Holocaust Britain Global conflict 

We’d rather champion dead Jews than live ones

Back in 2016 the prime minister, David Cameron, decided that a Holocaust memorial and learning centre should be built near the Houses of Parliament. Three years on, the scheme is mired in an increasingly bitter row. Objectors say that the memorial’s brutalist design is inappropriate for the gardens and that its thousands of anticipated visitors would destroy one of London’s green oases. Many have cited security concerns. The Victoria Tower Gardens site, however, was chosen because it was next to parliament, thus making a highly visible and pointed statement about…

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Israel USA 

Getting to the bottom of a tragic “disloyalty”

There appears to be no limit to the sheer stupidity and reflexive malice with which people misrepresent what US President Donald Trump has just said. On Tuesday, he said: “I think Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” Cue an instant storm of outrage by Jewish groups and commentators claiming that he had accused Jews of dual loyalty — one of the trademark libels of classical antisemitism. “This is yet another example of Donald Trump continuing…

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Britain Israel Videos 

Walking into the guns: proposing that anti-Zionism is antisemitism

In June, I took part in an Intelligence Squared debate in London in which I proposed the motion “Anti-Zionism is antisemitism” before a largely hostile audience. My seconder was the Israeli former member of Knesset Einat Wilf, and we were opposed by the expatriate Israeli anti-Zionist Ilan Pappé and the journalist Mehdi Hasan. You can watch the video of the event below. Underneath the video, you can read a written version of my opening remarks. Anti-Zionism is antisemitism: speech for the proposition I never visited Israel at all until the…

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Audio 

Antisemitism in the moral maze

On BBC Radio’s Moral Maze this week, we discussed antisemitism. With the Equality and Human Rights Commission now investigating the Labour party for racism over the hundreds of examples of antisemitism by its members and the party’s apparent refusal to deal with these properly, the programme asked the more fundamental questions. What exactly is antisemitism? Can it be differentiated from anti-Zionism? Is antisemitism just one of many forms of racism or is it a uniquely pernicious prejudice? I discussed this with my fellow-panellists Matthew Taylor, Mona Siddiqui and Tim Stanley.…

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Labour party antisemitism Britain 

Why the Labour party can’t deal with its Jew-hatred

In recent days, plotting within the British Labour Party to get rid of its far-left leader Jeremy Corbyn has moved up a gear as deep concern over the party’s precipitous plunge in the opinion polls has burst into the open. Corbyn is being blamed for the two causes of this meltdown. The first is the party’s ambiguous stance over Brexit, in which it is trying simultaneously to please its working-class Brexit supporters and its metropolitan, educated liberals who want the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union — and…

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Holocaust Britain 

This giant toast rack won’t help us fight hate

Why aren’t more people speaking out against the misconceived plan to build a Holocaust memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens? The proposal, currently being considered by Westminster Council, has attracted wide support across the political spectrum but staunch opposition over its impact on the gardens from environmental and heritage groups such as Royal Parks, the Victorian Society and Historic England. A cross-party group of Jewish peers has also spoken out. There are other opponents but they are keeping quiet – almost certainly because they fear being accused of antisemitism. On every level,…

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antisemitism Culture wars Global conflict 

The dangerous equation of Islamophobia with antisemitism

The Somali-born congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who has made a number of antisemitic remarks, is currently embroiled in controversy over her marriage history. When claims against her of bigamy and immigration fraud first emerged in 2016, Omar accused the journalists involved of “Islamophobia.” Omar has also made a claim being heard more and more: that Muslims are called antisemites only because they are Muslim. In other words, anyone who calls out Muslim antisemitism is Islamophobic. This twisted claim is a way of making Muslim antisemitism unsayable. The claim is being…

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Labour party antisemitism Britain 

Jewish dismay increases after the Peterborough by-election

The Brexit Party narrowly lost yesterday’s Peterborough by-election by 683 votes. For a brand-new party registered only four months ago, that was a significant achievement. What a pity, though, that it didn’t actually win the seat. According to national polling by YouGov, the Brexit party has opened up a staggering six point lead over Labour and the LibDems, suggesting that more than a quarter of voters would back it in a general election. To do that, however, voters need to be persuaded that the party has a credible chance of…

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Global conflict 

Still tyrannical? Barbaric? Yes; but in Saudi Arabia the tectonic plates are moving

So how are our new best friends in Saudi Arabia doing these days? After last year’s grisly murder of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, it looked like it might be curtains for Saudi’s reformist crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, known as MBS, who was accused of ordering his killing. As I revealed last October, however, Khashoggi was no reformer but an Islamist extremist. A one-time friend of Osama bin Laden, he called on all Arabs to join the “resistance” against Israel; and he opposed…

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antisemitism Britain Israel USA 

The groups who hand antisemites their get-out-of-jail-free card

What has caused the deeply alarming upsurge in antisemitism across the West? As many have observed, there are three principal sources: the political left, Islamic culture and neo-fascist or white-supremacist cults. One further factor, though, is crucial. Never disappearing altogether, antisemitism can be kept to a low level by condign social disapproval that deems antisemites to be totally beyond the pale. If, however, that social stigma is lifted and society tolerates, excuses or sanitizes antisemitism, then it roars out of control. That’s precisely what is now happening. In America, astoundingly,…

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