Is there something in the British air?
What precisely gives rise within that country’s public sphere to the malign hatred of the one majority Jewish nation in the world? What makes self-described “sensible”, “cultured”, “tolerant” and “sensitive souls” lose all sense of moral proportion when contemplating, obsessing over (and typically, wildly inflating) every conceivable Jewish sin?
Richard Sudan (a “writer, political campaigner and poet” who has contributed to ‘Comment is Free‘), blogs for The Independent and has warned in past posts there of the dangerous influence of the Israel lobby in the UK’s detainment of Sheikh Raed Salah, as well as what he characterizes as President Obama’s uncritical support for the Jewish state.
Sudan, in a post at The Independent titled “Note to refugees from South Sudan: Israel is for the white man“, June 22nd, takes one comment from Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai (which appears racist, but is based on a quite egregious mistranslation from the original Hebrew) and uses it as the scare headline.
He introduces his post thus:
“['Israel is for the white man'] were the astonishing words uttered by Israel’s interior minister Eli Yishai in an interview recently in which he outlined the Israeli government’s view of African migrants.”Sudan links to a piece at Electronic Intifada, which in turn links to a Ha’aretz piece, which references an interview Yishai gave in Hebrew in Maariv.
Here’s the Hebrew:
Here’s the translation of the first two sentences by CiF Watch’s Hadar Sela.
“Most of the people who come here are Muslims who think this country doesn’t belong to us, to the white man. Some of them have said so openly on television.”It’s clear that – whatever Yishai’s broader point – he is talking about the way (according to his view) Muslims think of “whites”, and is certainly not saying that “Israel is for the white man”.
Also, a bit research would have led Sudan to discover another little nugget of information contradicting his predetermined anti-Zionist thesis: Yishai himself was born to Tunisian parents. That is, the white racist antagonist in Sudan’s tale is actually Sephardi rather than ”white”!
However, the moral nadir of Sudan’s article is yet to come.
Perhaps it is fair to ask whether the editor at The Independent who reviewed Sudan’s post so much as winced, let alone considered revising or deleting the following passage (in a piece critical of Israel’s handling of Sudanese migrants).
“The continual persecution of the Palestinians, politically and ideologically, the military court system, and now the emerging negative view of non-white people should outline clearly what the overriding Israeli government consensus is. The superior race theory is one that we’ve seen in the past, and is the hallmark of theories centered on a perspective viewed through the prism of eugenics. Those theories are dangerous and they need to be relegated to the past-along with Zionism.” [emphasis added]The writer’s contempt for the Jewish state is palpable and he is quite clear in arguing that Zionism is a dangerous, supremacist ideology based on “eugenics” and, similar to other such ideologies based on racial purity in the 20th century, should be relegated to the dustbin of history.
Sudan, cognitively inebriated with Judeophobic inspired contempt, is evidently unburdened by the simple fact that – contrary to his working theory of Zionist white supremacism - over half of Israelis are non-white (making Israel a far more racially diverse nation than the UK). This supremely inconvenient fact is one which fellow adherents to the hideous charge of “Supremacism” against Jews and/or Israelis (such as David Duke and Gilad Atzmon) similarly fail to note.
However, Sudan’s morally grotesque screed on Jewish villainy need not be further fisked, scrutinized or analyzed.
Beyond Sudan’s prose, tropes and simply fantastical political musings, the larger question remains:
How is it that a “respectable” British newspaper saw fit to publish a commentary likening Jewish nationalism – a movement embraced by Israel’s six million Jewish inhabitants and the overwhelming majority of Jews in the diaspora – to a Nazi-style, racial supremacist menace whose eradication is nothing short of an ethical imperative?
The corollary of such political calculus would suggest that all Israeli Jews – insofar as they represent an organic and immutable obstacle to peace and progress – are fair game to all who seek, by means violent or otherwise, the end of the Jewish state.
The Independent has crossed a dangerous line – the legitimization of extreme racist polemic hitherto assigned to the unserious fringes of the blogosphere – and it needs desperately to be held accountable for its acquiescence in the face of such visceral antisemitic malice.