I’ve been very busy not watching telly, but I did accidentally stumble upon MEPs in Strasbourg discussing the Flotilla on the BBC Parliament channel last night, between the repeats of QT and Andrew Marr.
Needless to say it was an Israel-bashing jamboree, with left wing and green MEPs making their rabidly anti Israel / pro Turkey speeches.
They kept demanding Baroness Ashton ‘does something’ to lift the blockade of Gaza. Immediately! The conservative and centre-right MEPs were similarly receptive to the peace activists’ tale, but they sprinkled their speeches with “but there must be security for Israelis as well”.
It was almost as though they’d been informed, educated and entertained solely by the BBC.
There were some notable exceptions. A German Green MEP spoke up for Israel, and most supportive of all, and under the circumstances rather heroic, was Charles Tannock MEP, Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman.
But that’s nothing. What about the debate on the subject in our own parliament?
Louise ‘we can ignore her because she would say that, wouldn’t she,’ Ellman, Ivan Lewis and Denis McShane were more or less the only voices of sanity. Take a look at this gorgeous website, which has a tag entitled Anti-Racism. Are they quite mad?
What I’m leading up to is this. On Start The Week two ‘Jewish’ books were being plugged. One by Ruth Harris was about a scandal that shook France to its core – the Dreyfus affair.
The other, The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal concerns a Jewish art historian, aesthete and collector Charles Ephrussi.
How rife it was in Paris during the Belle Époque. Jews being accused of killing children, for blood to make Matzos.
Tom Hollander’s family had a brush with antisemitism too. All the guests had a contribution to make on the topic . Even Andrew Marr. “Mmmm, Mmmm,” he goes. “What it means to be French” he analyses, sagely.
“Modern France too. All this argument about the burqua.”
So is Andrew Marr talking about “Racism?” “Islamophobia?” Is he saying that Muslims are the new Jews, or what?