antisemitism,  Cross Post

Milne gives credence to Yemen claim that protests ‘managed by Tel Aviv’

This is a cross-post from Just Journalism

Seumas Milne’s latest comment article, published online yesterday, and appearing in today’s print edition of The Guardian, indicates sympathy for the conspiracy theory implicating Israel at the centre of Arab unrest across the Middle East.

The concluding paragraph of, ‘Intervention in Libya would poison the Arab revolution,’ reads:

‘The embattled US-backed Yemeni president Ali Abdallah Saleh claimed on Tuesday that the region-wide protest movement was “managed by Tel Aviv and under the supervision of Washington”. That is easily dismissed as a hallucinogenic fantasy now. It would seem less so if the US and Britain were arming the Libyan opposition. The Arab revolution will be made by Arabs, or it won’t be a revolution at all.’

It is unclear how potential US and UK action in relation to Libya would make claims of region-wide unrest being ‘managed by Tel-Aviv’ ‘seem less… easily dismissed as a hallucinogenic fantasy’.

By contrast, The Guardian also published in its G2 supplement today, a long feature by Jonathan Freedland, challenging such conspiracy theories as nothing more than manifestations of old anti-Semitic tropes. The commentator offers, by way of example, the theory rife among far-left and far-right that Jews and Israel direct world events:

‘[Jews] feel similarly alarmed by claims that the hidden hand behind all world events is really Israel – that it was Israel that pushed George W Bush to invade Iraq (when, in fact, Israeli policymakers were warning that Iran posed the greater threat, or that Israel is the reason why Britain has long backed despots in the Arab world, when Britain has plenty of self-interested reasons of its own for its policy in the region.’