Guardian fails to report antisemitic comment by Tory MP
Last night in London, British lawmakers passed a non-binding resolution recommending that the “Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”
While the most morally obtuse comment during the debate belongs to Sir Richard Ottaway, who said that Israel’s “annexation” [sic] of 950 acres of the West Bank outraged him “more than anything else” in his political life – suggesting that terror attacks by Islamists on Western civilians, mass slaughter and systemic repression of human rights in the Mid-East come are less outrageous than the ‘horror’ of potential Israeli homes on a small stretch of land near the green line – another MP’s comments represented an altogether different level of political pathos.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said the following, a comment unreported by the Guardian despite their otherwise extensive coverage of the UK Parliament’s debate over Palestine:
“Does my hon. Friend agree that, given that the political system of the world’s superpower and our great ally the United States is very susceptible to well-funded powerful lobbying groups and the power of the Jewish lobby in America, it falls to this country and to this House to be the good but critical friend that Israel needs, and this motion tonight just might lift that logjam on this very troubled area?”
Translation: Since US government policy in the Mid-East – even under a liberal Democratic President – is effectively controlled by Jewish money and undue Jewish influence, it is up to the UK, free of the yoke of such powerful Jewish lobbyists, to speak truth to power.
Bridgen is of course not the first British politician to advance such tropes, and it is indeed horribly dispiriting that, a mere seventy years after the Holocaust, with Jews representing less than 2% of the US population, the charge that organized Jewry is too powerful and is manipulating US foreign policy for its own nefarious ends is fashionable within certain circles.
The Tory MP from North West Leicestershire can now be counted among the herd of ‘independent thinkers’ in the UK who – behind the veneer of respectable, sophisticated British politics – proclaim in all seriousness, without in any way being haunted by the toxic history of such an idea, that Jews control Washington.
It should be clear – whether such smears against historically oppressed Jewish communities are uttered by Liberal Democrats, Labourites, or Tories – that the only honourable response by genuine anti-racists is a an unqualified and firm moral condemnation – which of course means we can expect the Guardian (despite their brief flirtation with moral sobriety in a recent editorial) to maintain radio silence on the crude anti-Jewish bigotry on display last night at Westminster.
I fear from what I read, see, and hear, that the bigotry on display is no longer unusual in everyday British society. It is acceptable. It is no longer toxic to spout this. It is common discourse. There will be excuses, protests of misunderstanding, and more. But the flow of antisemitism is well and truly in plain sight. Indeed, from the Guardian’s stance, it seems no longer to be even worthy of comment.