General Antisemitism

British journalist promotes “taboo busting” article literally justifying antisemitism


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.

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15 replies »

    • He’s a sad character who really ought to be irrelevant by now. But I see the old, old European sport of pinning their hopes on an antisemitic Jew to confirm their own ridiculous and ugly biases against us is once again in full swing. They’ll sing his praises, raise his status amongst themselves and proclaim, “I told you so.”

    • Actually, you have it backwards. It is my understanding that Jonathan Cook was cut by The Guardian because he was too anti-Semitic and anti-Israel even for them.

      This is actually pretty hard to do. To be dropped by The Guardian for being too anti-Israel is like being kicked out of the KKK for being too racist.

      After The Guardian dumped him Cook went on a tirade attacking it for suppressing “dissenting” views and for being part of The Establishment.

      In any case, Cook can’t afford to turn down any job offer. On his website he repeatedly begs his readers for contributions.

      For all his bombast and bluster Cook is stunningly unsuccessful.

  1. The issue is: who the hell cares? The UK was already a marginalized, shitty little place; a post-imperial island obsessed with its past and convinced that it was still a world power. After the referendum, it’s even more petty, xenophobic, insular and navel-gazing than before. A social, political and economic basket case. A trainwreck of a country, in other words.

    No one cares if its politicians are anti-Semitic. What are they going to do? Send its Tommies to oust us from Judea-Samaria?

    *chuckle*

    The British Army almost got its head handed to it on a plate by fifty guys on camels and armed with catapults. The Israeli armed forces would eat Britain for breakfast, and pick out the bones from between our teeth. Meanwhile, here in the real world, Britain is a small, impoverished island off the coast of Europe, in thrall to an effete, parasitic, nazi-worshipping, elite family, and riven with class division, with a social infrastructure thet is crumbling after four decades of right-wing, militaristic, neo-liberal thievery. A tiny little country still clinging to the hilarious ‘special relationship’ with the US. The class runt who thinks he’s tough because he can pal up with the class bully. A country with a verifiable case of ‘small dog’ syndrome. fuck

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