We’ve posted previously about the stridently anti-Israel tweets of British journalist Sarah Helm, who writes about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at publications such as the Guardian and The Independent.
Though we believe the tweets we highlighted in our post clearly represent an abdication of her responsibilities as a journalist, we just came across a new tweet which raises even more troubling questions about her professional credibility.
The “taboo-busting” essay (“The chimera of British anti-Semitism and how not to fight it if it were real”, Aug. 19th) by Norman Finkelstein, promoted by Helm was published at the hate site Mondoweiss, and literally defends those who promote toxic stereotypes about Jews.
Finkelstein criticizes a comprehensive survey on antisemitic attitudes in the UK published by the British Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) in 2017, by arguing that some of what the JPR study defines as antisemitic is not actually antisemitic because it represents the truth about Jewish behavior.
Among the beliefs ‘erroneously’ defined by JPR as antisemitic, according to Finkelstein, is the odious charge that “Jews exploit Holocaust victimhood for their own purposes,” which isn’t surprising as Finkelstein wrote a book titled “The Holocaust Industry”. In this book, it’s alleged that “Jewish elites” created an “industry” to perpetuate Holocaust memory as a ploy to extort money, gain influence and “crush any dissent, any criticism, of the State of Israel.”
Finkelstein also claims, in his Mondoweiss post, that another belief falsely defined as antisemitic is the charge that “Jews have too much power in Britain”. This charge, he claims, is “just plain common sense” given the ‘disproportionate role’ of Jews in the “gang of moral blackmailers and extortionists” attempting to topple Jeremy Corbyn by perpetuating what he calls the “elaborate” and “evil” “hoax” that he’s antisemitic.
A more perfect example of antisemitism would be hard to find. British Jews, according to Finkelstein, who represent 0.5 per cent of the UK population, have too much power in Britain, and are using this power to subvert democracy with a well-coordinated and sinister smear campaign alleging that the opposition leader is antisemitic – a charge they know to be untrue.
As Dave Rich of the CST has argued, “the basic idea behind most modern anti-Semitism is that Jews must be up to something”. “Whatever Jews say and do”, according to those who possess this animus, “can’t be taken at face value: they must have some ulterior motive or hidden agenda that needs to be uncovered.”
We can only hope that editors who consider employing Sarah Helm will take into consideration her enthusiastic endorsement of this racist idea.
- In praise of Richard Millett (UK Media Watch)
- BBC political correspondent fails to fact-check team Corbyn defence (BBC Watch)
- Haaretz’s Uri Misgav revives discredited National Library bunker story (CAMERA)