Rosie Bell on “understandable” antisemitism

Rosie Bell on Ken Loach – discovered on a Bob From Brockley smorgasbord. She writes:

“After 9/11 a mosque and a Pakistani community centre were fire bombed in Edinburgh. I’d dreaded something like that so like Ken Loach I wasn’t surprised. And I understood it because I know racist thugs will be racist thugs. But I didn’t think, it is understandable that random British Muslims (and Hindus and Sikhs who look like them) get grief because of the activities of some Saudis based in Hamburg. Disgraceful and totally crappy were the adjectives that sprang to my mind. Something understandable is not something understood. Something understandable is something excused.”

Read it all.

UPDATE: Read Norman Geras on Loach’s “understanding” of antisemitism.

UPDATE 2: Brief and excellent response from Olly’s Onions – Why Ken Loach Should Apologise for High School Musical 3. Via Z-Word and Terry Glavin.

11 Responses to “Rosie Bell on “understandable” antisemitism”

  1. James Mendelsohn Says:

    Boycotter Ben White thinks antisemitism is “understandable”:

    “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are… I have just provided a by no means comprehensive list of reasons why “I can understand very well that some people are unpleasant towards Jews.” I do not agree with them, but I can understand.”

  2. Evan Says:

    Loach has been trotting out SWP propaganda disguised as “human drama” for years. He’s past his sell-by date.

  3. zkharya Says:

    Rosie Bell is so right. Have either Ben White or Ken Loach ever said Islamophobia is “understandable”?

  4. Joshua Says:

    ‘Boycotter Ben White thinks antisemitism is “understandable”:’

    I thought I’d catch up on the latest articles by White and came across this:

    Israel’s targets in Gaza

    Bored out of my mind, I gave up on White after a couple of paragraphs and moved to the comments. I cannot believe what I’ve just read in a magazine produced by a British publisher. It is the kind of poison I normally associate with Germany in the 1930s. Is this the level to which much of Britain has sunk? Can things be this bad?

    What is clear is that the murder of the vast majority of Europe’s Jews brought barely sixty years of freedom from hatred and persecution for the Jewish people. I really do despair.

  5. Sabato Says:

    Of all the hatreds in the world antisemitism is the most difficult hatred for me to understand.

    It does not good pleading that antisemitism is as bad as “Islamophobia” or other racism because to people engaged in antisemitic behavior this is exactly what they deny.

    To them Jews are guilty of being Jews and as long as we don’t get that we won’t be able to figure out ways of countering this type of hatred.

  6. Paula Says:

    Ken Loach was in Brussels for the press conference organised for the launching of the so-called Russell Tribunal on Palestine

    Wednesday 4 March 2009 at 10.30 am
    Brussels – Residence Palace – International Press Centre – Polak Room

    The recent war waged by the Israeli government and the Israeli army on Gaza, already under a blockade, underlines the particular responsibility of the United States and of the European Union in the perpetuation of the injustice done to the Palestinian people, deprived of its fundamental rights.

    It is important to mobilize the international public opinion so that the United Nations and Member States adopt the necessary measures to end the impunity of the Israeli State, and to reach a just and durable solution to this conflict.

    Following an appeal from Ken Coates, Nurit Peled, and Leila Shahid, and with the support of over a hundred well-known international personalities, it has been decided to organise a Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

    Chairman of the Conference:
    Stéphane Hessel – Ambassador of France
    Ken Coates – Chairman of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation
    Nurit Peled – Sakharov prize for the freedom of thought
    Leila Shahid – General Delegate of Palestine to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg
    Pierre Galand – President of the European Co-ordinating Committee of NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ECCP)

    With Ken Loach and Paul Laverty

    Brussels: Launching of the “Russell Tribunal” on Palestine

    Below some of the “tribunal” sponsors whose names will be familiar to you – note Harold Pinter’s presence :

    Boutros Boutros-Ghali Former Secretary General of the United Nations, Egypt
    Tariq Ali Writer, UK
    Russell Banks Writer, USA
    John Berger Writer, UK
    Howard Brenton Writer, UK
    Carmel Budiardjo Right Livelihood Award 1995, UK
    Judith Butler Professor, USA
    Noam Chomsky Professor MIT, USA
    Jonathan Cook Writer, Journalist, UK
    Mairead Corrigan Maguire Nobel Peace Prize 1976, Northern Ireland
    John Dugard Former Special Rapporteur of UN on Palestine, South Africa
    Norman Finkelstein Writer, USA
    Juan Goytisolo Writer, Spain
    Trevor Griffiths Writer, UK
    Jeff Halper Coordinator of ICAHD, Israel
    Ronnie Kasrils Former Minister, writer and activist, South Africa
    Assaf Kfoury Professor, USA
    Naomi Klein Writer, USA
    Peter Mullan Filmmaker and actor, UK
    Susie Orbach Professor, UK
    Ilan Pappe Professor, Israel
    Jeremy Pikser Writer, USA
    John Pilger Journalist, author, film maker, Australia
    Harold Pinter Writer, Nobel Prize in Litterature 2005, UK
    Jacqueline Rose Professor, UK
    José Saramago Nobel Prize Literature 1998, Portugal
    Cindy Sheehan Peace activist and author, USA
    Andy de la Tour Actor/Screenwriter, UK
    Sir Brian Urquhart Former Undersecretary-General of the United Nations, UK
    Naomi Wallace Playwright/Screenwriter, USA
    Betty Williams Nobel Peace Prize 1976, Northern Ireland
    Jody Williams Nobel Peace Prize 1997, USA
    Jean Ziegler sociologist, Switzerland
    Howard Zinn Author, USA

    About the “tribunal”‘s lack of legitimacy :

    “The Russell Tribunal has no legal status but acts as a court of the people, a Tribunal of conscience, faced with injustices and violations of international law, that are not dealt with by existing international jurisdictions, or that are recognised but continue with complete impunity due to the lack of political will of the international community.”

  7. Bialik Says:

    Sabato, I agree. What do Yemenite and Ethiopian Jews have in common with Viennese Jews? Or the devout and dirt-poor Polish villagers with assimilated Dutch Jews, both indiscriminately murdered 60 years ago? Even the South and North Londoners in my family sometimes struggle to find common ground! What sensible reason can anyone have to hate all Jews because they are Jews?

  8. Saul Says:

    Because, unless otherwise stated (and stated publically) “we” are all evil zionists laughing at the blood of Palestinian children – alternatively, we do not think Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth.

    A word to the wise. Never expect to find an answer to “why the Jews from antisemites; they are the last people in the world who can tell the truth about the matter. After all, all they will say is that “it s not my fault. I don’t want to hate the Jews; but the Jews made me one because of what they did and what they do”!

  9. Jacob Says:

    “Brussels: Launching of the “Russell Tribunal” on Palestine”

    Has there ever been such a biased jury on any trial?

  10. Frank Says:

    I was at Brussel’s Press conference. Ken Loach never said that antisemitism was understandable. Stop reading mainstream press, tabloid press or false report on the internet and believe it all without even checking.

    The whole Ken Loach’s speech is on video, watch it here:


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