General Antisemitism

Do Jews muzzle critics with false charges of antisemitism? A reply to the Irish Times


Free-Palestine-Anti-Semitic-Carlos-LatuffIn the past several months the Irish Times published three op-eds by a socialist named Eamonn McCann – diatribes which included a pejorative use of the term “chosen people” to suggest that Israeli attacks against non-Jews are arguably inspired by a belief in their own superiority, a prediction of the Jewish State’s ultimate demise and the claim that racism lies at the core of Israel’s official ideology.

Yet, evidently, the progressive voices who gather in Dublin don’t feel they are completely free to tell us what they really think.

An official (unsigned) Irish Times editorial (The right to be wrong, Feb. 6) about the injurious effects of activists who attempt to suppress free speech begins with the following passage:

When an Israeli minister over the weekend accused US Secretary of State John Kerry of serving as a mouthpiece for anti-Semitic views he was only doing what countless other defenders of Israel have done in associating even mild criticism of the state’s policies with anti-Semitism. It is a bullying rhetorical device, often deeply unfair, that in practice successfully muzzles many critics, and not least, by playing on national guilt, German critics. And it is particularly effective in the US where the Israel lobby finds such a strong echo.

First, the row they’re addressing began when US Secretary of State John Kerry said the following last week in Munich, commenting on the likely harm to Israel if a two-state agreement isn’t reached:

“You see, for Israel there’s an increasing de-legitimization campaign that has been building up. People are very sensitive to it. There is talk of boycotts and other kinds of things…Today’s status quo absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100 percent, cannot be maintained. It’s not sustainable. It’s illusionary. There’s a momentary prosperity, there’s a momentary peace.”

As we noted in a recent post, the Israeli minister in question, Naftali Bennett, didn’t accuse Kerry of being antisemitic, only that such boycott efforts are antisemitic.  Indeed, the belief that boycott campaigns which single out Israel – and only Israel – are indeed antisemitic, per a recent survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, is shared by 72% of European Jews.

So, unpacking the Irish Times argument:

What first stands out in the editorial is their evidently sincere belief that, due to smears by pro-Israel Jews, Israel’s opponents are “muzzled” and the state is spared its fair share of criticism, representing a simply astonishing inversion in light of the disproportionate (often obsessive) negative focus on the state by the mainstream media, NGOs and international bodies such as the UN.

Moreover, by giving voice to what’s known as the Livingstone Formulation (named after the former London mayor), in suggesting that Jews raise the issue of antisemitism “in response to even mild criticism of the state’s policies” in order to “muzzle” debate, they’re in effect engaging in an ad hominem attack on Jewish communities.  That is, they’re not just simply rationally refuting accusations of antisemitism, but imputing bad faith and dishonesty to those who do – an increasingly popular meme on the anti-Zionist left.

However, while reasonable people can of course disagree on what constitutes anti-Jewish racism, the overwhelming majority of Jews who talk seriously about antisemitism are merely asking those who fancy themselves anti-racists to avoid tropes, narratives, graphic depictions and policies based on – or which evoke – anti-Jewish prejudices, and which have historically been employed by reactionary movements which initiated assaults on Jews and Jewish communities.

Boycotts which single out the Jewish state evoke, for most Jews, racist boycotts targeting Jews and Jewish businesses of previous eras, and so necessarily poison the political environment that Jews inhabit.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the proposition that anti-Israel boycotts are motivated by antisemitism (or have an antisemitic effect), Jews who passionately believe so should (at the very least) not have their motives and sincerity questioned, or their integrity maligned.

Related Articles:

What Jews talk about when they talk about antisemitism (cifwatch.com)

87 replies »

  1. For the sake of this argument is true. Even if it is, even if “Jews” do cry “antisemitism” against all criticism, that DOESN’T MEAN there’s no antisemitism. Judeophobia is still a problem, independently of what “Jews” do.
    PS: i put “Jews” in quotation marks because NOT ALL JEWS THINK ALIKE. Jews are an extremely diverse group. It’s shameful those “anti-zionists” forget about that important detail.

  2. It is anti-semitic to ask do Jews muzzle critics – and also incorrect – Jews like any other people come in all sizes – Now do Zionists muzzle critics – Again many do and not necessarily all.

    Some of the most vocal critics of Zionism are Jews, some religious and some non-believers – So Mario is right. However, those Zionists who shout anti-semite weaken the struggle against anti-semites. It is like anti-racism. You have to be very careful and not call everybody a racist just because they are critical of you.

    cifwatch is guilty of making the term anti-semitism irrelevant by calling every criticsm as anti-semite or minimising holocaust. It is an honour to the victims of the Holocaust that their tragedy is used as yardstick of our current oppressions.

    After all th pledge humanity made at the end of the second world war that it would never allow such a tragedy to occur ever again. It is right and proper that we ask ourselves when we see tragedies happening that bear any resemblance to what happened in Europe in the 19th and 20th Century.

    • cifwatch is guilty of making the term anti-semitism irrelevant by calling every criticsm as anti-semite or minimising holocaust.

      Except CifWatch does no such thing! And even if it did – that wouldn’t make the term anti-Semitism irrelevant. Well … for you, perhaps, but certainly not for me.

    • Every comment Jane? Document it.

      And if the BdS campaign is not anti-Semitic in purpose, why is there no other country targeted for a similar campaign. Are you saying that racism exists nowhere else except in Israel? The only BsD-like campaign in the world is the BsD campaign that targets the only Jewish state in the world.

      That’s a correlation of 1.

  3. Is it anti-semitic to denounce Israel’s policy of house demolitions?
    Is it anti-semitic to denounce the Seige of Gaza?
    Is it anti-semitic to denounce the arresting of Palestinian children?
    Is it anti-semitic to denounce laws that discreminate based on ethnicity?
    Is it anti-semitic to demand that the Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to their homes?
    When those of us who criticize what Israel does. We are exercising our opinion of Israel’s actions against a minority it administers. To do that is not anti-semitic. Those who insist it is make the struggle against genuine anti-semitic racism more difficult.

    • 1. Not necessarily
      2. Yes, especially when capitalized.
      3. Yes.
      4. You’re making a very general statement, but as this is used as defamation of Israel, then yes.
      5. Yes, absolutely. You must be brain dead.
      It is you who blur the lines between legitimate criticism and anti-Semitism by bringing up these well-worn defamatory talking points.

      • 1. Not necessarily

        Well, if Bacon denounces demolition of Roma illegal settlements and Hamas demolitions in Gaza, And Russian demolitions in Souchi to make way for Olympic constructions, then there would be at least doubt that she was anti-Semitic. The fact that she feels it necessary to comment on CiFWatch at all suggests that she has been accused of plain anti-Semitism. I suspect for the right reasons too bearing in mind her listing above.

        ‘Obsessive’ is the key to the anti-Semite descriptor.

      • I note that Jane Bacon has ignored, or is perhaps ignorant of, the fundamental question: Is it anti-semitic (sic) to single out Israel (which happens to be the one Jewish state in the world) for OTT criticism and scrutiny whilst ignoring the egregious behaviour, including towards their own people, of Hamas and the PA? (My anwser would be “most definitely”).

        Jane, once I come across criticism by you of this sort of behaviour by Palestinian leaders:

        http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=10607

        http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=448

        http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=776

        http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=110#559

        among the many human rights infringements they commit against their own people, then I may take your comment here seriously.

        And before you mew that they have no other choice, remind yourself of other oppressed peoples, among them Jews, who have never resorted to encouraging their children to want to die by exploding themselves among their enemies, nor have they deliberately set out to make sure that their mad hatred is perpetrated down the generations.

    • Bacon. All your comments could be anti-Semitic if you only have criticism, however misplaced, for the Jewish Zionist entity. If, when you are ‘on your throne’, you are obsessing about the Jewish Zionist entity and if you have no criticism that the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims refuse to recognise a Jewish Zionist entity of Israel, then, yes, I would say that you are a raving anti-semite.

    • Strange to see such an engagement against only one state who, by chance, happens to be the state of Jews. This singling out is as antisemitic as the personalisation of the state of Israel – “What Israel does”, because it supposes a totalitarian picture of a democratic state, where the opposition is siimply the same as the government.
      You would qualify as honest critic of the Israeli government if you also mention the positive qualities of this state, the democratic difference, the rule of law, the freedom of religion etc. in contrast to all surrounding countries who support the Palestinian cause. And if you would be an outspoken critic of the Communist dictatorship in China or the Putin system in Russia. Which you aren`t. Therefore only an average anti-Smeite.

    • Jane Bacon aka Nat:

      1. It could be depending on the case you are denouncing, the language used and the justifications brought about.
      2. It could be depending on your reasons behind your case, the language used, the motives and whether you are after an overall change to the laws of war – in which case most modern conflicts will be denounced as illegal, and in which case focusing your denounciation on the Gaza seige / blocade will seem fishy and will smell of racism.
      3. It depends on a case per case basis. denouncing the “arrest” of a child being neglected and left on his own only to bring this case to social services by IDF troops, is most certainly something that smell of Anti Zionist motives, which in turn is very likely to be Anti Jewish motiviated.
      Certain IDF policies can be denounced, but pulling a blanket over them as one case is most certainly something that smells of Anti Zionism of the Anti Jewish type, especially when one focuses on the IDF where far greater child abuses are happening on a far greater scale in the world, middle east or even the PA controlled areas.
      4. No it is not in general cases. Once again this needs to be on a case by case basis and with examples and depends on the language use and the examples given to support the criticism.
      5.Demanding that these refugees and only these refugees be returned to the Jewish state without the request of them or the new Palestinian state to accept the Jewish state as such is most certainly Anti Semtic motivated since it does not wish for their benefit, washes the Arab states around from their cromes and their responsabilities, and wish for the distruction of the Jewish state.
      Demanding the return of one or few famillies on individual basis may not be anti Semitic but could be misguided.

      “We are exercising our opinion of Israel’s actions against a minority it administers.”

      Last time I checked Israel does not administer any territory with Palestinians in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza, Kuwait or Egypt.

      Suggesting what you suggest smells of anti Semitic motives or misguided opinions at best.

    • do you spend equal time criticising other countries for discrimination etc or is Israel the only country on your radar ?

    • 1. It is not anti-Semitic to denounce Israel’s policy of house demolitions per se, provided that the denouncer does not ignore similar practices elsewhere.
      2. It is anti-Semitic to denounce the “Siege of Gaza?” because 1) such a thing does not exist. The one laying siege does not supply the besieged. It kind of defeats the purpose of a siege and 2) it ignores the reasons behind the blockade and doing so indicates a lack of empathy to the victims of the “besieged.”
      3. It is anti-Semitic to denounce the arresting of Palestinian children, when they engage in criminal activity (such as rock throwing), because such criticism is not directed at other countries.
      4. It is anti-Semitic to denounce lass that discriminate based on ethnicity because 1) Israel does not have such laws and 2) that ignores places where such discrimination is practice such as oh, let’s see Lebanon, where Palestinians are denied citizenship and access to non-menial jobs, Turkey and Syria, where the teaching of the Kurdish language has been forbidden, Iran where people have to wear badges pertaining to their religion, etc.
      5. It is anti-Semitic to demand that Palestinian refugees be returned to their homes. People who fled in 1948 have a case, but not their children and grandchildren. It is anti-Semitic in purpose that the only people in the world who have the status of refugee-by-inheritance are the same people who seek the destruction of the only Jewish state in the world.

      You are not exercising an opinion to criticize. You are looking for angles to delegitimize. That is anti-Semitic and your implied empathy for anti-Semitism is clearly a facade.

  4. So, it is anti-semitic (well possibly dependent upon capitalisation of the crime) – Hey – is it anti-semitic to criticize racism in Israeli fottball?
    or is it Anti-Semitic to criticize racism in israeli Football?
    or is it ………. dimwits can asnwer this if they want

    • When you criticize the palestinian arabs for suicide bombings, murdering whole families by sliting thier throats, muslim honour killings in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. When you criticize the palestinian leadership for refusing to recognise Israel as a JEWISH state, as muslims have 56 and christians many more.

      Only then will you not be considered antisemitic.

    • Bacon, the fact you don’t criticise anything else apart from ‘Israeli villainy’ makes you a pompous, self-righteous bigot. I could do a long list of;
      Do you criticise racism in English football?
      Do you criticise Anelka’s use of the Quenelle?
      Do you write on any other post about terror, oppression and murder in Syria?
      Do you blah blah blah?

      But this rhetorical device of parading my moral superiority over an ivory tower dimwit like yourself gets very tedious, very quickly.

    • I doubt that you are capable of distinguishing between reasoned criticism of Israel and what constitutes antisemitism, Jane Bacon. You seem not to be aware, for example that the “Siege of Gaza” is no such thing and yet you wheel it in as if it exists and without, incidentally, mentioning Egypt’s blockade. Had you done that, I might have taken your opinions more seriously.

      This topic is very complex, but people have already replied in the terms I would, that obsessive criticism of what Israel is and does, microscopic examination of everything she does, to the exclusion of REASONED “like with like” comparisons between her behaviour and that of other states, is deeply suspicious of an antisemitic agenda.

      It is also antisemitic to criticise racism in Israeli football when you are deaf, dumb and blind to the racism in football generally, because, again, you are singling Israel out. Do you understand that?

      (Incidentally, is Jane Bacon your real name, or a moniker? If the latter, how did you come to choose it?)

    • What is it with you brain dead dipshits and the need to start a new thread within the thread when in response to another’s response to your original thread? Oh, and then, of course, your perpetual victimhood. Chances are, we’re gong to end up talking about YOU and not the Palestinians.

      Because you are a narcissist.

  5. Of course criticism of Israel is not necessariy anti-Semitic.

    Critics of Israel include:

    *Naive young university students who have been indoctrinated by their brain-damaged left-wing lecturers that Israel is the source of all evil and that a one-state solution would lead to peace, sweetness and light in the Middle East.

    *People who have been led to believe that if they don’t support the Palestinians against Israel they are lacking in basic compassion.

    *Die-hard, fossilised old right-wing racists and Holocaust deniers.

    *Politicians who court the Muslim vote.

    *The vast majority of the Arab and broader Muslim world, which has its collective nose in Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and which habitually criticises Israel.

    No doubt you could find an anti-Semite or three among all that lot, but they are not necessarily all anti-Semitic.

    • What a load of claptrap. No doubt you would say the same about the Nazis: “I’m sure they were not all necesarily anti-semitic.” You are an appeaser and relativist.

      • Slow down a bit there. You’ve misunderstood my comment and jumped to confusions and knee-jerk judgements. There’s no doubt that anti-Semitism is a raging virus on this planet. I just prefer to err on the side of caution when labelling people as such. People are a complex mix of attitudes and motives and are often not even fully aware themselves of what drives them. Anti-Israel criticism is not automatically a sign of anti-Semitism.

        • It is when similar criticism is not directed at others. Those same activists could care less about ethnic cleansing in Tibet and Turkish repression of Kurds. Everything is just kind of “ho-hum.”

          • It is when similar criticism is not directed at others.

            Yes, I agree that is quite strong evidence of anti-Semitism, but I don’t think it’s conclusive. Some of them could just be unthinking followers of fashion and Israel-bashing is probably the most fashionable thing on the planet right now.

            • I agree, TT, but I have to say that when someone goes as far as reaching a site such as this and posting an angry comment, it goes beyond just a fashionable, default perspective and leans towards an active, deliberate position.

              For example, I have received views on all sorts of matters such as sexism v feminism, unfettered free market v social justice, Arsenal v Tottenham and cyclists v motorists, but I have only ever consistently commented online on one of those issues because there is only one I feel passionate enough about.

              • I agree, TT, but I have to say that when someone goes as far as reaching a site such as this and posting an angry comment, it goes beyond just a fashionable, default perspective and leans towards an active, deliberate position.

                It’s a difficult debate. Of course there is always a strong probability that such people are anti-Semitic but they could also just be driven by PeeCee zeal and the misguided belief that Israeli concessions will result in peace.

        • ” just prefer to err on the side of caution when labelling people as such. ”

          Let me rewrite what you just typed
          “*Naive young university students who have been indoctrinated by their brain-damaged left-wing lecturers that Blacks are the source of all evil….”.

          Will you label racist behaviour against blacks anything but racist? Why a should the circumstances as you put them in you comment should atone for such a behaviour. I am quite sure you will agree with me that the above rewritten phrase will not provide clemency to a bigot that accuses blacks for drinking the blood of children.

          Why when it comes to Jews, such apologetic excuses are acceptable. Circumstances and intentionality notwithstanding, an act of racism or antisemitism is an act of racism. And if it is the case the these persons did it inadvertently as you suggest, it is our duty to put a mirror in front of their faces by stating the obvious.

          • OK, I take your point, but I said they have been indoctrinated that Israel is the source of all evil, not Jews. There’s the difficulty. No doubt anti-Zionism is in many cases a convenient cover for the anti-Semite but I don’t believe the anti-Zionist is inevitably an anti-Semite.

            • It is most amusing when such received wisdom flips completely around. e.g. in the 80s, the Mujahideen were heroes (see Rambo II), then by the noughties, of course, the same people with the same ideals and tactics were the ultimate villains!

              Similarly, in the 70s, the Palestinians (with their hijackings, Entebe, Munich etc) were villains. Now they seem to be the heres. Wierd, isn’t it?

              • True, and it’s even weirder that they remained heroes throughout the Second Intifada, no matter how many terrorist atrocities they inflicted on innocent Israeli civilians.

                The international media can take a big chunk of the blame for that with its minimising of those atrocities and continual finger pointing at Israel.

                In 2006 David Horowitz, Times of Israel Editor and then Editor of the Jerusalem Report let CNN have it re its appalling, one-sided portrayal of the conflict:

  6. If people obsessively focus on criticising Israel, leaving other states around the world entirely untouched, then it is not for us to suggest they are antisemitic, it is for them to explain why they are not.

    • It’s a nice idea, but I’m not too keen on adopting the guilty-till-proven-innocent stance.

      Unfortunately, many people are sheeple and will follow the prevailing trend without thinking the issues through. Those belonging to the first two categories I mentioned above may hop onto the anti-Israel bandwagon mainly because it’s the one that’s in their face and not because they hate Jews.

      They may even genuinely believe in the idiotic assumption that withdrawal to the ’67 lines and return of the “refugees” will bring peace.

      But anti-Semitic? I need a bit more evidence than that.

      • What about the property and businesses over 800,000 Jews owned when they had to flee Arab/muslim pogroms in 1948? The Jews left with nothing and the Arabs stole everything. The UN had deliberately created an army of fake refugees to use as a weapon against Jews and sole Jewish state, Israel.

        • Cassandra:

          “The UN had deliberately created an army of fake refugees to use as a weapon against Jews and sole Jewish state, Israel.”

          I believe the UN simply caved in to the black mail of the various Arab oil lobbies and to deflect attention of other rogue states’ actions within it.
          Not even mentioning the jobs and revenues created by WNRWA and other “wonderful” such enterprizes which stagnate economical developments in the ME rather than elevate them.

      • What do you say to “applying the same rules to them as they apply to Israel”, then? Would that sit better? It certainly does for me.

    • “If people obsessively focus on criticising Israel, leaving other states around the world entirely untouched, then it is not for us to suggest they are antisemitic, it is for them to explain why they are not.”

      Perhaps it’s a REACTION to the observation that our political leaders in the west frequently seem obsessed with professing their endorsement of Israel….eg how many UK parliamentarians are under the “Friends of Israel” umbrella and when was the last time a US presidential candidate failed to pledge his unyielding support for Israel?

      How big are the parliamentarian “Friends of Uruguay” groupings and when was the last time a US presidential candidate declared his unyielding support for Peru?

      Obsessively focussing on Israel cuts both ways.

      • Housemouse:

        “Perhaps it’s a REACTION to the observation that our political leaders in the west frequently seem obsessed with professing their endorsement of Israel….eg how many UK parliamentarians are under the “Friends of Israel” umbrella and when was the last time a US presidential candidate failed to pledge his unyielding support for Israel?”

        The reason for this, as I suspect you are well aware of, is the constant demand and preassue applied in successive Israeli regimes by successive Western govts to make concession towards nations and people it defeated in past wars, brought upon it by these nations own hostile actions.

        Remind us all which nation applied preassue on the US to get its boots off German soil in the past 70 years?
        Not one nation let alone Germnay.
        Why are they demanding Israel to leave soil it won in defensive wars?
        Shall we assume the answer must be something to do with words “oil” and “cartel”, or “Soviet” and “arms race”?

        “How big are the parliamentarian “Friends of Uruguay” groupings and when was the last time a US presidential candidate declared his unyielding support for Peru?”

        You know damn well that both the countries you mention are not under constant attacks in both the UN, and phisical attack via proxies.
        For every “friends of Israel” club there’s a “friends of Palestine” club when funny enough Palestine is not even a recognised country?
        So your question is on the same mental level as the following question: “why have “Friends of Palestine” and not “Friends of Shimon”?”…

        • Hilarious non-sequitur responses to a perfectly straight-forward observation (in response to Oy Vay Goy’s comment)….like I said obsessively focussing on Israel cuts both ways. Is Israel to be treated as a special case or is it just like any other country eg Uruguay or Peru? Make your minds up people.

          • House
            “A perfectly straight-forward observation”.

            Not really, it is your opinion that there are too many Israel sympathisers in Parliament. A straight forward observation would be data or percentages on how many of the 650 MP’s take an active role in supporting Israel, compared to those who take a pro-Arab line, with reference to your source of information to discern its objectivity / accuracy.

            But, of course, the difference between fact and opinion is of no importance to any Brit who mistakes their parochial bigotry as objective fair play.

              • Obsessively focusing you are, nobody else here, as the website is dedicated to constant misrepresentation of Israel in British media, especially in The Guardian.
                If you don`t understand the aim of this website, you should go back to school and train the cultural technique of understanding, half-wit.

                • It seems you have no appreciation of the concept of a discussion-

                  [discussion
                  dɪˈskʌʃ(ə)n/
                  noun
                  1.the action or process of talking about something in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas.]

                  Anyway thanks for your input.

                • Maybe you imagine yourself as concept, but in real life stupid people like you are treated as stupid people.

      • Oh and have you expressed those same sentiments to those obsessed with Palestinians and Naqba, and the like. Have you heard of an organization called the UN?

      • “How many UK parliamentarians are under the “Friends of Israel” umbrella…”
        Answer: There are 43 current MPs/Lords who are members of one of the “Friends of Israel” groups.

        By way of comparison, there are 82 current MPs who are members of Labour Friend of Palestine and the Middle East”. (that’s just MPs, and just Labour).

        Now – back to your observation “that our political leaders in the west frequently seem obsessed with professing their endorsement of Israel…”?

            • I admit I used Wikipaedia. You will note that many of the members of LFI and CFI are FORMER MPs or other members of the respective parties. My numbers only included CURRENT MPs and members of the House of Lords (as stated in my post) because you made a comment about UK parliamentarians, which to me does not include “anyone who is a member of a political party or once represented them in parliament”.

              • [You will note that many of the members of LFI and CFI are FORMER MPs or other members of the respective parties. My numbers only included CURRENT MPs and members of the House of Lords (as stated in my post) because you made a comment about UK parliamentarians, which to me does not include “anyone who is a member of a political party or once represented them in parliament”]

                My figures (sourced from the cited websites) refer only to CURRENT parliamentarians. According to the ConservativeHome website in an article dated 26 October 2012 (i.e within this parliamentary term) “its [Friends of Israel] Parliamentary Group is said to include 80% of all Conservative MPs” which corresponds to approximately 240 individuals and the Labour Friends of Israel website lists more than 40 CURRENT Parliamentarians affiliated to it’s group.

                Obviously if you include “anyone who is a member of a political party or once represented them in parliament” the figures are considerably higher eg again according to the ConservativeHome website

                “Ordinary people are able to sign up for membership [to Conservative Friends of Israel] – there are roughly 2,000 members”

                Your answer

                “There are 43 current MPs/Lords who are members of one of the “Friends of Israel” groups.”

                is quite simply wrong if you think that is the total number of current parliamentarians affiliated to a “Friends of Israel” group.

                • OK HM. I am prepared to take CFI’s word for it that 80% of all tory MPs are members. I am not afraid to admit when I have it wrong. I made the stupid mistake of relying on wikipedia for “facts”. I have not the time, however, to file through every MP/Lord’s profile to check (from the horse’s mouth) exactly who is and who isn’t a declared supporter of Israel/the Palestinians. Is anyone aware of a reliable source for this information?
                  In the meantime, HM, perhaps you could read this – http://www.thecommentator.com/article/4135/what_s_wrong_with_a_zionist_lobby_anyway. It might (though I doubt it will) calm your fears a little.

              • Actually Fritz, in the UK there are TWO houses of Parliament. Members of either house can be described as “parliamentarians”. You appear to have excluded members of the House of Lords when counting. Anyway, thanks for your input.

                • Obviously Automatically generated Housemouse does not know what MP means, who is an MP and who not.

          • Some sources ..
            Wrong, only one source echos hearsay, your own source
            “However, its Parliamentary Group is said to include 80% of all Conservative MPs. The Chairman of the Parliamentary Group is James Arbuthnot (pictured right), and James Clappison is the Vice Chairman. Officers include David Amess, David Burrowes, Robert Halfon, Priti Patel and Lee Scott, and Timothy Kirkhope MEP leads CFoI’s European group.”
            Housemouse at a loss how to cite correctly.

          • Interesting that the article that you cite actually lists 37 names.
            35 MPs, 1 member of the House of Lords and 1 MEP.
            The CFoI website does not give any numbers of members in Parliament or the European Parliament so your figure of 240 is pure speculation.

            ‘ConservativeHome’ is not a part of the Conservative Party but an independent blog owned by Michael Ashcroft that ‘broadly’ supports the Conservative Party, from their own website;
            “We are independent of the Conservative Party but supportive of it. ConservativeHome is owned by Michael Ashcroft and co-founded by Stephan Shakespeare.”

            Have you any reliable, verifiable sources to support your guess of 240 Conservative MPs being members of, or supporting, CFoI?

            • “……..so your figure of 240 is pure speculation.”

              In fact the speculative figure is the 80% mentioned on the ConservativeHome website (it’s not a figure I made up). If you read my words carefully, you will notice I’ve made no definitive claims about the ACTUAL number and invariably attributed figures to their source.

              “Have you any reliable, verifiable sources to support your guess of 240 Conservative MPs being members of, or supporting, CFoI?”

              It’s a calculation based on the following-

              According to the ConservativeHome website (linked earlier) as of October 2012

              “….its Parliamentary Group is said to include 80% of all Conservative MPs.”

              Since it’s a verifiable fact that there are just over 300 Conservative MPs, a figure of 80% corresponds to approximately 240 individuals. The calculation is correct though the figure of 80% (though presumably informed), I would agree is undeniably conjectural. I would welcome any definitive figures but the information seems curiously elusive. Such information should be readily available..wouldn’t you agree?

              Either way, we can be reasonably sure Labenal’s claim (to which I was responding)-

              “There are 43 current MPs/Lords who are members of one of the “Friends of Israel” groups.”

              is a gross underestimate of the total parliamentary (House of Lords/Commons) “Friends of Israel” which Labenal had the good grace to concede.

              • So ‘HouseMouse’ cutting through all of your waffle the answer to my question is that you do not have any reliable or verifiable sources, just a guess from a blog that is independent of the Conservative Party.

                Thank you for your input.
                However as your posts are ill-informed and are composed of unverified guesswork I shall not waste any more of my time reading them.

                • Does anyone have any reliable or verifiable sources regarding the ACTUAL total numbers? Strange that the information is so elusive. Anyway, thanks for your input.

            • [ConservativeHome’ is not a part of the Conservative Party but an independent blog owned by Michael Ashcroft that ‘broadly’ supports the Conservative Party, from their own website;
              “We are independent of the Conservative Party but supportive of it. ConservativeHome is owned by Michael Ashcroft and co-founded by Stephan Shakespeare.”]

              Is that the same Michael Ashcroft that was Deputy Conservative Party Chairman? I’m guessing he knows more about internal Conservative Party groupings than you Gerald.

              • “Is that the same Michael Ashcroft that was Deputy Conservative Party Chairman?”
                ‘HouseMouse’ the important word in that sentence is WAS.
                Lord Ashcroft resigned as one of the Deputy Chairmen in 2010, shortly after confirming he was not ‘domiciled’ in the UK.

                “I’m guessing..”
                Indeed you are, but you do that a lot.
                Feel free to come back when you have something to post that isn’t ill-informed speculation based on sub-standard guess work. When you do I will reply, but I will not hold my breath as frankly based on your performance on this site your posts are very poor, based on ill-informed guess work and speculation.

                • A lot of blustering disparagement from you Gerald but conspicuously you haven’t offered any sources to refute the “ill-informed guess work and speculation”. One can only guess why..

                  (Anyway thanks for your input)

                • “Anyway thanks for your input”

                  No ‘HouseMouse’ thank you for your input.
                  Your posts are a master class in, unintentional, comedy and conjecture.

                • Nice to see you’re still reading my comments (even if it is merely for comedy value). I’m almost tempted to provide a link to my blog to provide you with a barrel of laughs.

  7. Go to any CIF debate on Israel and you will inevitably find some brain-damaged little shmuck claiming that he/she has been muzzled and is unable to criticise Israel, while in the same breath spewing vile comments about the Jewish state.

    What these people are really complaining about is their inability to come right out and spew a stream of unrestricted and undisguised abuse – something that is not generally possible on a moderated site. Such comments are common on Jewish and Israeli videos on YouTube.

    It’s unsurprising to see the Irish Times come up with the standard brain-damaged bleat. Could be partly due to the vast quantities of booze the Irish pour down their throats.

    Many Irish people I’ve met have been anti-Semitic in a jocular, hearty sort of way and appear puzzled when a Jew doesn’t appreciate the joke.

    • Good idea is to make an Irish joke back at them and laugh heartily; see how they like it. Then explain.

        • They may well do, but their preoccupation with things Israeli is rooted in their dislike of partition, their concept of supporting the underdog – in this case their perception of the Palestinians in this role – and for some the alliance between ” resistance ” groups. However wrong they are, it’s got sod all to do with drink.

          • There is a lot of truth in that observation and yes, drink does not directly impact on those attitudes. But it does seem strange that the Irish would regard the Palestinians as fellow sufferers. Of all the struggles and causes on this planet the Palestinian one is among the most bogus and unjustified. Their 65-year whingeing propaganda campaign is one reason for the outpouring of sympathy they get from everyone and his dog. Another reason is old-fashioned anti-Semitism. It’s so convenient for the anti-Semite to pretend undying love for the Palestinians as a cover for Jew-bashing, itself disguised as anti-Zionism.

            Let’s take a closer look at this undeniable Irish concern for the underdog. How many Irish supported the newborn state of Israel when it was immediately attacked by five Arab armies, with the single-minded purpose of driving the Jews into the sea?

            • Well I hoped to cover that by saying ” however wrong they are ” but I’ll just note Connor Cruise O’Brien’s remark in his history of Israel, The Siege, that most people, including the Irish, came to know Israel because of the televising of the 1982 Lebanon war which didn’t look good, however justified it may have been. Swotting up on events since 1967 may well have led to the positions taken by many now….including the Irish.

    • Oh I see! The Irish Times, like the Hamas thugs who cheerfully educate their young almost from birth to hate Jews because they are Jews, are driven to tell lies to promote anti-Israel feeling? Israel/Jews drive them to do it? The poor, sad, stupid things!

      And silly me for being offended at the “jocular” antisemitism that a supporter of the sort of guff printed in the Irish Times might come up with!

      • You have every right to be offended. And the insensitivity of those who expect a Jew to laugh along with their anti-Semitic jokes is beyond belief. I guess it could be an initiation of sorts. If you laugh along with them you turn your back on your fellow Jews and then you can join the club of your tormentors and drink a crate or two of beer with them.

          • Thing is, after thousands of years of oppression and slaughter of Jews, culminating in the Holocaust, anti-Semites hold a trump card when it comes to callous mockery and vile insults and take a twisted pleasure in using that card to bait Jews.

            Your Blarney Stone joke would only be relevant to the Irish if they had huge numbers of HIV sufferers as, for example, in Africa.

  8. Funny how folks like these are perpetual victims of their own losing battles. They use simpleminded logic while redefining terms to paint some picture about Jews, Israelis, and Zionists THAT DOES NOT EXIST and yet to turn the tables, to paint a simpleminded image of these simpleminded folk, is to… what? Taint their reputation? That being called an Anti-Semite somehow trumps the historical inaccuracies of castigating Israel as an Apartheid state?

    Just fucking Wow.

  9. Obviously Eamonn McCann and his ilk are full of shit. At the same time, Bennett’s reference to Kerry as a mouthpiece of anti-Semites is way OTT and offensive.

  10. Maybe so, but it’s understandable. Sometimes I’d like to shake Kerry and ask him why the hell he never criticises the Palestinians but only points the finger at Israel. His alleged position as an honest broker is highly suspect for that very reason.