Telegraph legitimises dual loyalty charge

There appears to be concerns voiced ‘by some’ that newly appointed US-Middle East peace envoy Avi Berkowitz is, like his predecessor Jason Greenblat, and White House advisor Jared Kushner, a “Zionist Jew”.

Unfortunately, we don’t know who exactly feels that, by virtue of his religious background and the fact that he supports Israel’s right to exist, Berkowitz can’t be trusted to faithfully carry out his diplomatic role, as Leila Molana-Allen, the reporter who penned the Telegraph article in question, didn’t say.

Here are the relevant paragraphs from the Sept. 6th piece:

The appointment [of Berkowitz] “demonstrates a lack of seriousness” in the administration’s approach to the peace plan and Mr Kushner’s complete dominance over the process, former Middle East advisor to the US defence department Jasmine El-Gamal told The Telegraph. “They are not even pretending otherwise by hiring a qualified person as an envoy.”

Others have raised concerns that Mr Berkowitz, like Mr Greenblatt before him and Mr Kushner, is a Zionist Jew, which may lead to a perception of bias in any peace negotiations with Palestinian officials.

Though The Telegraph is normally extremely responsible when it comes to avoiding language that could be seen as antisemitic, this particular sentence clearly serves to legitimise the historically toxic dual loyalty trope, codified as antisemitic by the IHRA Working Definition.

Here’s the wording from the IHRA definition:

“Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”

We’ve contacted Telegraph editors to complain.

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19 replies »

  1. Some biographical details about Leila Molana-Allen, author of this objectionable report who is not – and we hope will not become – a regular contributor to the Telegraph.

    International news and politics reporter with extensive broadcast and print writing, presenting, shooting and video editing experience. Iranian/British background, London born and raised with experience working in diverse communities and challenging conditions. Breaking news and fast turnaround experience in a live TV environment. Oxford and Ivy League educated in British politics, social issues and foreign policy. Worked for The Economist, NBC News, BBC, France24 and Al Jazeera English. Speaks English, French, Arabic and Farsi. Three years based in Beirut, Lebanon.

  2. This just exposes the nonsense of many of the IHRA examples. Of course it would be antisemitic to accuse all Jews of dual loyalty but it must be possible to suggest that individual Jews put loyalty to Israel before loyalty to their country of nationality, since there is evidence that some (however few) do so.

    • There are many examples of dual loyalties, immigrants to a country who maintain that loyalty. However, it’s an Israel when it comes to Jews and Israel. That is what makes it anti-Semitic and a legitimate inclusion in the IHRA definition.

      • I don’t understand your comment. What does “it’s an Israel when it comes to Jews and Israel mean”?

          • Ah Yes – but before there was Israel Jews were told to go back to their own country – all the hatred in the last 2000 years has been to accuse Jews of duel loyalty to their own coreligionists anywhere in the world

    • I know it’s hard for you to avoid anti-Semitic tropes when criticizing Jews and Israel, but that’s because you’re a fucking moron, Sencar. By your own admission, you’re not bright enough to avoid stereotypes in your so-called criticism. That’s because you’re a common bigot, Sencar. Not even a special bigot. Just a pathetic, run of the mill, typical turd nugget, bigot dumbfuck dipwad.

      Yay! You!

    • Have you ever heard of the ‘special pleading fallacy’? Look it up if you haven’t since your choosing to make Israel an exceptional case is a classic example.

      • Fine. In that case show how this is an issue with other ethnically-defined groups on the scale that it has become an issue vis-a-vis for Israel and Jews. Why would we have this Telegraph article otherwise? Why would there be such animus towards AIPAC and none towards the Arab Lobby?

        • In some European countries the Roma people are widely regarded as thieves and vagabonds (a belief I don’t share). By your reasoning, should an individual Roma person burgle my house, I shouldn’t complain and identify the culprit lest that should contribute to the negative image of that group.

          • You’re talking about crime here. I have asked you to show an example of a group accused of holding dual loyalty to a foreign country on a scale comparable to that which Jews are accused outside of Israel are accused of supporting Israel more than their countries of residence..

      • sencar,
        Special pleading is what anti-Zionists commonly use to condemn Israel. It’s also part and parcel of the Jew hater’s playbook over the centuries. I’m surprised that you would have the gall to even mention it.

  3. “Others have raised concerns that Mr Berkowitz, like Mr Greenblatt before him and Mr Kushner, is a Zionist Jew, which may lead to a perception of bias in any peace negotiations with Palestinian officials.”

    Who are the “others”?
    Well, sencar, for one, and that ought to tell us enough.
    The US might be described as a ZIonist country, since the consensus is that Israel has a right to exist and to keep existing as the National Home of the Jewish People. Is it the jewish identity of the zionist that has “some” all bent out of shape? You bet!

    The idea that a special envoy should be open to Israel ceasing to exist would be quite strange, and something we wouldn’t expect in the case of any other legally constituted country involved in a dispute, and thus could be considered special pleading. Anti-zionism is built on special pleading.

    sencar’s schtick is built on bigotry, confusion, and a soft spot for New Zealand fascists, as we who have been around here for a while all know.

    sencar, what is it that discrimination against Jews does for you? Why do you like it? What is it about the misrepresentation of Jews, their beliefs, and their institutions that tickles and thrills you so? Why are you ready to believe the worst calumnies about them?

    • All Jews through religion and culture are aware of their historic connection to Israel. It is part of the liturgy to pray for a return to their homeland. Therefore, all Jews are Zionists, with the exception of self-hating Jews who are anti-Zionist and who align themselves with other anti-zionists (Bernie Sanders, case in point). Therefore, any patriotic American Jew appointed to the peace process would be, by definition Zionistic, just as any Muslim involved in the peace process would believe in the tenets of his own faith.