Green councillor and candidate Rupert Read pushes Gilad Atzmon

On Greens Engage.

38 Responses to “Green councillor and candidate Rupert Read pushes Gilad Atzmon”

  1. Rupert Read Says:

    Oh dear. Sorry, folks. This was an honest mistake. I didn’t know that Atzmon was a fellow-traveller with Holocaust-deniers; I had never heard of him before. I just came across the interesting piece he wrote on de-Zionisation, and retweeted it without comment.
    I have now deleted the tweet.
    Sorry.

  2. Gordon Hodgson Says:

    Like Rupert, I had never heard of Gilad Atzmon.

    But I do have the objectivity to recognise destructive criticism devoid of facts, and classic anti-Jew smears.

    These passages alone are TERRIBLE:

    Seemingly a British, consensus case against Zionism and Zionist infiltration is piling up.

    The Jewish community is not happy at all. After so many years of setting the tone, bribing UK politicians and controlling the BBC they are used to being untouchable.

    Labor MP Denis MacShane, who operates as the House of Common’s UK equivalent of the ‘anti defamation league’ told the Jerusalem Post “if there is a Jewish /Israel lobby here, it is not very effective, as Israel is almost treated as a pariah state in the media and has few friends in politics.”

    MacShane may be right; one cannot buy friendship with money. But according to Monday’s broadcast one can certainly buy British politician’s subservience for just a few shekels. According to the Guardian 50% of the Shadow Cabinet are now ‘friends of Israel’. In that context one common saying comes to mind. “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”

  3. Philip Horowitz Says:

    The tweet simply called for the de-zionisation of Britain. How can anyone give a favourable turn to these words, even if they know nothing of Atzmon?

  4. Rupert Read Says:

    I agree with a number of the remarks that Atzmon makes IN THIS SPECIFIC POST, which was what I had read:
    *http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/britain-must-de-zionise-itself-immediately-by-gilad-atzmon.html

    I think that the influence of ‘the Israel lobby’ in this country as in many others is nefarious. Presumably you disagree with me on that point.

    But I will have no truck with anyone who questions the Holocaust. So I will oppose Atzmon if I ever come across him or his writings again.

  5. Raphael Levy Says:

    The retraction and apology are in fact not more acceptable.

    Rupert is describing in his retraction the Atzmon article (which calls for the “de-zionisation of Britain” and is an obviously antisemitic piece) as “an interesting piece”, i.e. he condemns the holocaust denial but endorses the antisemitism.

    Can we have please a formal reply of both the Chair and Equality Coordinator stating their views of this incident and outlining the Green Party response, both in the short and long-term?

    I would suggest that a short statement to go on the Greens Engage and Engage website would be appropriate.

    Raphael

  6. Gordon Hodgson Says:

    Rupert, can you defend this statement (which has nothing to do with the holcaust):
    “The Jewish community is not happy at all. After so many years of setting the tone, bribing UK politicians and controlling the BBC they are used to being untouchable.”

    It’s good that you distance yourself from the man. But why are you unable to distance yourself from his politics?

    Do you believe it’s important to recognise and combat anti-Semitism? Do you recognise the anti-Semitism in that post?

    If stonewall was lobbying parliament, would you think it was acceptable to say (as people DO believe):

    “The homosexual community is not happy at all. After so many years of setting the tone, bribing UK politicians and controlling the BBC they are used to being untouchable.”

  7. zkharya Says:

    Doesn’t this incident show how even the discourse of self-professed anti-antisemitic anti-Zionists overlaps with antisemitism reinvented as anti-Zionism?

    Clearly Atzmon’s statements, which contain classic antisemitic tropes, responated with Rupert. And he wasn’t even aware it was happening.

    For such people “antisemitism” means the antisemitism of the late 19th, early 20th centuries. But such antisemitism scarcely remains, even as the Jews of old world Christendom and Islam scarcely remain.

    Antisemitism has changed, but such as Rupert are way behind.

  8. modernityblog Says:

    Dr. Read,

    Please do explain yourself, anyone with 3 seconds and google could have looked up Atzmon’s views and seen the plain criticism that has been levelled against his racism.

    Can’t you see, even now, the racism embedded in that article?

    Finally, if some neo-nazi or similar changed the word “Jew” for “Zionist” and then when on an antisemitic rant, would you spot it?

  9. Absolute Observer Says:

    Rupert,

    “I agree with a number of the remarks that Atzmon makes IN THIS SPECIFIC POST”

    You are evidently politically aware, but, despite that, you saw nothing that made you think, hmmm, not sure about this?

    How about references to the “Jewish Lobby”, to unethical Jews, to corrupt Jews who then corrupt “everything they touch and “contaminate” politicians?

    Nothing there that you might think resonates with antisemitic images of Jews?

    “Thanks to the Jewish lobby, we are all complicit in the Zionist crime. Not only are those lobbyists heavily corrupted and removed from any ethical value system, they also corrupt everything they touch. They obviously contaminate every politician who is happy to take their shekels. Consequently they incriminate us all as a society.”

    “They also learned that their national broadcast corporation is influenced by Zionists pressure groups run from Jerusalem.”

    You then state,
    “I think that the influence of ‘the Israel lobby’ in this country as in many others is nefarious.” (i.e.
    flagitious, heinous, infamous; vile, atrocious, execrable.)

    Why is it “nefarious”? what makes the Israel Lobby (and why the collective noun?) “nefarious”, as opposed to a legitimate number of groups with whom you politically disagree.

    Moreover, since you think that the “Israel Lobby” is “nefarious” in more than one country, then, at the very least, you should know how it works not only in the UK but in “many other countries” otherwise, why would you believe it to be true?

    What evidence do you have for this “thought”? Since you agree that “Zionists pressure groups run from Jerusalem” “influence” the BBC. then, how do they do it? Is it via “bribery”, is it via “blackmail”? How does it work, or is it so clever no-one can see it.

    How does your “thought” on what you think “the Israel Lobby” is with its “nefarious influence” different from what antisemites have been saying for over a century; that Jews “contaminate” and “corrupt” others, that they have no ethics, etc. and so forth.

    And, no I have not called you an antisemite, and no I am not “silencing criticism of Israel”; I am just interested on why you see nothing wrong in the comments with which you agree with and the basis for your agreement.

  10. Lynne T Says:

    I hope the following gets passed along to the voters in Read’s riding:

    Rupert Read Says:
    November 20, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I think that the influence of ‘the Israel lobby’ in this country as in many others is nefarious.

    Read offers no proof of nefarious activities. He just takes it on notice that they exist and expects that reasonable people should do likewise.

  11. Absolute Observer Says:

    I think Zkharya gets it absolutely right.

  12. Jonathan Romer Says:

    “I agree with a number of the remarks that Atzmon makes IN THIS SPECIFIC POST, which was what I had read:
    *http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/britain-must-de-zionise-itself-immediately-by-gilad-atzmon.html”

    Rupert Read should tell us which bits of Atzmon he agreed with. Was it that British Politicians are “chained to submission” by Jews? Or the idea of the Jewish community “bribing UK politicians and controlling the BBC” and being “used to being untouchable”? Perhaps that Israel & Zionism are the “darkest possible regime and ideology around”? That the Community Security Trust is “Zionist”? That “Thanks to the Jewish lobby, we are all complicit in the Zionist crime”?

    How about the titles of Atzmon’s previous and following articles: “The Complete Guide to Killing Non-Jews” and “Credit Crunch or Rather Zio-Punch?” — any clues there?

    Are any of these positions that a serious British politician should be able to align himself with? What would Atzmon have had to say to set off Rupert Read’s alarms? Never mind — he’s already answered that question: You have to say “I deny the Holocaust”, otherwise, how can Read be expected to smell the stench of bigotry?

  13. Bob Says:

    As an aside, Atzmon’s article shows how pernicious the Oborne documentary was. Whatever their intention, the documentary is clearly already adding fuel to the racists’ fire.

  14. Jonathan Romer Says:

    The idea, apparently shared by Atzmon, Oborne and Read, that the CST is a Zionist organisation is particularly revealing. Not only is it patently false, as 10 seconds at the CST web site will tell you, it hangs these people with their own rope. The work of the CST is purely about protecting Jews from antisemitism, and Atzmon, Oborne and Read have offered no evidence to the contrary. So either they are saying that they are against defending Jews from racist assault, or that their pretensions to differentiate between Zionism and Jewishness is absolute cant. It’s the latter, of course. Antisemitism disinterests them so completely that they can’t be bothered to make a distinction at all: If it’s associated with the Jews it’s a good enough target.

  15. Green Rupert And The Anti-Jewish Racist. « ModernityBlog Says:

    […] 2: Dr. Read after making an apology on Engage and Greens Engage compounded the problem by stating “I think that the influence of ‘the […]

  16. Absolute Observer Says:

    So, if understand Rupert Read right he seems to be arguing that,

    1. Holocaust denial = antisemitism
    2. Belief in an international “nefarious” “Zionist” Lobby that is able to make many foreign governments do its bidding = not antisemitism.

    Rupert,

    Below is a quote from a bona-fide antisemitic site (I will not link to it).

    Apart from the word “Jewish” in place of “Zionist”, can you tell me how your views and beliefs differ from those articulated here,

    “In other words, “Jews stick together.” Americans must know how extremely powerful the Jewish Lobby is and how it operates to undermine America’s interests both at home and abroad. At home – by corrupting America’s political system, and abroad – by dictating American Foreign Policy against America’s best interests.”

    Thanks,

  17. Green councillor and candidate Rupert Read pushes Gilad Atzmon « Greens Engage Says:

    […] are a number of lucid comments from Green Party members and campaigners against antisemitism over on Engage, from where I linked to this […]

  18. Rupert Read Says:

    Look, we obviously disagree about quite a few things. E.g. Several of you seem to think that Oborne’s documentary was wrong or biassed or dangerous. I disagree; I think it was brilliant.
    Parts of the Atzmon post just rehash in a provocative way the Oborne documentary. I found that interesting. The post was forwarded me by a friend who is usually a reliable source. I read it swiftly – TOO swiftly! I _wish_ I had read it more slowly, because then I would have no doubt noticed (for instance) the dodgy way he was sliding between ‘Jewish’ and ‘Zionist’, and then I wouldn’t have retweeted it, and then we would all have been saved a lot of trouble…
    I obviously regret the offence and any embarrassment caused. I’ve said sorry, and I’ve learned from this.
    So, while I don’t appreciate the slagging-off and name-calling that I have suffered during this unfortunate incident, which I think has been unwarranted and does not help us to mutually ‘engage’, I _do_ appreciate having been shown just how dodgy this man and much of his writing are, and having been reminded about the need for pro-active vigilance and care against genuine anti-semitism.
    So, in that regard, thank you to those who have written here.

    • Richard Gold Says:

      Hi Rupert

      Thanks for replying. I’m a little concerned that you talk about the “name-calling that” you “have suffered during this unfortunate incident”. Can you please point out where the name calling has been on this thread. I can’t see it and i’ve re-read the comments. Perhaps in my haste i’ve missed the name calling bits so please point them out and i’ll delete them.

    • David Galant Says:

      “I obviously regret the offence and any embarrassment caused”

      Beside yourself, who was embarrassed? As far as I am concerned, apology not accepted.

  19. modernityblog Says:

    Dr. Read,

    Forgive me, but you are an academic, probably in line for a Professorship at some point and you wish to be a public politician, therefore could I ask you (as a nonacademic) to seriously engage with the points which had been raised.

    I’ll repeat one of them, you think that:

    “I think that the influence of ‘the Israel lobby’ in this country as in many others is nefarious.”

    Nefarious? wicked? Particularly evil? is that really what you meant to convey?

    And don’t you see the historical parallels?

    A very, very, old antisemitic myth, “is that Jews are manipulative, controlling, twisting events to suit themselves , etc”

    You can see this by consulting any neo-Nazi web site, Stormfront or reading anti-racist literature.

    Can’t you see how that your comment dovetails into that very notion?

    No, I’m not accusing you of being an antisemite, I just think that you seem incredibly de-sensitised on these issues and might well have a less than perfect grasp of what anti-Jewish racism is, but can’t admit it.

    So please, again as an academic, do make an effort to engage with the points, you wouldn’t expect your students to dodge the nub of an argument or not to try to see beyond the obvious, so please try a bit harder.

  20. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Dr Read, you comment above (21/11 @ 8.04pm) “Look, we obviously disagree about quite a few things. E.g. Several of you seem to think that Oborne’s documentary was wrong or biassed or dangerous. I disagree; I think it was brilliant.”

    Well, you are entitled to your view, although some argument as to why the programme was “brilliant” would be good, rather than a mere assertion. You have the advantage of me: I failed to watch the issue of Dispatches concerned. However, I did read the article Oborne and his co-author wrote for Comment is Free, and commented in part as follows (the first comment to the article concerned “No conspiracy, no surprise”, and dated 17/11 – all below on the next page down):

    ‘A careful reading of Oborne’s article does indeed suggest that he surprised himself by _not_ finding a conspiracy. Indeed, some of his language is rather suspect, such as the following:

    “The pro-Israel lobby, in common with other lobbies, has every right to operate and indeed to flourish in Britain. But it needs to be far more open about how it is funded and what it does. This is partly because the present obscurity surrounding it can, paradoxically, give rise to conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact. But it is mainly because politics in a democracy should never take place behind closed doors. It should be out in the open for all to see.”

    The question that needs to be asked is whether he has, does or would say the same of, for example, oil lobby, or the armaments lobby, or, even, the Labour or Conservative Friends of Palestine. And he does come perilously close to repeating the Walt/Mearsheimer thesis.’

    Those who have seen the programme and read the article in question have failed to suggest that I’ve got my reading of the article wrong, and if this is reflection of the programme, then Oborne is hardly as brilliant as you claim. He, apparently, accepts as truth the highly contentious claims of Rabbi David Goldberg that Israel is practising apartheid on the West Bank. I’m quite happy to discuss this you in these columns if you think that my attitude is wrong and Oborne and Goldberg are right.

    However, as an academic and a politician, you should be well versed in sifting evidence, weighing it and then determining its veracity. So far, you appear to have done a great deal of, first, accepting antisemitic claptrap from Atzmon, then apologising for not reading it accurately (a serious offence for both academics and politicians), and finally, accusing people of calling you names when they point out these (and other) inconsistencies in these and other statements of yours.

    Not good enough for either an academic or a politician. You are hardly presenting compelling reasons for taking notes during your lectures or for voting for you.

  21. Jonathan Romer Says:

    Dr. Read,

    I’m glad we can all agree on Atzmon’s antisemitism. I’ve taken the liberty of copying below his article that you linked to, with a single change: I’ve removed all references to Jews and replaced them with ones to Zionism. Reading it now, do you see anything that you might disagree with? If so, what? If not, does it trouble you that your opinions of Zionism are so congruent with an antisemite’s opinions of Jews?

    On Monday the British TV broadcaster, Channel 4 screened Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby, a devastating expose of the Zionist lobby in the UK*. ‘We couldn’t find a conspiracy’ affirmed Peter Oborne the Daily Mail’s political commentator behind the film. He was right. After running the show for so many years, the Zionist lobby’s purchasing of British politicians and media presence is in the open.

    The Guardian reported today that two years ago a controversial study by American academics Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer explored the influence of the Israel lobby over US foreign policy “but Britain’s pro-Israel organisations have been subjected to far too less scrutiny.” This is indeed the case, and as Oborne disclosed, both British politicians and Zionist pressure groups enjoy it to the max.

    In the film Sir Richard Dalton, a former ambassador to Libya and Iran, said: “I don’t believe, and I don’t think anybody else believes these contributions come with no strings attached.” I would suggest that ‘strings attached’ is a very gentle way of putting it. ‘Chained to submission’ would be far closer to the truth.

    Seemingly a British, consensus case against Zionism and Zionist infiltration is piling up.

    The Zionist community is not happy at all. After so many years of setting the tone, bribing UK politicians and controlling the BBC they are used to being untouchable.

    Labor MP Denis MacShane, who operates as the House of Common’s UK equivalent of the ‘anti defamation league’ told the Jerusalem Post “if there is an Israel lobby here, it is not very effective, as Israel is almost treated as a pariah state in the media and has few friends in politics.”

    MacShane may be right; one cannot buy friendship with money. But according to Monday’s broadcast one can certainly buy British politician’s subservience for just a few shekels. According to the Guardian 50% of the Shadow Cabinet are now ‘friends of Israel’. In that context one common saying comes to mind. “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”

    I would assume that if there was any public respect left for the British Parliament, British political parties and the BBC, it should be gone by now. Just a few months ago Brits were devastated to find out about their MPs’ personal expenses bills. Yesterday they learned about their leading politician’s affiliation with the darkest possible regime and ideology around. They also learned that their national broadcast corporation is influenced by Zionists pressure groups run from Jerusalem.

    Mark Gardner from the Zionist ‘Community Security Trust’ is not happy either. He complained that Dispatches producers behaved as if they were investigating a “criminal gang rather than various Zionist community-linked organizations,”

    Gardner is also correct. It is indeed tragic to admit that the Zionist lobby is far more worrying than a criminal gang. It is there to serve a murderous state with a devastating record of crimes against humanity. Thanks to the Zionist lobby, we are all complicit in the Zionist crime. Not only are those lobbyists heavily corrupted and removed from any ethical value system, they also corrupt everything they touch. They obviously contaminate every politician who is happy to take their shekels. Consequently they incriminate us all as a society.

    Watching Cannel 4’s Dispatches yesterday I wondered to myself whether this is the ‘democracy’ some British politicians, such as David Miliband insist on spreading around. I also wonder whether this is the governing model that Zionist writer Nick Cohen and the Israeli Hasbara committee author David Aaronovitch were trying to promote when they were supporting the invasion of Iraq back in 2003.

    Political commentator Peter Oborne indeed fulfilled his promise. He told us almost everything we want to know about the lobby, “who they are, how they are funded, how they work and what influence they have, from the key groups to the wealthy individuals who help bankroll the lobbying.”

    However, there is a single observation that must be added. People out there must never forget that Britain was taken into a war that cost more than a million Iraqi lives and at the time Lord Levy was the Number 1 Labour fund-raiser. Putting the two together: an illegal war that only serves Israeli interests and Sir Richard Dalton’s observation that Zionist ‘contribution’ comes with ‘strings attached’, leaves a very bitter taste. Due to its heavily corrupted politicians, Britain is now willingly serving the darkest possible racist national ideology and supporting a criminal terrorist state.

    British politicians and media are caught in bed with too many Zionist wolfs. In order to reclaim sovereignty and dignity, Britain must de-Zionise itself immediately.

  22. Rupert Read Says:

    Oborne’s documentary was very impressive and disturbing. If you haven’t watched it, then you need to watch it.
    It speaks for itself, and I’m not going to sit here for ages writing about what I learned from it. Oborne, Goldberg etc more or less speak for me on this matter.
    In thinking otherwise, btw, you are as far as I can tell in a small minority. You may be in a large majority on this blog, but you are in a small minority in general. Virtually everyone who I know who has seen the documentary was strongly impressed by it, too.
    Best wishes,
    Rupert.

  23. Absolute Observer Says:

    Thank you Rupert,

    You cite a well-known antisemite for which you apologise.

    At the same time, you say that you think that there is a “nefarious Zionist Lobby”?

    You were asked specific questions about its existence and about how it dovetails with antisemitism.

    Your apparently final justification for not engaging (as you put it) is on the power of numbers; that since the “everyone you know” thought the show “brilliant” and since Engage is in a “small minority” no more needs to be said.

    So, for you the question of antisemitism does not rest on discussion, on weighing the evidence, of answering difficult questions, but, rather, on the sheer weight of numbers silencing those who dare dissent to what “everyone thinks”.

    Antisemitic myths, such as that of the Lobby, are and have always been dependent upon what “everyone knows” but, when examined in more detail cannot be sustained. Oborne’s proggramme is no different. Everyone knew that Jews killed babies during the medieval period. Everyone knew that wars are started by Jews. Everyone knows that Jews controlled the media, Everyone knows that Jews determine a government’s action. Everyone knows the Power of the Israel Lobby.

    Rupert, you are not an antisemite. But, and in many ways, what is worse, by your unsubstantiated beliefs and your reduction of the criterion of truth to that of public opinion, you are responsible for creating an atmosphere is which antisemitic canards are now gaining political purchase which, directly and indirectly, put Jews at risk politically and physically.

    If you wish to keep to your opinion and refuse to answer the questions put to you fine. But, until you are willing to examine and discuss the premises of your own beliefs, please do not present yourself as someone who has no truck with antisemitism nor of someone who keeps separate “criticism of Israel” from anti-Jewish imagery.

    You do realise that according to your defence of a nefarious Israel Lobby, that should there ever be a poll on the use of nuclear energy and the building of nuclear power station and the majority of Brits affirm it, your own dissent will become not only irrelevant, but also illegitimate, since btw you may be in a large majority in your own political group, but in a small minority in general.

    You reply by the (false) allegation that you were called names.

    You have refused to answer any of these legitimate questions on this important mantter of the connections between antizionism and antisemitism as it relates to myths about the “lobby”.

  24. NIMN Says:

    Rupert,
    You were impressed with Dispatches, which I take to mean that it supported your idea of a “nefarious Israel Lobby”.
    Leaving aside the veracity of the programme (http://thecst.org.uk/blog/?p=888) could I ask you what the practical outcome should be? First, if there is illegal activity, who should be charged? Second, if it breaks Parliamentary rules, again, who should be charged? If it is neither illegal or breaches Parliamentary rules, then, what action needs to be taken? Should the Lobby be investigated? If so, and in the lack of any wrongdoing, on what basis? Again, in the wake of the absence of any breaches of legality, should the Israel Lobby’s right to organise legally be suspended; i.e. to have rights denied them that are freely available to everyone else?

    Of course, underpinning these questions, is a more fundamental one, who or what comprises the Israel Lobby? Is it LFI, CFI, LBFI, Board of Deputies, CST, ZF, UJS, etc., or is it just certain individuals.

    In other words, what are we actually talking about when speaking of “the Israel Lobby”?

  25. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Read’s comment is clearly addressed to me. So when he says that:

    “Oborne, Goldberg etc more or less speak for me on this matter.
    In thinking otherwise, btw, you are as far as I can tell in a small minority. You may be in a large majority on this blog, but you are in a small minority in general. Virtually everyone who I know who has seen the documentary was strongly impressed by it, too.”
    he is clearly claiming that a majority now determines the truth. Never mind the evidence, never mind the _weight_ of the evidence, the fact that the “virtually everyone who I know (etc)” determines the truth of the assertions contained within the programme.

    Some academic Dr Read is turning out to be. And don’t patronise me by telling what I “need” to watch. You “need”, clearly, to read the article and the comments on Oborne’s CiF piece, but plainly haven’t. You plainly “need” to address the comments addressed to you, but plainly haven’t. You plainly need an education in antisemitism and racism, but plainly haven’t received it (despite the very polite comments addressed to you (you should be thankful that “Saul” hasn’t decided to intervene in this thread, then you see name-calling and insults).

    In short, stop pleading mitigation and get on with reading what has been suggested to you, and to _thinking_ about that.

    You might learn something of advantage to you both as an academic and a politician.

  26. Jonathan Romer Says:

    If it wasn’t the case that “virtually everyone” can sometimes be persuaded to believe in lies, there would be little work for antiracists.

  27. Saul Says:

    “pro-active vigilance and care against genuine anti-semitism.”

    Dear Rupert,
    In the spirit of dialogue what precisely is “genuine” antisemitism?

    Many posters here have brought to light the correspondences between the alleged nature of “the Israel Lobby” and that of an alleged “Jewish Lobby”. According to your responses, which, as others have noted, have been evasive, you seem to say that “genuine” antisemitism is when the word “Jewish” is used, but not antisemitic when replaced with the word “Zionists”….

    “I _wish_ I had read it more slowly, because then I would have no doubt noticed (for instance) the dodgy way he was sliding between ‘Jewish’ and ‘Zionist’, and then I wouldn’t have retweeted it, and then we would all have been saved a lot of trouble…”

    Obviously, this reliance on the use of words is insuffient as a mode of distinction – otherwise, you would have to conclude, for example that Poland’s purge of Jewish intellectuals in the 1960’s was “merely” anti-Zionist; a position that, even in the current atmosphere is completely untenable.

    Consequently, I would ask you what makes Atzmon’s and the quote Absolute Observer offers from an antisemitic cite antisemitic, but not you own views on the matter?

    I ask, since this goes to the heart of the matter that some are trying to discuss here.

    It would also offer an opportunity for you to explainthe distinction between “genuine” antisemitism and othert forms of comments and belief about Jews and Zionists that you deem not to be “genuine” antisemitism (a term which, to say the least, has equivocal meanings in todays climate).

  28. Doorstepper Says:

    Knock knock,
    “Hallo, my name is Rupert Read from the Green Party. I was wondering whether we can count on your vote for the upcoming election.”

    “Well, that depends. You see, round here, we’ve had lots of them illegal assylum seekers moving in. You know what they’re like, leaving rubbish all around, the kids running around all day whilst their fathers, if that’s what they are, spend the whole night theiving whilst their wives, whore. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a rascist, but, surely something must be done. After all, they get all the best housing, don’t they? They make a fortune out of benefits which means that those who pay for them get nothing. Isn’t it about time we close the doors. After all, England is a small island, and whoever wants to can come here when they want; then and their thousands of children and, when they do, they get all the best houses, whilst I have to remain here, in this dingy flat.”

    “Erm, well, actually, it is not that easy to come to the UK; and, nor are the benefits that you think they get anywhere more generous than those who have been in the country longer. Also, the UK is under internationally legal agreements to take in people escaping from victimisation and discrimination in their own country; so, they’re not really “illegal”. If you look at the figures and the actual numbers, you’l see that………………”

    “Look, I don’t know anything about figures and numbers. You don’t live in this neighbourhood, do you? I do. You don’t know what’s it’s like with those illegal immigrants day in and day out. Round here, you are as far as I can tell in a small minority, although you may be in a large majority where you come from. Virtually everyone round here whose got eyes, can see what’s going on. They don’t need facts and to tell them what is and what isn’t! Haven’t you seen those programmes on Sky about assylum seekers, Border UK? That’s the truth, not all these “facts” and “figures”

    “Oh, I didn’t realise. A TV programme that says pretty much what you do, as well as a vast majority of people who agree with you? Well, what can I say. You must be right and everything you said must be true. So, sorry to have bothered you. So, can I count on your vote for the Green Party in the next election?……………………”

  29. Gil Says:

    Brain Read’s last comment is dismissive and has an almost arrogance about it right down to the formulaic and cliched ‘best wishes’. He’s almost saying: ‘My mind is made up and nothing can change it, SO THERE!’

    Most people I spoke to, couldn’t care less actually. But then, they weren’t avidly looking for a hook on which to hang their biased views.

  30. Saul Says:

    “you should be thankful that “Saul” hasn’t decided to intervene in this thread, then you see name-calling and insults)”

    Why Brian, what can you mean??

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      Well, Saul, you have been known to call a spade a “bleeding shovel” in these columns, and I wanted to suggest that Dr Read that if he _really_ thought he’d been called names and insulted, he ain’t seen nothing yet – and certainly that he was hardly an assiduoud readers of these threads.

      But I most humbly apologise for implying any insult to you, and suggesting that you might, ever, write anything that was other than an impeccable example of how to use the English language.

      And I, for one, have missed your incisive comments, cutting to the quick, and often straight for the throat. Welcome back!

  31. Absolute Observer Says:

    Millions believe this to be true.
    Those brave enough to raise it suffer a terrible fate,
    in which “accusations of racism are smears that he has come to expect.”

    Now, where have we heard this before,

    Read (no pun intended) the whole story here.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/22/barack-obama-british-conspiracist

  32. NIMN Says:

    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/11/23/another-good-dispatches-show/#comments

    A consequence of the “Israel Lobby” argument and its effect on Jews’ role in the public life of the state.

    1. It marks individuals out as Jews
    2. Once marked, calls for exclusion follows.

    This story illustrates precisely what Engage has been arguing since its inception. Whilst some arguments relating to Israel might (and in the case of the Lobby, I emphasize “might” not of themselves be antisemitic, their impact certainly is.

  33. Saul Says:

    Well, it looks like Rupert has run away.

    Interesting to see what happened here.

    1. He gets called up on quoting a well-documented antisemitism, but claims that, what he actually quoted was not antisemitic.
    2. People pointed out why it may be antisemitic.
    3. Rupert responds by saying that he agress with that particular comment by an antisemite and speaks about a “nefarious Israel Lobby”.
    4. People ask a. for empirical evidence and b. how he can distinguish his own views from that of “genuine” antisemitism, well documented in the above posts.
    5. Rupert responds by alleging name-calling.
    6 He was asked to provide support for this. No response
    7. He claims that the belief in an Israel Lobby is a matter of opinion and is open to discussion.
    8. Despite this openess, Rupert provides no comment or response to the questions asked of him.
    9. In being reminded that he has not responded to these questions, he claims that since he is in a majority and Engage in a minority he will not answer advising us all of the need to watch the programme (as if no-one had).

    In other words, Rupert Read has evaded any and all attempt to discuss the matter through whilst, at the same time, falsely alleging that he has been called names.

    This, for Rupert Read passes, for “openness and a willingness” to “engage”.

    Disgraceful.

  34. The Curious Case Of Rupert And Gilad. « ModernityBlog Says:

    […] to comment on his blog without success, and I am not sure quite what to make of Dr Read’s recent conduct. I could, of course, be very critical, it is hard to see how anyone could read the racism embedded […]

  35. Lynne T Says:

    I’m sure that Read finds himself in the majority view in the circles in which he travels, and perhaps in all of Britain or Europe, but definitely not in the very populous US.

    Also, Dr. Read might not find himself among the majority in many African nations either. A poll was conducted within the last 24 months or so, which, regardless of whether the country had a large Muslim population or not, found attitudes toward Israel were fairly positive/sympathetic and Palestine less positive/sympathetic.

    This mindset was, to some extent, attributed to the fact that few if any anti-Zionist Israeli academics have gone there to teach.


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