antisemitism,  The Left

This Is What Passes For Progressive Politics, Now

Here is an article by Adrian Hamilton, the Independent’s Comment Editor:

Read Ahmadinejad’s address at the UN conference on racism in Geneva this week and there is little to surprise and a certain amount to be agreed with. His accusations against the imperial powers for what they did with colonial rule and the business of slavery is pretty much part of the school curriculum now. His anger at the way the economic crisis originated in the West but has hit worst the innocent of the developing world would find a ready echo (and did) among most of the delegates.

It was not for this, however, that the countries of Europe and North America gathered up their skirts and walked out of Ahmadinejad’s peroration. The UK’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Peter Gooderham, rather gave the game away when he said afterwards: “As soon as President Ahmadinejad started talking about Israel, that was the cue for us to walk out. We agreed in advance that if there was any such rhetoric there would be no tolerance for it.” The Iranian leader, he went on to say, was guilty of anti-Semitisim.

Just how you can accuse a man of anti-Semitisim when you haven’t stayed to hear him talk is one of those questions which the Foreign Office no doubt trains its diplomats to explain. But what basically was our representative trying to say here? That any mention of the word Israel is barred from international discussions? That the mere mention of it is enough to have the Western governments combine to still it? In fact, Ahmadinejad’s speech was not anti-Semitic, not in the strict sense of the word. Nowhere in his speech did he mention his oft-quoted suggestion that Israel be expunged from the map of the world. At no point did he mention the word “Jews”, only “Zionists”, and then specifically in an Israeli context. Nor did he repeat his infamous Holocaust denials, although he did reportedly refer to it slightingly as “ambiguous” in its evidence.

Instead, he launched the time-honoured Middle Eastern accusation that Israel was an alien country imposed on the local population by the West, out of its own guilt for the genocide; that it was supported by a Zionist take-over of Western politics and that it pursued racist policies towards the Palestinians. Now you may find these calls offensive or far-fetched (if there is a Zionist world conspiracy, it is making a singularly bad job of it) but it is pretty much the standard view in the Muslim world. Western support of Israel is seen as a conspiracy, and it is not just prejudice. There are now books by Western academics arguing that the pro-Israeli lobby wields an influence in the US out of all proportion to its numbers. If the Western walkout in Geneva did nothing else, it rather proved the point.

Nor is it far-fetched to charge Israel with being a racist state. As the only country in the world that defines itself and its immigrants on racial grounds, it could be regarded as fair comment.

A commenter objects to  Hamilton’s article. Another commenter puts him firmly in his place:

So why don’t you go and fuck off, fuck yourself and get fucked by your Zionist masters whilst you are at it… I hope you are of a high enough family to be considered one of the chosen few because the Zionists think that only they are worth anything and people like you, they love to use and abuse and wipe their backsides for… and whilst you are taking it for the team… they expect you to be grateful too, you grateful? Or you just want to pretend you are one of them? Do yourself a little job with a stanley knife and changed your name to Cohen no doubt too.

Later, he explains:

Really, strange how a Jew called Winston Churchill and other contemporary Jews of that era warned against the hijacking of Judaism by the Zionist movement.

It is the worlds inability to differentiate between honest peace loving Jews to the criminal Zionists that allows them to operate so freely.

I think he has understood precisely what Adrian Hamilton is saying, don’t you?

This is what passes for progressive politics, now.