Cryin’ Lyin’ Zion

I see the Somali woman who has somehow become a US Congresswoman is once again fending off accusations of antisemitism following a series of tweets which suggested American politicians defend Israel because lobbyists pay them to.

This prompted a Twitter thread by a British contributor to The Economist on the practice of disguising antisemitism as anti-Zionism, and the similarities between its adoption by hard-left American politicians and what we’ve seen in the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn. It’s actually not a bad thread, but here’s how it ends:


It seems a lot of Jews in the media are incapable of speaking about antisemitism without an obligatory swipe at Trump and other right wing politicians who hold unapproved views. I’ve written about this before; it’s a common phenomenon. Trump is the most pro-Jewish president America has ever had; he had absolutely no problem with his daughter converting to Judaism and marrying her Jewish boyfriend, who Trump fully embraced. He’s also the most pro-Israeli American president for a long time, motivated by such concerns as security and sovereignty. This ought to have Jews on both sides of the Atlantic turning cartwheels in celebration, but it appears their concerns over antisemitism are outweighed by a desire to remain popular in left wing, liberal circles and keep those dinner party invites flowing.

Trump is racist only by the insane definition of metropolitan newsrooms and western academia. What Orban is supposed to have done that is not part of Israel’s founding policy I don’t know. And I bet this Pfeffer chap took his views on Bolsonaro from an article some know-nothing, idiot journalist wrote from an office in London. Hell, it was probably a colleague at The Economist with a pencil neck and an English degree from Oxford hanging over his desk. Ilhan Omar, on the other hand, really is racist and the same goes for a good portion of those allowed to settle in the UK under successive governments. If the likes of Pfeffer can’t bring himself to differentiate between them and Trump, is the problem as grave as he makes out? Personally I think it is, but if Jewish journalists aren’t going to take it seriously, why should I? He should be looking to recruit allies and build bridges with those (like me) who have no skin in the game. Ordinarily I’d side with British and American Jews over racist Somalis, but if their spokesmen are going to spend time bashing Hungarian and Brazilian politicians and virtue-signalling about how much they despise Trump, maybe I’ll just sit on the sidelines and say nothing. What’s my incentive to get involved?

I’ve written recently about how American Jews are going to have to decide whether they want to join the ranks of white deplorables or continue to stoke the fires of identity politics which enable those who truly detest them. British Jews are similarly going to have to decide whether they want to enlist the help of ordinary, decent people in opposing antisemitism or continue to paint themselves into a corner because maintaining their social status is more important than ensuring their safety.

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42 thoughts on “Cryin’ Lyin’ Zion

  1. Deciding if being a Jew is more important to them or being a good lefty? Hmm…genuinely a tough choice for many. For the likes of me looking on, feeling by nature predisposed towards being both supportive of Jewishness and of the state of Israel, I can only hope that they choose Jewish. I think many will choose SJW. An intra-Jewish-community identity crisis is playing out I suppose.

  2. An intra-Jewish-community identity crisis is playing out I suppose.

    I know a British Jew who is mildly concerned about Corbyn, but genuinely despises Rees-Mogg because he’s posh and rich. I’m not sure why I should take up the cudgels on behalf of people with views like that.

  3. This is the real eternal problem with the Jewish community. Not any of the usual anti-Semetic stereotypes. But the fact that they’re endlessly left-wing, and they embrace each and every left-wing movement, even when it’s made up of anti-Semites, and they demonise any friend of the Jews who shows any sign of being a conservative.

    We can debate the reason why – perhaps they haven’t escaped tribalism fully yet, perhaps it’s because they value intellect, and so they want to fit in with intellectuals, who are mostly left-wing, perhaps it’s because they fear exaggerating their outsider status if they don’t, perhaps it’s because they’ve been persecuted so often by groups they perceive to be associated with the right – but whatever the reason, Jews are drawn to the left like moths to a flame, and all the while they sneer at their friends who are sticking up for them.

  4. Is it possible you are conflating the views of a Jewish journalist writing for the ‘correct’ propaganda pamphlets with the views of the broader Jewish community?

  5. What Northcote said. “The Jews have to decide” or “Why should I support group X if they…” is as much identity politics anything else.

  6. Is it possible you are conflating the views of a Jewish journalist writing for the ‘correct’ propaganda pamphlets with the views of the broader Jewish community?

    Quite possibly, in which case one of the most pressing tasks of that broader Jewish community is to get a grip on their spokesmen.

  7. What Northcote said. “The Jews have to decide” or “Why should I support group X if they…” is as much identity politics anything else.

    I can see how my comments would appear that way if you strip from them of the context of a response to an impassioned plea from Jews to take the problem of antisemitism seriously.

  8. >Is it possible you are conflating the views of a Jewish journalist writing for the ‘correct’ propaganda pamphlets with the views of the broader Jewish community?

    No. Most Jews have always leaned left. The very idea that Maureen Lipman was considering not voting for Labour because of Corbyn shocked them.

    >“The Jews have to decide” or “Why should I support group X if they…” is as much identity politics anything else.

    No, because we’re talking about a situation where Jews are making pleas on behalf of the Jewish community, concerning attacks on their community.

  9. I am not sure we even need to think about antisemitism at all. As minorities go the Jews have got to be the tiniest minority of them all, probably that small a group of any given population outside of Israel itself that they don’t even qualify as a minority. When I run through in my mind the minorities that I have met I can see that I have discriminated against quite a few of them mostly as a younger man, although that doesn’t include Jews because I have never met any and had the opportunity to discriminate against them. I have met Palestinians whose grandparents were forced off their orchards and suffered terribly at Israeli hands, but that happens all the time everywhere with all races, so that doesn’t sway me either way.

    As for which minorities I should side with, living in Australia it’s hard to think of any as many former minorities come here and do very well for themselves. I guess the Aboriginals are a very real and indigenous minority that come to mind but I don’t necessarily discriminate against them or go out of my way to side with them either.

    My wife is coloured which means I have cappuccino kids, I have seen some mild racial discrimination there, so I side with my family on that point, besides trying to keep an older son in check, a younger one focused and a missus happy is just about enough of the siding side of me that there is, the rest of the minorities are on their own, and that doesn’t mean to say that I am against them either.

  10. Really? Who elected the chap at the Economist? What mechanism does “the Jewish community” have to “get a grip” of him?

    Once you’ve reified a huge group of disparate individuals into a single entity, you’re playing identity politics. As for context, it’s not a million miles from people who make huge amounts of noise about the empowerment of women, then soundly berate white women en bloc for voting the “wrong” way.

  11. Really? Who elected the chap at the Economist?

    Nobody, but then who elects any lobbyist?

    What mechanism does “the Jewish community” have to “get a grip” of him?

    They could perhaps respond to his Twitter thread by informing him of how he is alienating natural allies in his fight against antisemitism, and politely asking him not to do so in future.

    Once you’ve reified a huge group of disparate individuals into a single entity, you’re playing identity politics.

    So what is talking about the dangers of antisemitism if not treating Jews as a homogenous bloc? Why should a British Jew care what an American congresswoman is saying about Israel’s influence on American politics if he doesn’t consider himself somehow connected to it? Jews are already neck-deep in the identity politics game whether they like it or not. At some point they’re going to have to decide which side they’re on, particularly in the US.

  12. I think you, and Hector, maybe confusing the views of Jews generally with those Jews who have a media mouthpiece. I know lots of Jews – my wife is Jewish – and most of them are more on the Netanyahu spectrum than the Corbyn, although I know some who are that too. The point is that academic, or media, or intellectual Jews tend to have the same views as gentile versions of the same; just because they’re Jewish, doesn’t mean they speak for ‘The Jews’, but the fact that there are a lot of them in those groups might make one think so..

    One more thing. American Jews are quite different to British Jews, who are quite different to Israeli Jews.

  13. I think you, and Hector, maybe confusing the views of Jews generally with those Jews who havea media mouthpiece.

    No, I’m not. I’m saying if Jews want help from ordinary people in their struggles against antisemitism, they need to distance themselves from their media mouthpieces. When you have people writing for The Jewish Chronicle tweeting crap about Trump right after a synagogue massacre, and that tweet gets thousands of likes and retweets, what are ordinary people supposed to think? Are they supposed to go knocking on doors trying to find non-SJW Jews to get their opinion?

    One more thing. American Jews are quite different to British Jews, who are quite different to Israeli Jews.

    Which is something I said on here the other day.

  14. if Jews want help from ordinary people in their struggles against antisemitism, they need to distance themselves from their media mouthpieces.

    A Jewish journalist is not a ‘media mouthpiece for the Jewish community. I would not like to be held responsible for the views of white middle class English Guardian hacks.

    When you have people writing for The Jewish Chronicle tweeting crap about Trump right after a synagogue massacre, and that tweet gets thousands of likes and retweets, what are ordinary people supposed to think?

    If the said writer is an SJW idiot then he or she will get likes and retweets from SJW idiots. Some of them may be Jews, but we don’t know how many.

    You read a lot of Jewish lefty idiots in the press because there are lots of Jews in the media and lots of people in the media are lefty idiots. I doubt that, say, Philip Green shares their views.

    I have worked with a lot of Jews (in the media too) and they are no more inclined to lefty idiocy than their Gentile peers.

  15. A Jewish journalist is not a ‘media mouthpiece for the Jewish community.

    Then we don’t need take the concerns of Jewish journalists regarding antisemitism seriously. That’s good to know; up until today I did.

  16. This thread has been an interesting example of how the right has utterly lost the culture war: they think being a silent majority is as powerful as being a vocal minority, and there’s no requirement to even attempt to rein in the latter.

  17. Historically the Right has been more religious / Christian. So it’s no surprise that Jews found life more comfortable on the Left. But apart from some residuals (Poland, the Balkans) the Right doesn’t “do” religion any more.
    Political loyalties are tribal, so hard to shift. That is why everyone ignores the Islamic infiltration of the Left.

  18. I think what Tim is saying is that while all Jews are obviously very worried (and rightly so) about anti-semitism, its no good if half (or whatever proportion) of the Jewish community are very vocally abusing the (non-Jewish) people who are more likely to support the Jews in their fight against anti-semitism.

    If Jews want to be lumped together as a ‘community’ for the purposes of needing protection from racial abuse and attacks, which is fair enough, they are going to have to speak with one voice on the matter, not allow loud mouth Lefty types to put off the very people who might be prepared to step up to fight the Jewish corner against the anti-semites. And in the West today that means supporting the Right, because the Left have gotten a massive dose of the anti-semitic virus, and the Jews will get no help there whatsoever.

  19. @Northcote
    @Recusant
    @MC

    Agreed, well said, well put.

    @Tim Newman
    Then we don’t need take the concerns of Jewish journalists regarding antisemitism seriously. That’s good to know; up until today I did.

    They could perhaps respond to his Twitter thread by informing him of how he is alienating natural allies in his fight against antisemitism, and politely asking him not to do so in future.

    Ok, I had another answer written to this, but there’s something important you’ve missed, Tim.

    This Anshel Pfeffer is a Ha’aretz columnist. This is the Israeli equivalent of The Guardian, which also plays host to the likes of Gideon Levy. While not everyone who contributes to Ha’aretz is necessarily a rabid left-wing madman, being a regular contributor ought to place anyone under suspicion of being completely unrepresentative of anything Jewish or Israeli. If you were looking for any subsection of the Israeli public who would make gratuitous swipes at Trump, then ha’aretz writers would be the place to look. If you keep digging in that pit, you’ll find much worse than this, and most of it as anti-Israel as it is anti-Trump and anti-Western culture in general, despite originating in Tel Aviv. They’ve sold their collective soul to the devil for any chance to take down Netanyahu, in the same way that the US MSM will print anything negative about Trump. Occasionally you’ll find a neutral investigative piece on page 7, and once in a while there is an op-ed which is really worth reading (look for Alexander Jacobson), but the rest is nauseating. And I had a subscription for ten years.

    And if you think this Pfeffer is causing damage to the Jews, Gideon Levy has done damage a thousandfold, and adds to it every week. It is tolerated because Israel has a free press. Men like this cannot be shamed into silence by a chorus of rebuking voices – they interpret it as proof of their virtue, and draw encouragement from it. Gideon Levy is one of the most despised men in the country, and it hasn’t slowed him down one bit.

    Whenever you read anything in English about Israel, always double-check to see if it originated in Ha’aretz, and if so, treat it with a grain of salt three miles wide.

  20. Me: A Jewish journalist is not a ‘media mouthpiece for the Jewish community.

    Tim: Then we don’t need take the concerns of Jewish journalists regarding antisemitism seriously.

    How on earth is that a logical response to what I said?

  21. At the risk of repeating myself – see how this dynamic is played out.

    A left-wing British newspaper wants someone to write about Jewish issues in Britain.

    They hire a left-wing Israeli reporter who is on assignment in Britain for a left-wing Israeli newspaper. This man was born in Manchester (according to wiki), but has lived in Israel from 1981 to 2012, served in the IDF, etc.

    He expresses the desired left-wing opinions in his writings, and on twitter.

    And your typical Brit, like Tim, reads this, and wonders whether the British Jews have gone crazy, and warns that they will bring opprobrium on their heads unless they get their act together.

    But what are they to do? How could all the British Jews, even if they could act together, stop The Economist leftists from hiring a Ha’aretz leftist to tweet leftist claptrap “As A Jew”?

  22. How on earth is that a logical response to what I said?

    If their views on Trump are not representative of the broader Jewish community, why should their views on antisemitism and its effects be representative of the same community? If the former is true, then we can safely ignore the latter.

  23. I am not sure we even need to think about anti-semitism at all. As minorities go the Jews have got to be the tiniest minority of them all, probably that small a group of any given population outside of Israel itself that they don’t even qualify as a minority.

    Jews are in a minority. I wonder why that could be 🙄

    Do I support Israel? Sure I do, they are an important ally in the middle east and a vital bulwark against radical / militant Islam.

    Am I somewhere on the right? Absolutely, I think that freedom is a good thing and we should have as much of it as possible (along with consequential responsibility)

    Do I think the output of the Israeli government propaganda machine should be given any credence at all? Absolutely not, but then I would also say the same about the UK Government’s bullshit on Warble Gloaming (CAGW) or Project Fear (BRExit)

    Conflating some notion of people from Jewish communities, Jews settled in Israel and the government of Israel as being “the same” or even similar is the grossest of stereotypes.

    I personally have problems with the policy of the Government of Israel in attempting to classify any objection to its actions as being “anti-semitic”, yet that is exactly what the IHRA definition of antisemitism is attempting to achieve. My objecting to the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians within its borders (and therefore under its jurisdiction) is not anti-semitism, it is a consideration of basic humanity of which neither cultural, nor religious identity are a factor.

    My objections don’t make me some virulent goose stepping Nazi, I would have the same issue with any nation attempting to use cookie cutter identity politics to support the bad behaviour by its government.

    I have some sympathy for the mistreatment of the Jews throughout history (not just WWII persecution by the Nazis), and I accept the argument that having nowhere to call home has exacerbated this situation. Israel may not be the land of milk and honey as advertised in the brochures, but at least it is a place that the Jews can call home and seek refuge.

  24. Most people are tribal to some extent or other. I’m a righty, libertarian type. The Corbynite loony left and radical Islam are both in the ‘flush them down the toilet bowl of history’ mindbox in my brain. If western Jews are under assault they are primarily (exclusively?) under assault from Islam loving loony lefties. They’ll get three parts of sod all succour from that quarter. It’s people like me they need to keep on side isn’t it? Mouthing off with lefty claptrap isn’t going to impress is it?

  25. Whenever you read anything in English about Israel, always double-check to see if it originated in Ha’aretz, and if so, treat it with a grain of salt three miles wide.

    So when an ordinary Brit sees a Jewish guy complaining of rising antisemitism while bashing Trump, he first must start researching what faction he belongs to? That sounds like a lot of work; maybe I’ll just decide it doesn’t affect me and it’s none of my business.

    But what are they to do?

    I don’t know. I’m merely saying what needs to happen if Jews want ordinary, non-Jews to start taking antisemitism seriously.

  26. @Tim

    If their views on Trump are not representative of the broader Jewish community, why should their views on antisemitism and its effects be representative of the same community? If the former is true, then we can safely ignore the latter.

    You have to distinguish between the views of left-wing Jewish Journalists and non-left-wing Jewish Journalists. This is a distinction which you are not making.

    When left-wing journalists (Jewish or not) discuss antisemitism, they do it in such a wooly fashion that you have no way of guessing where it’s originating, or they inflate neo-Nazi groups out of proportion, so as to suggest that they are the source, or they blame reasonable people like Tommy Robinson or parties like AfD. These concerns ought not to be taken seriously.

    Which is not to say that there isn’t a real source of genuine antisemitism, both in Labor and in Islam. This source *ought* to be taken seriously. There are right-wing journalists who write about it, and some of them are Jewish. You should not dismiss the views of right-wing Jewish Journalists just because you’ve gotten cross with some left-wing Jewish Journalists for talking out of their arses.

    And please consider seriously what I wrote about ha’aretz journalists. You would shake your head in wonder if some Spaniard took a translated Guardian article as representative of British expats in Spain, and rebuked them for not arranging for better representation of their opinions.

  27. @Tim

    So when an ordinary Brit sees a Jewish guy complaining of rising antisemitism while bashing Trump, he first must start researching what faction he belongs to? That sounds like a lot of work; maybe I’ll just decide it doesn’t affect me and it’s none of my business.

    Which is precisely why the editor of The Economist hired him. But half the reason you’re writing this blog is because you’ve learned not to trust the media, right? When they bring a left-wing feminist to write about relationships, do you trust them? When they bring a trans activist to write about polyamory, do you trust them?

    Ignore them if you want to – that’s probably a good idea, when you have no expertise in a particular field. But if you’re getting annoyed at Jews as a result of reading Anshel Pfeffer’s tweets, then you haven’t ignored them.

  28. You have to distinguish between the views of left-wing Jewish Journalists and non-left-wing Jewish Journalists.

    No, I don’t. You seem to think those you need to recruit in the battle against antisemitism have the time and inclination to sort through all the Jewish factions and work out which is which. They don’t, and nor will they: they’ll read that comment about Trump and say “well, screw them then” if their voices are permitted to dominate the discourse.

  29. When they bring a left-wing feminist to write about relationships, do you trust them?

    No, but one of the things I bang on about incessantly is how imperative it is for ordinary women to distance themselves from these feminist lunatics and stop them dominating the narrative.

    But if you’re getting annoyed at Jews as a result of reading Anshel Pfeffer’s tweets, then you haven’t ignored them.

    I’m not, I don’t care. I’m just remarking that they have a serious messaging problem.

  30. Which is not to say that there isn’t a real source of genuine antisemitism, both in Labor and in Islam. This source *ought* to be taken seriously.

    The problem is “When all is anti-semitism, then nothing is” as with the boy who cried wolf, when genuine anti-semitism arises it will be ignored or conflated.

    Sure, the right might have picked up some tricks from the left (dog whistling and such), but identity politics and the consequential fall-out from that has always been a preferred tactic of the left.

  31. “Jews are in a minority. I wonder why that could be”

    It doesn’t really matter why nor does it change anything either way, they just are a tiny minority.

  32. I think most Jews, at this time, will side with the group which is most hostile to white, Christian interests. They know that Israel (as a strong, ethno-nationalist state) is not in any danger. Not right now. No, right now, weakening western nations is the primary focus.

  33. The idea that Israel is an ally is hilarious. Israel doesnt have allies, it has assets. They would nuke any one of their ‘allies’ if they thought they were about to go under, just out of spite. Disagree? You aren’t paying attention.

  34. Jim

    “…they [the Jews] are going to have to speak with one voice on the matter.”

    Good luck with that. Three Jews, ten opinions.

  35. I’ve written recently about how American Jews are going to have to decide whether they want to join the ranks of white deplorables or continue to stoke the fires of identity politics which enable those who truly detest them.

    If we’re talking about the American Jewish pundit/commentator class, they’ve already chosen the latter, and without a moment’s hesitation. The assumption that multiculturalism and the demographic transformation of the west are Good for the Jews is a deeply baked in prior for these people.

  36. @Mattrick:

    I think you need to put down your copy of Der Stürmer and look out of the window. It is 2019, not 1934. This is not the age of Fascism, but the age of realpolitik.

    The government of Israel does what it feels is in its best interests. There is no global Jewish conspiracy. You’ll be quoting from “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” next.

  37. Modern secular Jews are fecklessly suicidal in their choice of political allies. What they’ve done is to conflate their traditional religious enemies within Christianity with the mass of actually existent religious communities in the US, and that’s where they’ve royally screwed up. They’re looking at the various flavors of Baptist, and seeing Polish Catholicism’s antipathy for Jewry instead of the actual case where those Baptists only know the Jews through the Bible, and are mostly sympathetic to them.

    I can about guarantee you that the next round of pogroms against the Jews, and whatever actual anti-Semitic actions get taken in the US are going to come from the left, and their Muslim/African American allies. And, the Jews are going to keep right on voting for those jackasses and giving them money, because they’re locked into a worldview where Christian=Bad People…

    Which is kinda the way it was, to tell the truth, back in the Middle Ages and somewhat after. Now? Not so much… Islam and Christianity seem to have swapped places, and the Jews haven’t collectively realized that, as of yet.

  38. @ Mattrick,

    No doubt you’re correct, but can you really blame them? After all, many of those same “allies” were perfectly happy selling the Arabs all the gear they needed to make chemical weapons, along with the precursor chemicals. Not to mention the nuclear technology and other weapons…

    And, all that neat gear we found sold to the Iraqis, while they were under sanctions…? Oh, yeah; I’m not going to shed any tears for Berlin, Paris, or Brussels when they go up in a flash. Bastards deserve it, to tell the truth. Allies, my ass.

    The fact that the Israeli nuclear program is named after Samson isn’t an accident. I’d take it more as a clear signal, and if the various flavors of anti-Semite in European capitals haven’t figured that out, as of yet…? Evolution in action–The dumb die out.

  39. That got interesting. My own thoughts have more nuance than my initial comment indicated. I think there are portions (possibly a substantial one) of the Jewish community that sees a problem with the views of the left, but they choose not to express that in the trollfest that is the media. The clever and wealthier ones that you never read in the media (and probably some of the ones you do) spend a chunk of their time in Israel, as citizens. They are well prepared to bolt if their home societies turn against them. Then there are the signallers who want to join the anti-western tribe, because it makes them feel good. They are the play masochists who have yet to meet a real sadist and won’t stop their charade until they do, by which time it will be too late.

    I only have a narrow insight into actual Jews, and it is exclusively Australian, but they seem sufficiently connected to the real world and aware of their privilege to see the issues.

    So without sitting on the fence, I don’t think left wing journalists talk for Jews as a whole, but I also think a portion know that they can’t be seen to be on the same side of politics as Trump, so they say nothing. Which may be a problem for them later, for which some are prepared.

  40. “Islam and Christianity seem to have swapped places, and the Jews haven’t collectively realized that, as of yet.”

    The irony being that evangelical Christians are the most fervent pro-Jew and pro-Israel people going. Mainly down to their literal reading of the Bible – the Jews are Gods Chosen People, ergo you don’t mess with them.

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