Saturday 11 November 2023

Madness of crowds


The English newspapers are incomprehensible to me today. 

I cannot imagine anything more appropriate than a march demanding an armistice on Armistice Day. 

Any protest is fine on Armistice Day, or any day, if it's within the law. 

The Home Secretary Suella Braverman is right that the police are soft on left-wing demonstrations and hard on right-wing ones but Sadiq Khan the Mayor of London is, I think, right when he says she has encouraged far right protesters to make trouble at the pro-Palestinian protests. 

Now the trouble has occurred.

This is a Daily Telegraph headline and sub-headline

Protesters seen with ‘extreme anti- Semitic’ signs at pro-Palestinian march
Campaign Against Anti-Semitism says slogans ‘abhorrently attempt to state that Israeli government is comparable to Nazis’

Beneath the news item quoted stated a spokesman for the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism: 

“If the people at these marches are all intent on peace, why are they content to walk alongside such extreme anti-Semitic images and chants without calling them out?

“Grotesquely likening Gaza to Auschwitz, or Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler, abhorrently attempts to state that the Israeli government is somehow comparable to the Nazis."

Fair enough that some find this opinion abhorrent but it isn't anti-Semitic. 

Lots of politicians are compared to Hitler or to fascists, all the time - especially Donald Trump. 

Mr Netanyahu compared Rabin to Hitler and this was followed by Rabin's murder at the hands of one of Netanyahu's supporters - an unhappy precedent, admittedly. 

An Israeli lady I dined with in Tel Aviv told me the IDF soldiers did things as bad as the Nazis. She was not an anti-Semite.

The British have not gone mad but the British press has. 

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