Telegraph posts 3 stories on settlers’ Kerry spoof, but ignores PA incitement

If you go to the Israel page of The Telegraph, you’ll find three separate stories (and over 1100 words of text) devoted to one short satire produced by the Yesha Council (umbrella organization of councils of ‘settlements’ in Judea and Samaria) that is critical of US Secretary of State John Kerry.

telegraph

Two of the stories were filed by Robert Tait (the paper’s Israel correspondent) within three hours of each other. One characterized the poke at Kerry as “a deliberately disrespectful spoof depicting America’s top diplomat”, while the other editorialized that the clip “undermin[es] a plea from the White House for Israeli politicians to desist from personal attacks on the US secretary of state”, ignoring the fact that the the Yesha Council is a settler’s advocacy group, not a political party.

Here’s the video:

While one can reasonably find the video objectionable, it’s curious that Tait would frame one short (and relatively benign) YouTube clip as somehow injurious to peace efforts while, like most of this fellow British journalists, failing to devote serious coverage to genuine incitement to violence by high level Palestinian politicians.  

Indeed, just a few weeks ago, the Telegraph failed to even note a disturbing clip of PA President Abbas applauding a PA Minister of Religious Affairs after he called for jihad in Jerusalem. 

Videos such as these, attesting to dangerous incitement to violence by Palestinian officials and explicit antisemitism in the state-controlled PA media, are ubiquitous and easily accessible for journalists genuinely concerned with actions on either side which undermine the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

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British “Intelligence” and Zionist Nazi analogies

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?”