A topsy-turvy world

This is a guest post by Israelinurse
On last week’s Lerman thread, Guardian editor Matt Seaton demonstrates that for a man who has made a career out of working with words, he seems to be having remarkable difficulty understanding those in the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism.
He rather clearly demonstrates his personal beliefs in the following comment:

mattseaton

20 Nov 2009, 9:55AM
Staff Staff

@ heatwave2022:
For David Cesarani & Co all those who criticize Israel are anti-Semites.
I have to defend David Cesarani from that characterisation. Yes, he took strong exception to this documentary, but to categorise him therefore as in the camp of the ‘new antisemitism’ that would make an equivalence between criticism of Israel and anti-Jewish prejudice is entirely wrong.

So there we have it. Apparently there is a “camp of the ‘new antisemitism’ “, (note the scare quotes) about which Mr. Seaton seems pretty sceptical. One wonders if he has bothered to read the 2006 report of the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism which clearly stated that anti-Zionism may become antisemitic when it embraces a view of Zionism as ‘a global force of unlimited power and malevolence throughout history’.
The same report states that traditional antisemitic motives of Jewish ‘conspiratorial power, manipulation and subversion’ are often transferred from Jews onto Zionism. The report notes that this is ‘at the core of the New Antisemitism’.
So let’s take a closer look at a few of the comments in a thread in which Matt Seaton was obviously personally active.

Ranong

20 Nov 2009, 10:54AM

How is it that the Israel lobby manages to ensure that the Minister for State for Israel ( sorry, I mean the Middle East) is always a senior member of Labour Friends of Israel?
The FCO was shocked by the appointment of Ivan Lewis MP after his genuinely appalling and callous comments on the carnage in Gaza.
No other foreign country (even our US bosses) has this sort of power.

Definitely some sort of conspiratorial thinking going on there. In fact that comment seems to fit the clause in the EUMC definition which cites “Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” as one definition of antisemitism, as indeed does the barely-veiled insinuation by edwardrice:

edwardrice

20 Nov 2009, 6:33PM

I’d like it if there were more documentaries on the lobby industry.
It would surprise me if some of them were not interconnected.
Oil, Coal, Pharma, IT, Weapons, Nuclear, GM, Private Security (mercenaries) …

A comment by sqibby77 not only implies conspiracy theories but also falls into the category of “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour” as defined by the EUMC definition.

squibby77

20 Nov 2009, 3:09PM

It is utterly despicable that politicians allow themselves, their principles and their duty to their own country be bought in order to benefit a foreign power. British politicians should have the British public and their interests at the forefront of every decision they make.
As for the labelling of “antisemite” to anyone who opposes israels policies, i find it laughable. If going against the policies of a racist apartheid state makes me an antisemite, then so be it.
But hang on a second, what exactly does that word mean? semite refers to the people of semitic origin, namely the aramaic, arabic and hebrew people (from judea). It is common knowledge that the jews living within israel are not originally hebrew (from Judea), most are of eastern european origin (specifically ashkenazi khazarians) and have simply learnt hebrew. Learning Japanese doesnt make me a japanese person! The only people on this planet that are truly semitic are the arab speaking palestinians and hence the true antisemites are the hypocrites who like to shout it at every possible opportunity.

Unfortunately, these are by no means the only examples of equally dubious comments on that same thread which seem to have completely escaped Mr. Seaton’s attention, but I guess that if he does not accept that there is such a thing as new antisemitism in the first place, that’s hardly surprising.
The cynical employment of the dismissal of any attempts by Jews to counteract racist remarks against them by dismissing them as some sort of ‘cry wolf’ tactic is despicable in any circumstance. When it comes from the editor of a prominent British media outlet in the 21st century, British society has much food for very serious thought. I certainly cannot imagine any other minority group in the UK having its objections to bigotry used against it thrown back at in such a vile and malicious manner.
But such is the topsy-turvy world of Britain 2009.

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