By Richard Millett Last week Aditya Chakrabortty interviewed Israeli, or to be more accurate Israeli and Palestinian, conductor Daniel Barenboim for the Classical music section of the Guardian. In his article headlined “Daniel […]
By Richard Millett Henry Barnes, site editor of theguardian.com/film, recently wrote about Anne Frank: Then and Now “starring Palestinian girls reading from the German-born Jew’s diary” which, quoting Deadline.com, Barnes described as a “clandestine […]
By Richard Millett If something bad happens to Jews or the Jewish state there are some, inexplicably, in British media or politics who cannot pass up the opportunity to use it against […]
A serious journalist who wished to provide analysis to Economist readers on the recent Olympic scandal involving an Egyptian judoka who refused to shake the hand of his Israeli competitor may have contextualized the incident by noting widespread antisemitism in Egyptian society. Indeed, though Cairo and Jerusalem signed a peace agreement in 1979, and ties between the two countries (on the governmental level) have never been closer, there is little if any sign that Egyptian animosity towards Jews – not just Israelis, but Jews qua Jews – has waned.
The issue here is that Zionism is seen as the ‘enemy’. The equating of Zionism with Neo-conservative thought, with money, with power. It is the way antisemitism works. Whichever group you are in, wherever you sit on the political map, people around you are blaming the Jews for being the unseen force standing behind the opposition. Jews are the communists, the capitalists, they are the divisive force, the troublemakers. Antisemitism in this sense is a distinct and particularly odious form of racism. It morphs and changes with the times.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki has threatened to sue Britain for issuing the 1917 Balfour Declaration because, he claims that it led to mass Jewish immigration to British Mandate Palestine “at the expense of our Palestinian people.” The Palestinian threat is not as laughable as it sounds. It’s not unexpected either, as part of the current Palestinian strategy to exploit any law and abuse any forum to delegitimise Israel.
So Nicola, are Jews welcome at the Edinburgh festival? Not shadows of Jews, scared to express their identity, looking over their shoulder, worried about what they can and cannot say for fear of persecution. But real Jews, proud, Zionist, Israeli flag waving Jews. Jews that are free to walk in the light. Are they welcome?
In an Op-Ed in the Israeli Walla news site, Goren and Rom argued that while they did not think BtS was intentionally lying, the organization’s vetting process was “superficial and not strict enough.” In their opinion, BtS would be more credible were it present the soldiers’ accounts as testimonies for the public to debate and raw material for journalists to investigate, as opposed to verified actual events.
The consequence of all this is that it is now OK for Labour members to say that Jews were behind the slave trade, and that their living descendants owe some kind of debt as a result. This antisemitic myth has become part of the Left’s conversation about Jews. This is how antisemitism becomes normalised, and how Jews get squeezed out of the Labour Party.
To teach people to relate to the overwhelming majority of Jews, that is Jews do not agree with BDS, as apologists for apartheid, Nazism or colonialism is to teach people to relate to those Jews in an antisemitic way. If BDS says that Israel is apartheid and that anybody who does not agree with boycotting Israel is a supporter of apartheid, then it is setting up a framework for Jew-baiting. If anti-Zionists say that Israel is genocidal, is like the Nazis, that Zionism is similar to Nazism, then they are inciting people to treat Jews as though they were Nazis.
Beyond the unfounded, vitriolic allegations, the pictures appearing in the Palestinian Health Ministry’s report highlight the submission’s total lack of credibility. Here are some examples:
RTE, the public service broadcaster of the Irish Republic, has the capacity to immensely influence the views and moral stances of the Irish nation as seasoned commentator (and one-time senior RTE insider) […]
Cross posted from the blog of the CST Ken Livingstone is a left-wing anti-Nazi anti-racist former Mayor of London. David Irving is not, but was briefly famous for having lost a Holocaust […]
Cross posted from Harry’s Place When The Independent went entirely online in late March, its readers (or what were left of them) received solemn undertakings that it would keep its high standards […]
For veteran anti-Israel activist Ali Abunimah, the recent never-ending reports of anti-Semitic outbursts by members of the British Labour Party are understandably alarming. Abunimah has spent most of his professional life trying hard to mainstream exactly the kind of thinking that is now so widely criticized as anti-Semitic, and he seems currently very concerned that all his hard work may have failed to legitimize contemporary anti-Semitism, especially in the form of the anti-Semitic anti-Zionism that is so crucial for Abunimah’s trade.
The main message of the evening was that antisemitism is being used merely to attack Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and to silence all criticism of Israel (aka the Livingstone formulation). Both John Rose and Ali then went on to explicitly call for the demise of Israel.
It is wrong to say that there is no antisemitism in the Labour Party, and that this current crisis is a storm, manufactured by Jews, to silence criticism of Israel and to benefit the Tories. These are not random bad apples in a Labour barrel. They are important because they are manifestations of a way that many people, including the leader, thinks about Israel and the Jews who relate to Israel.
Antisemitism is bad for Jews, obviously, but it is also bad for antisemites. It renders them stupid, impotent and unable to overcome their real problems. Arguing that Muslims working to reduce anti-Muslim hatred should not cooperate with Jews who have experience in tackling antisemitism is a perfect example.
So, the question remains. Did the Irish Times accurately report what Baboun said and inadvertently pass on misinformation to its readers, or did the paper get it wrong and introduce the misinformation into the story on its own?
Cross posted from Harry’s Place At an event in the House of Commons organised by the Palestine Return Centre entitled “Challenging the Narrative: the Obstacles in Advocating for Palestinian Rights”. Kamel Hawwash, British-Palestinian […]