In Douglas Murray’s latest piece for The Spectator, he asked whether Jews should leave Britain, a question prompted by a piece written by Israeli journalist Caroline Glick, which she wrote after participating in an Intelligence Squared debate about Israeli settlements.
The resolution they debated was titled: “Israel is destroying itself with its settlement policy. If settlement expansion continues Israel will have no future.”
Glick and Danny Dayan, outgoing head of the Yesha Council, were pitted against William Sieghart and Lord Levy’s son, Daniel Levy (one of the founders of J-Street).
The resolution passed by a ratio of 5-1.
Murray wrote the following:
“As Glick notes in her bitter farewell to London, the audience was so hostile towards her argument that when she even mentioned the matter of Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini and his involvement with the Nazis during World War II she was booed down by the audience. They – having been presented to her as open-minded – turned out to be so close-minded and partial that they would not even hear a historical fact about a Palestinian figure who was an actual Nazi.”
However, there was actually some applause from the audience in response to the following Nazi reference made by an audience member. (I edited the full video, which can be seen here).
The dilemma in responding to such a grotesque inversion – the insidious and intellectually bankrupt assertion that Israeli Jews are the practitioners of a Nazi ideology, a charge for which many “sophisticated” Europeans, weary of Holocaust guilt and increasingly hostile to Israel, seem to enjoy as a bit of moral Schadenfreude - is whether to dignify it with a response.
Murray, who didn’t mention that particular question from the audience, strikes the correct tone in his broader reply when he contextualized the tenor of the Intelligence Squared debate by citing MP David Ward’s evocation of ‘Jewish atrocities’ during his putative commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day, as well as the cartoon by Gerald Scarfe.
Murray wrote the following:
“There is absolutely no connection between, for instance, the liquidation of hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and the treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank. There is absolutely no connection between the situation in Gaza and the herding of six million Jews into concentration camps. The wonder then is not over Scarfe or Ward’s sense of timing, but why at any point in any year they would be so keen to spread lies and to bait Jews by comparing the actions of the Jewish state with those of a genocidal doctrine of Nazism which sought to annihilate the Jews.”
While Glick’s gloomy and definitive prediction that there is no future for Jews in England seems a bit too glib, Murray’s slightly more restrained conclusion and haunting final question certainly seem sober, well-informed and depressingly apt:
“Glick’s question returns. What sort of future is there in Britain for Jews? I would submit that there is a future. But what is becoming increasingly clear is that the price of that future is that Jews will increasingly be expected to distance themselves from Israel. There is a fair amount of evidence from the Jewish community suggesting that this process is already underway. Once it is complete then those ‘good’ anti-Israel Jews will be able to proclaim victory. But the same force that they encouraged to come for their co-religionists will then just as surely come for them. And then where will they hide?”
- BBC still airbrushing David Ward’s remarks (bbcwatch.org)
- Turn David Ward’s vile charge on its head (cifwatch.com)
- The SS-headache of Carlos Latuff (cifwatch.com)
- How one British paper decided to depict living Jews on Holocaust Memorial Day (cifwatch.com)
- Nazi analogies on BBC comments board (bbcwatch.org)
- A place where Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell can find “real” antisemitism (cifwatch.com)
- Jonathan Freedland’s illusions about the nature of modern antisemitism (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian readers editor criticizes Steve Bell cartoon as evoking antisemitic stereotypes (cifwatch.com)
- CiF’s Jonathan Romain, and ‘Guardian Left’ rationalizations for antisemitism (cifwatch.com)