What could go wrong?
One of the panel quickly reminds Hearst it’s not a ‘Jewish lobby’ but a pro-Israel lobby/pro-Zionist lobby, but they all really mean Jews. What a pathetic bunch, just the kind of morons you wouldn’t want in any position of influence.
Cross posted by Mark Gardner at the blog of the CST.
Swapping “Zionist” or “pro-Israeli” for “Jewish” is not opposing antisemitism. It is, at best, a lazy linguistic complacency that camouflages antisemitic ways of thinking: making antisemitism harder to expose and fight. An unusually explicit example of this can be clearly seen in the footage of a meeting at London journalist haunt, the Frontline Club. View it here (but read the below first).
The meeting, on 12 June 2013, used a book by British Islamist, Ibrahim Hewitt, as the basis for discussion about the media’s approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict. The discussion, between Hewitt, ex-BBC Middle East correspondent Tim Llewellyn, and Guardian foreign leader writer David Hearst, was chaired by Mark McDonald, a founder of Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East.
Under the title, “Anti-Zionism: the Frontline”, CST Blog had already warned what might happen at this meeting. We related some of the overblown anti-Zionist conspiracy theory and imagery that Hewitt’s group, MEMO, had previously published. We noted that Llewellyn might be worse than Hewitt. We recalled Hearst’s silence in the Guardian after a judge had found against Sheikh Ra’ed Salah’s denials of having made a blood libel speech. (The judge still granted Salah his appeal.) We asked, without optimism, if Hearst or McDonald might intervene if either of their fellow Frontline speakers strayed into territory occupied by antisemitism.
The footage shows that Hewitt did not repeat the wilder material from MEMO, and that Llewellyn was indeed worse than him. Hearst explained things calmly and without resort to conspiracy theory, but does not seem to have directly rebutted either Hewitt or, especially, Llewellyn. If anything, Hearst surely normalised his fellow speakers to the mainly young audience – rather than undermined them.
More here. (full transcript)