Do Israeli officials or those closest to Binyamin Netanyahu dismiss European critics of Israel as “Nazi-hugging antisemites”?
The Guardian makes such a claim in an analysis (MPs’ vote on Palestine state recognition is part of growing international trend, Oct. 13) co-written by their Middle East editor Ian Black and Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont.
Here’s the passage in question:
Anecdotal evidence suggests Israeli officials now discount criticism from Europe as coming from “Nazi-hugging antisemites” or “fucking Europe” – an expression that has apparently enjoyed some vogue among those closest to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister. European diplomats admit that this has led to a Catch 22 situation, making it harder for supporters of Israel to communicate the message that Israel risks becoming more internationally isolated.
A Google search of the term turned up almost no hits, save this reference in an Oct. 18th article (five days after the Guardian piece) in the Economist titled ‘Recognising Palestine: A State of things to come‘.
Here’s the passage:
To downplay the significance of the vote, Mr Cameron abstained. Yet this might also reflect growing ambivalence towards Israel, some claimed. After siding with Israel early in the Gaza war, Mr Cameron denounced Israel’s post-war landgrab as “utterly deplorable”.
That growing concern has had little discernible impact on relations. Bilateral trade has risen 28% year-on-year. And Israel can be thick-skinned about how the world views it. “There’s a bit of a tendency to write off Europeans as Nazi-hugging anti-semites,” says a Western diplomat in Tel Aviv.
As you can see, the Economist’s version is a bit different than the claim made by Black and Beaumont, as the magazine merely cites an unnamed European diplomat who seems to be using his or her own words in loosely characterizing the general sentiment of some Israelis towards European critics of the state.
It may be extremely difficult to definitively disprove, but we remain extremely skeptical of the veracity of the Guardian claim – one which just so happens to overlap with the Guardian Left canard that sincere critics of Israeli policy are routinely accused of antisemitism by prominent Israelis and their supporters.