50 Days in the Summer: Gaza, political protest and antisemitism in the UK

This very clear and measured report was commissioned to assist the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism. Ben Gidley, a Senior Researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, explores the impact of events in the Middle East on antisemitic discourse in the UK.

It seems certain that last July’s spike in antisemitic incidents was connected to Operation Protective Edge. This report sets out to investigate trickier questions about the nature and degree of antisemitic discourse associated with protests against Israel, and the effects of the way the media reported both on the conflict and the demonstrations (p.2).

The report emphasises the importance of context in determining antisemitism. Whereas a Palestinian flag is not antisemitic if carried in a protest outside the Israeli embassy, the presence of the same flag would have a clear antisemitic charge outside a kosher deli or synagogue (p.4)

Some cases are more complex. Gidley suggests that the phrase ‘child murderers’, if directed at Israel, is ‘potentially legitimate criticism’ (p. 5). But it may trigger sensitivities due to the antisemitic blood libel trope. Inevitably there are grey areas where sincere disagreement or misunderstanding may occur.

In fact most of the placards visible at demonstrations against Israel were not antisemitic, the report concludes (p. 6). However there were some exceptions, mostly focused on familiar tropes:

Variations on the historic blood libel, malicious uses of Holocaust comparison, attributions of Jewish collective responsibility or dual loyalty, and images of Jewish power.

Many children did die in Gaza, and it’s not surprising that Israel’s critics focus on this issue. However, it’s equally unsurprising that ‘British Jews, sensitive to the use of the blood libel in triggering pogroms historically, may be likely to experience accusations of antisemitism through this lens.’ (p. 7) And, when the phrase ‘child murderers’ moves away from the street protest and is pinned onto a synagogue – then clearly the boundary has been crossed.

Holocaust comparisons are another common vector for antisemitism. ‘Holocaust inversion’ casts Israel as the new Nazis, Palestinians as the new Jews, and, just a little more subtly but hardly less offensively, Jews are blamed for not learning the correct lessons from the Holocaust (p. 8).

There’s some very precise analysis of the mechanisms at work in the cross-pollination between far left anti-Zionism and far-right antisemitism.

In many cases, anti-Israel activists in perfectly good faith recirculate material from far right provenance. Thus casual and unwitting low-level forms of antisemitism circulating in the wider culture can reinforce and draw people towards more ideological forms of antisemitism.

Presumably this re-circulation occurs without antisemitic intent, but it legitimates and normalises ideologically antisemitic discourse. Those already exposed to casual forms of Holocaust inversion in anti-Israel context are more receptive to Holocaust denial; those already exposed to casual forms of Jewish power allegation are more receptive to complex ideologically driven conspiracy theories. (p. 10)

Gidley then expands on the importance of recognizing that actions or words may have no antisemitic intent yet still be ‘objectively’ antisemitic in their impact (p. 11).

In its discussion of the media, the report emphasises the need for the Jewish press to report antisemitism responsibly, and not use hyperbole to create unnecessary tension. But it also rightly insists on the need for ‘mainstream Britiain to understand and take seriously the insecurity of the community.’ (p. 13)

Finally, a worrying tendency to overlook or dismiss accusations of antisemitism is analyzed, and identified as a particular danger when Israel receives such disproportionate scrutiny in the media, particularly the left wing media.

38 Responses to “50 Days in the Summer: Gaza, political protest and antisemitism in the UK”

  1. aarondover Says:

    There was no spike in antisemitic incidents, in fact the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes has been decreasing for some years.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      Hi, Aaron. As you’ve decided to return to Engage, perhaps you’d like to take this opportunity to answer the 8 propositions I put to you (which you ignored) on the comments thread to the article of yours cross-posted here. Just in case you’ve forgotten about them (and well you might, as they are closely linked to the attitudes you expressed about Israel and its behaviour), here they are again:

      The 8 propositions to be proven by you are:
      1. that there are mass graves on the West Bank of the thousands (millions?) of Palestinians murdered by the Israelis since 1967 (actually, hundreds would do the trick);
      2. that there were universities on the West Bank before 1967 (what, there weren’t? you mean those despicable Zionnazi Israelis created them? allowing freedom of thought? how dare they);
      3. that the population of Gaza declined precipitously between 1967 and Israel’s unilateral withdrawal in 2006, and/or since then, much as the populations of the ghettoes established by the Nazis in Eastern Europe did, between 1940-45;
      4. that the standard of living in Gaza declined from 1967 (using generally accepted international measures, not those of JfJfP’s devising), as well as, probably, those of the West Bank Palestinian population;
      5. that during Operation Pillar of Cloud (2012) and Operation Protective Edge (I agree that the names are ridiculous, but, hey, the military mind and all that), it wasn’t the case that at least (note the “at least”) half of those “civilians” killed were, in fact, militants, that is, members of Hamas and/or Islamic Jihad – don’t forget Richard Goldstone’s retreat from his initial Report on the 2012 conflict;
      6. that Hamas didn’t use human shields during Operation Protective Shield in 2014, a crime, per se, against humanity/a war crime in itself, leading to the non-militant civilian casualties alleged by enemies of Israel;
      7. that 800,000+ Jews weren’t expelled (or otherwise “helped on their way”) from Arab lands (and Iran) after 1948, more than matching the 700,000 Palestinian refugees, allegedly caused solely by Israeli actions during the 1947-49 conflict; and
      8. that the UN-appointed Commission of Enquiry conclusion into the Israeli blockade of the Gazan coast was that it was and is lawful was wrong in international law.

      If you do manage to prove them, with evidence, of course, then you make your case that Israel is all that you say it is. But remember that the evidence has to stand up to scrutiny, so no allegations unbacked by hard source material.

      And while I’m here, how about some evidence to back up your claim that “There was no spike in antisemitic incidents, in fact the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes has been decreasing for some years”, especially in the light of the CST documented to the contrary.

      • aarondover Says:

        That’s kind of you to set me such a special homework assignment Brian but I think you are best off doing your own research as I do, and reaching your own conclusions.

        “If you do manage to prove them, with evidence, of course, then you make your case that Israel is all that you say it is.”

        Possibly you have mistaken me for someone else as I have not said anything here about Israel.

    • eely baboon Says:

      And your evidence? Everything I have seen suggests the opposite – that ant-Semitic incidents spiked as the writer explained.

  2. Porky Scratchings (@ibngibril) Says:

    I have a bellwether on antisemitism, not scientific I grant you: my mother. It is interesting to hear her feelings. As an 80 year old lady, she has always been very open about her faith. Last summer that changed, the demonstrations in Manchester made her fearful of going shopping. That, whatever Mr dover thinks, was a most unpleasant first.

    It wasn’t just Manchester, visiting Brighton as part of the Surrey contingent opposing the pro-palestinian demonstrations, the feelings of locals there has been similarly heightened.

    Whether the physical numbers of attacks has risen or fallen is moot. The fear levels have risen and post the attacks in Paris, Belgium and Denmark – the consensus appears to be a jewish institution – school, shut, shop etc will be attacked by Islamists. The questions are when and how as opposed to if.

    Which brings me to Ben Gidley’s paper – which I find alarming – both for its defensiveness and the failure to call out the roots of terror – the creation of fear.

    In all wars, tragically, children die. So arguably all armies are “child murderers” – or are they? I do not recall seeing such claims being made against ISIS – though clearly they are killing, raping and enslaving children. Nor were the media giving a great deal of airtime to the use of children as human shields by Hamas. For Gidley to permit “the phrase ‘child murderers’, if directed at Israel, is ‘potentially legitimate criticism’”…Really? Or perhaps it isn’t – but rather a deeper, insidious, psychological terror act drawing on the historical narrative of the blood libel. The argument is made not by amateurs but politically motivated enemies with well constructed strategies.

    Furthermore, Gidley states “In many cases, anti-Israel activists in perfectly good faith recirculate material from far right provenance”. What on earth is meant here by “in good faith”. The facts are that the anti-Israel demonstrations are led by Islamic groups. For these groups publishing forged and defamatory aspects of the talmud, Mein campus and the Protocols are standard fare.

    To regard things from a liberal academic position of reasonableness is to downplay the fundamental issues of terror and antisemtism – being propagated by a neo nazI islamist network. Failure to call this loud and clear only plays on jewish fears and emboldens our enemies.

    As were the siren voices in Weimar, i will be accused of over calling the issue, exaggerating, after all this is the UK….it could never happen here. Really? My mother’s not convinced.

    • bengidley Says:

      The reason I write of “potentially” legitimate criticism was because I don’t think it is helpful here to decide if it would be or not in some contexts. My point is that given the historical narrative of blood libel, it is experienced as antisemitic whether intended as such or not. Sometimes the argument is made by politically motivated enemies with well constructed strategies (what I describe as “ideological antisemitism”) but often in fact it is made by amateurs, by people who know nothing about the history of blood libel.

      There are many people, including many on the left and some Muslims, who circulate images of Israel as child murdering without knowledge of these histories and also without knowledge of the ideological agenda of committed antisemites. This is what I mean by “in good faith”.

      There are Islamic groups among the demonstration organisers (e.g. British Muslim Initiative and Friends of Al-Aqsa) but there are also groups which are not led by Muslims (e.g. CND, Stop the War). To concentrate on the Islamic sources of antisemitism while ignoring the casual everyday antisemitism that circulates in wider anti-Israel contexts and in the British mainstream is not particularly helpful in my view.

      • Irena O. Says:

        Ben, while I agree with the last sentence of your post, one cannot understand the anti-Semitism that circulates in the British mainstream without considering how much of it is inflamed by the ongoing Israel-demonization of the media, and the use of Israel as the new symbol for world Jewry in anti-Semitic discourse.

  3. Jacob Arnon (@Jacob_Arnon) Says:

    “In its discussion of the media, the report emphasises the need for the Jewish press to report antisemitism responsibly, and not use hyperbole to create unnecessary tension. But it also rightly insists on the need for ‘mainstream Britiain to understand and take seriously the insecurity of the community.’ (p. 13)”

    The insistence that the Jewish Press “report antisemitism responsibly” is not congruous to the insistence that “mainstream Britain take seriously the insecurity of the community.”
    In the first case we have something specific “the Jewish Press” while in the second case we have something far more nebulous “mainstream Britain;” besides “the community insecurity” is too vague a phrase to be objective.
    A central problem in dealing with antisemitism is that that discourse usually works by allusion. Hence Jew haters can honestly say that don’t mean Jews but only Zionists or only Israeli Jews. By insisting on their limited Jew hatred they hope to avoid being labelled antisemites.
    The problem here starts with the premise of the cause of the latest outbreak of antisemitism in the UK (and Europe in general). However was the Gaza war really the cause of this outbreak? Or was it the case that antisemitism which is omni-present, and can’t just be measured by “cataloguing incidents,” used the Gaza flare up as an excuse to manifest itself publicly?
    In one way antisemitism is like spouse beating by an abusive partner: in both cases you have periodic flare-ups many quiet days with promises of “this is the last time” and sincere shows of sorrow.
    You need to excuse those who like myself don’t believe these mea culpas (I read the report as a kind of mea culpa).

    In any case there seems to be a glaring omission in the report (as reported here) and that is the obvious fact there are more than just two actors or communities involved and it’s not just a case of a mainstream community and the “sensitive” Jewish community. There are at least three communities involved as well as a number of sub-communities: there is the aggrieved community (the Jewish community) then we have the “mainstream Britain” (in whose name the report was issued. However, there is also arguably the most important player (which doesn’t seem to be mentioned) the Muslim communities. Of course there is also what is called “the leftist community” (I am not sure what they are left of).
    Hence the Jewish community is being targeted by a large element in the Muslim community, many leftist and possibly (a right wing community which has assimilated itself to the other openly anti-Israel (anti-Jewish communities.)
    I believe the report would have looked very differently if it had dealt with these additional factors or only some of them.
    In the future I would hope that reports on antisemitic “flare ups” would start with the premise of an ongoing Jew hatred in the British communities and not assume that it is caused by one or another incident. (I hardly need to rehearse the obvious fact that other wars with much more lethal consequences do not cause hatred against the communities in Britain related to the combatants.)

    I need to add that none of this is criticism of Ms. Brown’s report which was exemplary in its clearness and conciseness. (Not an easy task.)

    • bengidley Says:

      Thank you for your comments Jacob. A few responses:

      I recommend (rather than insist) that the Jewish press report antisemitism responsibly; it’s a recommendation. I don’t see though that this might be incongruous with the argument that mainstream Britain take seriously the insecurity of the community. I hope the report shows, or at least starts to show, why both are true. The report argues that insecurity has basis in real incidents of antisemitism (as fear of crime has a basis in real crime), and that those with power to act need to listen to these concerns, but that amplifying the insecurity internally to the community is not necessarily helpful.

      You’re absolutely right that “mainstream Britain” is a nebulous term and probably I should have clarified what I meant: I mostly meant parliamentarians (the primary audience for the report) and the mainstream press.

      I also agree that the (subjective) insecurity of the Jewish community is hard to measure “objectively”, although the plethora of surveys showing how many Jews want to emigrate and perceive antisemitism to be serious problem are good indicators. The book I co-wrote, referenced in this report, tries to tell that story in more depth and historically, focusing on other sources of insecurity (such as concern about Jewish continuity and out-marriage) as well as antisemitism.

      I absolutely agree that antisemitism today often operates, as you put it, by “allusion”. This is a topic I try to address in the report, showing why some discourse that on the surface appears to be about “only Zionists or only Israeli Jews” should be taken seriously within the remit of tacking antisemitism, I explicitly don’t look at “Jew haters” in the report, for exactly that reason, but instead at the anti-Jewish discourses and themes which circulate among those who would not identify as such.

      It is emphatically not the premise of the report that the “cause of the latest outbreak of antisemitism in the UK (and Europe in general)” is the Gaza conflict. There has been a spike in incidents in the wake of the conflict, and I was commissioned to look specifically at the role of ant-Israel protest in this, but neither the parliamentarians who commissioned the report, nor the authors of any of the reports commissioned, suggest that Gaza “caused” the spike. As you suggest, the relationship is more complex, and draws on a substrata of casual antisemitism that is already present. (The report was for an inquiry which was primarily concerned with whether anything had changed since 2005, when the last such inquiry was conducted.)

      I am not sure how you read the report as a “mea culpa”. What and whose is the guilt that you see being owned up to here?

      You’re right that the report does not talk specifically about the Muslim community (which, of course, like the Jewish community, is extremely diverse internally). That was beyond the remit of the report as commissioned, which was to focus on anti-Israel protest, although of course Muslims participated in the protests. Parts of the left were more explicitly central to the protests, which is why the report spends more time on the left than on Muslims.

      Thank you again for your thought-provoking comments.

      • Jacob Arnon (@Jacob_Arnon) Says:

        Thanks for your reply Ben Gidley:
        First, I agree that “amplifying the insecurity internally to the community is not necessarily helpful.”
        By mea culpa I meant looking for root causes which inevitably entangles those who commit antisemitic outrages and those on the receiving end. From your reply I am satisfied that that is not what was going on here.
        I also was not aware that it was “not the premise of the report that the “cause of the latest outbreak of antisemitism in the UK (and Europe in general)” is the Gaza conflict.”
        Given the title of the report and the mentioning of Palestinian casualties I had assumed that was indeed the case. I will re-read the report more carefully to see what else I might have missed.
        I know from personal experience that writing about antisemitism can be a thankless chore. I am therefore gratified that you did find some of my comments “thought provoking.”
        Sincerely,

        Jacob Arnon

  4. matthewblott Says:

    @ aarondover – do you have evidence to support this claim?

    • aarondover Says:

      Yes just take a look at the CST and police figures. http://www.thezionion.com/2015/02/08/the-fraudulent-rise-in-uk-antisemitism/

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        No, you don’t have evidence, you just have your own methods of “analysing” the CST figures to suit yourself. It is most interesting that is only anti-zionists find the CST figures and methodology suspect. University, government and police statisticians find no problem with them. Yet it in their interest (or at least the latter two groups) to find them suspect, else the tax-payer may find that they are expected to fund yet another tax round.

        Why is it that only groups like JfJfP (but not they alone) refuse to believe in a rise in antisemitic incidents? Is it because if they accepted the accuracy of the figures, they would have to acknowledge that they were at least in part wrong? Couldn’t have that, could we?

        And when are you going to respond to my 8 propositions? You keep ignoring them because you don’t have any sane answer to them and you can’t finagle them away.

        Still waiting, Aaron. Or, by refusing to respond, are you going to demonstrate that you are the troll some accuse you of being? Not me, of course, I’m waiting your considered response.

        And those are pigs with wings up there in the sky.

        • aarondover Says:

          I am a scientist by training and as such I am an empiricist and like to look at the methods by which data is collected and how it is analysed rather than accepting someone else’s conclusions purportedly drawn from it. The CST and police agree with me than the hate crime figures have decreased.

          The hate crimes have decreased in number. You should be happy to know this as you, like me, oppose antisemitism, or you say you do. Yet, you seem unhappy, you seem to insist that it has increased, even when the figures show a decrease, which is very strange. It’s almost as if you love the idea of a surge in antisemitism so much that you want to believe it in spite of the facts.

          Perhaps you are an antisemite and wish it to increase, I don’t know. It’s hard to understand your response to this good news.

        • Brian Goldfarb Says:

          And is so often the case, further reflection provides even more insight: there is an irony in the likes of Aaron Dover of JfJfP disputing the CST’s (and others’) case that antisemitism has risen. By so doing, the likes of Aaron Dover undermine their own case. From their point of view (but nor ours – to be argued separately), the rise in antisemitism is caused by Israel’s actions. Full stop.

          Note that I don’t accept their argument, for all the reasons advanced here over the last decade. But it does suggest that some, at least, in the anti-zionist camp might be just one or two sandwiches short of the full picnic.

  5. soupyone Says:

    Anyone can examine the figures they are, apparently, cross-referenced with the Met Police and the rational, in all probability, would conclude the CST is presenting an accurate picture.

    Of course, racists, bigots and weird “anti-Zionists” might be tempted to downplay the figures, as is their nature.

    Such an approach is often taken when it comes to anti-Muslim bigotry in Britain, bigots invariably dismiss the figures and facts through prejudice and irrationality.

    That is something “anti-Zionists”, if they are truly antiracist should avoid.

  6. s4r4hbrown Says:

    With regard to the figures for antisemitism, and Aaron’s first comment – a spike, even a record breaking spike, is perfectly compatible with a downward trend.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      Sarah. you are of course right, statistically speaking. However, please see the link I post in my comment below (repeated here if that does’t get posted: http://ukmediawatch.org/2015/02/05/record-number-of-antisemitic-incidents-in-the-uk-recorded-in-2014/, because I can’t seem to get on to the CST blog at the moment), which suggests about the same number of incidents in 2011 and 2013 (a few more in (2013) and a few less in 2012. But CST doesn’t, in its various reports, see a diminution of antisemitic incidents, despite the slight drop in 2012, and despite what Aaron Dover, the “scientist” wishes us to believe.

      Even if the 2014 figure is “only” a spike, they are perturbed at the continuing near steady-state level of incidents.

  7. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    No , Matthew Blott and anyone else who’s wondering, Aaron doesn’t have the figures. If we look here: http://ukmediawatch.org/2015/02/05/record-number-of-antisemitic-incidents-in-the-uk-recorded-in-2014/, we find that 2014 saw a record number of antisemitic incidents, over 1100, compared with 646 in 2011, 500 or so in 2012 and 656 in 2013.

    Of course the scientist is stopping before the latest figures are available: that’s how he can claim that antisemitism is declining in the UK. Nice try, Aaron, but your statistics are awry. Equally importantly, CST doesn’t agree with Aaron: these are their figures.

    Further. it didn’t take you long before you started trying to patronise me, did it, Aaron? It’s not clever and it’s not funny. Indeed, it’s counter-productive. Further, you try to do it twice: in a comment that seems to have been taken down, you thanked me for setting you homework, but you declined to do it, saying you weren’t talking about Israel. As indeed you aren’t on this comments thread, but you very much were in the thread attached to your article cross-posted here. In the course of that, I said that if Aaron Dover believed what he was writing, then he should be able to demonstrate the truth of the propositions I put forward.

    By effectively ignoring direct questions, you are threatening to show that you are the troll others have accused you of being. You fail to respond because the evidence you would need to do so just isn’t there. Instead of taking the obvious course and admitting this, you prefer to patronise others, hoping to annoy them enough that they will forget to insist on answers to reasonable questions.

    Perhaps you are actually incapable of answering direct questions that demand a search for information which doesn’t exist or needs such spinning that not even your allies would believe it, let alone us.

    Further, you attempt to insult me by suggesting that “Perhaps you are an antisemite and wish it to increase, I don’t know. It’s hard to understand your response to this good news.” All this does is show that, on the one hand, you clearly don’t read these columns either closely or over any length of time to know that such an accusation is risible. Smarter people than you have attempted to insult here and failed miserably.

    Now those last two comments are patronising!

    • aarondover Says:

      Hate crimes against Jews are on the decrease, despite the existence of people as annoying as Brian Goldfarb. The British are truly tolerant people.

      • s4r4hbrown Says:

        An odd comment. Incidentally, I did not make any assertion in my original post about any long term trend WRT antisemitism – I *only* referred to one specific spike – something compatible with a static or even improving picture overall.

        • Brian Goldfarb Says:

          My, Aaron, you are sensitive aren’t you? I’m annoying, am I? Is that because I keep requesting evidence that will stand up to scrutiny? And how do you equate my being annoying with your claim that “Hate crimes against Jews are on the decrease, despite the existence of people as annoying as Brian Goldfarb.”? That earns the dictionary definition of non sequitur if anything does.

          And when are you going to respond to my direct questions (with evidence), or do you accept that you are truly a troll?

          Nothing you have said in this thread (or the previous one attached to your cross-posted article) debars you from that epithet.

          BTW, I suspect that I will have to wait until hell freezes over for a response to my (and others) direct questions with anything other than further assertions from you.

          Go on, Aaron Dover, surprise us.

          (tick, tick, tick…that’s the sound of the clock ticking, by the way, in case you wondered what it was)

  8. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Sarah, assuming that your comment timed at 8.18pm on the 14th is directed at me, of course a spike could mean anything: a short term reaction to one specific event (in this case, the assumption is “Operation Protective Edge”), a spike in an otherwise upward trend, or ditto a downward trend. I was hoping to note that CST sense – or are projecting – what they fear is an upward trend, even if 2015 shows a fewer incidents than 2014.

    I have no knowledge that you don’t have, and CST may be acting out of self-interest (no overt antisemitic activity, no CST), but they do sense an upward trend, even if it is an uneven one. The main point is that Aaron Dover is making claims based on the same information and is glossing them: because it suits him and JfJfP to be able to say that the Zionist majority of British Jews are paranoid about antisemitism. Maybe we are, but as one of Simon Schama’s dinner guests in the first episode of his series on The History of the Jews” (seder service, Schama says), the default position of Jews is paranoia, validated by history.

    And Aaron Dover has said nothing to refute this default position, despite repeated requests.

    And he, and his ilk, are surprised that we (the overwhelming majority of British Jews) are pro-Israel?

    Grow up, Aaron!

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      Oops, in the first para, the dates should be 2013 and 2014. Sorry about that!

    • s4r4hbrown Says:

      Hi Brian – apologies for the ambiguity – in fact I meant to address Aaron not you. I certainly didn’t mean to criticise the CST, and my point is similar to yours – i.e. I think Aaron seems to have a specific agenda in wishing to undermine the CST’s figures. This became clear when he immediately started arguing with the position that there has been a long term increase in antisemitic incidents, even when I had not claimed that in the post. I will note (not that I have any wish to criticise the excellent CST) that Mohammed Amin has also queried their methodology. I don’t believe he has any agenda – he has always seemed perfectly supportive of the CST.

      http://www.mohammedamin.com/Community_issues/Antisemitic-incidents-2014.html

      • aarondover Says:

        I do have a specific agenda, which is to make sure people are responsible and don’t raise false alarms to undermine our civil liberties in service of foreign governments. My criticism is not of the CST who produced the declining figures, nor of the police who confirm them, it is of the media who gladly propagated the falsehood that the figures show an increasing trend.

        • zaccaerdydd Says:

          ‘I do have a specific agenda, which is to make sure people are responsible and don’t raise false alarms to undermine our civil liberties in service of foreign governments.’

          Do you think Sarah is doing that?

    • aarondover Says:

      I didn’t know I had an ilk, that’s great news!

      “And he, and his ilk, are surprised that we (the overwhelming majority of British Jews) are pro-Israel?”

      I am not surprised, because they are not. Most British Jews, like most people everywhere, are increasingly horrified by Israeli aggressions and occupation in the false name of “defence”. It’s true that not many air these views in public, largely because of the campaign of intimidation against them doing so by people and websites like this one.

  9. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    ““And he, and his ilk, are surprised that we (the overwhelming majority of British Jews) are pro-Israel?”

    I am not surprised, because they are not. Most British Jews, like most people everywhere, are increasingly horrified by Israeli aggressions and occupation in the false name of “defence”. It’s true that not many air these views in public, largely because of the campaign of intimidation against them doing so by people and websites like this one.”

    That makes you close to a liar, Aaron, as you are now wilfully ignoring all the survey data that tells the opposite. As before, prove it, and not with statistics that tell an old story.

    And when are you going to answer the propositions, or do you admit that Israel is not the breacher of human rights that people like you at JfJfP claim [ without evidence, of course.

    And do you admit that I am not an antisemite or are you planning to re-state that canard?

    Pr are you just a troll?

  10. Thanks from a friend Says:

    As an anti-Semite, I would like to concur absolutely with the following statements from Mr. Dover.

    ‘The British are truly tolerant people.’

    ‘I do have a specific agenda, which is to make sure people are responsible and don’t raise false alarms to undermine our civil liberties in service of foreign governments.’

    In these statements, Mr. Dover expresses a point that we anti-Semites have been making for years.
    1. We agree entirely with Mr Dover when he states that the British are truly tolerant people. Indeed, it is when that tolerance is abused that one can see the truth of why Jews create the very conditions of distaste toward them and from which they later seek defence.
    2. That the Jews’ attack on England and English liberties (I assume that is what he means by ‘our civil liberties’) far from an ‘innocent mistake’ (as if the Jews are capable of doing anything ‘innocently’) is, in truth, symptomatic of their overt role as agents of ‘foreign governments’ – in this instance, the government of the state of Israel. It is a well-known fact that when push comes to shove, the Jew will almost, one could say by nature, defend his or her (as they say nowadays) co-religionists over and against all other peoples, including the peoples of their country of birth. In recent years, a whole body of literature has shown clearly that the claims of racial and religious prejudice made by the Jews since at least 1948 are in truth nothing more than the latest in a clever and well-tested ploy to deflect attention away from the poisonous actions of their co-brethren in the Middle East. (This tactic was first used as early as the war in the Crimea in which those of us who showed the fiasco as nothing more than the duplicitous acts of the Jews were to a man met with allegations that we were ‘anti-Semites’. It was from this initial lesson that the Jews learnt that the most productive way of defending and protecting their own and other foreign interests was to go on the attack. It was at that moment that the Jews realised the seemingly unlimited power in using (or, rather, abusing) the allegation of ‘anti-Semitism’ so as to deflect attention from their own common purposes).

    Mr Dover is both brave and correct to spell out clearly and without apology the Jews’ mendacity when making claims about so-called ‘anti-Semitism’; that, in so doing, they again evidence (as if more evidence were needed) that they are not only acting against the interests and good name of the people of Britain, but are doing so fully cognizant that they are, as he so aptly phrases it, in the ‘service of foreign governments’.

    A core element of our ideology is as Mr Dover implies; that no matter all appearances to the contrary, the Jews simply should never and can never be fully trusted (least of all on so-called Jewish matters, such as ‘anti-Semitism’) for the simple reason that Jews are and can only be loyal to themselves and their interests, in this instance their own national interests and their own national (which, from the British point of view is a foreign) government.

    Assuming for one moment this post will be allowed through the strict censorship operating at ‘Engage’, I would like to congratulate Mr Dover for his endeavour in assuring that our common knowledge concerning the Jews will never be fully silenced; that it should be heard on the pages of ‘Engage’ is both pleasing and ironic in equal measure.

  11. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Aaron, re British Jewish attitudes towards Israel: http://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-uk152. It is from 2010, but is by JPR. Do you have anything more recent by just as authoritative a source that says otherwise (you only have to read the abstract that the link will throw up, but being a scientist [incidentally, what sort of scientist are you?], I’m sure that you’ll want to read it all.

    Given how convinced you are that antisemitism is on the decline in the UK and that “Most British Jews…are increasingly horrified by Israeli aggression…[but…] It’s true that not many air these views in public…because of the…intimidation against them…” (without evidence of course), why don’t you give a talk on your views at the winter Limmud (held in Nottingham)? I would be delighted to try and get you an invitation, so that Limmud would meet your travel and stay expenses. I promise that I would come and attend your session, just to see how a random selection of British Jews reacted to your presentation.

    How about it, Aaron?

  12. It's not me, it's you Says:

    ‘largely because of the campaign of intimidation against them doing so by people and websites like this one.’

    No Aaron, no one here is engaging in a ‘campaign of intimidation’ against you on this website. People think you are talking bollocks and are saying so. That is a very different thing to ‘intimidation’.
    If you are looking for those waging a campaign of intimidation against you, perhaps you would be better looking at your former employers; jjfp. It was they, not Engage who were so embarrassed by the nonsense you wrote who ditched you at the earliest opportunity.
    You see Aaron, sometimes you have to take responsibility for your own failures and shortcomings. I’ll let you into a secret – you know the situation when one partner dumps another by saying, ‘it’s not you, it’ me’? Well,it’s rarely the case. What they mean is that it is you and not them. In this instance, it is not jjfp, not Engage, but you. But, as long as you insist on blaming everyone else for everyone thinking you a complete and utter tosser, the story is bound to repeat itself again and again and again………………

  13. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    One could almost (but only almost) feel sorry for Aaron Dover. Here he is, trying to make a point (actually at least two) without any visible evidence to support his assertions and meting only disbelief and even (sadly) even ridicule. One of those points is that the level of antisemitic incidents is declining in the UK. The link I posted, up above, shows that in 2010 (Operation Cast Lead), there were some 646 such incidents in the UK; in 2011, this dropped to 609; in 2012 (Operation Pillar of Cloud), 650; in 2013, 535; then, in 2014 (Operation Protective Edge) a two-fold+ jump in incidents to 1168. And he sees a long-term decline in the rate. It’s astonishing how one can deceive oneself.

    Actually, it’s possible to see a reason (not a logical one, but hey, we’re talking about Israel and Jews here) for this spike (if, hopefully, it is only a spike): not enough Israelis/Jews died during Operation Protective Edge. I wrote about this on another site, when I used the following article for part of argument (http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4775/iron-dome-rigged). It turns out that in 2006, when Hezbollah rained some 4,200 rockets on Israel, there were 53 deaths as a result. In 2012 (Operation Pillar of Cloud), with 1600 rockets into Israel by Hamas, there were 5 fatalities. Last year, with 4,479 rockets (more than the Nazis fired at the UK in the form of V1 & V2 rockets) fired, during Protective Edge, there were exactly 2 civilian deaths, in areas no-one could anticipate there being anyone there. All other Israeli deaths were military.

    Why? Iron Dome, in two words. Those sneaky Israelis, they protect their civilian population, just like any democratically government is expected to. And Hamas prefer to build attack tunnels and rockets rather than civilian infrastructure.

    The other element of Aaron Dover’s writings that raises my hackles (well, one of them, at least) is his insistence that British Jews are too scared or intimidated by the Jewish establishment to openly declare their lack of support for Israel. This smacks of the attempt by “Independent Jewish Voices” (IJV) to make exactly that claim two or three years ago. They placed ads in The Guardian, The Independent and (of all places!) The Jewish Chronicle asserting just this. Linda Grant, the writer (author of “The People on the Street” – you should read it, Aaron, it evokes the wonderfully diverse nature of Israeli society, and doesn’t pull its punches on the failings, either) noted, in these columns, that several, if not many, of the signatories “were but a phone call away from an op-ed article in The Giardian or The Independent”. Some silencing. I can’t imagine anyone silencing Mike Leigh, for example.

    However, to expect a reasoned response from Aaron Dover (late?) of JfJfP is probably expecting too much. After all, we haven’t had one yet.


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