Dispatches and the ‘pro-Israel lobby’
Cranmer has received an email from a communicant member of the Anglican Friends of Israel, who observes that few people are aware of the European Union Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia's Working Definition of Antisemitism . Certainly, it appears that C4’s moderators are not, for the comments are punctuated throughout with examples of what the EUMC calls 'the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media’. They say that current anti-Semitism ‘… charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong”. It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.’
‘Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include...
‘Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations...
‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective – such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.’
Moderators of the C4 comment thread have approved numerous examples of these forms of anti-Semitic discourse. For instance:
‘We are being attacked from within by 5th columns in our parliament for this murderous regime.’
‘It is disgraceful that C4 is intending to expose the pro-Israel lobby. Surely it is a signatory to the "National Press & TV Zionist Agreement", which stipulates in paragraph one: "Thou shalt not print nor broadcast any reference to the undemocratic control by the agents of Israel over the House of Commons &/or the House of Lords”.’
‘.. the Israel lobby works to subvert the British political process and foreign policy to serve not British interests, but the interests of a foreign occupying tyranny, a left-over from the colonial era.’
‘Let's see the hand of global Zionism at work.’
‘We want our country back. The agents of a foreign power embedded at all levels of our government and politics need flushing out.’
‘The Zionist Lobby counts many British politicians (who) function as a fifth column in support of Israel's illegal actions. The powerful impact of the Zionist Lobby on British politics is more damaging to our country than that of the ghastly BNP.’
No-one claims, least of all Cranmer, that the State of Israel and its religio-political policies should not be rigorously examined and critically scrutinised, and some of the comments make legitimate, hard-hitting criticisms. However, many of these comments revive the discredited Global Jewish Conspiracy theory, thereby stoking anti-Semitism in the UK, and their presence on C4’s website is unworthy of a television channel which prides itself on exposing and challenging racism wherever it is to be found.