Kingdom of Jew Hatred

Yesterday, I blogged about a sharp cartoon in the Jerusalem Post about Saudi Arabia, and the west’s attitude to it. (Think ‘disconnect from reality,’ or see the cartoon.)

Today, the incomparable Elder of Ziyon has an amazing post about what happened in Saudi last month. And it could not be more demonstrative of western blindness, or a head in the sand attitude. Check it out.

Isn’t it about time that the USA behaved like a mensch and actually did something about this antisemitism?

A quiz about Facebook’s community standards.

OK, here’s your quiz; it’s just one question, and it is multiple choice. Are you ready? Here we go:

Is the blood libel against Jews, a violation of Facebook’s community standards?

Possible answers:

A: What community standards?

B: Yes.

C: No.

D: Depends who is asking.

E: Depends who at Facebook is investigating.

F: Depends how much media attention the complaint gets.

What is YOUR answer?

Made a choice? Want to know the correct answer?

The correct answer is: C…

Don’t believe me? See here:

Facebook investigates, decides blood libel does not violate community standards

Whatever the limits to free speech might be, you can be assured, if not exactly comforted, that Facebook is at the sharp end, ensuring Jew hatred can continue.

Labour or Society?

In the current Vicki Kirby controversy, it seems to me there is one important aspect that has been overlooked. By way of summary, here’s how Harry’s Place puts the overall position:

Vicki Kirby, then Labour’s candidate for Woking, was suspended from the Labour Party in 2014 following a string of antisemitic tweets. Now it seems that she has not simply been reinstated by Labour, but appointed as Woking’s vice chair.

The story was broken by Guy Fawkes’ blog. That blog also highlighted that Kirby and the Woking Labour Party chairman:

“have been publicly sharing content suggesting ISIS is a CIA conspiracy and joking about their own anti-Semitism.”

The latter behavior occurred after her 2014 suspension.

It’s all very well for the Labour Party to take a long look at itself, and wonder how they managed to reinstate her, and appoint her as a vice chairman. And it is right and proper that questions are asked about the Labour Party’s procedures, principles, and it is given the opportunity to learn from its mistakes. (Again.) But the further question is, why was the story only broken by Guy Fawkes’ blog? Given the public nature of Vicki Kirby’s social media postings, why didn’t other Labour Party members raise the alarm?

One possible explanation is that such behavior is not seen as offensive or objectionable within the Labour Party. (And there is plenty of evidence to suggest this is the case.) Another, much more troubling possible explanation, is that such behavior is not seen as offensive or objectionable within British society as a whole.

So, is it the Labour Party that has a Jewish problem, or is it British society?

Worst excuse of the week?

At the end of January, my post Hate by name, hate by nature pointed to Amira Hass‘ hate speech at Kent University. There were complaints. As the Campaign against Antisemitism reports:

“Asked to clarify the University’s position and what action will now be taken to prevent the use of further antisemitic rhetoric at the University under the guise of political discourse about Israel, David Powell, Head of the Office of the Vice Chancellor told us to confirm that no action would be taken…”

What did Mr Powell write in his response to the complaints, explaining why no action would be taken?

Are you ready?

Here comes that excuse:

“A debate may doubtless be had about the precise point that Ms Hass may have been making in her own presentation but we would note that she is a bona fide (and award winning) journalist working for a respected Israeli newspaper.”

It’s OK, because she’s a journalist? Have you ever heard such garbage?

As a separate issue, I would argue that Haaretz is respected in the same way that the Guardian is respected: not very much.

As the Campaign site says:

“Claiming that the “Elders of Zion” plotted the subjugation of Arabs is not free speech; it is hate speech.

Using that phrase is inexcusable, especially when the person using it is doing so advisedly to an audience of students, knowing the full connotations of her words, both as a Jew and as an “award-winning” journalist.

It is a disgrace that the University of Kent has decided that no action will be taken against the organisers, and that no change in policy is required to prevent antisemitic rhetoric disguised as political discourse in the future.”

If you are Jewish, the message is clear: stay away from the University of Kent, unless you want to be exposed to unfettered antisemitism, with no right of recourse.

The Elder of Ziyon, where I first saw this follow up, comments:

There you go! If you are a “bona fide” and award wining journalist, you cannot be possibly say anything that is too offensive for college audiences!

It’s a get out of jail card for antisemites!

Antisemitic conspiracy theories are not to be shunned, as long as they are promulgated by someone who is famous. Hass’ fame allows antisemitism to rise from something that is reprehensible into something that can be legitimately debated.

That is exactly what Kent University is saying.

I agree.

The Elder goes on to make this pertinent point:

As far as this new guidance that being an award winning journalist may say whatever he or she wants on campus without consequence, I wonder if that rule applies to all forms of bigotry, or only one specific kind?

I think I know the answer.

Another Nelsonian eye from the BBC and the Guardian (updated)

In the light of this story not being deemed fit for proper coverage by the Guardian or BBC, here’s another rough and ready calculator I created for the benefit of their less experienced staff and future recruits:


The first calculator poster is here.

[Update: the Guardian finally stepped up to the plate. See here. And the BBc has now covered the story, as local news. Wow. I think the Media Coverage Calculator still stands.]

Prediction time (updated)

The Jewish Chronicle has more on the Oxford Union Labor Club’s antisemitism:

Labour Students, the umbrella group for the party’s student movements, said it was “deeply troubled” by the episode.
“We unequivocally condemn any form of antisemitism. We are taking these allegations very seriously and will do whatever is necessary to ensure every Labour club is a safe space for Jewish students.”

Let me translate:

Labour Students, the umbrella group for the party’s student movements, said it was “deeply embarrassed” by the episode making it into the mainstream media.
“We unequivocally condemn any form of antisemitism that other people practice. We are taking these allegations very seriously and will do whatever is necessary to pretend we care. We will ensure every Labour club is a safe space for Jewish students who are antisemitic or anti-Zionist, or both.”

In short, I predict they will do nothing substantial. They may sweep it under the carpet, if they can be bothered.

Incidentally, it’s a shame nobody put the remaining chair person, Noni Csogor, on the spot. Read the JC report, and tell me you don’t smell a whiff of hypocrisy emanating from the chair.

Finally, it’s noteworthy that neither the BBC nor the Guardian have covered this. Haaretz has, which means we know they both know about it! To be fair, there is a link at the BBC site to the Haaretz story. Not quite the full attention it deserves, but at least it is something I suppose.

[Update: the Guardian finally stepped up to the plate. See here. I’m not changing my prediction, though.]

Just how bad is antisemitism in Britain?

From Guy Fawkes‘ blog:

The chairman of Oxford University Labour club has resigned in protest at anti-Semitic and terror sympathising members of the organisation. Alex Chalmers claims “the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews”:

Not entirely surprising.  As the blog suggests, this would appear to be somewhat connected to a certain Corbyn effect: follow the leader.

You could argue this is student politics, and it’s insignificant in real life. I would argue the contrary. We know how much the Oxbridge graduates become the establishment, shaping society and its opinions from within. So, if this is mainstream student behavior today, it is likely to be mainstream political behavior in the future – to the extent that it is not already. In other words, things are not going to get better. So, what is the right approach for the Jewish community in the face of this hostile environment? That’s a tough challenge.

Read it all here.