Self-Fulfilling Backlash

So Shimon Peres has noticed that the English are antisemitic and pander to Muslim votes. The Telegraph has chosen to whip up a controversy by heading an article:
“Fury as Israel president claims English are ‘anti-semitic’
So who’s furious?

“senior MPs and Jewish leaders who said the 87-year-old president had “got it wrong”

So far it appears that these furious MPs consist of:

“James Clappison, the Conservative MP for Hertsmere and vice-chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel”

Since Mr Peres’s comment was ‘buried in an interview with the historian Professor Benny Morris of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev published last week in Tablet, a Jewish news website, ‘ could someone be trying to make a mountain out of a molehill?

“The wide-ranging interview covered Mr Peres’ role as one of Israel’s longest-serving political leaders – an MP for 48 years, twice prime minister, and holder of other ministerial posts over the decades. He is firmly on the Israeli Left. “

He could have just been taking the opportunity to use the very dryly comical quote:
“There is in England a saying that an anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary” a saying that contains a bigger grain of truth and considerably more wit than “Gaza is a prison camp.”

Haaretz has a slightly different way of making a mountain out of this.
“ Peres sparks U.K backlash after labeling England anti-Semitic” the headline screams out, continuing:

“President Shimon Peres provoked a media backlash in the United Kingdom on Sunday”

So far, the media backlash consists of an article in the Telegraph. The BBC hasn’t reported it yet, but I expect it will.

Antisemitism in England? Or do we mean AntiZionism?
Connection with the BBC? Tenuous, but not as tenuous as all that.

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20 Responses to Self-Fulfilling Backlash

  1. Philip says:

    I don’t think anyone’s whipping up anything. Peres is wide of the mark here – blunderbussing millions for the actions of a small but disproportionately powerful élite.


    • sue says:

      I’ve read your article and I disagree that Mr Peres has made a major faux pas. At most it’s a minor one, not nearly as major as David Cameron’s deliberate and public remark, which a surprising number of people have praised for the courage of  “saying it like it is.”

      You describe perfectly which people Mr. Peres alludes to, people who don’t represent the whole of society, but who nevertheless hold disproportionate influence or power. I think it is wrong to take offence or see it as a personal insult as you seem to have done, and as I daresay many others will do. Blunderbussing millions is a bit of an overreaction.

      If a great many of “us” feel misunderstood and mis represented by our politicians, so much the better, because if so, at least there’s hope for the future. (The  “us” as in “President Peres, Sir, you are mistaken about us.”)

      I am one of your British. “us” too. I have witnessed and experienced a considerable amount of low-level antisemitism throughout my varied and multifaceted English existence.

      I remember being told many years ago, very nicely and with great charm, by an older generation Israeli, one of the original pioneers, “Britain is no friend of Israel”. I was hurt too, and took it slightly personally. I didn’t understand.


      • sue says:

        Sorry about unintended smiley


      • Philip says:

        Dismissing 60 million Brits as anti-Semites is not ‘minor’. It is gross misrepresentation.


        In his remarks, Peres condemned millions of people for the actions of a few – and if that isn’t blunderbussing, what is?


        ‘Call me Dave”s uninformed claptrap regarding Gaza was just as major a blunder, I grant you – but two wrongs don’t make a right.

        I didn’t really take it personally, Sue. I just think Peres’ remarks were clumsy and wrong-headed. He could have targeted his remarks much more accurately and effectively than he did – that’s all.


        • sue says:

          I didn’t think of it in terms of dismissing 60 million Brits as antisemites.
          I thought of it more in terms of generalising about the overall antiIsrael stance of the people of power and influence you describe in your article. Which has accelerated in recent years.

          By that I mean various governments’ and the BBC’s policies of appeasing Islam which as you well know has antisemitism at its core. If we don’t like being associated with that, it’s up to us to change it, not blame someone who points it out.
          He probably could have targeted his remarks more effectively, so we can agree there.


        • hippiepooter says:

          In my experience of my fellow countrymen a good deal are in thrall to anti-Semitic propaganda against Israel which makes them anti-Semites by default.


  2. Derek Buxton says:

    Unfortunately our toy PM does tend to fuel such things from time to time.  


  3. George R says:

    Before the anti-Israel BBC cashes in:

    “No-win journalism”

    (Melanie Phillips)


    • John Anderson says:

      That article put the remarks Peres made in a totally different context.

      And I get the sense he was speaking very specifically about the BBC when he says that TV does not show us what the terrorists are doing all the time.


    • sue says:

      I’d just like to say that I usually try to strike a balance ( 😉 ) between being topical and being contemplative when I post on B-BBC.

      This time topicality won and I posted my immediate reaction. But I’m pleased to see that Melanie P shares some of the thoughts I had.
      It goes without saying that as usual she set them out with eloquence and clarity.

      She also includes this telling remark from Shimon Peres in the original interview:
       “On television there is an asymmetry that can’t be corrected. What the terrorists do is never broadcast. Only the response is broadcast. And then critics charge: “This is disproportionate.” You don’t see the terrorist act. When a lawful nation fights a lawless nation there is a problem in the media. “

      For that alone, I applaud Shimon Peres.


  4. Will says:

    The Telegraph quotes Conservative MP Clappison “The MP added that he could “understand the frustration” that people in Israel felt with “certain elements of the British broadcast media” which present an unbalanced view of Israel.

    He seems to have spotted the BBC as being a fair target for Peres


    • hippiepooter says:

      But seems unwilling to say so for fear of becoming an unfair target of the BBC.


  5. David Preiser (USA) says:

    You can’t blame Peres for thinking that most Brits are anti-Semitic.  The only ones he sees on a regular basis are Beeboids.


  6. Thingumbob says:

    It would be more accurate of Mr. Perez to point out that the British establishment has had a long standing policy of hosting radical Muslim groups especially associated with Saudi wahabism. (Which is the cauldron that created Al Qaida.) was This is in keeping with their official cover up of the Saudi British Al Yamamah BAE scandal.


  7. Mailman says:

    Imagine that…what Peres actually said being completely different to what is reported in the UK mfm.

    Hmmm, maybe the reporter just confirmed what Peres was saying aye?

    How ironic 🙂



  8. Barbara says:

    I am sorry to say this, but from this remove it sure looks like the British are anti-Semitic.  Enough so that this former Anglophile will not set foot in your country, even after a romance which lasted over forty years, and resulted in my getting my degree in British history.

    I have been to the UK many times, and even lived there for a while.  It now seems very threatening and dangerous to me because I am Jewish.  I read the comments in your newspapers from British people and I am sickened and appalled.  I don’t know how Jews in Britain manage, I really don’t.


  9. Nick Name says:

    There is a tinge of anti-semitism in the UK – look at mainstream blogs like Guido’s and Old Holborns to get a flavour.
    However, however bad it is today, it’s been worse in the recent past – and even after WW2 it was common for Jews to be segregated in Public Schools (with the worst facilities and food, according to someone who experienced it).


    • sue says:

      So the new English anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews slightly less than the old English anti-Semite?