Before The Conservative Woman site (TCW) published several articles by Karen Harradine I was never quite sure what TCW’s official policy was on - err, you know, Israel and the Jews, or, if you prefer, Zionism and antisemitism. As we all know, it is a commonly held belief that antisemitism emanates from the right - the Foreign Office; Rowan Laxton and so on.
A recent TCW piece by Kathy Gyngell dispels all doubts and confirms my suspicion that they do indeed get it.
"Why no outcry over the insidious and disgraceful rise of antisemitism" touches on Corbyn’s trip to Syria in the company of Baroness Tonge and others, where they were cordially received by President Assad. The jaunt was funded by another of those organisations dedicated to the elimination of the Jewish State, The Palestinian Return Centre. (PRC)
Also featured is the Rev Stephen Sizer, the Guildford vicar who’s so obsessed with Israel that his bishop had to warn him to cool it.
Another example of the insidious and disgraceful rise in antisemitism cited by Gyngell is the extraordinary behaviour of an orchestrated chorus of screaming pro-Palestinian students at University College London who violently disrupted a talk by an invited Israeli speaker. The mob intimidated the small number of attendees, who, along with the speaker, were stranded in a room till they could be escorted past the mob by police. Neither the BBC nor the Guardian reported this incident.
And as Kathy Gyngell says “Our silence is beginning to bear an uncanny resemblance to Germany of the early 1930s.”
Before I get to the subject of the comments beneath that article, I’d like to draw your attention to a podcast of a conversation between Damian Thompson and the Rev Ravi Holy. Yep. Comes out “ravioli”. In the podcast they’re chatting about antisemitism amongst the middle-class. I know about this as I could honestly say that some of my best friends are middle class antisemites, the sort who have little or no idea that that is what they are.
Every time someone posts an article about antisemitism on a not-especially-pro-Zionist platform - like, say the Spectator, a considerable number of antisemitic comments appear below the line, most of which unintentionally illustrate the actual point the author has clearly made.
One thing that unites these commenters, despite their diversity and varying degrees of vitriol, is a staggering ignorance of the history and the politics of the Middle East. The comments below Damian Thompson’s podcast provide a rich display of inanity, triviality, trolls and responses to trolls. No wonder he wrote a piece about comments.
TCW has an equally revealing below the line display. Amongst the majority of supportive comments appear familiar monikers of some of those internet regulars, purveyors of the usual antisemitic ‘tropes’ - much as I dislike using that word, (but that’s what they are) - such as the Jews control everything, a conspiracy theory out of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Of the 168 comments to date, they are a minority but still alarming because of the wilful and determined ignorance they revel in.
The BBC’s failings in respect of providing thorough and accurate reporting have a lot to answer for in this regard, particularly inaccurate online historical information concerning the creation of Israel as well as the absence of material covering the current and historical religious fanaticism of Hamas and the PA.
The practice of selective impartiality is frequently taken to the brink of absurdity, where fear of making value judgments completely obscures reality. The opposite of reporting.
I believe John Reith was an antisemite, so one could say the BBC was keeping up a tradition.
(But this is not the 1930s, and ve have vays of making our voices heard.)