Come and see Hajo the Dancing Bear (JC blog 24 January 2010)

To mark 15 years of blogging and during the quieter summer break I am republishing some of my blogs which were inadvertently deleted.

Professor Richard Landes has written far more eloquently than I can about the problem of Jews whose criticism of Israel not only oversteps the mark but feeds the current wave of antisemitism that began nearly ten years ago and is still gaining momentum. At every Israel-bashing meeting, for example, it is de rigeur to have a gaggle of Neturei Karta in a prominent position in the audience. They never say anything, of course, but George Galloway (or whoever is speaking on the platform – but it often is him) always thanks the “Rabbis” for coming and uses (or abuses) them to claim that the meeting cannot be antisemitic if they are there. That’s nonsense of course, as is the use of the word ‘Rabbis’ – none of them is a “Rabbi”.

This week – deliberately timed to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday – a small group of such Jewish hypercritics is teaming up with the usual suspects to parade their performing trophy Israel-hating Holocaust survivor, Hajo Meyer, the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland. He started in Scotland and the first newspaper report has come out, including a quote from me.

Like some grotesque, ungainly performing bear in the circus, Meyer is dancing willingly to his ringmaster’s tune, saying that Israel’s actions are the same as those of the Nazis, that Israel causes antisemitism and that “an anti-Semite is somebody who is hated by Jews.” He may be a competent scientist and violin-maker but (like most such ‘trophies’) his knowledge of Jewish history and of antisemitism is poor (I have ‘debated’ with him). So please go along and question him, and protest if he crosses the line into antisemitism (Nazi comparisons are antisemitic, see the EUMC definition of antisemitism). In particular ask him the following:

— How can you claim that Israel causes antisemitism when if it had been created ten years earlier, millions of Jewish lives might have been saved?

— Making comparisons of Israel’s actions with the Nazis is a form of Holocaust Denial – how do you defend being a Holocaust Denier?

— If it is Israel that causes antisemitism how do you explain the antisemitism of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who five years before Israel was created called on Arabs and Muslims to slaughter the Jews wherever they might be?

Times, dates and venues:

Today 7pm Cinema 5, Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row, Sheffield city centre (opposite the Railway station)

Monday 7.30pm Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT

Tuesday 6pm Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths College, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW

Wednesday 6.30 pm (but leave 20 minutes to get through the bag check) House of Parliament, Portcullis House (Boothroyd Room) Bridge Street London SW1A 2LW 

Friday 7pm The Grosvenor Hall, 5 Glengall Street, Belfast

Saturday 7pm The Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, Dublin


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