So, a fairly well known Brit MP has been called out for an anti-Semitic tweet involving hints of deportations.
Why the fuss? Here’s why – throughout the Arab and Iranian world, every day, in the mainstream media, and neighborhood mosques, there is casual virulent, murderous, hateful anti-Semitism full of bile and lies. Naturally not all media is guilty, and not everyone believes the fantastical nonsense spewed out, but the point is: this is mainstream. Here’s a bit on Egypt’s CH2 –
Nothing unusual about that – here’s a wee bit more – this isn’t everyday though, this is just every Friday during the Friday prayers sermon –
There are thousands of similar examples. It’s the same in the newspapers with the cartoons taking an especially 1930’s Nazi Germany approach to drawing –
So what does this have to do with Naz Shah MP? It has the same thing to do with her as it does to all the other vaguely familiar and unpleasant smells emanating from parts of the regressive left and sections of the Labour Party.
In the UK they take care to hide behind a slimy verbal mask but the mask is beginning to be gossamer thin and many people are increasingly seeing through it and are perhaps reminded of the wise words of Martin Luther King Junior in 1968 – ‘When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism’. Some of them know the tide is turning. They are slithering quickly to delete years of social media hatred.
The mask has two parts. One has the word ‘Zionist’ the other, ‘Israel’ or ‘Israeli’.
When Naz Shah tweeted that Israel should be relocated to America and ‘problem solved’ it is inconceivable that she meant anything other than ‘Jews should be relocated’, or to put it another way – deported. If not, then she advocated that the 1.5 million Israeli citizens who are Palestinians should also be sent abroad. She did not mean that. She meant Jews. Nuance about the many Jewish families who have been in the country for centuries, or for many generations, or a century, or who were ethnically cleansed from the Arab countries, or indeed nuance about Israel’s right to exist and not be Judenrein? – There was none.
When Malia Bouattia, the recently elected President of the National Union of Students, talked about the ‘mainstream Zionist-led media outlets’ she was repeating the old trope about the Jewish controlled media. She must have known her intended audience would hear ‘mainstream Jew-led’. If she could not hear the direct echo of the Protocol of the Elders of Zion forgery then this highly educated woman is a fool.
For years now the regressive, dog whistle Left has also hidden behind the statement that ‘criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism’. It is true that it need not be, and yet, for year after year, march after march, speech after speech, relentlessly, doggedly, they have gone after one target, one country, and one people.
But again, why the fuss? After all, until the recent light shone on a major political party, this has mostly been in the shallower and more fetid waters of minor academia and student politics. Well, the fuss is twofold: Firstly, some of these annoying shouty anti-Semitic student activists may in the future crawl through to leading positions in politics – indeed this is quite possibly why so many of them bother, because most of their fellow students just ignore them.
The second reason is related to the first.
Do we really want our public discourse to descend as low as in the everyday examples of the Arab world depicted above? The route to that is in not caring , or, in dismissing the casual anti-Semitism of the British internet, low level politicians, and some student organizations as froth. The ‘froth’ is a virus. In the UK ideological viruses have always struggled to spread because of an innate British suspicion of extremes such as those which infected the European mainland in the 20thC. The best disinfectant is to make a fuss.
UPDATE; Naz Shah has subsequently been suspended by the Labour Party. She made a powerful apology to Parliament, but it has subsequently been claimed that her words were censored, watered down and rewritten by the Labour leadership to ensure she did not address the issue of anti-Semitism in the party. This has now been mostly retracted by Buzzfeed which came out with the story originally.
Here is the text of Ms Shah’s apology to the UK Parliament;
“Mr Speaker, can I can seek your advice on how I can express my deep sorrow for something the prime minister referred to earlier. As you know, when a government minister makes a mistake they can correct the record. I hope you will allow me to say that I fully acknowledge that I have made a mistake and I wholeheartedly apologise to this House for the words I used before I became a member.
I accept and understand that the words I used caused upset and hurt to the Jewish community and I deeply regret that. Antisemitism is racism, full stop. As an MP I will do everything in my power to build relations between Muslims, Jews and people of different faiths and none.
I am grateful and thankful for the support and advice I have received from many Jewish friend and colleagues, advice I intend to act upon.
I truly regret what I did and I hope, I sincerely hope, that this House will accept my profound apology.”