Excusing Antisemitism

By now most of you will probably be familiar with the name Helen Thomas, a now former White House correspondent.
Filmed in an interview with Rabbi Nessenoff, she stated that Jews in Israel should go back “home” to Poland and Germany.

The moral depravity in such a statement is quite astonishing when one considers that for almost all Israelis (unless your name is Gilad Atzmon) “home” is well in Israel, their country of birth. To suggest that Jews go back to Poland and Germany, places they were forced to leave belies the indifference of Thomas to the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust. More importantly as pointed out by Zamalek it  “not only perpetuates the propaganda myth that Israeli Jews are colonisers from Europe, but ignores the Arab and Muslim antisemitism that drove a million Jews out of the Miiddle East to seek refuge in Israel and the West.”
Ultimately though, the import of what Thomas is saying comes down to this: Jews are not entitled to a homeland of their own and that they should be denied their basic right to self-determination as enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Under the EUMC working definition of antisemitism, such sentiment is antisemitc.

While the nature of such bigotry should be obvious, you can always rely on the Guardian trusted to find a way of whitewashing and excusing anti-Jewish hate speech. In his blog post, Helen Thomas went over the top, but why is she gagged in the land of the free?,  Roy Greenslade expressed dismay at how Thomas’ speaking agency, Nine Speakers, dropped Thomas as a result of her comments.

“So, in the land of the free, where freedom of speech is guaranteed under the constitution, a person who expresses what are deemed to be controversial views is effectively gagged. Has Ms Nine never heard of Voltaire?”

So in Roy Greenslade’s myopic world anti-Jewish hate speech is promoted to the status of “controversial views”. And the disassociation by Thomas’ agent is portrayed as an act of “gagging” as if Thomas has some sort of constitutionally protected right to defame the Jewish people free from any consequence.

If it were Muslims being told to go back home to Pakistan can you imagine Roy Greenslade writing that such views are “controversial” or that the person expressing such views was being “gagged”? Hardly. So why the double standard when it comes to Jews?

It should therefore come as no surprise that Greenslade’s bigotry was amplified below the line in the comment thread.
The first two comments of the thread garnered almost 500 recommendations with this:

And from there we move to a comment that excuses the perpetrator by blaming the victim.

Then we have a selection of pure bigoted hate and ignorance:

As well as a selection of Jewish conspiracy theory straight out of the Protocols:

In reflecting upon the entire affair Joshuapundit best sums it up with this:

“They basically agree with Hamas – they like the idea of a judenrein Middle East, and are happy to embrace segregation and apartheid – provided it’s limited to Jews.”

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