Sunday Times anti-Semitism – on Holocaust Memorial Day
Last week a Liberal Democrat MP by the name of David Ward found himself in a bit of hot water for stating, quite boldly, that ‘the Jews’ (all of them) had failed to learn the lesson of the Holocaust. He wrote upon his blog (now removed):
Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.Outrageous, you may think. But we must remember that the Liberal Democrats have form on this: they are, after all, the party of Baroness Tonge, who not only declared that she might have been a suicide bomber had she been born a Palestinian, but has a tendency to speak of the ‘Israel lobby’ as a worldwide Jewish conspiracy: “Once they have decided to go for you, they will go for you,” she once disclosed. “I bear the scars.” And then she chillingly prophesied: “Israel is not going to be there forever”, she warned, because it ‘will lose its support and then they will reap what they have sown’.
So David Ward and Jenny Tonge are Jew-hating peas from the same Illiberal-Undemocrat pod. To both, there is an undeniable correlation between the current Middle East geo-political conflicts and the systematic slaughter of the Jews by the Nazis. When questioned on his meaning and intention by choosing to juxtapose the two, Ward helpfully clarified, saying: “It appears that the suffering by the Jews has not transformed their views on how others should be treated.”
So, in summary, Israel is apartheid; the Jews are evil; Gaza is oppressed; the Palestinians are innocent victims. It’s all akin to how Hitler treated the Jews. And what better time to state this than on the approach to Holocaust Memorial Day?
As disgusting and disturbing as this may be, it is astonishing (really, utterly alarming) that Rupert Murdoch’s esteemed Sunday Times decided to commemorate such a sombre day with the same strain of anti-Semitism. The Gerald Scarfe cartoon above features Benjamin Netanyahu as a big-nosed hunchback, constructing a grotesque security wall with the blood of Palestinian women and children (and President Obama appears to be cemented in as well). It carries the caption: ‘Israeli Elections… Will Cementing Peace Continue?’
This is usually Guardian territory (see here and here).The target is not religion, but race. The Guardian rarely misses an opportunity to vent its bile for the only democracy in the region. Now it is joined by the Sunday Times, insulting, denigrating and defaming Jews worldwide. There is, as ever, no mention of the slaughter and bloodshed in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain or Egypt. There is no consideration of the thousands of missiles that rain down daily upon Israel from Gaza, and not a whiff of the terrorist incursions of Hamas or Hezbollah. There is complete ignorance of the need to protect Israeli civilians against Palestinian terrorism. The Sunday Times cartoon legitimates such terrorist attacks; it seeks to justify suicide bombs against the evil Israeli regime, just as Jenny Tonge has reasoned. Like Guardian cartoonists, Scarfe would never dream of portraying Muslim leaders in such vile caricatures, or denigrating Arabs or Islam.
Questioning Israel’s wholly necessary security policy in this crude fashion would cause offence on any day of the year. But to publish such a cartoon purposely to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day – while Prisoner A26188 is touring schools and media outlets to remind us of the very face of evil – is a blood libel; a vicious assault on the memory of millions, and an offence against all morality.