Is British antisemitism in danger of getting out of control? So asks Robin Shepherd in response to Oliver Miles’ vile and moronic outburst against eminent historians Sir Martin Gilbert and Sir Lawrence Freedman. (Hard to imagine that Miles is a former British Ambassador. Yet it is probably too much to hope that he is now persona non grata in polite society).
As Shepherd observes:
This all comes, of course, in the wake of a widely watched “Dispatches” television documentary earlier in the month (see entries on this site) which alleged that a secretive cabal of wealthy Jews had the British political and media establishment in its pocket. I said at the time that there was a danger the situation might be about to get a whole lot worse in Britain. The signs are that that could already be happening.
In the Independent on Saturday, we had Richard Ingrams rushing to the defense of Vile Miles, which was accompanied by vile antisemitic commentary from the Independent readers.
And in backdrop we have “Comment is Free” with its active promotion of antisemitic discourse through its collection of Israel-bashing contributors and their dedicated following of antisemitic commenters.
What’s more, rather than confront and deal with the problem, management at the Guardian abjectly refuses to do anything about it. In fact, in the Orwellian world of the Guardian, it seems more effort is put into trying to delete any positive mention of CiF Watch in the CiF comment threads than in dealing with the antisemitism that it openly facilitates and encourages.
Why are we so troubled with what takes place at the Guardian? Well it’s the normalization of antisemitic discourse that poisons the public debate. Robin Shepherd characterizes it in these terms:
“For the key point to understand about the makers of [the Oborne] documentary and about the likes of Miles and Ingrams is that they are quintessentially mainstream figures. They are listened to and accorded respect. They are welcome in all the “right circles”. What they say helps legitimise the thinking and the discourse of others.
And as time goes by, with one incremental move down the slippery slope after another, the revivification of an ancient hatred is starting to look “normal”.”
Indeed. Read Shepherd’s entire post here.