So Tonge’s rabid antisemitism is really nothing more than “criticism of Israel”. Claiming Jews harvest organs (the blood libel) and Jews run the Lib Dems is nothing but ” her rather over-emotional approach to the rights of the Palestinians and her deep commitment to doing something about Gaza.”
Just as the libel that Jews run the financial world is an “over-emotional”criticism of capitalism and poverty”.
Well, at least it is now clear that some criticism of Israel is clearly and overtly antisemitic.
In fairness, she never claimed that they harvested organs, herself. She merely thought the rumor deserved to be investigated. Not that there was any truth to it, and she wasn’t repeating the rumors, since she only said it once. Innuendo, and out the other and all that jazz.
As for Wallace, he had to drink chunky milk for the team. She’s is still one of them, by their bad judgement.What does she have to do? Sext a page or whatever creepy perks they have in the HoL?) Party loyalty requires them to defend her. They didn’t sack her for that, so she has to do something worse to justify being sent out the door — which makes you wonder just what that‘ll be.
“He also said that Israel should be held to a higher standard of behaviour than other countries: “We don’t judge Saudi Arabia by the same standards as Israel because Israel was built upon higher standards”.
Please someone, preferably a Lib Dem, tell me why this statement isn’t both racist ands antisemitic?
“We need to be extremely careful however and unfortunately some people within the Israeli government and sometimes I think the Jewish Chronicle are not careful to distinguish between criticism of the Israeli Government and its policies and antisemitism and it’s very important to keep those things distinct…Don’t use the label ‘antisemitic’ to criticise people who criticise Israel. It’s very dangerous and it’s not good for the future of the Jewish community.”
The Livigstone Formula.
Say something outrageously antisemitism and then argue the need to keep criticism and antisemitism distinct, and then merge the two by saying it is only “criticism”.
‘Lord Wallace said…that he had met some members of Hamas willing “to accept the legitimacy of Israel”: and that as a democracy Israel should be held to higher standards than “uncivilised countries in the Third World”.
Such contempt for the audience is sadly to be expected from him and his ilk. This malicious, intellectually dishonest, ‘in your face you whining Jews’ attitude should not be forgotten on election day.
NIMN is right. That ‘advice’ to shut up about antisemitism was a clear warning that the Liberal Democrats regard antisemitism as justified, in certain circumstances. In other words, don’t come running to a Liberal Democrat Home Secretary for protection the next time someone Jewish is attacked or the windows in a cafe are smashed: It’s only anti-Likud, innit?
Well even if you downplay the broader implications of what he said, this is yet another example of one group, being all of their brothers keepers and the only group who is responsible for their brothers elsewhere in the world, who must read off of another group’s script.
In return, you can “belong” — provisionally of course, until they provide another script for you to read off of, and so on and so on. Condemn Israel as requested (like Jenny has recommended in the past of Jews in the West), and you’ll be fine. That we don’t expect Blacks to condemn Mugabe, or Turks to condemn the Armenian genocide, for the same acceptance is immaterial, and stop changing the subject.
Assuming the JC’s report is accurate, the thing that bugs me is not so much that Wallace says Israel is held to a higher standard than Saudi, which is bad enough, but that, without saying so, he judges Israel by a higher standard than he applies to other liberal democracies, including Britain.
This is especially true regarding Israel’s military operation in Gaza, to which Wallace reportedly alluded critically in his address and which the LibDems, in any case, have routinely criticized using the language of disproportion, war crimes and international law.
But the reality is that Israel hasn’t done anything militarily in recent years that Britain and its allies haven’t also been doing and are continuing to do in Afghanistan – except that Israel’s actions have obviously been on a much smaller scale, have been in response to direct fire on its civilian population, and have generally entailed a greater effort to avoid civilian casualties on the other side.
Now, it seems to me that one is either sympathetic to the argument that it is legitimate for liberal democracies to engage in military action against Islamist terrorists, whether it’s Britain and its Nato allies or Israel taking the action, or one is hostile to such an argument, again whether it’s Britain and Nato or Israel that’s in view.
So to be virulently opposed to Israel’s military actions yet broadly supportive of Britain’s, as the LibDems including Wallace apparently are, is hypocritical in the extreme. And given the blatant double standard being applied to the Jewish democratic state and only the Jewish democratic state, such a stance is in my view also antisemitic in effect if not intent.
Clearly, when it comes to Israel and the Jews, the liberalism of the LibDems is of the verkrappt sort, as Norm might put it.
A comment from a true Liberal – this in response to Henry Ford,
who believed that Jews controlled the press and public institutions (such as political parties, for example) and, no doubt, the blood libel,
You are liars and deceitful. You like to protect other Jews, other, guilty Jews. You are all agents of Likud. Now, chose your loyatly, for if you don’t, we cannot be responsible for what may befall you.
Brian – you’re right, his statement is both racist and antisemitic. Racist as in the racism of low expectations, i.e. we won’t criticise Saudi Arabia’s disgraceful treatment of women, or their autocratic government, because what can you expect (implication – they don’t know any better).
Antisemitic as in the racism of high expectations, because it imposes an obligation on Jews to behave better than others, to ‘set an example’, and so on.
However, I don’t think the simple statement that Israel was built on higher standards than Saudi Arabia is in itself racist. If we believe in liberal democratic values, then it is clear that Israel conforms to those values far more closely than Saudi, and it seems perfectly reasonable to say so. It’s just that in a sane world that would be a reason to support Israel and condemn Saudi, not the other way around.
I’m not sure about the “racism of high expectations” directed against Jews. I’m pretty sure that if Israel was to meet or exceed all of these high expectations placed on it, then these people would simply raise the bar higher and continue to condemn Israel. If Israel was a socialist paradise on earth which extended the helping hand of friendship to every other state in the region, anti-Zionists would continue to condemn it (and, of course, all Jews who didn’t do likewise) for not solving the problems of poverty in developing countries. If Israel abolished poverty in developing countries, anti-Zionists would condemn Israel and the Jews for not doing enough to stop the spread of HIV. If Israel created a cure for HIV and handed it out free to the entire world, anti-Zionists would still condemn it. If Israel was to produce a cure for every disease known to science, bring about world peace, completely reverse climate change and develop faster-than-light spacecraft for humanity to explore the universe with, people like Jenny Tonge and all the rest would still find something to condemn Israel and the Jews for. The mindset of an anti-Semite can be summed up best by this quote, from the film “The Believer”:
“Let me put it this way. Do we hate them because they push their way in where they don’t belong? Or do we hate them because they’re clannish and keep to themselves? Because they’re tight with money, or because they flash it around? Because they’re Bolsheviks, or because they’re capitalists? Because they have the highest IQs, or because they have the most active sex lives? Do you want to know the real reason we hate them? Because we hate them. Because they exist. Because it’s an axiom of nature that just as man longs for woman, loves his children, and fears death, he hates Jews. There’s no reason. If there were, some smartass kike would try to come up with an argument, try to prove us wrong. And of course that would only make us hate them more. In fact we have all the reasons we need in three simple letters: J-E-W.”
Thomas, I thought it was only me who was accused of being obsessed about antisemitism and seeing it everywhere (or so my wife tells me). Apparently not! Trouble is, we may be right, but no-one loves an always right smartarse.
Actually, failed attempts at humour aside, I do think that Harry is right. If Wallace had gone to include other parliamentary democracies in his statement about being held to higher standards, then it wouldn’t have been antisemitic. As it is…
But why hold Israel to a higher standard? Israel had to establish itself in far more difficult circumstances than Saudi. Jews had to fight to return and maintain their return, against Palestinian, Saudi and other Arab Muslims and Christians that wanted to exclude, subject, dispossess or eliminate them. One would have thought Israel might then be held to a lower standard, given it was starting at a far greater disadvantage to begin with than the Saudis.
But no: Israeli Jews are to be penalised for their being in origin a people dispossessed, stateless and without territory.
‘Because Israel claims to be ‘western”?
But lots of states claim to be all kinds of things, including paradise on earth. They don’t get penalised because they don’t match up to their alleged self-descriptions.
Israel has done exceptionally well because, unlike sundry Arab states and peoples, including the Palestinians, they started out at enormous disadvantage, and made a good go of it.
And that means they should be penalised, why?
It begins to look like the one Jewish state in the world should be penalised because, well, it’s Jewish.
Better? Doesn’t an alliance with the likes of David Duke give the lie to the notion that the violent tactics of the “resistance” aren’t about ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem?