CST report cites UK Media Watch’s critique of Financial Times’ dual loyalty trope

CST’s recently released report, Antisemitic Discourse in Britain 2017, is a comprehensive review of antisemitic rhetoric in the mainstream media, social media, politics and public debate in the UK last year. Its section on antisemitism in the mainstream media included an issue first flagged by UK Media Watch:

CST’s recently released report, Antisemitic Discourse in Britain 2017, is a comprehensive review of antisemitic rhetoric in the mainstream media, social media, and politics in the UK last year.

Its section on antisemitism in the mainstream media included an extremely problematic report at the Financial Times that was first flagged by UK Media Watch:

The Financial Times published an article [on Aug. 7, 2017] about US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s role as a Middle East peace envoy that suggested his Jewish faith meant he was “clearly partisan” and unsuitable to fulfil that role. The article, titled ‘Jared Kushner looks for a deal in the Middle East’, credited Kushner with successfully defusing tensions over Jerusalem in July through effective dialogue with various parties in the region, but then said: “However, critics argue that in seven months Mr Kushner and his team have offered nothing in the way of strategy or even goals in the Middle East. He is dismissed as naive, inexperienced and clearly partisan: he practises modern Orthodox Judaism, only recently divested Israeli bonds and counts Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a family friend.” The implication is that the fact Kushner “practises modern Orthodox Judaism” is as relevant as his ties to the Israeli Prime Minister and recent financial investments in Israel, in making him “clearly partisan”.

In response, the Financial Times published a letter from Adam Levick of UK Media Watch that queried whether any critics of Kushner had actually cited his religion as grounds to object to his diplomatic role, and then argued: “While the report also included legitimate concerns about Mr Kushner’s personal ties to Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, I have never read a serious commentator suggest that his Jewish faith alone renders him partisan – an accusation of dual loyalty which should be out-of-bounds within mainstream British discourse.” Levick concluded: “Whatever one’s views of Mr Kushner’s ability to carry out the difficult task of negotiating Middle East peace, the fact that he is a ‘practising Orthodox Jew’ is completely irrelevant.

Read our original post on The Financial Times article here.

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