Jeremy Moodey and The PSC Set Me Thinking

[Warning: by necessity this post contains links to racist web sites, as evidence. Apologies. ]

After my brief exchange with Jeremy Moodey I decided to test a theory.

I wondered how long it would take me to find something really unsavory in the posts of a pro-Palestinian activist? A day? A week? Or even longer?

As I knew Jeremy said he doesn’t “have an anti-Semitic bone in my body”, and I believe him, he seemed a good candidate.

If Jeremy was right it would take ages or be an impossible task.

Sadly, it was shockingly easy.

Exhibit no. 1,
Jeremy Moodey’s Twitter account is following the unusually named wikizionism. They seem to be a neo-Nazi creation as suggested by their publishing of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and a piece by William Pierce. He was the brains behind the National Alliance, the American neo-Nazis and the author of the Turner Diaries. There’s a lot more racist filth there, but that enough.

That took about 30 seconds, allowing for a slow Twitter.

Next, I wondered if Jeremy had pushed any links to antisemitic sites in his tweets, by mistake of course.

That I thought would be harder and take forever, as Jeremy wasn’t some crank.

In fact, Jeremy was a potential Tory candidate and is an ex-Banker. Obviously he’s very smart, not a hothead or flake material, so presumably would see through any disguised racism.

Exhibit no. 2, Jeremy approvingly links to a Palestinian Telegraph article:

“Article on how the Board of Deputies stifles free speech in the UK through unfounded accusations of anti-semitism dld.bz/a88Qb

Readers will remember how the Palestine Telegraph published a David Duke video and wrote revolting articles accusing Jews of organ theft. I could go on, but a quick scan of their articles reveals that same disgusting conspiratorial racist tone. Yuck.

Exhibit no. 3,

“#PSC is under pressure from allegations of a Marxist takeover and (wrongly) anti-Semitism. Should be an interesting AGM bit.ly/z8yIHY

I was going to stop there, but it occurred to me that Jeremy had, conceivably, a dark sense of humour when he linked to the racist Uprooted Palestinians blog. Or perhaps I am being charitable?

It is a Gilad Atzmon fan site and run by the cranks, Stephen Lendman and Stuart Littlewood. If you ever want to see naked racism and 9/11 truthers then such a blog is made for you.

That took about 3 minutes.

So in the space of about 4-5 minutes it was trivial to find how a PSC supporter (and I assume Jeremy is one) used racist material, linked to it or at the very least read it.

I imagine the defence would be something like “these were mistakes, trivia, not of consequence” or something similar. The problem with that excuse is, I should not have been able to find any racist material in the first place, connected to a PSC supporter but I did.

As I said, I believe him when he says “I do not have an anti-Semitic bone in my body “.

But then again maybe we define antisemitism differently?

I am sure that Jeremy is one of that 81% of PSCers that reject Holocaust denial.

I can only guess what would have happened had I looked into the PSC’s 17%. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

[But enough of the humour, just in case people misunderstand me. Having read Jeremy Moodey’s tweets with some care, I do not believe he is an antisemite, or anything close to that. He strikes me as having a genuine concern for Christians in Israel/West Bank.

Yet it is disturbing to find racist material so nearby. Not 100% sure what to make of it.]

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29 Responses to Jeremy Moodey and The PSC Set Me Thinking

  1. Probably the lesson here is to be reminded that a sizeable chunk of anti-Israel comment/activity is motivated by anti-Semitism and uses anti-Semitic themes and imagery. The non-racist opponents of Israel perhaps find it extremely difficult to accept this fact assuming, maybe, that all opponents of Israel are like themselves.

    The inability to appreciate this fact is one of the major problems with the current situation. Ben Cohen wrote recently an article in an American Jewish magazine about the way in which Jews are no longer the ones allowed to define what is and isn’t anti-Semitism. I think he makes more of it than is fair but his argument centres on the way in which any and every suggestion of anti-Semitism is immediately dismissed as being an attempt to stifle debate.

    Here’s a link to his article: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-big-lie-returns/

    I don’t know for sure why that is the reason but what is missing is any sympathy or appreciation for Jewish history combined with a refusal to accept that any significant portion of anti-Israel comment is motivated by anti-Semitism.

    When a non-racist is accused wrongly of anti-Semitism he has two choices. He could assume that the accusations are knowingly false, deliberately made as an attempt to achieve some other hidden goal. Or, he could consider that the accuser is simply too quick to see anti-Semitism where none exists because a) a good chunk of the anti-Israel activists worldwide are indeed anti-Semitic and b) Jews have been the victims of anti-Semitism for a very very long time and are quite understandably quick to think that any criticism of themselves is just hatred.

    But I’ve never seen the second reaction only ever the first. Accusations of anti-Semitism never lead to introspection and are never dealt with with sympathy and understanding. Always the response is to automatically assume that they are a political tool and dismiss them. There’s a big problem there.

  2. soupyone says:

    Well Anthony, certainly a comment to ponder.

    I will try and reply in sequence.

    “Probably the lesson here is to be reminded that a sizeable chunk of anti-Israel comment/activity is motivated by anti-Semitism and uses anti-Semitic themes and imagery.”

    More recently, I have become rather leery of ascribing motivation, as it cuts both way.

    For example, in the past when I have reminded people that the founders of Israel were socialists and merely wanted peace, I have been told I am part of the Israel lobby and motivated by hatred towards Palestinians. It is as if everyone has suddenly become telepathic and instantly understands the motivations of their opponents, or perceived opponents.

    I think it’s best to avoid the question of motivation and look at the tangible facts. We could argue forever and a day about motivation about what is in someone else’s mind, but it’s hard to deny the facts, as with the PSC AGM.

    “The non-racist opponents of Israel perhaps find it extremely difficult to accept this fact assuming, maybe, that all opponents of Israel are like themselves.”

    Absolutely, so often they ascribe the purist of motivations to their political allies and the very worst to their perceived opponents, then they are shocked when they find themselves in the company of the Far Right. It doesn’t occur to them that when you attack one country, and only one country in the world, where a sizeable percentage of the population are Jews, that conceivably you will end up finding yourself allied with distinctly unsavoury types.

    “…what is missing is any sympathy or appreciation for Jewish history combined with a refusal to accept that any significant portion of anti-Israel comment is motivated by anti-Semitism.”

    Completely agree, I invariably find that the most vociferous anti-Israeli types are, more often than not, ignorant of Jewish history, only have a passing grasp of the Middle East and can’t grasp the issue of racism in any depth. That probably explains why they tend to avoid these issues, lest their foolishness becomes apparent.

    “When a non-racist is accused wrongly of anti-Semitism he has two choices. “

    Excellent point, but we’ve been here before, it’s not as if this broad schema hasn’t been seen elsewhere. From the 60s onwards black activists rightly pointed towards racism in Western societies, and they were dismissed initially. Parts of the Left took up the issues and as a result we’ve seen the growth of the American civil rights movement (with plenty of support from progressive Jews in America) and the development of race relations legislation in Britain.

    Precisely, the arguments that you put were played out in Britain in the 60s and 70s, and at that time much of Left understood the subtleties of racism. So when someone said “I have nothing against blacks, it’s the Jamaicans I can’t stand….” and launches into a tirade you don’t have to listen to the end to know where such an argument is going.

    Similarly all ethnic and social minorities are sensitive towards tell-tale signs of animosity towards them, that’s true of Gays, the Irish, The Roma, Afro-Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Asians, etc, etc

    The problem is, many of the non-ethnic/social minorities have forgotten why that is the case.

    I would like to disagree with one point you made ” a good chunk of the anti-Israel activists worldwide are indeed anti-Semitic”

    I don’t think that they see themselves that way.

    They are probably motivated (yes, I use that word) by a sense of political activism and possibly some concern for human rights, I think however are the *consequence* of their ideas and actions is often to reinforce anti-Jewish racism.

    I believe it’s better to talk about the *ideas*, rather than the people, because it overtly personalises it and makes communication difficult.

    I think that so many of the ideas that we see put forward do embody anti-Jewish racism.

    In my experience, political activists in this area often have a tin ear to their own pronouncements and can’t see antisemitism even when it’s 2 inches from their nose, as per Press TV.

    ” Accusations of anti-Semitism never lead to introspection and are never dealt with with sympathy and understanding.”

    Absolutely, but such activists don’t have introspection, which leads us back to the problem of anti-Jewish racism.

  3. My intention wasn’t to ascribe motivation to any individual. But logic dictates that if someone has a strong antipathy to Jews they are very likely to have a strong antipathy to a Jewish country. It is inconceivable that all anti-Semitism ceased after 1948 and a completely indepedent phenomenon of anti-Israel was born. There can be no doubt that there do exist many people who attack Israel primarily because they have problems with Jews.

    Therefore, we can say with some certainty that there do exist a sizeable number of people whose attacks on Israel are a reflection of their anti-Semitism.

    Now, couple that fact with the very long history of anti-Semitism and the inevitable sensitivity of Jews towards it and you can easily understand why many who criticise Israel vociferously are often charged with anti-Semitism.

    It’s wrong to jump to any conclusion about the invisible motivation behind someone’s opinion but then those who dismiss the charge of anti-Semitism out of hand are doing the exact same thing. They jump to the conclusion that the charge is motivated by a hidden agenda of trying to stop any discussion of Israel.

  4. soupyone says:

    “But logic dictates that if someone has a strong antipathy to Jews they are very likely to have a strong antipathy to a Jewish country. It is inconceivable that all anti-Semitism ceased after 1948 and a completely indepedent phenomenon of anti-Israel was born. “

    Anthony,

    Absolutely, no disagreement there.

    But then it comes back to the question of the phenomena of New Antisemitism, that post WW2 brew.

    I think we need to distinguish between the visceral hatred which exists always on the Extreme Right from Soviet “anti-Zionism”, Third Worldism and the politically convenient target of Israel. I am talking about the West, as the phenomena of antisemitism in the Middle East, takes whole books.

    I am sure we were both agrees that the Arab-Israeli conflict dominates the peripheries of politics like no other subject. Some academics have argued that it has become a ‘cultural code’, a quick way of recognising like-minded individuals, without the necessity for any in-depth discussion, and I think that’s true from my own experience, but whilst it explains what happens now it doesn’t quite tell us how we got here.

    My feeling is that we underestimate the potency of what was Soviet “anti-Zionism” in terms of what happened in the Eastern bloc, and how it permeated into Western political circles by the various Communist Parties.

    Studies have shown that European CPs effectively acted as bureaus for Soviet foreign policy, and it seems in conceivable that the strident Soviet “anti-Zionism” of the 1960s and 1970s shouldn’t permeate out into the political currents of the time.

    It is noticeable that Trotskyists whilst supposedly vigorously anti-Stalinist, are almost indistinguishable when it comes to their modern ‘anti Zionism’ and that might be part of the reason. The ideas have seeped out and are taken up on the Left, without a thought.

    In terms of dealing with it I think it’s best to ask nonracists like Jeremy Moodey why they think it occurs, and as you notice they normally come up with a blank.

    Which is strikingly surprising, as Jeremy is exceedingly intelligent, yet ill-equipped to understand the phenomena of modern anti-Israelism and how it can turn so easily into anti-Jewish racism.

    We need to ask people to reflect on the *ideas* and why they apply one standard to Israelis and Jews, and another to everyone else.

  5. Ho hum, I think I have been well and truly cyber-mugged here. Firstly, I am not a PSC activist (in the sense of heckling the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra at the Proms, which I thought an infantile prank). I am an ordinary member, recently joined, who thought it would be interesting to attend the AGM. I felt slightly uncomfortable in a crypto-Marxist setting that was closer to a Citizen Smith-style caricature than I expected, but hey there’s a first time for everything.

    But my mistake was to Tweet from the conference and thus raise my head above the parapet, and in so doing embroil myself in a web debate about the nature of anti-Semitism, with veiled hints (despite assertions by the accusers to the contrary) that I myself am anti-Semitic. I have found such accusations very hurtful. The net effect of this rather bruising experience, which has betrayed my naïveté in such matters, is that I will probably remain a silent member of the PSC. And those in the ‘criticising-Israel-is-anti-Semitic’ lobby will have achieved their objective which is to silence another well-intentioned person who simply wants to see a just peace in Israel/Palestine.

    Regarding my Tweets, there is an issue about linking to news sites which may or may not have once run a story which could be interpreted by some (but not necessary everyone) as furthering an anti-Semitic or Holocaust denial cause. To avoid this would require me to check every story ever run by a website to which I link, which is clearly impractical. Stephen Sizer has been caught out by this, with shameful accusations that one of his links to a website called The Ugly Truth (which I have never seen) made him a Holocaust denier. I thought Stephen’s response to this facile accusation in The Church of England Newspaper recently was rather eloquent:

    “It is presumptuous to assume citing the source of an article means one endorses anything else on the website. Data mining is, however, a useful way of discrediting someone when you want to avoid addressing what they are actually saying,”

    Sizer added that he recently appeared on Revelation TV, which has a stated position of being pro-Zionist. “Does that therefore make me a Zionist?” he asked.

    The Gaza-based Palestine Telegraph is an interesting case-in-point. It clearly made a massive error of judgement in posting the David Duke video, and it suffered the consequences (eg even Jenny Tonge resigned from its board). But does that it invalidate it as the authentic voice of many Gazans today and as a legitimate source of news and (non-racist) comment? It may have taken ‘Soupy One’ about 4-5 minutes of scavenging through my Tweets to find spurious ‘evidence’ that supported his libellous (and totally unsubstantiated) claim that I “used racist material, linked to it or at the very least read it”, but I defy him to find any racist material in a 4-5 minute trawl of the Palestine Telegraph home page today.

    What if I linked to The Observer website? Is that OK? In 2008 the paper put out a scurrilous article (subsequently withdrawn) suggesting that environmentalist activists were planning mass casualty attacks in order to reduce the population of the earth by 80%. Would this crass editorial error mean that I should never link to The Observer again? Of course not!

    There is a delicious irony in all this, in that the banner at the top of Soupy One’s blog is “stop censorship”. But the whole purpose of this aforementioned cyber-mugging has been to use unjustified claims of anti-Semitism to censor debate about the actions of the State of Israel. Soupy One asks if perhaps we define anti-Semitism differently? I don’t think we do, but we clearly define censorship differently.

  6. soupyone says:

    Jeremy,

    Please, contrary to your assertion that you weren’t being cyber-mugged, but being put forward as a nonracist member of the PSC.

    If you would put away your natural assumption of bad faith and victimhood then our exchanges could be even slightly amicable.

    I am assuming the best with you, I could equally if you had of been Trotskyist/Stalinist member of the PSC assumed the worst, you might do well to note the difference.

    I’m saddened that you didn’t take the thrust of this blog post to heart, the comparison between you as a nonracist and other members.

    Moreover, I’m surprised that you didn’t apologise for posting a link to the uprooted Palestinian blog.

    Equally, that you didn’t distance yourself from WikiZionism.

    Please for your own sake, reflect on those two sites for a moment and then give us a more considered opinion.

  7. Jeremy, I rather think your response proves the point I was making earlier. Rather than reflect on the ease in which anti-Semitism can be found along the trail of anti-Israel commentary, you automatically assign a hidden agenda to the criticism.

    You’re right that linking to an article on a website doesn’t mean you endorse all its content. But when the sources you wish to use turn out to be websites which engage in anti-Semitism this should lead to some reflection. Why is that the case? Why aren’t there more websites reporting on the situation that are completely devoid of anti-Semitism? Do I need to be more careful about the sensitivities of Jewish people when I comment on Israel?

    There isn’t even an acknowledgement that while the criticism is wrong in this case, you can understand why Jews are very sensitive about anti-Semitism and may be too quick to see its presence all around them. Instead of any of this all we get is a complete dismissal of the charge and a further insult to your accusers by accusing them of lying about being concerned about anti-Semitism as a deliberate pretence for achieving some other, hidden goal.

    ====

    I feel some responsibility here since I seem to have dragged you into this position. But my intention was only to use your message on twitter as evidence regarding what actually happened at the meeting. You will note, I’m sure, that very few accounts have been published about the goings-on.

    I’m sorry that by highlighting your message you have been put under a spotlight.

  8. Pingback: The Palestine Telegraph And Racism « Soupy One

  9. soupyone says:

    Jeremy,

    As per your request, I have found plenty of racism at the Palestine Telegraph.

    Just waiting for you to clarify your views, in reciprocation, on WikiZionism and the Uprooted Palestinian blog :)

  10. I have read your blog on the Palestine Telegraph. I agree that some of the older articles (eg the interview with Fredrick Töben and the WW1/WW2 Zionist conspiracy guff) are pretty shocking and clearly anti-Semitic. I was not aware of these when linking via Twitter to a more recent non-racist article on the same website, but then how could have I been aware? And in any case, as Stephen Sizer argues, citing the source of an article does not mean that you endorse everything else on the website.

    However, you condemn other more recent articles on the Palestine Telegraph as being anti-Semitic, but this is a matter of opinion. You suggest that coverage of Newt Gingrich’s Jewish backers is anti-Semitic, but this story was unearthed not by some anti-Jewish crackpot but by the Wall Street Journal (see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204624204577181382074268206.html) which in common with most News Corporation outlets is regarded as being firmly pro-Israel. You damn the Palestine Telegraph for running this story, because you want to muzzle its anti-Israel stance, but you have nothing to say about the pro-Israel WSJ. In so doing you reveal your own political agenda.

    Ditto your excoriation of the Lawrence Davidson piece which suggests Israel is a dictatorship which denies equal rights to Palestinian citizens in its own territories and those which it occupies. The issue of human rights in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory is a legitimate topic for debate. The use of the term ‘dictatorship’ is hyperbole certainly, but is it anti-Semitic? You think so because you cannot get out of the self-serving mindset which says that all criticism of the State of Israel must be motivated by anti-Semitic prejudices.

    I would guess you are a fan of the Jerusalem Post. You may occasionally link to its articles. Should I accuse you of racism, or racist sympathies, because it has run blogs which echo Newt Gingrich’s racist condemnation of the Palestinian people as “invented” (see http://blogs.jpost.com/content/gingrich-right-about-palestinian-fraud-and-israel-victim)?

    On 28 December 2011 the Jerusalem Post, to its credit, ran a piece by the moderate Palestinian Christian, Xavier Abu Eid (http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=251329). He ventured the argument, in measured tones, that Israel must choose between settlements and peace. I added a comment in support of the article. But most of the 84 other comments posted on the Jerusalem Post were virulently racist. Here is a selection:

    “israel should choose Jewish villages and assasinate xavier and his allies”

    “let them [the Arabs] either go to Jordan or go to hell”

    “I would suggest you get back to your narghilla and Ali Baba dreams”

    “If it wasn’t for oil the Arabs would still be making bricks from camel dung. Liars, cheats and thieves know no bounds for hypocrisy”

    I could go on. This was just a small sample of the racist comments on display. But hey, the Jerusalem Post is pro-Zionist so conveniently falls outside your forensic search for evidence of cyber-racism and naïve Tweeters who encourage such racism by linking to ‘inappropriate’ websites .

    I note that you do follow the Jewish Chronicle on Twitter. Last month it ran a blog piece (http://www.thejc.com/blogs/advis3r/more-lies-anti-semite) which began with a history lesson which is a travesty of the truth:

    “The Palestinians left their homes in 1947-49 for a variety of reasons. Thousands of wealthy Arabs left in anticipation of a war, thousands more responded to Arab leaders’ calls to get out of the way of the advancing armies, a handful were expelled, but most simply fled to avoid being caught in the cross fire of a battle.”

    A ‘handful; were expelled??? Eminent Jewish historians such as Ilan Pappé have documented that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly expelled (or fled for fear of their lives) in a process of deliberate ethnic cleansing by the embryonic Israeli state. So if I am a potential Holocaust denier by following Wikizionism, why are you not also a potential distorter of history by following the Jewish Chronicle? You can’t have it both ways. .

    As for Wikizionism.org, I agree again that it has some scandalous content and is in places anti-Semitic. But I have never linked to any article on its website. I do follow it on Twitter but only because I have an automatic policy, as a matter of Twitter etiquette, of following people who follow me. And I am in distinguished company: fellow Tweeters who follow Wikizionism include a NY-based journalist Naomi Wolf (who I guess is Jewish) and even a US Jewish talk show host (David Pakman) whose show has been thrown off one station because it was too pro-Israel! But are they recipients of your bile because of their bedfellows on Twitter? No, because it is not their views you wish to silence. Rather it is mine, hence the cyber-mugging and libel by insinuation.

    As for the Uprooted Palestinians blog, I cannot remember when I linked to an article on its website, and while it is pretty strongly anti-Israeli I think the assertion that it is anti-Semitic is tendentious. And again I turn to the defence, m’Lud, that citing the source of an article does not mean that you endorse everything else on the website.

    This is all about alleged guilt by association. I hope this rather lengthy reply demonstrates:

    1. That the anti-Semitic nature of some associations is open to debate.
    2. That in the inter-connected world of the blogosphere and social media some associations are hard to avoid, however distasteful they may be. But that is the price we pay for Free Speech.
    3. That those in the pro-Israel camp should not throw stones in glass houses, as some of their own associations are highly questionable.

    Jeremy

  11. Sarah AB says:

    A very interesting post – and comments. Jeremy – I thought Soupyone’s point (on another post I think?) about not wanting to make assumptions about people’s motives etc was a very good one. I’m happy to accept that you were attracted to the PSC because you wanted to help Palestinians, and are not antisemitic – and in fact, for that very reason, are upset by the post’s analysis. Could you revisit the sites etc with an open mind? It’s very easy to link to a dodgy site by mistake – if you do decide some of the links *are* a bit dodgy – that doesn’t mean you have to change your views about I/P.

  12. soupyone says:

    Jeremy,

    I appreciate that you are a lay preacher, but wouldn’t brevity be better?

    “However, you condemn other more recent articles on the Palestine Telegraph as being anti-Semitic, but this is a matter of opinion.”

    I’m having difficulty here, you asked me to do something, I did it and now you complain.

    If you took the trouble to read my post with any care, and I know you conceivably could as you are an exceedingly smart individual, you will see your original question was to find anything **racist**.

    Now racism comes in many forms, as I’m sure you’re aware, from strident stupidity and aggression to subtle snide comments. That’s what they embody.

    If you think that pushing the old trope of “Jews buying elections/controlling the world” doesn’t have racist connotations then clearly we part company.

    And this is the point I would make about the Palestine Telegraph, it pushes a completely negative view of Jews. It hunts out questionable articles, it provides a platform for racists and it’s not hard to find racism there. If you look.

    If there was another publication and it perpetually painted Afro-Caribbean people in a negative light (in the same way that the Palestine Telegraph does for Jews) then I would hope you could acknowledge that it was racist too.

    When you pick on one particular ethnic or social minority, constantly paint them in a negative light, repeat age-old lies about them and solicit material from racists, then your publication is probably not worth the virtual ink it is printed on.

    As for WikiZionism, it is clearly the product of neo-Nazis, make an effort to look up William Pierce and I hope the penny drops.

    As for the Uproot Palestinians blog, again it publishes racist authors with racist material, that should be obvious from the most recent coverage by Gilad Aztmon of Tony Greenstein and the accompanying cartoon.

    I am sure what you think everything is open to debate and a man with your intellectual capacity could probably convince people that the moon is made of cheese, however, I would counsel you that others have made that mistake, particularly when it comes to finding excuses for these objectionable web sites and racist blogs.

    But it is your conscience, as I said I don’t think you are a racist, which is why I am slightly mystified by your responses.

    Still, I suppose Prov. 16:18 applies :)

  13. Jeremy,

    What I have most difficulty with is that you start off by saying:

    “However, you condemn other more recent articles on the Palestine Telegraph as being anti-Semitic, but this is a matter of opinion.”
    and then go straight to:
    “You damn the Palestine Telegraph for running this story, because you want to muzzle its anti-Israel stance”

    You rightly acknowledge that sometimes something looks like anti-Semitism to one person but not to another. In that case why should you assume that every accusation of anti-Semitism with which you disagree is made by someone who knows the accusation to be false and is trying to push some other hidden agenda? Why can’t the other person simply disagree with you and see anti-Semitism. They may be wrong but why must they have a secret plan rather than simply being over-sensitive?

  14. I am now bowing out of this debate as we will clearly not agree on this issue, and an innocent attendance at a PSC AGM has brought me nothing but grief and calumny, when my day job is not to promote racist websites but to help some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged of all faiths in a land (Israel/Palestine) for whose hard-pressed people I have acquired a great affection.

    Ecclesiastes 12:13 applies: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”.

  15. soupyone says:

    Jeremy,

    I’m disappointed but not surprised.

    I had hoped, as you didn’t come from the Trotskyist or narrow Marxist background, that you might look at these issues with a fresh set of eyes and an open mind, sadly you couldn’t.

    But lest you foist more straw men upon us, I’ll make something clear and I hope for once you will take the time and trouble to read it.

    I do not believe that criticising the Israeli government is naturally antisemitic. It could be, but then again it is not necessarily so, it depends on the nature and intensity of that criticism.

    I do not believe that criticising a government is naturally racist, but it depends on how that criticism is articulated and its contents.

    If that criticism repeats age-old tropes and racist imagery as WikiZionism and Uprooted Palestinians blog does, then yes they count as racist.

    Such a judgement would apply whether or not the object of that criticism is Afro-Caribbean, Roma or Jewish, etc etc

    Racism is racism, it may mutate, but, its negative themes can be seen if you are sensitive to it.

    And if you’re not sensitive to it then you won’t see them. Such a disappointment.

  16. I might add, as a final word, that while you may not believe that “criticising the Israeli government is naturally anti-Semitic”, I note that your co-mugger, Anthony Cooper, clearly does. I quote from his intervention above:

    “Probably the lesson here is to be reminded that a sizeable chunk of anti-Israel comment/ activity is motivated by anti-Semitism and uses anti-Semitic themes and imagery.”

    Notice the use of the word “reminded”, as if all Mr Cooper is doing is bringing to our attention an empirically-established fact.

    The real fact is that a small ‘chunk’ of anti-Israel comment is motivated by anti-Semitism, but most critics of the State of Israel are, like me, just desperate to see an equitable peace in the Holy Land, and concerned to bring Israel to account for its flagrant violation of international norms of behaviour and its brutal denial of the legitimate rights of an entire nation, the Palestinians.

    But because this message is unpalatable to Israel’s defenders, they resort to libelling Israel’s critics with the accusation of anti-Semitism. And this is not just me being “sensitive”, it is borne out by Mr Cooper’s own words.

  17. Jeremy, that is truly a very bizarre final word. The only difference between what you quote from me and what you say is the “real fact” is that I refer to a “sizeable chunk” and you say its a “small chunk”. How you derive from this difference that I believe that “criticising the Israeli government is naturally anti-Semitic” is beyond me and I suspect beyond everyone else as well.

  18. soupyone says:

    “But because this message is unpalatable to Israel’s defenders, they resort to libelling Israel’s critics with the accusation of anti-Semitism.”

    Jeremy,

    You have misrepresented Anthony’s words, you have missed his point.

    I disagree with him on this particular issues, but at least I can see what he’s getting at.

    Which is why do Western supporters (and yes I mean Western, as seen in the West) of the Palestinians causes always seemed to be found in the company of unsavoury elements?

    That is empirically provable.

    Time after time, Western supporters of the Palestinians’ cause end up near, close or connected with members of the Far Right. I wish that didn’t happen, but I can’t deny the evidence.

    So Anthony’s point is to, I believe, ask why that happens.

    I think it is a perfectly reasonable question I disagree that they are necessarily motivated by antisemitism, I think the ***consequence*** is often antisemitism, but I am not persuaded the motivation is, in total.

    So please for your own sake, don’t misrepresent what Anthony says, try to read it from his point of view and then you might be able to participate in this debate, about anti-Jewish racism.

    The choice is yours.

  19. But will you guys address the issue of anti-Palestinian racism, the kind represented by Newt Gingrich and the contributors to the Jerusalem Post website mentioned above? Now that does represent a “sizeable chunk” of Zionist comment/activity. You should watch out for racism amongst your own camp followers before devoting yourselves so obsessively to rooting it out from within Israel’s critics.

  20. Sarah AB says:

    Sure. For example there has been a post criticising that Newt Gingrich comment on Harry’s Place.

    I have criticised (on HP) comments made by Melanie Phillips – as have other writers there, and I have reported on possible bias against Palestinians in the media etc. Yet Harry’s Place is held up as an example of an extreme Zionist position by some.

  21. soupyone says:

    Jeremy,

    Please could you stick to the topic of anti-Jewish racism?

  22. soupyone says:

    Sarah AB,

    Please could we not get distracted discussing Presidential candidates in America, when the topic is anti-Jewish racism in Britain? Thanks.

  23. Pingback: The “Illuminati Factor”, Racism And The Palestine Telegraph « Soupy One

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  26. Stephen Duke says:

    Jeremy, I’ve seen your comments on a number of threads. FWIW here are my observations, they don’t flatter you…

    1) You bend over backwards to apologise for anti-Semitic websites, or those posting links to such material.

    2) You defend members of the PSC who are happy to tolerate holocaust deniers within their movement.

    3) You show no sympathy for or even awareness of Jewish history and the very real experience of anti-Jewish hostility which has existed for millenia. Instead, when confronted with allegations of anti-Semitism, you insist that such allegations are evidence of a malignant conspiracy.

    4) In defending the notion of Palestinian expulsion, you cite Ilan Pappe as a reputable historian! If you had read any of his books (which from your brief summary of his arguments seems doubtful) then you’d be aware that he does not document that hundreds of thousands were forcibly expelled, unless by document you mean that he merely puts this claim into a document. Rather Pappe takes the few established cases of expulsion and without a shred of evidence, applies this scenario to virtually all Palestinians who left Israel between the 1947-49, ignoring or minimising any evidence contrary to his pre-ordained conclusions. Whatever this may be it is not history. Indeed Pappe admits as much but simply says it is not important because history is not objective.

    I urge you: write to 10 academic historians asking for their views on Pappe’s methodology. He is a joke in the eyes of serious historians. Anyone familiar with the broad historical literature (from both sides of the debate) is aware that there is no evidence of a systematic plan to expel the Arab population. Unsubstantiated claims may be good enough for those looking for something to fit their pre-conceived notions but it doesn’t satisfy a fair-minded observer, nor should it.

    5) If Newt Gingrich is an anti-Palestinian racist for claiming that the Palestinians are an invented people, then a significant proportion of the Palestinian leadership are also anti-Palestinian racists because they have said much the same thing. In addition, I further assume on grounds of consistency that you are happy to label Shlomo Sand an anti-Semite on account of his travesty of a book called “How and why the Jewish people were invented”.

    6) You claim not to have an anti-Semitic bone in your body. You may genuinely believe this to be true but your own beliefs about yourself are simply irrelevant to the discussion because you simultaneously demonstrate a failure to grasp the scope and extent of anti-Semitism both in your own attitudes and those of others. Lest you be in doubt, I write this because I genuinely believe you have demonstrated a hostility towards Jews. I don’t say this with the intention of shutting you up. On the contrary I want you to keep saying what you say because with each sentence you prove the validity of the central tenets of the Zionist movement.

    7) Everyone else commenting here has been very polite in their discussion of the subject at hand. I’m not sure your contribution has merited such generosity.

  27. soupyone says:

    Sorry Stephen for the delaying in replying,

    I believe that Jeremy is out of the country, recently he’s been in Egypt and I understand he’s on his way to Gaza.

    I do hope when he returns that Jeremy addresses your points.

    S.

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