The an­ti­semitic li­bel is back again

ANAL­Y­SIS STEPHEN POL­LARD

The Jewish Chronicle - - News -

THEY MAY some­times lie dor­mant, but an­ti­semitic slurs never go away. What­ever one’s view of the BBC and Sky’s de­ci­sion not to broad­cast the DEC ap­peal — and there are good ar­gu­ments on both sides — the most dis­turb­ing as­pect of the past week has been the readi­ness of main­stream pub­lic fig­ures to adopt the most ba­sic an­ti­semitic themes to ex­plain why they op­pose the de­ci­sion.

It’s The Jews, you see. They run the me­dia. They have the power. They have the con­trol. And it’s about time some­one stood up to them.

Or, in the most per­ni­cious and wide­spread li­bel which has been do­ing the rounds over the past few days, they are so in­flu­en­tial that, even without the Jews hav­ing to ut­ter a word, the gen­tiles in ed­i­to­rial po­si­tions in the me­dia do their bid­ding be­cause they fear the con­se­quences of up­set­ting Jews.

On Tues­day, for ex­am­ple, the Evening Stan­dard de­voted two pages to ‘re­veal­ing’ the real story be­hind the BBC’s be­hav­iour: its ex­ec­u­tives are in “a com­plete white funk” be­cause of “pres­sure ap­plied by Is­rael and its sup­port­ers”.

The pa­per then found an ob­scure Swedish aca­demic who ex­posed the se­cret in­struc­tions given by BBC bosses: “The mes­sage is: don’t an­tag­o­nise the Is­raelis”. Quite how that ex­plains Sky’s re­fusal to show the ap­peal is not ex­plained. I sup­pose the El­ders of Zion never thought about satel­lite TV when writ­ing their Pro­to­cols.

The health min­is­ter, Ben Brad­shaw, trot­ted out the same theme on Any Ques­tions: the BBC “has to stand up to the Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties oc­ca­sion­ally”. The BBC has been bul­lied by the Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties. And Tony Benn told a demo that the BBC “would never be al­lowed to broad­cast any mes­sage from Je­sus. Be­cause Je­sus told us to love our neigh­bours and if the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury read the Ten Com­mand­ments it might up­set the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment.”

And yet ev­ery word — ev­ery dot, ev­ery comma and ev­ery let­ter — of their re­marks is a lie. A li­bel­lous, an­ti­semitic, danger­ous lie. No one — not the Is­raeli Em­bassy, not the Board of Deputies, not any­one in any re­motely com­mu­nal Jewish ca­pac­ity — asked the BBC not to broad­cast the ap­peal. They didn’t even drop a hint.

So when Labour peer Lord Lipsey, writ­ing in The Times this week, refers to “the cor­po­ra­tion’s craven sur­ren­der to the Zion­ist lobby”, it’s not just im­por­tant that he is cor­rected on the facts, it’s crit­i­cal that the pure an­tisemitism of his ‘Zion­ist lobby’ re­mark is pointed out.

We are, rightly, loathe to use the la­bel ‘an­ti­semitic’ , which if wrongly ap­plied is a vile tra­duc­tion. But just be­cause in many cases crit­i­cism of Is­rael is not an­ti­semitic, it does not hold that such crit­i­cism is never an­ti­semitic. And the base­less lie of this week’s com­ments is sim­ply the lat­est re­gur­gi­ta­tion of a cen­turies old al­le­ga­tion of ne­far­i­ous Jewish in­flu­ence.

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