Tentacles, Jewish millionaires, Der Sturmer & The Protocols

1 Apr 2010 by CST

The front page of this week’s Jewish Chronicle reports that Martin Linton MP and Gerald Kaufman MP had both allegedly made very worrying remarks at a public meeting in the House of Commons. (The Linton part of the story first appeared on Richard Millett’s blog and the Kaufman part first appeared on Jonathan Hoffman's blog at the Jewish Chronicle. Both were subsequently part covered here at CST blog.)

Linton, chair of Labour Friends of Palestine was quoted as having said

There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.

Kaufman, who is Jewish and a stern critic of Israel was quoted as having said

Just as Lord Ashcroft owns most of the Conservative Party, right-wing Jewish millionaires own the rest

The Jewish Chronicle quoted me as having stated on behalf of CST

 Anybody who understands antisemitism will recognise just how ugly and objectionable these quotes are, with their imagery of Jewish control and money power. Ask the average voter who had made these comments, and they would most likely answer that it was the BNP, not a pair of Labour MPs.

Linton has reportedly said that he does not recognise the “tentacles” comment. Kaufman has declined to comment.

Upon reflection, if either Linton or Kaufman did say these things, then I can only conclude that either they do not understand antisemitism and the imagery that surrounds it, or they underestimate how offensive many people will find their alleged comments to be.

I have four easy lessons for them.

1. A very small experiment. Swap each other’s reported quotes around and see how they sound:

There are right-wing Jewish millionaires in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.

And

Just as Lord Ashcroft owns most of the Conservative Party, long tentacles of Israel own the rest

2. The lead article from the July 1933 issue of Der Sturmer. It can (and should) be read in full here.

Near the beginning it explains the respective roles of the main players in the Jewish conspiracy

…All the leading Jews of the world will come together. The leading rabbis (they are the political leaders of World Jewry) and the Jewish millionaires and billionaires, the bank and stock exchange leaders, the heads of trusts and major Jews in commerce.

Soon, it stresses the truth of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

…We declare that these so-called "prophecies" are insidious and vile criminal goals. They flow from hatred and a lust for murder, from the lust for non-Jewish money and property. They come from criminal Jewish brains. The people who peacefully go about their work do not deserve to be exterminated. The Jewish people that has such awful and murderous thoughts deserves extermination.

The so-called "Zionist Protocols" are as vile and murderous as these Jewish "prophecies."

It concludes with this

…He has been uncovered, his criminal plans have been discovered, and a battle is coming like the world has never seen. World Jewry faces Adolf Hitler. World Jewry faces Germany. The Jews will fight without pity. We must also fight without pity against Pan-Jewry. The Jewish people is the people of the Devil. It is a people of criminals and murderers. The Jewish people must be exterminated from the face of the earth.

3. Wikipedia. (Not the world's most reliable source, but pretty much on the money with this one.) In the section entitled Accusations of plotting to control the world, on the page entitled Antisemitic canard

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is widely considered to be the beginning of contemporary conspiracy theory literature.[24]

Included in this canard is not only written text that seeks to accuse Jews of trying to control the world, but also graphic imagery depicting Jews, or their supporters, as trying to control the world. Examples of this imagery include Nazi cartoons that depict Jews as octopuses, encircling the globe.[25] A more recent example is the 2001 re-printing of Henry Ford's anti-semitic text, The International Jew in Egypt, with the same octopus imagery on the front cover.[26]

4. In case they still don’t get it, here are a couple of covers of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

UPDATE:

On 2 April, the Jewish Chronicle reported that Linton had apologised to the paper for having caused "unintended offence" by his language. Nevertheless, he cited Channel 4's "Dispatches" programme on the pro-Israel lobby in defence of his overall view and looked forward to the day that his own pro-Palestinian lobby would have such influence. (Numerous previous postings on CST blog have shown the failings of Channel 4's programme, which was cleared by Ofcom - largely due to the wording and provenance of the complaints received.)

Linton's reported quote in full

I’m sorry if a word I used caused unintended offence because of connotations of which I was unaware, but completely understand and sympathise with. On the substantial issue I was echoing the findings of a recent Channel 4 programme on political donations and lobbying, which has recently been cleared of bias by the broadcasting regulator Ofcom.

I set up Labour Friends of Palestine after visiting the West Bank and seeing that there is a highly effective lobby for Israel but no equivalent lobby for Palestinians in the Labour Party.  I hope one day Channel 4 will have cause to do a programme on the effectiveness of our lobby.

I hope the JC will now get back to discussing the issue of the meeting on March 23rd which was the eviction of Palestinian communities from what is and always has been and always should be the shared capital city of Israelis and Palestinians.


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