Tis the Season to be Racist

4 Dec 2009 by CST

The video below shows an argument between a pro-Israel demonstrator and an anti-Zionist of apparently Christian English origin, who says that his name is “John Sullivan”. In the space of about four minutes we see John Sullivan lurching from attacks on Jews, to attacks on Judaism, to attacks on Zionists, to attacks on Israelis.

The video (which seems edited down from a longer original) should serve as a stark reminder of how ultimately futile it can be to over-analyse what does and does not constitute antisemitism; what is and is not anti-Zionist; or what is ‘new antisemitism’ as opposed to ‘old antisemitism’.

The pro-Israel demonstration (by Jews and Christians) was outside a pro-Palestinian Christmas carols service, held at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in Central London. Sullivan was on his way into the service, when the argument occurred.

Given the circumstances, one might have expected Sullivan to be more careful in his language, and more generous in his tone. Not so. The closest he gets is at 2:21 on the video, when, having traduced Judaism as believing in “an eye for an eye” rather than “love they neighbour”, he says that this shows Jews are

Cruel unpleasant people in this respect; not in most respects. I’ve got friends who are Jews, they are not Zionists

The remainder of the video is like a lesson in anti-Jewish racism, borne on the back of anti-Israel and anti-Zionist sentiment. Excerpts include:

(at 0:20 on the video)

Everybody in Britain can see what a nasty unpleasant type of people Jewish people are in English [sic]


If you’re living in England you should take the part of English people. You’re parasites if you’re behaving like this.


You cannot discuss with Jewish people that is your philosophy


You should be part of Britain. It is a culture that Israeli and Jewish people do not understand

You’re not part of my country and I’m British and you’re Jewish and you’re prone to be Israeli Zionist. Do you know anything about Christian religion, or British, European…in this country, you don’t know the 1st commandment or you don’t know anything about Hebrew, its ‘love they neighbour’.

Have you got anything similar to that in the Jewish religion?

(Pro-Israel demonstrator responds: “we also love thy neighbour”)

What? An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, that’s what it is.

(Pro-Israel demonstrator: “and what does that tell you about Jews then?”)


Jewish people if you look through the history are vindictive, probably evil, probably very unpleasant. Now that’s not Jewish people who live in Israel because they’re Israeli zealots and Zionists. Hopefully you’re not, but I tend to think you are, because here you are doing this in public you should be ashamed of yourself.


Most English people will tell you to fuck off back to Israel.


I hope I’m a little bit more educated than you or your Jewish countrymen.


What happened to the British forces? They were slaughtered. They were hung up with piano wire. Why? Because of the zealots. It wasn’t the Arabs that hung them up. The Arabs might have shot them, might have stolen their trousers, might have stolen their  guns, stolen their car: but they didn’t act like cannibals.

(Pro-Israel demonstrator: “Who did?”)

Now, you’ve had your Holocaust.

(Pro-Israel demonstrator: “Who acted like cannibals?”)

Your predecessors.

The video ends with the pro-Israel demonstrator wishing John Sullivan a merry Christmas and saying that he hopes Sullivan enjoys the carol service. Sullivan reacts angrily to this and rejects the Christmas wishes, before turning to the camera and making this appeal:

To everybody in England if you’re Jewish please adhere to the British way of life which is basically Christian, trusting and charitable.

The irony is - of course - that Mr Sullivan does not mean to be ironic.

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