Haneen Zoabi defends anti-Semitic Islamist preacher: Accuses UK Zionist lobby of controlling British politics

The Guardian has now devoted four columns (here, here, here, and here) and one CiF commentary, encompassing over 2100 words, about Britain’s arrest of the Islamist preacher, Sheikh Raed Salah, all of which share a couple common denominators: They’re all viscerally sympathetic to Salah; they all but ignore his record of incitement and anti-Semitism, which includes a sermon where he advanced the Medieval blood libel, as well as his ties to Hamas; and they frame Salah’s opponents in the pejorative as either “right-wing Israelis” or as part of the “Zionist lobby”.

This latter charge is leveled explicitly by Haneen Zoabi, the Israeli Arab MK who was a participant on board last year’s pro-Hamas flotilla, in her CiF column, An Israeli trap for Britain, June 29. 

Zoabi casually dismisses charges of anti-Semitism against Salah, accuses pro-Israel groups of complicity with “Islamophobia” in their criticism of the preacher, implicitly levels the Zionism is racism canard against Israel, and characterizes Salah’s arrest as evidence of racism by Zionists in the UK.

She concludes her apologia for the Hamas supporting hate preacher by an urgent plea to citizens of the UK not to allow “the pro-Israel lobby” to determine their politics.

For those of us schooled in the long and dark history of this charge – of the injurious effects of organized Jewry on the body politic of the nations where they reside – as well as the Guardian’s complicity in advancing this odious narrative of Jewish power, the continuing staying power of such tropes come as no surprise.  

But, the predictability of Zoabi’s effort to blame the UK’s tiny Jewish population (less than 1/2 of 1% of Britain’s total population) on a decision by non-Jewish British government authorities doesn’t make it any less malicious, dangerous, or racist.

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