“…It is, chillingly, not such a different sentiment than the one expressed to me not long ago by a life peer.”
“As we basked in the sunshine on the House of Lords’ terrace, he said: ‘The Jews have been asking for it, and because of the atrocious way Israel behaves, we can finally say what we think.'”
“This remark is not one I ever expected to hear in this country.”
‘Bloody Jews,’ he said. ‘Bloody Jews, bugger the Jews, I’ve no sympathy for them.’
I gazed at him, aghast. Where had this suddenly come from?
The encounter I’m here describing took place very recently, in the course of a large academic dinner at a University in another city, not my own one. It was a pleasant occasion, and the people at my table were innocuously and comfortably talking about sociological issues connected with the economic crisis, all completely harmless and (relatively) uncontentious. And then I heard the academic on my right hand side say to the person opposite him, ‘Bloody Jews.’
When he saw my appalled stare, he said impatiently, ‘Oh well, I’m sorry, but really…!’
‘I’m glad you’re sorry,’ I replied politely, collecting myself together for a fight. But then he asked, ‘Are you Jewish?’ When I nodded, this academic – whom I’d met for the first time that day – put his arm around me and said, ‘I’m sorry, but really Israel is terrible, the massacres, Plan Dalet, the ethnic cleansing, they’re like the Nazis, they’re the same as the Nazis…’
Rowan Laxton, 47, an expert on the Middle East, allegedly shouted “fucking Israelis” “fucking Jews” while watching television reports of the Israeli attack on Gaza in the gym.
He is also alleged to have said Israeli soldiers should be “wiped off the face of the earth” during the rant, which was overheard by staff and gym members.
“There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends. … You must consider over the next few weeks, when you make decisions about how you vote and how you advise constituents to vote, you must make them aware of the attempt by Israelis and by pro-Israelis to influence the election.”
“Just as Lord Ashcroft owns most of the Conservative Party, right-wing Jewish millionaires own the rest,” he said.
“Don’t underestimate the opinion … of the average Jew outside Israel…. There is indeed a belief – it’s difficult to describe it otherwise – among most Jews that they are right. And a belief is something that’s difficult to counter with rational arguments. And it’s not so much whether these are religious Jews or not. Lay Jews also share the same belief that they are right. So it is not easy to have, even with moderate Jews, a rational discussion about what is actually happening in the Middle East.”
“On the basis of my own visit, which occurred during the 1970s and 1990s for the final time, I agree [that “Israel is a scum state”].
“The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a grip on our party.”
” … that shitty little country Israel…”
Finegold: How did tonight go?
Livingstone: Have you thought of having treatment?
Finegold: Was it a good party? What does it mean for you?
Mr Livingstone: What did you do before? Were you a German war criminal?
Finegold: No, I’m Jewish, I wasn’t a German war criminal and I’m actually quite offended by that. So, how did tonight go?
Mr Livingstone: Arr right, well you might be [Jewish], but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren’t you?
Finegold: Great, I have you on record for that. So, how was tonight?
Mr Livingstone: It’s nothing to do with you because your paper is a load of scumbags and reactionary bigots.
Finegold: I’m a journalist and I’m doing my job. I’m only asking for a comment.
Mr Livingstone: Well, work for a paper that doesn’t have a record of supporting fascism. [Ironic for a man who was once an editor of Labour Herald]
Is antisemitism an elite phenomenon?