CST report: 'Antisemitic Discourse in Britain in 2011'
29 Nov 2012 by CST
CSTs final annual report of the year, Antisemitic discourse in Britain in 2011 is available today on the publications section of CSTs website, in pdf format. It may be read here.
The report is 38 pages long and contains introductory sections on Jewish life, antisemitism and anti-Zionism, followed by analysis of developments in antisemitic discourse (and reactions to it) in mainstream politics and media during the year 2011.
The report cites numerous mainstream publications, groups and individuals who are by no means antisemitic, but whose behaviour may impact upon attitudes concerning Jews and antisemitism.
CST Blog will be running excerpts from the report. Below, the Executive Summary:
- Explicit antisemitism against Jews is rare in British public life and within mainstream political and media discourse. Nevertheless, antisemitic themes alleging Jewish conspiracy, power and hostility to others can resonate within mainstream discourse about Israel and (especially) about so-called Zionists.
- When explicit antisemitism does occur, it tends to do so within circles that are also racist or hateful towards other groups.
- The internet and social media are providing new opportunities for the spread of antisemitic discourse. This includes mainstream companies, such as Amazon, selling blatant antisemitic propaganda, such as The Protocols of the Elders
of Zion and Did Six Million Really Die? The Truth at Last.
- Fears that economic troubles in 2011 would spark antisemitism in Britain proved largely unfounded.
- 2011 was notable for the public reaction to antisemitic remarks made by fashion designer John Galliano. The case was not especially remarkable, but provided a focus for numerous articles in mainstream media that analysed and spoke strongly against contemporary antisemitism.
- The trend to blame so-called Zionism for anti-Muslim hatred intensified in 2011. This included allegations that Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik was inspired by Zionism.
- The controversy surrounding the Home Secretarys (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to deport Sheikh Raed Salah epitomised debates around antisemitism and overseas Islamist figures. This case also included false accusations that the UK Government had acted at Israels behest and was somehow under the control of Israels supporters in the UK. This falsehood encourages and reinforces antisemitic attitudes.
- The Guardian reinforced its reputation as being the most subjective and contentious mainstream newspaper on issues of antisemitism in the context of Israel and Zionism. This, despite the paper also warning against antisemitism.
- The publication and promotion of Gilad Atzmons book The Wandering Who? introduced a relatively new form of antisemitism into anti-Zionist discourse.
- Britains refusal to attend a United Nations anti-racism conference, due to prior instances of antisemitism there, was an especially important public statement.
- In Scotland, the conviction of Paul Donnachie on criminal and racist charges showed that anti-Israel behaviour can be prosecuted under legislation relating to race, colour, nationality or ethnicity.
- Fears and concerns about antisemitism, as expressed by mainstream Jewish communities and bodies, are routinely ignored, or even maliciously misrepresented, within supposedly progressive circles, including some media, trade unions and churches. Few, if any, other minority representative groups are treated with such reflexive suspicion and ill-will.