Another journo accuses British Jews who fear antisemitism of being ‘ungrateful’

Yesterday, we posted about a Guardian op-ed by David Conn on Jan. 20th which accused British Jews who, in his view, express unwarranted alarm about the threat of antisemitism in the UK of being “ungrateful” to their country.

It turns out that, on the very same day, a similar charge was leveled by another British Jew, journalist Matthew Norman.

Matthew Norman

Matthew Norman

Writing in The Independent, Norman first notes the putative dearth of any fatal antisemitic attacks in the country.

And so it is with the greatest reluctance – it feels like sacrilege, in fact – that I tempt fate by pointing out that no Jewish person has been killed in Britain in an anti-semitic attack since … well, my possibly flawed internet researches find no fatality on record at all.

Norman’s internet research was indeed flawed. In 2008, a Manchester Jew was fatally stabbed by a man who later told police that he “needed to kill a Jewish person”.  CST characterized the attack as antisemitic.

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Guardian contributer suggests that British Jews alarmed about antisemitism are ‘ungrateful’

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Rally against antisemitism, Royal Courts of Justice

In fairness, The Guardian has published a few morally clear articles, op-eds and editorials on the recent increase of antisemitism in Europe and the UK. However, a Jan. 19th Guardian op-ed by David Conn, responding to poll results on antisemitism published by Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA),  pivots towards more familiar Guardian Left territory – downplaying, obfuscating or rationalizing resurgent anti-Jewish racism.

Conn not only responds with disbelief to polls purporting to show that 25% of British Jews have considered leaving the country because of antisemitism, that 58% believe Jews may have no future in Europe and that over half feel “antisemitism now echoes the 1930s”, but counters that he personally has never experienced meaningful antisemitism in his entire life.

Further in the op-ed, Conn writes:

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Deborah Maccoby to Europe’s Jews: denounce Israel & live happily thereafter

Cross posted from the blog Simply Jews

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Deborah Maccoby… yeah, I know, my American friends will question my preoccupation with such minor and generally obscure elements of British society. And I don’t think that next picture will change their opinion significantly:

DeboraMaccoby

Deborah Maccoby bills herself on some occasions* as “Executive, Jews for Justice for Palestinians”. Alternatively she presents herself as “a member of the Executive Committee of Just Peace UK, the Israeli-Palestinian peace group and the UK branch of ICAHD (the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions)”. At the same time she is gainfully employed “at the BBC World Service as a Production Assistant and has written book reviews for the Arabic Service”. Which is a significant point, showing a person with access to one of the heaviest propaganda juggernauts out there.

So, if after looking at the pictures, you have conjured in your mind an image of one of these slightly demented aunts that are very good in making their own preserves or jams, overcook the roast and are afraid of spiders – perish the thought. Deborah Maccoby is a very strong anti-Zionist presence on many fronts and, as a prominent member of the British “AssaJew” community, has quite a few ideas to offer on many subjects.

One of such subjects is a solution for antisemitism, which Ms Maccoby hinted about as early as 2009. In this letter that starts with predictable “Sir: I am a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and have participated in every one of the national demonstrations against Israel’s brutal onslaught against Gaza”, she offers the magic recipe in the last sentence:

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Poll: 82% of UK Jews believe media bias against Israel fuels antisemitism in Britain

The Campaign Against Antisemitism just released a report based on two new YouGov polls measuring both antisemitic sentiment amongst the British public, and its effect on British Jewry.

Here are the highlights:

British Public’s Attitudes Towards British Jews

  • 25% of Britons believe that “Jews chase money more than other British people.”  
  • 20% of Britons believe “Jews’ loyalty to Israel makes them less loyal to Britain than other British people.” 
  • 17% of Britons believe that “Jews think they are better than other people” and that “Jews have too much power in the media.” 
  • 13% of Britons believe that “Jews talk about the Holocaust too much in order to get sympathy.” 

The Jewish Community’s Reactions to Antisemitism

  • 25% of British Jews have considered leaving the country in the past two years because of rising antisemitism. 
  • 45% of British Jews feel their family is threatened by Islamist extremism.
  • 77% of British Jews have witnessed antisemitism disguised as a political comment about Israel.
  • 84% of British Jews consider boycotts of businesses selling Israeli products to be intimidation.

Most interesting, from our perspective, was this:

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Guardian prints letter by anti-Zionist Jew blaming Zionist Jews for antisemitism

Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP) members were quite possibly among those who inspired Howard Jacobson’s award-winning novel, The Finkler Question, as they resemble UK Jews he refers to as “Ashamed Jews,” Jews who are proud to be ashamed of their Israel-supporting fellow Jews.

The group’s executive, an anti-Zionist Jew named Deborah Maccoby, published a letter in The Guardian on Jan. 12th (What Jews can learn from Muslims) in response to an op-ed by Jonathan Freedland about recent jihadist attacks in Paris (Charlie Hebdo: first they came for the cartoonists, then they came for the Jews).

Deborah Maccoby carries one of the JfJfP placards.

Deborah Maccoby

Maccoby, in her Guardian letter, not only asserts that Jews need to learn from their Muslim counterparts’ putative condemnations of jihadist violence “and say loud and clear in response to Israeli atrocities ‘not in my name‘”, but suggests that Jews’ failure to distance themselves from Israeli “atrocities” renders them culpable for subsequent antisemitic violence:

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Tariq Ramadan misrepresents his views on terrorism in Guardian op-ed

Tariq Ramadan is a renowned Muslim intellectual born in Geneva, and currently serves as Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University. Ramadan is the grandson of Hassan al Banna, one of the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood

He’s also a frequent contributor to the Guardian.

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On Jan. 9th, Ramadan published a Guardian op-ed titled ‘The Paris attackers hijacked Islam but there is no war between Islam and the west‘, which opens with the following declaration:

The attack on Charlie Hebdo compels us to be clear and to be consistent. We have to condemn what happened in Paris absolutely. I said the same after 7/7 and after 9/11

Later in his Guardian op-ed, Ramadan speaks more broadly about terrorism.

We condemn the violent extremism that is targeting westerners.

However, the evidence suggests that Ramadan is mischaracterizing his views.

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When George Galloway Shmoozed Gilad Atzmon

Cross posted from the blog of The CST

This Saturday saw George Galloway MP and his wife Gayatri interview Israeli saxophonist Gilad Atzmon on their Russia Today TV show, ‘Sputnik’. The significance of Galloway hosting Atzmon, a man whose views regarding Israel, Zionism and Jewish identity are so extreme that he is shunned by most of the anti-Israel movement in this country, should not be underestimated.

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Richard Milllett merely asked why Jews can’t live next to Palestinians in the West Bank

Cross posted by London-based blogger Richard Millett

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And so to my final blog of 2014 and a public event I attended last month at the University of Westminster, London.

On 13th November 2014 a panel discussed Parliament Recognises Palestine: What Next?

GUPS representative, Martin Linton, Dibyesh Anand, Sarah Apps, Murad Qureshi

GUPS representative, Martin Linton, Dibyesh Anand, Sarah Apps, Murad Qureshi

The panel consisted of Sara Apps, Campaigns Officer for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Martin “tentacles” Linton, chair of Labour Friends of Palestine, Murad Qureshi, a Labour Party Member of the London Mayoral Assembly and, finally, a representative from the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS – UK).

The panel was chaired by Dr. Dibyesh Anand, Head of Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster.

As ever there were repeated calls from the panel for a boycott of Israeli “settlements”. When it came to the Q&A I raised my arm and asked one simple question:

“Isn’t it racist to call for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank especially when considering that 1.7 million Muslim and Christian Arabs reside fairly happily in Israel ?”

Chaos ensued.

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Independent’s list of most read articles in 2014 features anti-Jewish columnist

In studying and posting about UK media coverage of the summer war between Israel and Hamas, we concluded that the Independent arguably surpassed the Guardian in the level of malice and vitriol directed towards Israel and its ‘Zionist’ supporters in articles and op-eds.

Over a the course of a few days in mid-July, the Indy published an article by Adam Withnall seemingly characterizing a few dozen Sderot residents applauding attacks on Hamas targets as an act of almost unparalleled human cruelty; one op-ed by Robert Fisk which actually blamed the Western media for being too soft on Israeli “blood-letting”, and another op-ed by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown which accused Israel of engaging in a policy of ethnic cleansing.

But, perhaps the most egregious example of unrestrained anti-Zionist malice during that period was provided by Mira Bar-Hillel, in an op-ed on July 11th titled Why I’m on the brink of burning my Israeli passport‘, which suggested that the views towards Palestinians by some Israeli leaders were arguably on par with the genocidal rhetoric espoused by the Nazis.

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Well, on Dec. 30th, the Indy published the paper’s 10 Most Read Articles for 2014.

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Topping their list (with 2.4 million page views) was the ‘Nazi-Israel’ op-ed by Bar-Hillel.

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Bad news for Ali Abunimah: UK gov’t reports continued use of ‘Antisemitism Working Definition’

Late last year we noted that Ali Abunimah – an American born, anti-Zionist commentator who’s been legitimized by both the New York Times and the Guardian despite a record compromised by antisemitism – falsely characterized the Working Definition of Antisemitism as “an abandoned draft text.”

aliWhile it’s narrowly true that the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the successor to the European Union Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), doesn’t include the Working Definition on their website (since their mandate differs from EUMC), a significant number of American and EU government and law enforcement agencies continue to use it to help determine whether incidents are antisemitic.

Here are the relevant bullet points from the Working Definition:

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“Don’t you hate it when Santa gets dragged into politics?”

Our headline was taken from this Dec. 23rd article at i100 (The Independent’s BuzzFeed-style website) by the site’s news editor Matthew Champion.

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Whilst you can read the brief article (ranked 3rd overall in popularity on the site) here about the flagdisplayed in Hedge End, Hampshire - we were even more intrigued by another trending article on the site (ranked 6th overall) posted by Champion on the very same day.

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Guardian letter notes the evils of our time: War, racism, rape…and Zionism

If you want to see a good example of the Guardian Left’s malign anti-Zionist obsession, and the capacity of some advocates for peace and progress to become nearly deranged when contemplating the Jewish state, look no further than this letter published by the Guardian on Dec. 11th, praising Bradley Manning’s defense of transgender rights. 

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Has Ireland backed down from their shameful decision to hold a Zionistfrei Holocaust event?

As the blog Israellycool and others have recently reported, the trustees of Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland(HETI) have forbidden the master of ceremonies at the annual Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony on January 25th, 2015, from mentioning the word “Israel” or the phrase “the Jewish State”.

Here’s the letter sent to Yanky Fachler, the former master of ceremonies, from HETI chair Peter Cassells explaining that no mention of the Jewish state will be permitted by the MC at the event at Dublin’s Mansion House. 

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Will a new Guardian editor facilitate less biased coverage of Israel?

Amidst recent media reports that Alan Rusbridger will be stepping down after twenty years as editor-in-chief of the Guardian, many have begun wondering whether a change in editors will result in less biased coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Such questions arise in the context of the disproportionate role played by the Guardian in the delegitimization of Israel and obsessive coverage of the country, as well as its propensity to legitimize anti-Israel extremists and ignore, whitewash and even legitimize antisemitism.

Read the rest of this post, at Times of Israel, here.

How Israel “incarcerates” Christian Bethlehem – a Guardian Production

In 2012, CAMERA refuted an egregiously propagandistic 60 Minutes report by Bob Simon, which included the assertion that Israel’s security barrier “completely surrounds Bethlehem, turning the ‘little town’ where Christ was born into what its residents call ‘an open air prison.’”  As CAMERA demonstrated (citing maps by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations, B’tselem, and the PLO), the  barrier is located to the north and west of the city, and does not encircle the town.

While such details about the fence – constructed to protect Israel’s citizens from waves of deadly suicide bombings in the early 2000s – may seem like a somewhat minor point, such agitprop evoking a Christian holy city encircled and besieged by the Jewish State is something of a Christmas tradition within much of the media. 

Though last year during Christmas it was Times of London which lamented the “settlement’s which choke the peace in tiny Bethlehem”,  in years prior it was the Guardian which intoned that ‘If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed’.

This year, the Guardian has re-introduced readers to the ‘imprisoned’ town, publishing two articles (and a video story) which center around a documentary by Palestinian director Leila Sansour titled Open Bethlehem.

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