CST Blog

Remorseless rubbish about the pro-Israel lobby

21 July 2011

Sometimes, the little things in maintream public discourse reveal how bad things have become regarding received wisdom about Jewish issues amongst the chattering classes.

One such detail appears in an article by Gerard Gilbert in today's Independent newspaper concerning a forthcoming BBC programme about the controversy that surrounded Monty Python's Life of Brian film upon its 1979 release.

The author asks if the BBC would dare make such a programme about religions other than Christianity. He mentions the Rushdie fatwa, the Danish Muhammad cartoons, the (Sikh) Behtzi controversy and then:

Or how about, for that matter, the remorseless attacks on journalists and academics in any way critical of Israel?

Israel - not a religion, but a state. Nevertheless, in this context, about religious intolerance and ensuing "attacks",it fits Gerard Gilbert's mindset and that of his publishers at the Independent.

I am unaware that the Chief Rabbi (of Britain, Israel, or anywhere else for that matter) has issued a death sentence against the Guardian, the Independent, the University and College Union, or any other "journalists and academics in any way critical of Israel". 

I am unaware of pro-Israel lobby groups having incited deadly riots against BBC offices around the world. I am unaware of British anti-Israel academics being burnt and bombed when they venture abroad.

I am unaware of rioting by Jews in Golders Green, or Tottenham, or Salford, or Gateshead, in response to British media and academic criticism of Israel.

I am, however, keenly aware that it is the received wisdom of many people in the chattering classes to spout exactly the same rubbish as expressed in this Independent article:

Remorseless attacks on journalists and academics in any way critical of Israel.

Is this an innocent anti-Israel myth with nothing to do with antisemitic stereotypes? Or, does it unthinkingly employ such stereotypes in a manner unintended (and perhaps unknown) by 99% of its proponents, including Gilbert and the Independent? How are the "remorseless attacks" organised? Once started, how would they ever stop? And all this if you are "in any way critical of Israel". (Never again will I dare mention Israelis' hatred of queues, love of car horns, or the lack of decent hot salt beef in downtown Ra'anana.) 

Vengeful, omnipotent Jews - or merely vengeful, omnipotent Israelis (or perhaps pro-Israelis, Zionists, and their "hirelings")?

You decide: and if you know of such "remorseless attacks" on all who are "in any way critical of Israel", then please contact the Independent and the BBC and ask them to urgently report the details of this disgraceful assault upon our freedom of press and inquiry.

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