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How influencers have legitimised anti-Semitism Instagram activists have turned false narratives into deadly fantasies

A protester in Madrid. (Photo by Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A protester in Madrid. (Photo by Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images)


May 25, 2021   5 mins

In July 2005, Mohammed Bouyeri stood trial for the murder of Theo van Gogh. A year earlier, in broad daylight on a street in Amsterdam, he shot Theo eight times, and then attempted to decapitate him. Theo’s crime, for which Bouyeri meted out a death sentence, was a simple one: he had chosen to direct a film, Submission, that addressed the mistreatment of women under Islam.

I wrote the script for that film — so Bouyeri pinned a note to Theo’s chest when he killed him, declaring that I would be next.

During his trial, Bouyeri said very little. But what he did say chilled everyone present. He declared he was not sorry for Theo’s murder; that he would do it again. As Geraldine Coughlan, who covered the trial for the BBC, recalled: “There was total shock in the courtroom. Some people were actually standing up because they couldn’t believe what he was saying. It was really without emotion.”

Bouyeri was a pure, cold-hearted killer, radicalised to believe a narrative that anyone who disparages Islam or the Prophet must die. Over the past week, I have repeatedly thought back to that trial, and Bouyeri’s unswerving belief in his Islamist worldview. For it seems to me that, sixteen years later, his need to shape the world within a narrative has found an unlikely new following here in the West.

Of all the narratives competing for our attention, there is none as volatile as the one that tells the story of Israel-Palestine. Indeed, there is no other conflict in the world that manages to combine all the highly charged story-lines of our time: the narrative of the oppressor versus the oppressed, of the coloniser versus the colonised, of the genocide perpetrator and system of supremacy.

It is a subject on which everyone seems to have a strong opinion. It is overloaded with emotion; with people desperate to tell their side’s “truth”. Instead of a thoughtful, conscientious approach, people rush to defend their “side” — and, in doing so, swiftly drift away from facts, and closer and closer to narratives that dismiss and overshadow objective truths.

It was a false narrative that led Mohammed Bouyeri to kill Theo, and express his intent to kill me. So I don’t say this lightly: the narratives circulating today regarding Israel and the Jewish people are equally dangerous, and are already wreaking havoc around the world. How else are we to explain the fact that, since the most recent conflict erupted between Israel and Gaza, acts of anti-Semitism have spiked in many corners of the Western world?

Of course, for several decades, there have been clandestine pockets of anti-Semitism throughout Europe and the US. This is not a new phenomenon. Despite the horrors that culminated at Auschwitz, anti-Semitism has been haunting our societies for years, continuing to be taught in far-Left, far-Right and Islamic circles. I first encountered these teachings as a child in Africa; as a teenager I joined the Muslim Brotherhood, where I was taught to believe that Jews were not even human, but descendants of pigs and monkeys.

Today, however, anti-Semitism is no longer confined to the fringes of society, but instead has started to leak into the mainstream. Social media has turned it into a contagion, normalising anti-Semitic tropes and attacks. Following the recent outbreak of violence in the Middle East, the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism found “17,000 tweets which used variations of the phrase, ‘Hitler was right’” in just one week. Likewise, anti-Semitism has ferociously spread across Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. This is in large part due to a group of popular “influencers” who — along with their thousands of young, impressionable followers — use their platforms to highlight the Palestinians’ plight. No doubt they think they are fighting a just cause. What they may not realise, however, is that they are inadvertently harming Jews, including those living in the West.

I say “inadvertently” because I believe the majority of users posting infographics and memes about Israel-Palestine are simply under-educated and ill-informed. After all, one cannot explain thousands of years of history between Arabs and Israelis in a few screenshots, let alone 280 characters.

Take supermodel Bella Hadid, who, as Daniella Greenbaum Davis has pointed out, has almost four-times as many Instagram followers as there are Jews in the entire world. In response to the conflict, she joined a pro-Palestinian protest in Brooklyn, chanting: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” — an anti-Semitic slogan coined by the Palestine Liberation Organization to call for the elimination of Israel.

Until recently, it was a chant frequently associated with the likes of Hamas, a terrorist organisation whose 1988 charter explicitly called for genocide of the Jewish people. But in today’s hysterical climate, one of the West’s most famous celebrities can use it and expect applause. Indeed, when the Israeli government accused Hadid of advocating for the elimination of the Jewish state, many of her fans attempted a semantic defence, claiming that Hadid was innocently advocating for a free Palestine, without any harm to the Jews.

But this is where the role of false narratives becomes increasingly alarming. It is my opinion that Ms. Hadid was unaware of the context and history of the chant; I do not believe she understood she was calling for the elimination of Israel, or the expulsion or genocide of the Jewish people. Similarly, I do not believe that she, nor her niece’s father, singer Zayn Malik, understood the implications of describing Israel as a “colonizer”.

Yet we must not ignore the fact that such descriptions have a pernicious impact on society at large. For whether they realise it or not, sinister actors and adversaries — look no further than China — have started to capitalise on the ignorance of our progressive elites, using their narratives to harness and spread more anti-Semitism.

Indeed, Jewish communities across the world are already experiencing the fall-out from a new wave of anti-Semitism that has been legitimised by celebrity activists. This month, for example, has also seen the rise of a second frequently misunderstood slogan: a version of “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Mohammed will return”, which dates back to the massacre of the Jews by Muhammad and his army in Khaybar, northern Arabia, in the 7th century.

Today, it remains a battle-cry used by Muslims when attacking Jews or Israelis; in the past month alone, it has been used not only in Istanbul, Casablanca, Kuwait City, Doha and Karachi, but in western Europe, too: in Utrecht, Warsaw, Vienna, Rome, Munster, London, Brussels, Berlin and Amsterdam.

The resurgence of anti-Semitism Europe, in many ways, is unsurprising; it has been simmering under the surface for over a decade. Yet despite a number of terrible anti-Semitic attacks in recent years, America, by comparison, has felt relatively immune — immune, that is, until now. Indeed, I have friends who moved to the US from Europe a decade ago to escape anti-Semitism. This month, for the first time, they are now questioning whether it is safe to walk to synagogue or wear their kippahs.

And is it really so hard to see why? Last Saturday, a man was arrested for attacking Jewish diners outside a restaurant in Los Angeles “on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon”. Two days earlier, a Jewish man, Joseph Borgen, was attacked by a group of pro-Palestinian activists in New York City’s Times Square. They reportedly beat him with a crutch, sprayed him with mace, called him a “dirty Jew” and explained that “Hamas is going to kill all of you”. Remarkably, a photo of one of the men accused of assaulting Borgen, Waseem Awawdeh, recently appeared in a now-deleted Instagram photo posted by Bella Hadid from a pro-Palestinian protest.

Yet what I found most disturbing was how Awawdeh’s comments following the attack mirrored those of Mohammed Bouyeri’s after he killed Theo van Gogh. Just as Bouyeri refused to apologise, Awawdeh reportedly proclaimed from his jail cell: “If I could do it again, I would do it again.” A video has since been released, purporting to show Awawdeh leaving prison on bail; his friends welcome him outside, put him on their shoulders and proclaim that he was a “hero”.

And herein lies the problem: when such odious acts as Awawdeh’s can be represented as heroism, you suddenly see how easy it is for false narratives to turn into deadly fantasies.


Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an UnHerd columnist. She is also the Founder of the AHA Foundation, and host of The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast. Her Substack is called Restoration.

Ayaan

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Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago

In response to a comment above, the Jews are indeed smart, productive and creative and have given the West an almost inexhaustible list of brilliant scientists, writers, composers, artists, and so on. They were largely assimilated into Europe and yet were almost wiped out. In the years since, tens of millions of Muslims have been imported into Europe in their place. And what have they given us? Not much, apart from Islam, terrorism, widespread sexual abuse and denigration of women, threats to homosexuals, contempt for our values and way of life, ‘honor’ killings, fixed marriages, FGM, etc. And to think that the Muslim Council of Britain actually announced a few years back that Muslims had no intention of integrating with us because they did not like us or our values.
Hirsi Ali’s incisive article also alludes to something that is not mentioned anywhere near enough, namely the fact that when Mohamed and his band of brigands were a minority, they reassured the Jews of Medina that they would not be harmed, but of course once critical mass had been achieved, the Jews were massacred, with the Prophet himself beheading 100s of them (according to some sources including his own Muslim biographers.). This is the role model Muslims worship and appears to be the template for conquest that many aspire to follow.
The media’s unrelenting focus on far-right anti-Semitism is a smoke-screen and a disgrace given that all the real attacks, including defenestration of little old ladies in Paris and the murders of Jewish school children etc. have been committed by Muslims. A few weeks ago the Muslim murderer of an elderly Jewish woman was acquitted on the grounds that he was rendered irresponsible by his consumption of cannabis, triggering protests already forgotten by the media.
Muslims have been successful in suppressing criticism or deflecting it by focusing on so-called Islamophobia (actually a very rational fear) and perceived micro-aggressions such as ‘staring hatefully at women dressed in the burka etc.” In reality, I think most of us are just astounded that anyone would want to dress like that. If Muslim men find it so difficult to resist the slightest temptation offered by a glimpse of female flesh or hair, perhaps they should be the ones walking around veiled, preferably with a ball and chain attached to the ankle.
This is all part of tried and tested tactics. In reality, Europeans remain highly civilized (supine?) and very few Muslims have been subjected to any violence at all despite the endless list of terrorist attacks on European soil. If the same had occurred in Pakistan, for example, there wouldn’t be a single Christian or European left alive in the whole country. We should have realised the dangers back in 1989 when the riots and book burnings over The Satanic Verses erupted.
As for the Palestinian issue, most “Palestinians” were probably Jews, Christians or pagans before they were converted at the point of a sword way back when. They have been speaking an alien language and living according to the dictates of an imposed religion and culture for many centuries. They were colonized long ago but cannot see it with their own eyes. It is a tragedy indeed that young Palestinian children are killed by Israeli bombs, but the fault lies first with the members of Hamas who fire rockets at Israel’s urban communities on the slightest pretext while hiding among their own civilian communities, knowing full well that this will inflame tensions and stoke further hatred of Israel; and second with all the people who vote for Hamas knowing full well that it is anti-Semitic and desires the destruction of Israel. If far fewer Israelis are killed during these conflicts, it is solely because the Israeli government, unlike Hamas, does all it can to protect its citizens.
It never ceases to amaze me that a country with roughly 6 million inhabitants, not all of them Jews, is portrayed as the oppressor, yet is surrounded by tens of millions of people who have wished to see it destroyed ever since its foundation. 
People like Bella Hadid are beyond the pale. Instagram etc. is a cesspit of hatred and bigotry. This whole business sickens me.

Anthony Lewis
Anthony Lewis
3 years ago

Andrew agree with everything you write, Unherd should give you a column! Anthony

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

“Europeans remain highly civilized (supine?) and very few Muslims have been subjected to any violence at all”
Except, of course, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the bombing of Libya, the Western-backed war on Yemen, … 

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

“Invade the world, Invite the world” is a thing.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Newman

Who by the way dislike most of the things the west , especially the arts community do-it has no place in their culture.Strange coincidence that lockdown has hit the arts community , musicals , art galleries , book shops etc hardest and their left wing mayors seem in no hurry to create a tourist friendly enviroment to bring them back .Yet who are the main cheerleaders for Palestine- equity , the actor’s union. Their careers need cities for live performances but they are the ones help turn them into enclaves for newcomers who don’t go in for singing , dancing and twerking.

George Stone
George Stone
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Newman

as with Japan for example?

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Easy and predictable response. Few European people (and you know full well that I mean the ‘man in the street’ who exacts no revenge for terrorism atrocities and not our governments) I know of supported wars prosecuted by governments that have long been beyond our control. Mendacious T. Blair should have been tried for war crimes, as well as for treason in lying to his country and leading it into an entirely unnecessary war that has wreaked the most terrible havoc and whose consequences are still unfolding almost twenty years later. Whatever did he mean by 45 minutes, by the way? I never understood it. Did it mean 45 minutes from the moment that Saddam would announce his intention to fire his non-existent WMD at us?

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago

Oops! I meant to ask if it meant we had only 45 minutes to take cover from the moment Saddam announced his intention to fire his WMD at us.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

Few ‘men in the street’ supported these wars? Wasn’t Blair voted back into office after invading Afghanistan and Iraq?
As for “Easy and predictable response,” my comment concerned Muslims being subjected to violence by Europeans, which your reply does little to address, beyond asserting the UK is not a democracy and hence its citizens are not responsible for its war crimes.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I can see your point about voting Blair back in, but the country had only got rid of the Tories a few years earlier and no one wanted them back at that point. I really don’t think the war influenced many people when it came to voting, all the more so as many in both major parties voted for it. Leaving that aside, I was quite obviously referring to our own rather calm behaviour regarding the Muslims who live among us, who one could expect to be the targets of reprisals given the terrorist attacks on home soil of recent years (we would definitely not be safe in any of their countries), and not to Muslims in other countries who have been killing each other (and many 1000s of Christians in Nigeria right now, something else the media chooses to ignore) without our help, as well as invading the rest of the known world, over the last fourteen centuries.
It seems to have escaped everyone’s attention that virtually the only colonial power to have retained its major possessions is the Ottoman Empire, but Erdogan is very adept at exploiting European guilt while deflecting criticism of his own country’s actions, like many others at the moment. I am sure you know Constantinople was not always Turkish, and neither was the rest of the country. 1453 is not so long ago, given that Europeans are still castigated for 1492. And let’s not leave out the more recent genocide of Armenian Christians.
This appears more and more like a long struggle between civilizations that began well before the Crusades, though that is always ignored in discussions of the Crusades, and the Muslims have never swallowed the line that we’d reached the end of history. They’re playing a long game and anyone who cannot see that is incurably naive.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

You may well have been ‘referring to our own rather calm behaviour regarding the Muslims who live among us,’ but that’s exactly my point in a way – ignore the very real violence European nations inflict on Muslims in order to claim ‘Europeans remain highly civilized.’ Believe them or not, but groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS explicitly linked their attacks in Europe to the invasion of Iraq. We ignore this at our peril.

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Right! So the attack on the Two Towers occurred after the war in Iraq, to name but one of many atrocities committed all around the world by Al- Qaeda and other groups, including attacks in a long list of countries that have nothing whatsoever to do with the West’s lunatic excursions into the Middle East. As for ISIS, they’ve killed far more Muslims, Yazidis and other peoples than they have people in the West. Don’t try to link ISIS activities to any form of rational response to the West. Their desired goal, and let’s hope it is unachievable, is to have the entire world living in a Caliphate under Sharia law, and apologists like you won’t be able to save your skins whatever you say to explain away their actions, in the event that such an abomination ever comes to pass.
No one has “ignored” the wars in the Middle East, and you can see from my comments that I am very aware of them, but what exactly would you have me do about them? Instigate a bombing campaign of the Houses of Parliament? Vote Green? Vote for Sadiq Khan? I am utterly powerless, like every other ordinary human being living on this benighted planet. I don’t wish ordinary individual Muslims any harm, but I certainly don’t want them imposing their religion in my country. We spent centuries throwing off the shackles of religion, and now we’re filling our countries with people who would happily impose their twisted religious values on all of us given half a chance.

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago

Neither I nor anyone else has “ignored” those wars, as you well know. What do you require people to do about it? There’s nothing anyone can do, whatever party one votes for. People vote largely on domestic issues in general elections. And yes, stating that ISIS and Al-Qaeda terrorism is a result of Western intervention is a form of apologia for or excusing of their actions, which are not focused solely on the West and have been going on in one form or another for a very long time. Our ongoing conversation is pointless as neither one of us will ever agree with the other. I am sure we’ve both got better things to do than while away our time on here, but I’ll leave the last comment to you.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago

“going on … for a very long time” – yes, for about 1400 years.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

I think you’re right that we’re unlikely to agree, but I appreciate your attempts to explain your point of view.

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Likewise.One thing’s for sure – I doubt very much we’d come to blows if ever we found ourselves heatedly debating these issues over a pint in a pub.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

ISIS was funded and armed by Saudi and Qatari money: both allies of the UK and also Israel while we’re at it. Al Qaeda/Nusra were armed and even trained by the CIA in one of the most expensive regime change policies they have ever undertaken. The latter fighters were being patched up in Israeli hospitals and even visited by Netanyahu whilst recovering. Priti Patel was over there trying to foist our tax money on Israel for these highly dubious activities.
The Mancester bomber: a UK “asset” in the destruction of Libya, part of the “Birmingham Brigade” (may have got the name wrong) of jihadis we used to bring down a secular Arab country.
We are DEEPLY enmeshed in this, and have been for decades. To pretend otherwise is stupid.
Hezbollah helped defeat ISIS along with the Russians: the UK and USA did practically nothing in this respect.
To lump all these people together is wrong, and to lump them with the Palestinians – as nearly all posters are doing here – is wrong also. Theirs is a separate struggle to attain freedom in their own homelands. We would and should support them honestly in this struggle for justice, and if our political system were not so corrupted (by many of the above actors), then perhaps we would have done so by now.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

A ‘secular Arab country ‘ ? Sounds great ! Oh you mean Gaddafi’s Libya

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

The different sides in Syria civil war are very complicated-my enemy’s enemy is my friend-wasn’t that Lawrence of Arabia use of bedouins in WW1? However there seems a newer more fundamentalist version of islam whose members claim brotherhood with others in the world ( rather than main loyalty to a particular country ), so each conflict west gets involved in offends them? Doesn’t this make some of them the enemy within , something our politicians don’t seem to have grasped.

dorleans1986
dorleans1986
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

It’s a good point.
Well, there was a good point in there, briefly, About an ancient faith’s great philosophical disputes, its multifaceted modern political reality, and hopefully a brief illumination into the depths of their ignorance.
Too bad you couldn’t stop grinding those axes long enough to actually make it. Might have meshed quite well with the case it seemed like you were going to make for the merits of the Palestinian cause. Before you didn’t.
Just sort of restated the things you believe, (you think the cause just, quelle suprise).
Then whined about those nasty “above actors” (golly, all of em?) who’s bribes are the only reason the course of international politics hasn’t already bent itself to your unerring sense of justice.
Now obviously I disagree with you, but I truly write the following for the sake of those whose cause you’ve taken it upon yourself to champion.
Take up birdwatching or something, the Palestinians have enough problems as it is.

Elise Davies
Elise Davies
3 years ago

You’re an ISIS apologist and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Elise Davies

I think various Western intelligence agencies warned of the likely blowback from the war on Iraq. I suppose they’re ISIS apologists too.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Ian, Nabeel Qureshi addresses this in his excellent short book, ‘Answering Jihad’.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago

Muslims ,at every level of radicalism and religious feeling are aggrieved not because Western governments deposed Saddam but because they are losing the 1300 hundred years plus war between Islam and the west ( Christendom as was)
It is absurdly naive to think a less interventionist foreign policy is going to assuage that sense of humiliation and victimhood .
Muslims don’t apologise for or feel guilty about the wars of conquest of Mohammed and his followers . On the contrary they are brought up to believe Islamic hegemony is the law of God !

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

George Bush was so proud of the Crusades he announced one for the twenty-first century.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Yes maybe it wasn’t the most diplomatic thing to say ,given the way the Crusades have been portrayed in the west and the Muslim countries , but that’s my point . There is general agreement in the west that the Crusades were a bad thing , whereas the wars of aggression by Islam are excused or ignored in the West and gloried in by contemporary Muslims

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

However the BAME narrative that all was peace and happiness before bad whites came is not true either is it ? The religion of peace manages to create enough pieces without help from other nations. I also didn’t know there was a UN directive saying western countries must behave ethically while the rest can do what they want? Surely all humans are as good or bad as each other ?

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I think it’s rather well known that Al-Qaeda’s biggest attack on the West occurred long before the invasion of Iraq. As for the “western backed war in Yemen,” surely you ought to add the Iranian thugocracy to those backing the Yemen war. In Libya (and Iraq) the goal was to remove brutal dictators, who also inflicted lots of misery on their citizens. As for Afghanistan, the invasion was called for by the 9-11 attacks. And by the way, what’s your point? Is it to support vicious terror attacks on innocent people in the West?

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Is it also well known that Al Quaeda was set up by the CIA and Osama Bin Laden was an operative?
How did they know where to bomb those Afghan cave hideouts? Because the CIA built them in the first place.
Slaughter Muslims around the world and then wonder why some go mad and try to kill you. Cause and effect.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Read the Quran. It will show you why (and how) they want to kill us.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

silly person, the biggest slaughterers of Muslims — by far — are other Muslims. Western country rank way way down.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Yemen has been under air and sea blockade since the war began. While Iran sides with Ansar Allah, it’s very hard to imagine significant amounts of weaponry getting through. The US, UK and France, on the other hand, are known – known, not suspected – to have supplied billions of dollars worth of arms, as well as assisting with training, maintenance, targetting, surveillance and intelligence.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Why is it so hard to imagine significant amounts of weaponry getting through to Yemen, which is fairly close to iran, when thousands of Iranian rockets managed to get into Gaza, which is far away and blockaded. And who do you think arms Hezbollah?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Who says the Gazan rockets came from Iran? Not even the Israelis claim that. They and the Palestinians say they’re made in Gaza, which is why they’re fairly crude, often lacking a warhead.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Yes, create an environment of hated of followers of a religion! My, how history repeats itself, and the rest as they say is lies, propaganda and injustice.
The religion hated today is Islam and the poor Palestinians die and suffer because most of them are Muslim, because of it.
The Palestinian Christians are just collateral damage in the carnage because their existence challenges the narrative that, this is not a colonial war by an apartheid regime which occupies and colonises Palestine, but a new crusade against 6 million men, women and children, who, even under Israeli military rule, present a threat to humanity and the entire planet because of their religion.
Where did we hear that before and where did it take us?

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

sometime all one can say is “You have no idea what you/re talking about, yet it doesn’t seem to stop you.”

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

That is supposed to be an answer?

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

At least 20 percent of Israeli citizens are Arab, most of them Muslim. Many of them serve (voluntarily) in the Israeli military. So if Israel is trying to convince the world that they’e out to get Muslims, they’re not doing a very good job of it.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

Yes, of course, ignore the fact that Israel controls all the Palestinians in historic Palestine, but only accords civil rights to a small number of them. That way you can pretend that all is fine and dandy. Meanwhile, HRW, Bt’selem and the UN, and all the South African veterans consider that it IS Apartheid.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

And South Africans, more than anyone else, should be able to recognise apartheid when they see it.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

A bit childish . So Israelis more than anyone else should be able to recognise murderous antisemitism when they see it is an obvious response .
Both claims ignore the possibilities that negative historical experience can induce paranoia and cloud judgement
Also implied is the connection between supposed oppression and personal probity . Yes let’s all bow down before Mugabe and Winnie ‘necklaces ‘ Mandela

Last edited 3 years ago by Alan Osband
Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

excellent post, I agree entirely. The best posts on here have negative likes, so take that as a compliment!

Janetta McGuigan
Janetta McGuigan
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Might be wise to remain silent until you’re as well educated in these matters as Andrew.
You really do sound a bit naive.
I understand what you mean by ‘invasions’. When USA and certain European countries ‘invade’ it’s always been decided beforehand with the shadowy powers that rule the country that’s to be ‘invaded’ for…whatever reason. Mineral resources. Regime changes. Power shifts.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

I don’t really understand your point. You seem to agree the invasion of Iraq was just that, an invasion, and what’s more carried out by countries that are not democracies, and for reasons entirely different to those they proclaimed. Why on earth would blowback not be expected? Various Western intelligence agencies and analysts predicted it.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago

Good post. My family are Greek and there is still the race memory of 400 years of Ottoman oppression, plus the constant threats by Ergogan to Greek and Cypriot territorial integrity today. It never ends and casts a shadow over Greece, as well as the Balkans.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

Zilch to do with Palestine.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

On 36% of the vote – a quirk of our electoral system and labour has not won an election since.

a b
a b
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Blair, Bush & the Australian PM John Howard were all voted back in after those lie engendered wars.
Only the voters of Spain threw out the party supporting them.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I’m fine with backing out of those nations entirely. Will that stop the violence? The leading killer of Muslims is other Muslims, over differences like Sunni vs Shia. The Saudis and Iranians hate each other, to the point where the Saudis will make common cause with the Israelis.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Easy line of course, but the same idiot line could be levelled against Christians in the last century (big time!), and where exactly does it get us? Nowhere.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

You may be thinking of the 16th and 17th century . The wars of the last century weren’t about religion

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

It might stop some of the violence directed against the West.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Stop mass Muslim immigration would have curtailed most of it

Vijay Kant
Vijay Kant
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

He meant European muslims living in Europe. Please pay attention.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

You might be on to something. The most persecuted people on Earth are Christians. Perhaps we need to rediscover our Judaeo-Christian heritage and wage holy war on all those who persecute us?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

You could look at the last few decades of Western wars like that. George Bush did talk about a crusade.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

You’re hanging rather a lot on one diplomatic faux pas

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

The people burning Christian churches in Palestine are Israeli settlers (numerous examples going back years): sorry to destroy your narrative.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

Religions do tend to stick together. Judaism is quick to take any attack on Jews as an attack on all followers so it is not surprising Muslims do the same.
It is perhaps less common with Christians because the religion has evolved much more and is more enlightened than the others, which remain powerfully tribal in nature.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

what a crock. “has evolved much more and is more enlightened” — if I hadn’t read your other silly posts I”d have thought this was just a joke.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Way to unflatteringly compare two major world relgions with Christianity.
And Christianity arose from Judaism, so presumably would have retained at least some of its “tribal” characteristics.
Islam, however, is by far the most revenge-obsessed and aggressively expansionist of these three religions. Obviously that’s not saying that all or even most individual Muslims are like this. But as a religion, it is what it is. Its name doesn’t mean “peace”, it means “submission”.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago

Cherie Blair made that howler I seem to recall .

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Oh please. Israel is extremely violent, as all its neighbours will attest.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

The state of Israel was born out of violence and terrorism.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Unbiased onlookers

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

Well, by that argument, I might ask you whether you expect Europeans to ‘ignore’ the violence and provocations committed on actual European soil. And of course, by and large they do, which proves my original point. Alternatively, should the Israelis just ignore Hamas missiles? Furthermore, no one is comfortable with it, as I have already said, but you have failed repeatedly to give any answer as to what we should actually do about it.
It wasn’t an argument about historical acts of invasion etc., because that could lead us back to any number of invasions and colonisations throughout the turbulent history of European-Middle Eastern relations. And of course many people appear to see history as starting only very recently, rather than, for example, 1400 years ago, with the invasion of much of the known world by Islam, the source of many current problems. Prior to that of course, the Persians invaded Greece among other places, and were paid back in kind by Alexander. We could go on forever with this line of thinking, but it wasn’t my point, which you subverted with your false explanation of Islamic(ISIS etc) violence in Europe and elsewhere.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago

Good post. The eruption of Islam onto the world stage and its rapid and violent conquest of settled and civilized peoples was the most catastrophic series of events in history.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

Israel’s regular destruction of civilan buildings in Gaza has nothing to do with religion. It is all about asserting dominance and quelling resistance to the continuing occupation and land theft. Hamas rockets are their only means of resistance.
Hardly any of the Muslims we have in the UK (and I would agree, we have taken too many) are Palestinians, but communities feel touched, just as the Jewish community in the UK would feel touched if the UK were to put pressure on Israel.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

They won’t ignore conflict either present or historical because many weren’t loyal citizens in the first place
Naive to let such numbers in

irishcustard64
irishcustard64
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Exactly, we don’t do indiscriminate reprisals on British Muslims, we attack Islamic terrorism at its source. Unfortunately we so fall over backwards to let Muslims know we’re not against them we sometimes fight *on behalf* of Islamic terrorists such as in Libya and Syria. The most radical Muslims in the West are the youngest and we’ve got a demographic timebomb ticking and many anti-West western anti-Semites who think they can harness it to serve their ends.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  irishcustard64

Those who blether on about “hate” and ‘haters” are typically projecting. Almost certainly so in your case.

irishcustard64
irishcustard64
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Those who evade the issue normally have something to hide. God bless.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  irishcustard64

The West fights on behalf of Jihadi terrorists, or uses them to achieve its own goals?

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Ian, Nabeel Qureshi addresses this in his excellent short book, ‘Answering Jihad’.

Simon Baseley
Simon Baseley
3 years ago

The opening sentence about the wealth of benefits that the Jews have given to the West offers the clearest hint as to why anti-Semitism has become so widespread. Jews have become assimilated into the cultural, scientific and social framework of our society and they did so by seeing no contradiction between following their faith and accepting the status quo. This has proved hugely rewarding for all concerned, but it has resulted in their being viewed as part of the establishment and therefore qualifying as legitimate targets for the rabble of influencers and discontents who have annexed social media.

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baseley

Very good point.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baseley

Of course the anti’s claim they aren’t against people personally but their ancestoral country ( strangely don’t seem so bothered about ‘bad’ behaviour in other countries) -though if Europeans had to seek sanctuary in the middle east that is the only country most people would find tolerable to live in -as human rights especially towards women isn’t great in rest of that region.

Euan Ballantyne
Euan Ballantyne
3 years ago

This is really quite brilliant

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

Is it not racist to ascribe to followers of any group, including a religion, greater intelligence and ability? All religions have contributed mightily to the development of our modern world and that includes Judaism.
However, if we are to resort to such comparisons, historically their ‘gifts’ are less than Islam has given the world, and much less than Christianity.
But does it matter what members of this or that religion achieve? And is any achievement an excuse for behaviour?
Not according to just principles which all religions would support. The key issue is the injustice wrought against Palestine, which the writer wishes to pretend is sourced in the threat of Islam. The achievements of Jews is irrelevant in that context.

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

It might or might not be racist to ascribe to followers of any group, including a religion, greater intelligence and ability. But that wasn’t the issue and was not what I was doing. I simply stated that the Jews are smart, productive and creative and have given the West an almost inexhaustible list of brilliant scientists, writers, composers, artists, etc. If you think that Islam has made an equal contribution to the West, particularly in the modern era, then you are deluded. And I might add that whatever gifts the European Jews have given the world, they didn’t do it by invading first.
But you are not alone in such a delusion. The object of Islamic Studies departments and numerous scholars and writers around the world is to flog us the idea that Islam has been nothing but beneficial to all the countries it has invaded since the death of the Prophet in 632 until we all accept it, because perhaps then we will accept more readily their religion of peace and tolerance when they are once again in a position to impose it. And I say all that as someone who has visited mosques and has an appreciation for Islamic art among other things.
The entire Islamic world consists of countries that were invaded, colonized, and converted by Arabs, and they are still under the thumb. Curious that we never discuss that. Ask ordinary Iranians what they really believe and which festivals they prefer when the big brother theocracy isn’t on their backs and they’ll tell you – their own native religion of Zoroastrianism and the Festival of Fire. Only 5-10% of them even go to the mosque, according to some counts, which is a source of great displeasure for the zealots.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago

I have taught many Iranians, some of them Christian converts who can never return to their home country. . All of them were immensely proud of their wonderful ancient Persian civilization. Not one of them liked Islam or the Islamic Republic.

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago

I have known and worked with Iranians in the past and heard similar stories. Likewise for my father, who had Iranian colleagues when he was working in Kuwait back in the 1970s. I remember one of them, a nice chap named Baram, who later moved to the UK. He was very proud of his Persian origins and would get very indignant if anyone suggested that Iranians were Arabs. Persian civilization is fascinating. I think it was in an excellent book by Michael Axworthy titled Iran: Empire of the Mind, which I read about 12 years ago, that I read that only 5-10% of Iranians go to the mosque.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

There are around 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and Muslims have won, as a proportion, 1.4% of the Nobel prizes.
There are around 13 million Jews in the world and Jews have won, as a proportion, 20% of the Nobel prizes.
A bit of a difference, don’t you think?
Going back in time, the Muslim world adopted the printing press in 1725. The Christian and Jewish world had been using it since its invention in 1440.
Going back further still, the “zero” which Islam claims to have invented came from Hindu India.
I won’t delve into the ancient Greeks, Romans and Persians, etc. because almost all civilizations have stood on the shoulders of these giants for the furthering of knowledge.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

Cherry-picking much? Cambridge Uni alone has won more than a whole host of countries combined.
Where 99% of Nobels are won is USA/Europe, the most advanced and wealthy countries, like Norway itself.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

what a silly little obsessed jew-baiter you are.

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Thank you for your series of ripostes to Athena Jones. You’ve saved others the trouble. Some commenters are irredeemable. No knowledge of history or the much bigger picture, just a half-crazed, inarticulate and unrelenting focus on one group of people at one point in time and their supposed status as the victims in all this.
More people ought to be aware of such matters as how, for example, the PLO ruthlessly took the Lebanon as the base of its activities back in the 1970s and 80s and brought about the destruction of that beautiful country. The Jordanians had more sense than to let the Palestinians abuse them in the same way, even though that country has a large Palestinian population.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Philo-semites are almost as creepy as anti-semites. My rule of thumb is to treat each individual on his or her merits, end of story.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

I don’t think Jews are necessarily more intelligent than anyone else, in the sense of some innate inherited biological quality, but they do seem to have a culture that emphasises learning, and they are over-represented among leading scientists and cultural figures (20% of Nobel prizes have gone to Jews). I agree with Andrew there. Which in no way excuses Israel’s actions against Palestinians. On that, I fully agree with you.

Mark Gilbert
Mark Gilbert
3 years ago

Excellent article and excellent comment by Andrew.
I do wonder when we might see a tear shed by our “progressive” community, for the 1000’s of Palestinians killed in Syria by fellow muslims – just a recent example of how they are treated in the region, and not bey Israelis and/or jews. My guess is – for the most part – those deaths just don’t resonate for those who want us to believe they genuinely care for the hapless of Gaza.

Go figure.

Mimi M
Mimi M
3 years ago

Keeping in mind that a) numbers of civilians/kids killed by Israel is always inflated by the ‘Gaza Health Ministry (aka Hamas)’, and b) some of the fatalities were by Hamas bombs, a significant percentage of which fell within Gaza.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
3 years ago

I’d like to learn more about the convicted murderer allowed to go free.
As you might discern from my other Comment here, I’m trying to form an honest opinion on the conflict as it now stands.

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago

I came to this article again as a friend told me how many comments I’d had, so I am surprised to find that anyone is still reading this six days later.
In response to your comment, I would say that this forum is not really a good place to form an opinion about such a complex issue. All you can really do is read reliable sources as much as possible, and dig into the history as far back as you can, and then draw your own conclusions. Really, it is far too serious and contentious an issue to come online and read other people’s heated comments, including my own, and then form an opinion. And whatever opinion you do ultimately form, it will be nothing more than a talking point concerning a subject that is perhaps best left unaddressed by people who can bring no solutions to the table or do anything else about it.
As regards my own opinion, however well or badly it may be expressed, and however much I may have read around these matters, it is merely that. An opinion that has no influence on events. I would only add that the general tenor of my contributions to this article is that Muslim conquest is at the root of this problem (and many other problems around the world today). For example, if they had never invaded and imposed their religion on a large part of the known world, most Palestinians today might still either be Jewish or Christian, or – much less likely – pagan, or perhaps simply free to choose their own beliefs, and hence this particular problem would not exist. This evidently reflects my own dark view of the growth of a fanatical, repressive Islam in Europe, a development I do not welcome, and which should be of far more concern to Europeans than what is happening in Palestine, although there are links between all these issues. But obviously, many people these days prefer not to look too far back into the past, except where it concerns the iniquities of European colonialism, of course.
The article itself is about the resurgence of antisemitism in Europe, which has little to do with Palestine (or the far right) and lots to do with the increasing number of antisemitic Muslims coming into Europe, many of them incapable of contributing to our societies given the high rates of unemployment and increasing automation and their own antipathy towards the West and the western way of life.
So, as regards the case of the Muslim man who threw an old Jewish lady from the balcony of her flat, it occurred about two years ago, while his trial took place only recently. He was acquitted on the grounds that his excessive consumption of cannabis had rendered him paranoid and psychotic and thus irresponsible for his acts. He is currently undergoing psychiatric observation. Of course, he already had quite a few convictions for previous crimes to his name. All this led to a few demonstrations and gatherings in several cities in France, but it has all been quickly forgotten by the media.
Here is a link to the case on the French Wikipedia site, which I imagine you can convert to English: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affaire_Sarah_Halimi
It is not the only case of its kind, and of course there is widespread fear among the French Jewish community these days.
I hope my reply is of some help to you.

a b
a b
3 years ago

This is simple hasbara boilerplate.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago

Thank you for your thoughtful and informative comment.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
3 years ago

In the U.S. the Interfaith Councils are lergely a front for militant Islam.

JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago

This piece hit me hard because, working in higher education, I am surrounded by so many loud and proud antisemites (including an alarming proportion of visible minorities). Opinions that were once shameful are now fashionable. I have heard casual comments from ‘reputable scholars’ that would make Goebbels blush. My fear is that we no longer have the tools to fight back against this pernicious brand of hatred. We are in an age of ignorance, immorality, and fanaticism.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

How does the institution you work for react to this anti-Semitism?

The UK Equality Act 2010 prohibits such acts, or is there such a prevailing climate of fear that no-one dares to challenge it?

JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

My colleagues are clever. They know the rules and they know how power operates within the university. They are very skilled at walking the razor’s edge – some of them seem to really enjoy it – and they know when they can do what they want because someone else isn’t in a position to challenge them.

Last edited 3 years ago by JP Martin
G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Does that mean that some of your colleagues openly condone anti-Semitism?

JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

It’s not usually that clear cut. Mostly they repeat antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories. As an example, when a colleague mentioned he was attending a conference in Israel another replied that the Zionists must be paying him a lot. Just this week a colleague posted on social media that she didn’t care how many Israelis get bombed to death by Hamas. The same colleague has a habit of saying that the Holocaust was not a unique historic event and is given too much importance.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

For a seemingly bright person to post that on social media is surely more than a bit dodgy.

Sounds naive maybe, but can you not report her anonymously to the university for posting things like that?

JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

This person is highly respected in her field, actually. It would surprise if she hasn’t been reported before because her posts tend to vanish.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Screenshot and report anonymously would be my recommendation then.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

She risks nothing at all, hers is the allowed view , when people complained about Oxbridge lecturer the college supported her.. An old lady who suffered in one of the camps in WW11 has put her experiences online as an educational tool-she has suffered vile abuse. The BBC employs people who think this behaviour is acceptable.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

The BBC is becoming a hateful organisation – the British Biased Corporation.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago

They only seem interested in appealing to people who are part of their group ( who probably have dinner parties & don’t watch television anyway). The average person who would think ‘you can write/say that’ is just totally ignored.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

I’m still looking for the quote that would make Goebbels blush. This is the closest, and it’s deeply disturbing.

“a colleague posted on social media that she didn’t care how many Israelis get bombed to death by Hamas”

But not quite in Goebbels’ league. Depends on the context, I guess – if she said something like “I don’t care how many, it’s still not as many as the number of Palestinians the Israelis bombed to death” then it’s rather less disturbing – or perhaps disturbing on a different level.
Referring to Israeli conference organisers as Zionists, while a strong signal that antisemitism may be at work, is not remotely in Goebels’ league.
As for “Holocaust was not a unique historic event” – it’s far from the only historical genocide (or the largest), though in 20th Century Western “civilisation” it may well be – and as such, it used the industrial scale methods available to our civilisation. Not a Goebbels level claim, however. Not even a David Icke.
As for its being “given too much importance” – we should not forget or repeat it – but nor should we forget or ignore genocides and wide-scale slaughter such as happened in Rwanda and Burundi in recent years, or the 20th Century mass slaughter (admittedly less ethnically motivated) in Cambodia or the Soviet Union, or the genocide of around one million Armenians in Anatolia earlier that century, or the current treatment of the Rohingya (or the Karen) in Myanmar, or the Uighur in China. I have spoken to people from other ethnic groups who consider the fixation on the Holocaust as being very Eurocentric. I believe it is quite in order to remember horrors recently perpetrated on our continent – but we must not negate other mass slaughters, or miss the lessons they have for us.

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul N
Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Nobody serious in the Jewish community or in the holocaust-commemorating community discounts the other genocides that have taken place in the 20th century (and now in the 21st). That being said, it is precisely the “Industrial scale methods” — as well as the intense racial aspect, down to the 1/4 Jewish level — that make the holocaust distinct from other genocides, not its “eurocentredness”.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Apologies – my reply is “Awaiting for approval”

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

I would report them for what is virulent antisemitism and hate speech.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

Supporting Palestinians in their struggle is not hate speech, much as many on here would like it to be.

JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

If you believe that cheering for the deaths of Israeli civilians is “supporting Palestinians in their struggle”, then I can see why you find yourself disagreeing with many on here.

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

You’re wasting your time. Paul Wright is someone who think philo-semites (i.e. people here on UnHerd, including myself, who have simply expressed their appreciation for Jews’ contribution to our civilization.) are as creepy as anti-semites. Like many, he has forgotten that this article is about a ‘resurgence’ of antisemitism on European soil, which has little if anything to do with the Palestine question and everything to do with the age-old Muslim hatred of Jews. As a result, many European Jews, including those in France and England, are packing their bags and leaving, while of course more and more Muslims are arriving. That is a tragedy, but he doesn’t care. Like many he uses the Palestinian issue as a screen for his own antisemitism,and in that respect resembles Hamas when they hide behind their own citizens to fire rockets at the hated enemy.
In response to the ‘charge’ of philo-semitism, I can only say that I was actually unaware of the Jewishness of great artists like Kafka, Mahler (a convert anyway) and many others, including Bob Dylan of all people, when I was first moved by their works. I certainly have no desire to be a jew, a phenomenon addressed in Howard Jacobson’sThe Finkler Question.

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

 I have heard casual comments from ‘reputable scholars’ that would make Goebbels blush. 

ï»żCould you tell us what they said roughly? Are you meaning that reputable scholars in UK universities recommended genocide? (It is hard to think what would make Goebbels blush other than something like that.)

Last edited 3 years ago by George Bruce
Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

I’m in Higher Education too, and experience the same, particularly in fields that are non-scientific. One professor at my college committed suicide recently. Instead of grief at his passing, there was joy at his death because he was considered ‘right-wing’. I was quite taken aback by the level of hatred I was witnessing, particularly in light of the fact it was coming from a group of people who pride themselves on their care and compassion.

JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

That is so upsetting and I believe it could happen where I work too. If ever someone exhibits the slightest evidence of political independence, the whispering campaigns start.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Colleges seem to be a lost cause. The only thing is to defund all but the main courses, but political weakness (as this would raise unemployment figures) won’t allow this. Students who don’t fit in with this ethos are better off taking a degree on-line.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

The ‘opposition’ will have to organise themselves. Famous academics who have been cancelled could give on-line courses and tuition , but the students,after completing their degrees, would then need to seek work in a like-minded enviroment .In America certain states seem to be dividing up as red or blue-thats not so easy in our small country whose central control all seem to lean towards the left. Perhaps move to another country?

Emma Miller
Emma Miller
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

to which country could common sense people move I wonder?

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Emma Miller

Some people have been taking their medical degrees in eastern european countries-mainly because its cheaper. That part of the world seems to value the traditional , so if you want to study an actual subject ie music that might be the place to go.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

It would be a bit ironical as some people’s families fled those areas about 120 years ago for them to say ‘can we come back please?

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Unherd is running an interview with a father who has taken his daughter out of school & is considering setting up his own school.As the university system has all the aspects he dislikes in her school education , he will then have to consider where she takes her degree.

irishcustard64
irishcustard64
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Our democracy is being hollowed out from within. We elect ‘conservative’ governments that are in office but not in power as they’re more afraid of these political psychopaths that run the institutions than anyone. The centre has not held.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

What horrible individuals!

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

JP Martin (and other readers) – just to say I asked a question to you but it is being held up for approval.
My question is similar to another, so you have already answered it.
By the time it gets through moderation, I will look like a clown who cannot be bothered reading other comments!
Annoying!

Last edited 3 years ago by George Bruce
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Yes, it is all utterly terrifying and has been happening for some years now. Jews everywhere are under attack from the far-Right, pretty much all of the Left, and of course your old friends the muslims, of whom there are now tens of millions throughout the West, and whose long-term play for global domination is going very well indeed.
Of course, one can understand why the Left and the muslims hate Jews. The Jews are astonishingly smart, productive and useful people. In other words, everything that the Left and the muslims are not. These people will always hate Jews and there is nothing you can do about that.
As such, it is the failure of the knuckeheads on the far-Right to overcome their anti-Jewishness that most distresses me because it undermines their (sometimes) valid points around immigration and various other subjects. They should be encouraging Jews to bring their productivity and intelligence to their countries and societies, because those countries and societies will be so much stronger and better for that productivity and those societies.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Well Arabs are hardly useless people, Islam is the problem rather than Muslims.

Ron Carlin
Ron Carlin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

Yet Islam saved civilisation for us during the Dark Ages.

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron Carlin

Utter nonsense, or are you being sarcastic? Islam did not even exist in the Dark Ages, if by that that you mean from the time the Romans left Britain to about the eighth century, during which time monks all over Europe were busy preserving knowledge. All the scribes and scholars who saved the classical texts in the Muslim world were Jewish and Christian anyway, but it was the Muslim invasion of Constantinople in the mid-15th century that caused thousands of scholars to flee to Italy, taking with them their copies of the classical texts, and inadvertently kick-starting the Renaissance.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago

You don’t need to erase history to make your points. Islam is widely regarded by historians as having transferred the knowledge of ancient Europe and Asia (including our numbering system, which originated in India) to the Europeans of the middle ages. there’s no need to denigrate what Islam did in the 9th-12th century in order to critique what Islam has become today; the Islamists’ actions and words certainly provide all the ammunition.

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

I am not erasing history. I responded to the previous comment, which claimed that Islam saved “us” during the Dark Ages. It did not, as it did not exist at that time, and did not arrive in Europe (Spain) until roughly 730, on the point of a sword, whereupon the emerging Spanish civilization was erased for seven centuries. The rest of my points are valid, and I was not denying the contribution of Islam in diverse areas including mathematics. That was scarcely the point of my response. But I suppose you’ve swallowed the kool aid of Islamic studies departments around the world and believe El Andalus was a was a golden age of scientific ingenuity and tolerance. Well, there are plenty of sources that prove otherwise, including many Muslim ones. It’s odd how centuries of Islamic imperialism get wholly ignored at a time when there is so much focus on European imperialism, is it not?

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago

Excellent post.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago

El Andaluz, while it was ruled by the Ummayads, WAS a RELATIVE haven of tolerance and ingenuity, certainly compared to what was going on in Christian Europe at that time. All that ended after the Almoravid invasion, but again, ignoring history to score points in the present isn’t particularly edifying. As for “supposing” what I believe or don’t believe, you do know what happens when you ASSUME, right?

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Point scoring is exactly what you are doing. All of the Islamic houses were invading powers and colonizers. The period that is widely held up as some sort of beacon of tolerance, and of which I am very well aware, was very short-lived anyway. The notion that it was a relative haven is contestable; It was still an oppressive colonial power in which Spaniards were third-rate citizens who paid the jizra, among other less benign things. The idea that it was tolerant is being swallowed wholesale in Europe and elsewhere. I remember in Paxman’s series Empire that at some point he asks an old Egyptian (I think) man what he thought of the British, clearly hoping to wheedle out of him a response to the effect that they been at least in some respects a force for the good, to which the man sagely and tersely replied that the British did not belong there, end of story. The fact that the period of tolerance did not last long is the lesson to take home with us.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago

Excellent post.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago

Ah bless ! So the Ottoman Turks kick-started the Renaissance (inadvertently )

Actually 1453 is a bit late for that chain of causation

Andrew Grant Dutch
Andrew Grant Dutch
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

Ah bless you, you patronizing person! John Gribbin, in his marvellous book Science: A History uses 1453 as a handy starting date for the revival of Western Europe (and he’s not alone in that view), though of course many Greek-speaking scholars who had seen which way the wind was blowing had obviously stared fleeing to Italy before then, and plenty of other developments had been going on in Europe for centuries as I have pointed out in other comments here. Do I really have to try to explain the whole complex history just to avoid your kind of ignorant patronizing comment.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron Carlin

Is this part of the new re-writing? There used to be a comedy show ‘Goodness , Gracious , Me’ where the old man claimed anyone or anything , Shakespeare , railways etc was invented by India.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron Carlin

No, it didn’t. Muslim armies invaded civilzed and settled countries and made dhimmis of their inhabitants.;

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron Carlin

Yes it did. But that was then — more than 1,000 years ago — and this is now.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

I agree wholeheartedly that islam is problematic, but you have lost me with “Arabs are hardly useless people.” I am sure you had something in mind, so perhaps you could explain.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
3 years ago

What I’m confused are you saying all Arabs are useless people.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

No, I’m genuinely confused by your comment. When I think of, for example, Jewish people, I see that they (in the 21st century) are very prominent in law, medicine, science, music (to name but a few) but when I think of arab nations the only thing that springs to mind is oil – and they neither developed, discovered nor exploited that. I am sure they as a group cannot be not useless (few human beings are, and probably fewer ethnicities – though quite what ‘useful’ is in that context is difficult to define) and but your description of ‘hardly useless’ implies some talents or abilities beyond the norm.

Of course, if we reduce the ‘useful’ criterion to “What do they do?” There are any number of peoples where the answer is “not a lot” – Zulus? Australian aboriginal peoples? Native Americans? Inuit? Oddly enough, even though I cannot define what they “do” I regard all these groups with some admiration and even affection (hopefully not in a patronising way, though I appreciate that is a risk.) The world would be a poorer place without them.

The arabs?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
3 years ago

Well I didn’t intend to imply they have talents beyond the norm, just as you have acknowledged that as a group they are not useless. The original post implied Jews are an inherently useful people whereas Muslims are useless which I don’t think is true at all.

You are of course correct that certain groups have contributed little to the development of civilization but it is my understanding that this correlates highly with the resources which were available in the region of the world in which they evolved.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

I don’t want to labour the point, but the original post talked about muslims, and your response was that Arabs are ‘hardly useless people”. These are two different groups : not all Arabs are muslim, not all muslims are Arabs. Again, the original comment said that ” The Jews are astonishingly smart, productive and useful people.” I take it that you have no quibble with that observation, even if you disagree that “this is everything that the Left and the muslims are not.”

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago

Interesting and thought-provoking post. Should we value people in terms of what they “do” (e.g. the UK. for the industrial revolution, the Greeks for almost every intellectual innovation in the ancient world) and what they contribute to the development of civilization, thereby instrumentalizing them, or should we value them just for what they are? Australian Aborigines are adept at living in a dry and relatvely waterless environment and would still have done very well without the arrival of Europeans, and high but isolated civilizations like the Incas might have continued if the conquistadors had not turned up. We have to be careful with the latter, though, because the Mayan civilzation imploded and collapsed through self-inflicted ecocide (a lesson for us!), long before the arrival of Europeans..

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

Agreed. I find it very difficult to understand people like Bernie Sanders in the U.S.A. Self-hating Jews are as much an enemy of civilization as Islam is.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago

There is an article in American Thinker 23rd May by Andrea Widburg which shows this strange behaviour very well

JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago

A microcosm of the larger fifth column that is the progressive left. The enemy within is always more dangerous.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago

My comment that you replied to is now ‘awaiting’ days after going through ok , so it seems some people actually go through comments manually & stop anything they don’t like.Strange how all this censorship has emerged with covid-sensitive little virus isn’t it?

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

If you genuinely believe that people only disagree with you because they are weakminded or evil, then there is no hope that you will be able to understand or engage with your “opponents”. So what are you doing? Virtue signalling?

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

He thinks his opinions are facts.

Emma Miller
Emma Miller
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Which far right? Where is it?

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Philo-semites are almost as creepy as antis. As anyone reading this thread would see. The author attracts these people in spades.

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago

And of course whenever politicians call out anti semitism they have ro call out non existent islamophobia , so they don’t lose their base of support. Pathetic.

JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Vivek Rajkhowa

It’s also very disingenuous. The same people who had neuralgic reactions whenever anyone dared say ‘all lives matter’ during the BLM protests are now telling us that ‘all hate matters’. Why does it pain them so much to admit the existence of antisemitism? The answer is fairly obvious.

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Precisely.

Ron Carlin
Ron Carlin
3 years ago
Reply to  Vivek Rajkhowa

Islamophobia is a thing, you’ve just revealed it by denying it. Similar to the worst anti-semitism, always denied to exist by the most rabid anti-semites.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron Carlin

Do you also believe in anti-white too?

David Hartlin
David Hartlin
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron Carlin

So just what is Islamophobia in your view? Does it include valid criticisms?

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron Carlin

Anti-Muslim prejudice surely exists. Islamophobia is a made up term that means little, as “fear of Islam” — which is how islamophobia is defined — is a legitimate fear of Islamism, a political doctrine that supports jihad and is being weaponized to defeat Israel and undermine the West.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Islam is not the same as Islamism. Many Muslims have no time for the latter, but could hardly be called Islamophobic.

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago

The resurgence of anti-Semitism Europe, in many ways, is unsurprising; it has been simmering under the surface for over a decade.

I do not like this sentence, which I will put down to carelessness. The word resurgence gives the impression – one that the mass media does its best to promote – that it is the same people as in the 1930s – Europeans de souche – who are the anti-semites in Europe, whereas anyone who is really watching knows it would be 80% or 90% or more, recent immigrants, particularly of the ROP persuasion, and their offspring.

Last edited 3 years ago by George Bruce
JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Carelessness, perhaps, but I believe the author truly understands the nature of the problem. With that said, ‘resurgence’ also implies that it went away at some point. The facts support your comments but, in my own life, I have witnessed more of the leftwing variety. Neither group has managed to corner the market and they seem quite happy to share it.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

They share a hatred of the USA – strange bedfellows

JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

A hatred of civilisation, tradition, and beauty too.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Tom Lehrer had a satirical song called “Prejudice” many years ago, though I haven’t been able to find it on the internet for years now. Briefly, it was about whilte, black, , brown and yellow people hating each other , ending with “And everybody hates the Jews!”
Sadly, that seems to be increasingly true…

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Its odd coincidence that Max Mosley , son of Oswold has just died. The media seem to want to suggest the entire British aristocracy supported him in the 1930’s wheras the Mitfords were a very unusual family and P G Wodehouse would not have dared mock the movement in the character of Roderick Spode if it were so popular.

Ron Carlin
Ron Carlin
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

I love Roderick Spode. And people thought Wodehouse was pro-Nazi.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron Carlin

We knew someone who was a social worker /home help & one of his old ladies recalled an incident in the 1930’s where Mosley’s lot marched through their streets. The j lads came with their cricket bats & they chased mosley’s lot away-much to the amusement of the people who lived there. Both Waugh & Churchill campaigned to help Wodehouse , but was not to be until 1970’s-it was a complete discrace considering what he & his wife went through

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Certain groups pay them to be the victim-wonder what they’ll do when the circus moves on?

irishcustard64
irishcustard64
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Deranged by Islam. And its anti-Semitic allies like you.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

You think that a high percentage of Muslim immigrants in the UK are Palestinian ?

John Lewis
John Lewis
3 years ago

Don’t forget the huge contribution of “The Squad” whose relentless anti-Semitic narrative goes unchallenged by their party leadership and the US media. Their words and the taciturn acceptance if not outright encouragement reverberate around the whole world.

Also never forget that over 90% of UN resolutions condemning individual countries are gleefully passed against Israel.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  John Lewis

They have condemned anti-Semitism. I’m not sure their criticism of the Israeli human rights record (whether you agree or not) constitutes anti-Semitism.
You have a point on the UN though.

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul N
Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

their “critiques” of anti-semitism ring hollow; they support BDS but no similar measures against other countries, — that’s double standard. they call Israel and only Israel “nazi” and “apartheid” — that’s demonization. They say Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea” — that’s delegitimization. Anti-semitism through and through.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

How about the human rights records of islamic countries? Do they allow Jews, Christians or other non-Muslims to live in their countries?
Why should Jews not have their own ancestral land of Israel? It isn’t as if they have laid a claim to any other country.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  John Lewis

Yes, and countries like China are among those which condemn Israel every time, and yet nobody turns a hair.

Lee Floyd
Lee Floyd
3 years ago

Import the third world, become the third world.

andy thompson
andy thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Floyd

‘Tell me what your company is and I’ll tell you what you are’

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago
Reply to  andy thompson

I read that last night in Don Quixote , quoted by Sancho Panza as an old saying

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Floyd

True.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Floyd

Unfortunately!

ebrandwein
ebrandwein
3 years ago

It is as if the 2000 Camp David negotiations never happened. Except that they did. The Palestinians were offered their own state three times. Once at Camp David, six months later at the Taba Conference and later in the 2007 Olmert offer. The Palestinians did not say ‘ok but” or ‘that’s a good start” or “we accept subject to revision”. They said no. That’s where we are now.

William MacDougall
William MacDougall
3 years ago
Reply to  ebrandwein

Camp David was rejected by both sides. Taba was rejected by Ariel Sharon, not the Palestinians. Olmert was rejected by the EU and many others as inadequate. Israel has never offered a coherent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and close to 1967 boundaries. The Arab world has offered that. Israel’s rejection is the problem.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago

The Arab world never offered anything without the stipulation of “right of return”. That’s why no peace agreement has ever been reached, because there’s no way Israel would ever be OK with that. It’s a far more deal-breaking issue than East Jerusalem being the Palestinian “capital”.

William MacDougall
William MacDougall
3 years ago

Yes, right of return is a difficulty, but most think a compromise is possible: a few return and the rest get compensation. Try offering it. But clearly East Jerusalem and nearly all of 67 borders is essential. A Bantustan is not remotely sustainable.

Brynjar Johansson
Brynjar Johansson
3 years ago

The border is your classic ‘wicked’ problem. There are 3 options out the current impasse:

A – Israel cedes the entire WB.
B – Israel cedes the WB minus the border areas.
C – Israel cedes WB but retains military control of Jordan river.

Israel has a strategic need to control the Jordan river – it is ‘vital ground’ in military terms. They don’t trust the Palestinians not to let hostile enemies into the WB, therefore ‘A’ is untenable.

B & C look, with justification, like a Bantustan.

Short of a credible (ie. US/UK) international monitoring force on the border, I don’t see a way out.

William MacDougall
William MacDougall
3 years ago

And what about the Palestinian need for security? Trust would be needed on both sides, but yes neutral international guarantors might help.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

People are uninterested in facts on this thread. It’s comic given that Unherd is supposed to cater for slightly brainier people than the Daily Heil, but there we go.

jamie.shotter
jamie.shotter
3 years ago

Brilliant and incisive.

Paula Jones
Paula Jones
3 years ago

“one of the West’s most famous celebrities”
Really? I had no idea who she was. I really must get out more – or, then again, maybe not.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Paula Jones

Ditto.

David Hartlin
David Hartlin
3 years ago
Reply to  Paula Jones

Perhaps it is just a product of time and advancing curmudgeonness but I have learned just how unimportant celebrities are.

Bronwen Saunders
Bronwen Saunders
3 years ago

Whenever I get drawn into a discussion of the Israel-Palestine conflict, I generally find it helpful to ask those who champion the Palestinian cause about all the other populations that were expelled and/or displaced at around the same time. Among them were the millions of Muslims who were forced out of India and had to settle in Pakistan, for example, or the Hindus and Sikhs who moved in the opposite direction, or the hundreds of thousands of Germans who having been thrown out of Czechoslovakia and Eastern Prussia had to start again from scratch, or the 800,000 Sephardi Jews driven out of Arab countries, or, a couple of decades later, the Asians thrown out of Uganda. What is so tragic about the Palestinians? Why does the clock have to be turned back to accommodate them, and not, say, the Sephardi Jews or the Ugandan Asians? Or, to put it another way, why have the Czechs, the Russians, the Pakistanis, the Indians, the Greeks, the Turks and the Ugandans – among many others – been forgiven for having rid themselves of an unwanted ethnic group in their midst, while the Israelis have not? Could it be because the Israelis are Jewish?

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
3 years ago

Could be. Or it could be because the Israelis wouldn’t last three days without the billions of dollars per year the Americans are pumping in to keep them afloat. I don’t think those other countries did what they did on welfare payments from the west.

Esther W
Esther W
3 years ago

Israel gets from the US 3 Milliard $ a year as credit to buy American arms with. Israel’s yearly budget is 300 milliard $.
I wouldn’t call 1% of the budget, all of which to be spent on US arms, “keeping them afloat”.

Last edited 3 years ago by Esther W
Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

Your reply then is pure Whataboutery.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

Best example is Armenians from a number of Ottoman places, accompanied by a million strong genocide – but they get no coverage.

Matthew Freedman
Matthew Freedman
3 years ago

It’s all pretty scary. Basically the antizionist far-left is saying that I as a British citizen should be bullied, discriminated against and harassed to put pressure on Israel to stop existing. Has any of these people come with a plan for coexistence.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

No one says that even remotely. In what way are you discriminated against? In your work? Housing? Have you been deported like the Windrush people?

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

I agree that the extent to which the willfully naĂŻve or intellectually stunted buy in to anti-Semitic social media garbage is pathetic but I just assume it’s the same crowd that looks to Gwyneth Paltrow for the latest animal/vegetable/mineral cure-all that can be inserted in the old woohoo.
To me what is worse is how our institutions are either actively contributing or quietly abetting the direct indoctrination of children.
This item from a Toronto newspaper last week
An educator with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is under investigation after he allegedly sent a virulently anti-Israel manual out to teachers that suggests a documentary and a book about a terrorist, recommends children’s books that characterize Israelis as thieves and murderers, and gives advice on how to teach students about the hateful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel”
The distributor of the pamphlet identifies as “queer latine transformer”
His/theys/its job at the school board?
“part of the Board’s Gender-based Violence unit, whose core function, according to TDSB online materials, is to prevent and address “gender-based violence, homophobia, sexual harassment, and inappropriate sexual behaviour by students towards other students in schools.”
It’s bad out there.
Real bad.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

However it is this educator & his like who get on council boards & arrange for towns & cities to take in the most anti-social , anti-western groups, which unsurprisingly dis-stabalizes areas. People move out and the newcomers cost a lot in benefits but always vote in the ‘right’ people. Job done as far as educator is concerned. Where does he & his family live-somewhere nice & expensive & gated,

Matthew Freedman
Matthew Freedman
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Awful to dehumanise 50% of Jews in the only place they have. So wrong.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago

Yes, it’s extrordinary how many people are out there who are rabidly anti-Israel – as in, against its very existence – yet insist that they have nothing against Jewish people. In what universe does that make sense?

irishcustard64
irishcustard64
3 years ago

A lot of people just go with the flow. To try to retain self esteem they convince themselves they believe what they do through morality, not fear.

The BBC’s drip fed anti-Semitic coverage of Israel is the single biggest factor for the growth in anti-Semitism in Britain. It’s what happens when an institution is captured by the anti-west left.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

If its existence requires brutal occupation, Apartheid, and regularly bombing its neighbours, then yes, there’s something fundamentally wrong with that.

irishcustard64
irishcustard64
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Paedophiles for Palestine.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

It’s a curious thing – Corbyn may have seemed like an outlier for being so open about his view toward Jews, but he is closer to the rule than the exception. As events in the US and abroad have shown, and as multiple Dems in Congress and their media acolytes have parroted, anti-Semitism is very much in vogue on the left. What few “moderate” Dems may exist are petrified to say anything for fear of facing a primary challenge, which is not exactly a profile in courage.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

Sometimes I think the best thing to do would be to find a secluded spot on this earth and wait for the sh)t to hit the fan.
As far as I can tell the world is becoming madder. Some day, hopefully after I have died, a humanity splintered into fragments is going to indulge in an orgy of violence which has no precedent in our history.
Reason, or thinking, seems to be in retreat everywhere, while wild emotion seems to be in the ascendancy. It may even be that people are becoming less human and more like animals. If that is unfair to animals, then maybe more like demons, or devils.

Perhaps we are being diverted away from the goal of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, and toward the creation of Hell on Earth. It certainly sometimes looks that way to me.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago

I wish I could recommend your post several times over.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

Simplistic, but when I was a kid, I was taught and learnt that two wrongs don’t ever make a right.

True then, true now.

This sort of behaviour is never, ever excusable but it is all but inevitable, whatever anyone likes to imagine.

The long running sore of the Palestinian Question, whether we like it or not, is at the heart of this and is consistently hijacked and name checked as the ‘justification’ for these unspeakable acts of hate and division across the world.

Whether you personally believe that some of these misguided people who do so are ‘ill-informed’ and ‘under-educated’ like Ali is a moot point I’m afraid, and whether naive narcissists are driven by a natural political compulsion to conspicuously ‘defend the oppressed’ so that they can ‘virtuously’ Tweet about it later for public consumption or just pure unadulterated apparently religiously inspired hate doesn’t change one iota the many decades of the failed reality on the ground to find a lasting solution in Palestine.

A solution which, unfortunately, is now looking further away than ever and looks like it will be even harder to achieve as positions on both sides clearly harden against a two state solution and become even more deeply entrenched.

Nevermind the situation in the immediately surrounding countries bordering Palestine becoming ever more tenuous.

Much then as I deeply admire the fiercely brave Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and granted she does allude to this very point in the article, this is more largely unhelpful, good vs bad, finger pointing ‘whataboutery’ which, though I’m sure will find a willing audience in some quarters on here doesn’t and, more importantly, won’t really challenge this unfortunate trend in the grand scheme of things because the underlying cause that profoundly, if not exclusively informs it is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Vijay Kant
Vijay Kant
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

There is no Palestinian question! It is an invention that generates revenues.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

You are absolutely correct that it’s an invention. If Egypt and Jordan had offered citizenship and full rights to all the Palestinian refugees in the areas they occupied from 1948 to 1967, and left Israel the hell alone, there would probably be peace in the region now. All being Arabs, culturally and linguistically, assimilation would have been quick. There would be no issue with Jewish Israeli settlement in the West Bank, because it would still be under Jordanian control, so strictly off limits to settlement. The Jordanians and Israelis would probably have long since hashed out a peace agreement allowing Israelis to freely visit the Western Wall and the Temple Mount (two of the holiest sites in Judaism) and possibly other holy sites, without being harassed or attacked. There would probably still be some on both sides who didn’t like it, but it would be mostly accepted as the status quo. And Gaza would be a non-issue, basically just a part of Egypt, possibly, owing to its fabulous beaches, with a thriving tourist trade.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

The so-called long-running Palestinian issue could be solved — and could have been solved — at a moment’s notice if there were a Palestinian leadership sincerely interested in ending the conflict by making peace with Israel. No such leadership exists now, or has existed ever. Pressuring Israel won’t work, because the only concession the Palestinian leadership will accept, given their maximalist, loser-take-all demands, is an Israel that allows 5 million Palestinian “refugees” to return, which is a recipe for Israel’s dissolution, which no Israeli government could ever agree to. Until the Palestinians come to the table with sincere, realistic demands, the situation will not change, regardless of how much the rest of the world stamps its feet.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Thank you.

You have sent me off on a quest but still the major counterpoint to this is that the Jewish population between the 1917 Balfour Declaration and 1947 was extremely small in relation to the existing Muslim Palestinian population.

Last edited 3 years ago by G Harris
Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Hardly a counterpoint, since I wasn’t arguing history. I wonder if there are any other states who legitimacy you question on the basis of history going back 70 to 100+ years. Or any country who territory you claim belongs to others because they had more people on that land prior to its settlement and/or conquest.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

‘Hardly a counterpoint, since I wasn’t arguing history’

I would say you are, but I can see why you might seek to claim otherwise.

Israel is not only a uniquely novel nation state, it was founded on a defined territory at a time where its now native people might now form the majority but most certainly didn’t by a significant margin at its relatively recent inception.

Last edited 3 years ago by G Harris
irishcustard64
irishcustard64
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Biden vote frauded his way into Office and the stunning peace deals Trump achieved will not be built on, in all probability they’ll be reversed. The only way America will be America again is a civil war to topple the Vote-Fraud-in-Chief, and that’s not going to happen. Should. But it won’t.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago