Today the BBC finds itself in the most unusual situation it has ever been catapulted into. It has been propelled onstage, in front of an expectant audience, but doesn’t know what for. Rabbit in headlights.
If there was one occasion for popcorn, this is it. It’s an explosion in slow motion.
Well, it started rumbling quietly last night when “Two Jewish Peers” were dragged on to Newsnight to discuss Naz Shah and antisemitism in the Labour party, and to ensure that ‘legitimate criticism of Israel’ continues to be ‘nothing to do with antisemitism’.
Lord Levy is already tainted by association (with Tony Blair) so anything he says will be filed under Mandy Rice Davies. Rabbi Julia Neuburger was assertive, but Evan helped the item to come and go with little impact.
This morning the Today programme continued the theme, carefully separating “opposition to Israel’s policies” from “antisemitism”.
Two other Left-leaning Jews, David Baddiel and Rabbi Laura Janner- Klausner were interviewed on the topic.
David Baddiel is too much of a luvvie to queer his pitch by saying anything pro Israel, so his variation on the theme: “It’s not antisemitic to criticise the policies of Israeli’s current government” went even further. He has decided that you can even be anti-Zionist without being antisemitic. How silly is that? (Very)
Laura J-K is a friend of Naz Shah (an actual friend, not one of your Corby-style “friends”) and she gave her the benefit of the doubt, accepted her apology and welcomed her promise to ‘learn more.‘
By the Daily Politics things had started to hot up. Ken Livingstone appeared, and so did John Mann.
We were starting to see footage of a confrontation. A heated confrontation. Ken Livingstone with a small a rucksack on his back and a large mobile at his ear, hurrying up a flight of stairs, hotly pursued by John Mann and someone from the media wielding a bloody great camera.
John Mann was calling Ken a Nazi apologist, and telling him to read Mein Kampf. Ken has never seen any sign of antisemitism in the Labour party, but he said that Hitler was a Zionist before he went a bit mad and decided to slaughter six million Jews. (As you do when you go a bit mad) (He should know)
As the day wore on there were more interviews with Ken and Anita McVeigh, Jonathan Sacerdoti and a rather irritable Ben Brown, and an impassioned Owen Jones, who said Ken should be chucked out of the party. He reiterated that we must be careful not to confuse hatred of Jews with opposition to Israel.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought being anti-Zionist was pretty antisemitic, since Zionism only means that Jews should have their own state much like every other group/race/culture/ethnicity. If you think not, you’re very likely a racist.
“To be an anti-Zionist is to say the Jews alone have no national rights.” to quote Stephen Daisley
It always baffles me that no sooner had we, as a society all but rejected religiosity - at least the crippling, repressive inhuman manifestation of it - than we indulgently accepted the one religion that most embodies all the negative aspects of what we’ve just divested ourselves from. Then we not only overlooked its blatantly obvious shortcomings, but accepted its religiously-based claims to holy lands and holy places, whilst rejecting and condemning similar claims made by religious Jews. And the irony of that is compounded by the fact that historical evidence bears out the claims of the latter rather than the former.
There’s something bigger than an elephant in this room. It’s the antisemitism within Islam, which is at the heart of the Israel Palestine conflict, and in the hearts of Muslim MPs like Naz Shah and Muslim sycophants like GG.
The BBC has never seen any sign of it, clearly.
I am quite keen on the idea that Naz Shah takes up John Mann’s suggestion, that she goes to Israel and learns something about the ‘other side.’
It would be a good idea if every single one of those CAABU-funded propaganda tours that have seduced so many of our MPs were compulsorily matched with an educational tour organised by their political counterparts in Israel, particularly if it included a compulsory presentation by PMW.
As the story rumbles on, this will be stale. We’ll just have to wait and see how it pans out.