Imagine you were at a pro-Israel meeting where one MP suggested that a group of millionaire Muslims controlled the Liberal Democrats and another that overseas citizens of some Muslim countries were buying their support.
Would you not feel uneasy? Would you not wish to stand up and suggest that both of these theses are entirely racist in the absence of hard proof? Imagine the denunciations and calls for resignations of said MPs.
Last wednesday, March 31, my blog “Free Palestine, Vote Labour” made the front page of the Daily Telegraph. I had blogged Martin Linton’s, now-infamous, ‘Israel tentacles’ speech. Linton is MP for Battersea.
For an informative description of the Nazi symbol of the “Jewish octopus” using its tentacles to control the world see Mark Gardner’s piece.
Linton delivered his speech in Parliament. He spoke of Israel and its supporters trying to buy an election win for the Conservatives. He was preceded by Gerald Kaufman, MP for Manchester, Gorton, who suggested that Jewish millionaires control large parts of the Conservative Party.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Linton “said he did not recognise the ‘tentacles comment'”. As the Jewish Chronicle has just reported Linton has now come clean and finally apologised for any offence caused “but was not aware of the anti-Semitic precedents of the image of a Jewish octopus”.
But even disregarding Linton’s Damascene Conversion he stands by the rest of his speech; Israel and its supporters buying a Conservative election win.
Meanwhile, Gerald Kaufman made “no comment” to the Daily Telegraph about his “Jewish millionaires” comment. If he stands by this comment he should name names.
Linton and Kaufman should both name names otherwise nasty inferences with dangerous implications and insidious overtones are left to hang in the air; in Kaufman’s case that some British Jews and in Linton’s case that British supporters of Israel, are more interested and more committed to another country, Israel, than to this one.
Once these “funders” are out in the open they can decide whether to sue Linton or Kaufman or both for defamation. Have Linton and Kaufman the courage of their convictions? I doubt it and therefore they are not worthy of being British MPs.
Jews and money go, unfairly, together. If only it were true but many Jews, just like many of other religions and none, struggle around the world to make ends meet. The Jewish money-myth was created some 200 years ago when Jews were barred from many of the main professions and had to resort to money-lending to make a living. Incredibly, the myth still persists in today’s British political culture.
Jewish people should not be constantly blighted with accusation of buying power, whether in Nazi Germany or today’s so-called liberal multi-cultural Britain.
How liberal and multi-cultural can it really be when we hear such comments by Linton and Kaufman? Can such thinking really be so alive in “multicultural” Britain?
If this is what two MPs can stand up and say in public one dreads to imagine what is said in private by many others.
And there was not a stir from the audience or other members of the panel or the Chairman, not an objection raised. The speeches were, in fact, applauded by the 100 or so in the room.
I could have spoken up and objected to the anti-Jewish implications of some of the rhetoric but I have been to many of these anti-Israel meetings and the police waiting outside are instantly called by the Chair to remove anyone making a fuss. I did not wish to be unceremoniously hauled out by the police to huge applause, as has been the fate of others who have made reasonable objections.
More importantly Linton and Kaufman are our law makers. They either reflect or influence the morality of our country.
And even having to report these insidious speeches will impact negatively on Jews and Israel.
Enemies of Israel and the Jewish people will see the headlines and think there is no smoke without fire. The ignorant look for anything that bolsters their myopic view of the world. This poster thinks:
“We have a foreign minister with dual israeli citizenship, and now we find out that the Tory party is bankrolled by Israelis with dual citizenship.
Britain should have a policy of not issuing passports to people with an Israeli Passport.”
David Miliband, an Israeli citizen?
Some of our politicans have no shame but I hope their constituents do and vote Kaufman and Linton out on May 6th.
Preferably they won’t get to May 6th as, by then, Labour will have taken its own action to deselect them.
But don’t hold your breathe.