This is a guest post by AKUS
The attack on British Jewry launched by the recent “Dispatches” program is having its effect on the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” site as the tentacles of the conspiracy theorists spread themselves wider and deeper into accusations that Britain is falling under control of the Israeli Lobby.
Scanning my CiF RSS feed I noticed a new article by James Denselow, Whose foreign policy is it anyway? with a subheader “Disillusionment with Britain’s actions abroad will only intensify without a democratic reassessment of foreign policy principles”. The article focused generally on Britain’s perceived subservience to US foreign policy, a subservience (apparently) shrouded in secrecy from the British public:
“Both the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts highlighted how our foreign policy is driven by decision makers who hide their real intentions behind a bulletproof cloak of ethics and values….
At present it seems that our foreign policy is centred on decision making in Washington rather than London. As a cabinet minister described recently when talking about Afghanistan: “Our deployment is dependent on [American] deployment.”
The first response was, I thought, pretty reasonable from, I assume, a British commenter, and on topic, though it could be disputed:
29 Nov 2009, 11:10AM
I think UK’s foreign policy is based on self interest. that is how it should be. But another factor is following US actions. that is not a good option.
So far so good, but looking down the thread, it took only to the fifth commenter to see the idea appear that the British Israeli Lobby (that is, of course, British Jewry) teams with the United States to create this subservience in the following comment, now deleted:
29 Nov 2009, 11:24AM
So long as we remain captives of the Israeli Lobby and US pressure there is no point in imagining that we might have foreign policy principles. You would be making fair points if any but the merest handful of our politicians had principles themselves but they don’t. It is sometimes said that the Americans have the finest politicians that money can buy. I think we have have the finest politicians that don’t need to be bought, because they instinctively know that their self-interests coincide with vested interests.
This, also now deleted, soon followed from a relatively new but frequent poster on I/P threads on CiF:
29 Nov 2009, 12:20PM
Whose foreign policy is it anyway?
Vague reference to “Washington” conceals the taproot of the evil. Surely many of you will have seen the BBC’s Panorama investigative report, “The War Party”. Worth viewing again (here in five parts on youtube):
Since corrocamino’s reputation on the I/P threads is quite well established, and so many of his/her comments get deleted on those threads, and alerted by the code-words “the taproot of the evil” I took a look at the link s/he so helpfully provides to the BBC Panorama program clip.
This is what one finds there:
In case you can’t read the text in this screen shot, here is the first of the comments that that clip attracted, apparently quite acceptable to corrocamino:
kittykgirl (2 months ago)
Isn’t it weird they are all Jews? Nope…the boys and girls serving the USA’s armed services are Israel’s proxy army. Fighting the Arabs for the JEWS!
FUCK THESE JEW BOYS!
The moderators, once alerted, removed the comment. Not to be outdone, corrocamino re-posted, with support from three like-minded readers:
29 Nov 2009, 6:57PM
But this was only a taste of things to come, from the also relatively new (really? One suspects reincarnated) raymonddelauney, this time recommended by no less than 19 readers, “naming names” of those in the Israeli Lobby’s pocket (that is, of course, the pocket of British Jewry):
29 Nov 2009, 12:32PM
The reality is that Blair stood down of his own volition. He was applauded from all sides as he left parliament, became the leader of various faith, climate change and Middle East peace efforts and was even close to becoming the president of the EU. True accountability for the devastating consequences of a foreign policy mistake doesn’t get much more rewarding than that.
Any notion of this country having a fair and balanced policy in the middle-east is nonsense as is evidenced:
Gordon Brown – Labour Friends of Israel
Lord Levy – Blair’s Middle East Special Envoy
ACL Blair – Labour Friends of Israel
ACL Blair – the “Quartet’s” Middle East Peace Envoy
David Cameron – Conservative Friends of Israel
William Hague – Conservative Friends of Israel
Foreign policy? What Foreign policy?
Soon after, despite an attempt to get the thread back on topic by a couple of posters we have another frequent Israel-basher from the I/P threads appearing and also “naming names” to show how the British Jews have taken over Britain’s foreign policy (and let me remind you that this article is supposedly about British policy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and, according to the author, how subservient it is to US policy):
29 Nov 2009, 1:29PM
29 Nov 2009, 12:32PM
You forgot the LibDems in your list of Wesminster party friends of Israel raymonddelauney. The following is from Wikipedia listing some of the Liberal Democrats Friends of Israel
Leaders David Steel (Liberal) · Robert Maclennan (SDP) · Paddy Ashdown · Charles Kennedy · Sir Menzies Campbell · Nick Clegg
Deputy Leaders Russell Johnston · Alan Beith · Sir Menzies Campbell · Vince Cable
Leaders in the Lords Seear (Liberal) · Diamond (SDP) · Jenkins · Rogers · Williams · McNally
An attempt by sabraguy to redress the balance by pointing out that there is more than one lobby at work in the UK proves futile
29 Nov 2009, 2:13PM
Any notion of this country having a fair and balanced policy in the middle-east is nonsense as is evidenced:
Quite so. Founded in 1967, the so-called “Council for British-Arab Understanding” is jointly chaired by a British MP from each of the three main parties and has over 120 Parliamentary members.
Their Mission is to influence, inform and inspire in the fields of politics, media and education in Britain.
Their activities include:
– Taking politicians on cross-party delegations to the region
– Encouraging members to lobby MPs
Maybe someone should do a television program exposing the influence of this powerful Middle Eastern lobby group on British foreign policy. I mean I’m not saying there is a conspiracy here or anything. But someone like, oh I don’t know Peter Oborne maybe?
As is a mild comment from SantaMoniker that includes the following first and last paragraphs pointing out where the thread, and the future of British Jewry, are going:
29 Nov 2009, 3:35PM
It fascinating to see how this column has descended into attacks on Britain’s Jewish community (also known now by the code-words “the Israeli Lobby” after the Dispatches program). So British jews now control Britain’s foreign policy?
I fear for Britain’s Jews – I really do. The endless demonizing of Israel’s Jews, and by extension Britian’s Jews, is leading only one way. Im seeing the old lie “I’m not anti-Semitic – only anti-Zionist being transformed to I’m not anti-Semitic – just against the Israeli Lobby” as if somehow Britain’s Jews are temporarily excluded from those categories of “Zionist” and “Israeli lobby” – until the time is right.
And then things warm up. After all, s/he has just torn the curtain away behind which that these believers in the British Jewish cabal hide, revealing their true agenda, even for those with the occasional doubt, which is to show how Britain’s Jews manipulate Britain into attacking Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan for the benefit of Israel:
29 Nov 2009, 3:44PM
Get over yourself.
Of course the Israel Lobby is a significant player in US/UK foreign policy making in the Middle East.
However I do not believe Israel had a major role in the decision to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.
Iran on the other hand…..
The usual attempt is made to claim that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, now morphing, it seems, into saying that being against the Israeli lobby (but not the 20 or so pro-Palestinian and Arab lobbies I’ve previously listed) is not anti-Semitism:
29 Nov 2009, 3:49PM
SantaMoniker: I fear for Britain’s Jews – I really do.
Don’t be paranoid, SantaMoniker. Jews in Britain are as safe as anywhere in Western Europe. The other posters have just stated the obvious … British foreign policies have a strong pro-Israel / anti-Palestine bias which in turn has contributed to Britain’s decision to attack Afghanistan and Iraq. You see, it’s all connected. No reason for you to accuse anyone here of anti-Semitism.
Indigenous1 decides to educate SantaMoniker about the true nature of Judaism and how it differs from Zionism:
29 Nov 2009, 3:50PM
Utter nonsense. You really have to understand that there is a huge difference between Judaism and zionism. It is possible, is it not, to be both Jewish and anti-zionist? Just to remind you (as I am sure you know this already) many Jews (British or otherwise) are offended by zionism and want nothing to do with it.
29 Nov 2009, 4:58PM
Your response shows how confused you are. But, if you want to worry, you should worry about the millions of Christian zionists in the States.
(Incidentally – note the systematic lack of capitalization of the word “Zionist” – a typo that brings down howls of abuse when inadvertently occurring in the spelling of “Palestinians” on these threads).
29 Nov 2009, 5:08PM
SantaMoniker: “… unless there is a deliberate attempt to paint British Jews as controlling Britain’s foreign policy …”
… well, let’s say that Friends of Israel disproportionately contribute to the making of British foreign policy. Israel has many such well-placed friends in practically all Western countries and of course not all of them are Jews. Still, these influential friends are only a tiny minority compared to the respective populations. That’s why their political influence is disproportionate. It also goes without saying, that thanks to their influence Western governments ignore the wishes of their own populations for a more balanced Near-East policy. The Friends of Israel make sure that Western foreign policies are as hawkish as they are.
Still, some hope comes from some unusual quarters:
29 Nov 2009, 5:13PM
The debate about the Israel Lobby is a total red herring here. Britain has not had an independant foreign policy for more than 50 years. As a third-rate power, we have been unable to do anything without the USA’s permission for generations.
29 Nov 2009, 5:35PM
The debate about the Israel Lobby is a total red herring here.
Absolutely (except insofar as the attention given to lobby influence by Isreal hioghlights all the more the strange lack of interest in the infinitely greater power of the all pervasive US Lobby)…..
A formerly frequent commenter who seems to be boycotting I/P threads (wise man) surfaces:
29 Nov 2009, 5:36PM
Your response shows how confused you are.
I’d put the confusion down to you. As I read these endless blogs on CIF as to how British foreign policy has been hijacked by the Friends of Israel, whose pernicious influence cuts across all party lines, I always ask myself: “if it’s as bad as all that, why does the British electorate stand for it”, i.e. why don’t they elect good people and true who’ll tell the Friends of Israel to go shove it.
Of course to the ultimate chagrin of the Indigenous1s and the Delauneys of this world, the British electorate have done no such thing. How then to explain this? Perchance, on the relative merits, the Delauney advocacy is in fact the unpopular and wrongheaded position? Nah, couldn’t be that. It has to be that “moneyed interests” have bought off the political parties in Britain, subverting all norms of justice and reason. And we all know that “moneyed interests” refers self-evidently to the Buddhist monks in Tibet, right?
And to wrap things up, no column that is hijacked to accuse the Jews of a conspiracy would be complete without this denier of antisemitism and his attempts to compare them with the sufferings of Britain’s and the world’s Moslems making his appearance, to the applause of his usual sycophants:
29 Nov 2009, 6:44PM
## I fear for Britain’s Jews – I really do. The endless demonizing of Israel’s Jews, and by extension Britian’s Jews,##
I wouldnt worry ..whilst in Scotland attacks on Muslims are weekly affairs and there have been murders this year ..there has been one assault on a Jewish schoolboy this decade.
What do you say in America when you have no feckin idea of what you are talking about..is it the same ?
I’ve tried to show that there may actually be two trains of thought on this thread. However, the major point, I believe, is once again that the thread reveals how deep the idea of a Jewish conspiracy runs among some of the Guardian’s readers (dressed up now as opposition to the politically correct term: “the Israeli Lobby”) and, once more, that the Guardian provides the forum for these people to surface and provide us with their views. Even when the author and the Guardian itself might claim that the article has nothing to do with Israel.
But those who’ve studied the rise of fascism and Hitler in Germany and the alarming similarity to what’s happening in Britain with the demonization of Israel, Israelis, the Israel Lobby, and, by extension, British Jewry, may be thinking, like SantaMoniker: “I fear for Britain’s Jews – I really do.”
Or, as Robin Shepherd wrote: “ Is British anti-Semitism in danger of getting out of control?”.
His conclusion? “Frightening”