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Guardian publishes antisemitic letter which calls for a boycott of Israel.


That pig a ta Roger Waters concert (jpost.com)

That pig at a Roger Waters concert (jpost.com)

By Richard Millett

It seems the Guardian wants to shut down all social and cultural life in Israel. Last week it published an article which accused the Jewish state of “sportswashing” its reputation by hosting the Giro d’Italia‘s first leg, irrespective of the fact that Israel had obviously been invited to host it!

Implicit in the accusation of “sportswashing” is the historical antisemitic trope of “dishonest Jews” manipulating the world via unethical business practice.

This antisemitic trope has reared its ugly head yet again today with the Guardian publishing a letter by artists. The letter is about the Seret International Film Festival currently underway in London. The letter states:

“Art, media and culture are being employed to give an apparently acceptable face to a brutal reality.”

Again there’s the implicit notion of “dishonest Jews” manipulating others in an unethical manner.

The artists then use Israel’s dealing of the current unrest in Gaza to “call on our cinema, media and cultural institutions to uphold basic ethical standards: they should refuse to provide platforms for national celebrations sponsored by a regime that is guilty of systematic and large-scale human rights violations.”

This is a call for a racist boycott. The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) is simply a call for the destruction of the Jewish state (mainly via the so-called Palestinian “right of return”). In 2014 the Tricycle Theatre cancelled the Jewish Film Festival in response to similar pressure but London’s Jewish community protested outside. The Tricycle eventually apologised.

The artists in this letter claim “large numbers of unarmed protesters in Gaza are killed or maimed with impunity by Israeli snipers”. However, it seems, 80% of those killed in the recent Gaza riots have been terrorists. And the two “journalists” cited in the letter who died, Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein, seem to have had links to terrorist groups; Murtaja with Hamas and Abu Hussein with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

As for some of the signatories to the letter let’s remember that Roger Waters arranged for the posting of the Star of David on to the side of a pig at one of his concerts (see above), and Ken Loach, when asked whether it was acceptable to discuss whether the Holocaust happened, answered  “I think history is for us all to discuss, wouldn’t you?”

Victoria Brittain is a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and Peter Kosminsky wants to boycott Israelis simply because “they hate the idea” (see below).

In 2011 Guardian readers’ editor Chris Elliott pointed out that describing Jewish people as “chosen” is usually code for the ancient antisemitic trope of “Jewish supremacism”. Elliott is no longer at the Guardian but the current readers’ editor should point out why accusations of “sportswashing” and that “Art, media and culture are being employed to give an apparently acceptable face to a brutal reality” are also ancient antisemitic tropes.

14 replies »

  1. What an utter tosser. How anyone who has, ‘lived in Israel’, can say it is an apartheid state is beyond belief – in fact I think it’s literally beyond belief – I don’t believe him.

  2. Difficult to know how the Palestinians in Gaza could be shot from behind when there is no Israeli presence in Gaza behind them and they are facing them across a border. As for the alleged “large numbers of protestors shot” the fact of the matter is that considering thousands of violent protestors using women and children as human shields have been attempting to breach Israel’s border on six consecutive Fridays to allow terrorrists through to kill Israelis,using burning tyres, live fire,sending burning kites across the border which aim to set Israeli property and crops alight , and who have beenwarned not to approach the border at risk of being shot, the number of casualties, although regrettable, is actually incredibly small.
    The use of the term sportswashing is an absolute disgrace. Israel was honoured to be invited to be thefirst country outside of Europe to host a stage of the Giro Italia and what a good job they made of it. 176 c yclists from around the world decided they wanted to be a part of it, and the previous week Israel brilliantly hosted the European Judo championships. These pathetic signatories, basing their views on lies and misinformation and a large helping of sheer hate and bias, are losing the boycott battle.because genuine open minded people are happy to share in a piece of what Israel has to offer.

  3. So, these “artists” want ethical standards met? Ethical standards such as an inflated pig with a Jewish star painted on it?

  4. Most injuries are from smoke inhalation – see burning tyres and their noxious fumes
    Fewer than 0.05% of the total number of ‘protesers’ have died – less tha 50 out of a potential 130 000 protestors over 6 weeks
    About 0.5% of all injuries have died – less than 50 out of over 7000 injured over 6 weeks
    Negligable numbers when you consider that a declared enemy (Hamas, IJ others) is attempting to violently invade the border of another state (Israel)
    If they were not attacking Israel there would be no casualties
    If they sat down with Israel to negotiate a genuine peace there would be no casualties

  5. it’s the usual morons who sign these things, jewish voice for labour; jews for justice; self hating jews are us; along with boring people like ken loach and roger waters. not worth caring about a biyt like the guardian.

  6. “Israelis” (nod, nod, wink, wink) hate boycott so let’s do it, says the chucklehead moron.

  7. Sadly, I would agree that some of the signatories might be described as anti-semites, but that doesn’t mean that describing sportswashing as antisemitism is valid. It’s a valid, but wrong, criticism of Israel, but by calling it anti-semitism, Millet is guilty of trying to shut down criticism of Israel. Just what Melanie Phillips incorrectly wrote was being done by Moslems who claim islamophobia to shut down criticism of Moslems. Millet is a victim of his own shortsightedness, because other aspects of the Guardian letter can be criticised without shouting the AS word.

    • I love the fact that demanding things of Israel that aren’t sought (or even considered) from any other country is not considered bigotry by you. Are you trying to be PC or just stupid? Of course it’s bigotry! And if you want to parse what anti-Semitism is or isn’t please do so somewhere else.