This blog’s previous experience with Irish Times journalist Frank McDonald involved our success at prompting a correction at the paper last August to a false allegation he made concerning BDS.
Despite the correction, however, the Aug. 3rd story on renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations was slanted against Israel to such a degree that it truly could have been written by the Palestinian Ministry of Propaganda.
And, based on a series of recent Tweets by the “environmental journalist”, not only isn’t he too fond of Israel, but he’s not above engaging in ugly smears regarding the Jewish state’s alleged similitude with Nazism which are indistinguishable from what’s leveled by antisemitic extremists.
Indeed, among the most malevolent lies spread by anti-Zionists is that Israelis today are behaving like Nazi Germany did during the Holocaust.
There’s been much written about this insidious moral inversion – a charge made with varying degrees of explicitness recently by two British MPs – but there are two dynamics worth noting, leaving aside for the moment that such charges are deemed antisemitic by the EUMC Working Definition on Antisemitism.
First, there is the suggestion – again, with varying degrees of explicitness – that Israel is engaging in genocide in Gaza. This charge, as we demonstrated in a previous post (‘Are Jews the Most Incompetent Ethnic Cleansers on the Planet?), is so counter-factual that only those who possess a crippling hatred towards the Jewish state could even conceive of it.
During the Shoah, half of Europe’s Jews (including 1.5 million children) were systematically exterminated by the Nazis.
In Gaza, a blockade on weapons is being enforced by Israel to prevent the flow of rockets and other weapons from getting into the hands of Hamas, a group which launched thousands of such deadly projectiles at Israeli town over the years and is dedicated to the state’s destruction. The population of Gaza has increased from 82,000 in 1949 to more than 1.7 million today.
Second, there is the moral inversion, in which a vocal minority of putatively liberal commentators see no moral difference between an Islamist extremist group whose founding charter calls for the mass murder of Jews, and the Jews who represent object of their immutable racism. Indeed, some have even convinced themselves that it is the Islamist extremist group which is the victim of Jewish aggression.
This brings us to the following Tweets by Frank McDonald.
The comparison between The Warsaw Ghetto is almost beyond comprehension, but a few facts need to be noted: in 1941 many Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were limited to a diet of less than 200 calories a day, and in 1942 up to 5,000 Jews in the Ghetto were dying every month due to starvation.
Not only is there no humanitarian crisis (yet alone starvation) in Gaza, but obesity has actually been a problem in the strip since at least the late 1990s.
However, in case you’re in any doubt as to whether McDonald believes that Israelis behave like Nazis, here’s one final Tweet – one of several which evoke the Holocaust that you can see on his Twitter feed over the past several days.
Of course, if post-Holocaust taboos against demonizing Jews were still the norm, the suggestion that Israeli Jews behave like Nazis would render the author of such a hateful invective politically toxic to the progressive journalistic community.
But, we clearly don’t live in such a place.
Rather, the political realm we inhabit – a mere 69 years since the liberation of Auschwitz – allows for such odious charges in the name, often, of liberal, pro-Palestinian political commentary.
Leon Wieseltier, in The New Republic, made the following observation about those who demonize Israel and characterize its Jewish citizens as morally beyond the pale:
“A whole country and a whole people have been expelled from the realm of imaginative sympathy…there is a poison in the air.”
The ideological toxins which inform the views of Frank McDonald will likely not be challenged by liberal left opinion leaders, and we can be all but certain that his editors at the Irish Times won’t blink an eye or even demand an explanation for his appalling racist smear of Israel’s six million Jews.