Netanyahu’s cabinet” and “most US senators” believe ‘everyone’ is antisemitic?

Well, here are some passages which evidently represent supporting text for his hysterical opening passage:

Influential Israeli politicians have come within an inch of smearing Kerry as an anti-Semite. What he’d said to earn this censure was: “The risks are very high for Israel. People are talking about boycott . . . Do they want a failure [in parallel negotiations on Palestine] that then begs whatever may come in the form of a response from disappointed Palestinians and the Arab community?”

So, McCann is now only claiming that the cabal of super Zionists came close (“within an inch”) of smearing Kerry as an anti-Semite.

McCann continues:

In response, Israeli industry minister Naftali Bennett declared: “We expect of our friends to stand by our side against the attempts to impose an anti-Semitic boycott on Israel, not to be their mouthpiece.” What he’d said to earn this censure was: “The risks are very high for Israel. People are talking about boycott . . . Do they want a failure [in parallel negotiations on Palestine] that then begs whatever may come in the form of a response from disappointed Palestinians and the Arab community?”

Again, even by McCann’s account, Bennett didn’t accuse Kerry of engaging in antisemitism, only that boycotts were antisemitic, and that Kerry didn’t stand by Israel’s side in the fight against such boycotts.

He continues:

Senior official of the colonial settlers’ council Adi Mintz accused Kerry of “an anti-Semitic initiative. The anti-Semites have always resorted to a very simple method – hit the Jews in their pockets.”

Netanyahu refused to condemn Bennett, Mintz and others who had spoken along the same lines, but was himself rather more circumspect, telling his cabinet that promotion of a boycott was “immoral and unjust”.

While Mintz did suggest that Kerry’s comments about boycotts were antisemitic, the most McCann could muster against Netanyahu was to accuse him of not directly condemning Bennett, who, per the quote above, did not in fact accuse Kerry of antisemitism.

And, what about the US senators’ alleged belief that ‘everyone’ opposing Israel is antisemitic?

Well, McCann’s introduction of US senators into the tale begins when he strangely pivots away from Israeli reactions to Kerry’s comments about boycotts and addresses another unrelated topic, the response in the Senate to recent negotiations between Iran and the P5+1:

The statement quoted here most clearly reflective of stereotypical anti-Semitism was Mintz’s. However, it’s the viewpoint of the Zionist ultras which has been adopted by a majority of US senators. Forty-three Republicans and 16 from Kerry’s Democrats responded to the breakthrough in Munich by introducing a Bill imposing even harsher sanctions, with the option of war if Iran doesn’t surrender the modest gains achieved in Munich.

Whilst McCann grossly distorts the tentative agreement reached on Jan. 20 between Iran and the six world powers, he offers no evidence that any of the “Zionist ultra” senators supporting the bill – which would impose harsher sanctions on Iran if they failed to abide by a potential long-term agreement – ever uttered a word about antisemitism.

McCann’s villains – those who evidently casually accuse anyone and everyone who opposes Israeli positions of engaging in antisemitism – consist of straw men, conjured to support his polemical construct and advance his continuing Irish Times approved smears of Israel and its supporters.

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18 replies »

  1. You know what the edged-with-tragedy ironic part of this is? Eary Zionism inspired Irish nationalist literature, from Yeats to the socialist mobilisers. Many historians have worked on this legacy, and have even put forward a case for the transformation of the anticolonial idea of Irish statehood by this adoption of ideology. Doubtless Irish postcolonialist thinkers have short memories and long memories, when it comes to British colonialism and the fact that there were Jewish victims of its legacy too…a little bit of selective amnesia is what we see here. Here’s one example of a decent re-appraisal: http://www.theirishstory.com/2013/01/23/a-long-and-oddly-intertwined-history-irish-nationalism-and-zionism/#.UvNlxrSoRb_

    What we have here is not a case of anti-zionism but a case of warped racism. One product of the Irish postcolonial state, which has held onto a deeply racist Catholocentric understanding of indigeneity as Irish Jews can tell you, who feels so secure in his postcolonial position of privilege, on his manufactured moral highground, that he takes it upon himself to deny another group the same postcolonial self-determination. Because what else is left to do, when your postcolonial state’s culture has not demobilised its prejudices, than spew hatred towards groups that do not meet your standards of indigeneity? Make no mistake, this kind of crackpot would conceptualise the ‘point of no return’ as diasporic extermination, and make no exceptions for those who want to escape the European revival of antisemitism.
    Precisely because ‘extermination’ means that the group can no longer speak for itself, a lefty saviour’s wet dream, and the fact of their extinction means that this kind of ‘left’ is able to weaponise the historical event and use it for their own political narrative. We all know they love weeping at the thought of ‘dead Jews’, but the idea of survivors outside of Europe does not fit with their utopian tragedy and saviourhood narrative. No one gets to survive, otherwise they don’t get to recycle ‘our image’ for their self-serving political agendas. That supremacist logic is literally the one and only reason some crackpot in a postcolonial state twice the size of Israel yet even less as significant, is ranting about how we have ‘invented racism towards ourselves’. All the while regurgitating antisemitic tropes that are millenia older than the idea of an Irish identity.
    This is a perfect example of the pervasion of fascist ideology and practise among ‘leftist’ thinkers. Are they aware? Probably.

  2. So the same asshole who sees Zionists and Jews taking control of America doesn’t like being called an anti-Semite because it’s, ahem, an overblown and overdrawn defensive mechanism?

    In Texas, we call this Bat Shit Crazy.

  3. “Governmental sources report that US Secretary of State John Kerry is behind the European boycott threats on Israeli products and companies operating in Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

    At the moment, Kerry is making sure the threats stay in check, but as soon as the peace talks fail he intends to open the floodgates and spur on full-blown international boycotts on Israel, reports Galei Tzahal “

  4. Duvidl was called a Jew-boy and “Jewy” on the street near his London home yesterday by a youth with an Eastern European accent after Duvidl said “ouch” when the youth rammed Duvidl’s ankle from behind with his baby buggy. Duvidl reported it to police. Anti-semitism. is thriving in London.

  5. Though of course his tendency to so bracket all ‘Zionists’ is probably betrayed by his term ‘Zionist ultras’ rather than ‘ultra Zionists’.

  6. While McCaan sounds a very dodgy character, some of the hysterical criticism of Kerry has been very damaging to Israel. As Livni says, if Kerry’s more extreme critics knew how much he had done to avert boycotts, they’d bow their eyes in shame. By contrast, Abbas has been very canny in how his responses to Kerry’s suggestions have been portrayed to the world. Sometimes it is better to be wise than right.

    • Perhaps “cunning” would be a more accurate term than “wise”.
      Unfortunately one of the prices an open society has to pay is that certain of its members will always shoot it in the foot. Jews, though, seem to have a particular gift at this and perfect aim …

  7. Look at the first comment on that page, he has an audience for his hate

    The Rothschild Zionist Banking Cartel controls the world’s central banks in all but 3 countries; Iran, North Korea and Cuba. In the year 2000 the other countries not under their control were Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Libya all of which have since been invaded or had Civil wars purposely for control. Iran wants nuclear weapons for protection from Israel which has 200 Nuclear Warheads. The US is placing economic sanctions on them to economically cripple them for not bowing to the Rothschilds

  8. The Rothschild Zionist Banking Cartel controls the world’s central banks in all but 3 countries; Iran, North Korea and Cuba.
    This fellow is extremely naive and has no idea about our power. Does s/he really think that the banks of Iran, N.Korea and Cuba aren’t under our control? This disinformation is only a devilishly clever trick of the Financial Controls Department of the Elders in order to encourage him and other Irish intellectual giants to invest their pennies in one of the above mentioned institutions…

    • Perfectly described and ironised.
      Conspiracy theorists can explain that away. It is all part of the conspiracy to lull people into sleep and submission by pretending there is a dual conflict which keeps people occupied and apart, although they control everything in the “veiled reality”, by this method.
      F.e. Gary Allen/Hunt, the Nazis/Rosenberg, Marxists/Sovietunion, etc.
      This is central for the CFR/Rothschild/Elders/Neocon/ZOG-conspiracy theorists, otherwise called immunisation against rationalism, logic, causality and empirism.

  9. Anti semitism seems to be the only form of racism that is continually explained,dismissed,contextualized and minimized.

  10. The fact of the matter is that it is not Israel which is collapsing, but too many Muslim states who are in a dramatic rate of decline or are failed states already.
    In regression/decline due to their racism, violence, misogyny, corruption, Islamism, illiteracy, lack of basic education, homophobia, tribalism and xenophobia.

  11. NO doubt dani the anti semites will blame the corrosive nature of the arab states on the jewish faith!