In an extraordinary article for Ha’aretz, the outspoken Israel apologist Baroness Deech has stated that it is right to treat ‘right-wing anti-Semites’ and ‘Holocaust deniers’ as ‘buffoons of no importance.’
Yes, there are right-wing anti-Semites and there are Holocaust deniers, but they have for long been treated as buffoons of no importance — which is true — and being of the “Right” they are not taken seriously, whereas to be of the “Left” is to be righteous, sanctimonious and beyond criticism or reproof.
She also calls renowned historians and scholars of the Middle East, including Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Avi Shlaim and Ilan Pappe ‘renegade Jews.’ (see note below)
Deech bemoans the lack of a ‘further investigation of [antisemitism’s] causes and roots’ before making it clear she believes its roots lie in Muslim majority communities.
The Baroness has been keeping a wary eye on the U.K. census:
The U.K. census of 2011 revealed that Bradford’s population was 24.7% Muslim, and no doubt it’s higher by now. There are wards of Bradford, Blackburn and Burnley (the suspended councilors’ constituencies) where British Muslims reach 70% of the local population.
She then blames British politicians for ‘appeasing their Muslim voters,’ specifically upbraiding Corbyn for not acknowledging that anti-Semitism is ‘special’ and has ‘roots in the religion and culture of Islam.’ Deech then implies that our government is putting at risk the lives of British Jews by allowing Muslims to make their home here.
So we have a failure of education, a craven attitude towards the supposed beliefs of Muslim voters (set to worsen as migration increases)…
The Baroness calls the non-violent, Palestinian civil society boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement ‘the program of the destruction of the only Jewish state, with its 6 million Jews conveniently gathered together,’ thereby invoking the spectre of a second Holocaust.
Deech refers to the recent ICM poll on ‘British Muslim opinion’ that has been widely criticised for its flawed methodology. Its findings have further been distorted by Islamophobic groups such as the pro-Israel ‘charity’ Campaign Against Antisemitism, which produced a report racially profiling Muslims. As Ashitha Nagesh wrote in Metro last month:
British Muslims aren’t anti-Semitic
According to the results, 61 per cent of people questioned viewed Jewish people favourably, while an additional 14 per cent of British Muslims had a sort-of middling opinion of Jewish people.
This might not seem like a lot – 61 per cent isn’t 100 per cent, after all – but it’s almost exactly the same as how favourably the Muslims surveyed viewed Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, and people who are not religious.
Anti-racists and anti-fascists reading the Baroness’s words will recognise the parallels with early 20th century social attitudes to – and government racial profiling of – British Jews.
Note: The Oxford English Dictionary definition of ‘renegade’:
- Having treacherously changed allegiance: a renegade bodyguard
- Having abandoned one’s religious beliefs: a renegade monk. Used in conjunction with ‘Jew’ its archaic meaning is equivalent to apostate.