Oh, Mehdi, feel free to tell us to “bugger off to Tel Aviv”.

Mehdi Hasan.

Mehdi Hasan.

Last Friday Luke Bozier, a Labour blogger, said of Mehdi Hasan, the embattled Senior Editor (politics) at the New Statesman magazine:

“Wouldn’t it be good if he just buggered off to Tehran.”

It was in response to Hasan’s article the previous day If you lived in Iran, wouldn’t you want the nuclear bomb? which some commentators have interpreted as a call by Hasan for Iran to develop a nuclear bomb.

Yesterday Hasan posted a response to the criticism of his article and made the following curious remark about Bozier:

Can you imagine the media reaction if a British Jew wrote a column about Israel which prompted the response of “bugger off to Tel Aviv”?

I can’t see the parallel myself. Hasan isn’t Iranian and neither does Bozier’s remark seem to be an attack on Hasan’s Muslim identity.

It might be in dispute as to whether Hasan’s article amounts to a call for an Iranian nuclear bomb, but what is not in dispute is his coming to the defence of the vile Iranian regime, describing it as “surrounded on all sides by virulent enemies” and he doubts whether Iran is looking to create a nuclear bomb when he gives credence to the regime’s rhetoric that its “goal is only to develop a civilian nuclear programme, not atomic bombs”.

And so Bozier’s comment is not so different from those by people who tell apologists for Hamas to move to Gaza if they love Hamas so much. It’s the same with telling Hasan to go to Tehran. It isn’t a racist slur.

And in reality, and Hasan must know this, the equivalent far-left racial slur against British Jews is for us to bugger off to Russia. I, myself, was once told to go back to Poland at an anti-Israel event in London.

So what a nice change it would be for British Jews to be told to “bugger off to Tel Aviv”.

Implicit in such a suggestion would at least be a recognition of the Jewish connection to Israel, a connection which both the Palestinian leadership and the far-left refuse to make.

But it wasn’t like that before 1948 when the common refrain of racists in the UK was for Jews to go back to Palestine. After 1948 it became politically inconvenient for the racists to suggest Jews go back to Israel, so Poland and Russia are now the new hot spots designated for us by the far-left, irrespective of the fact that Jews got slaughtered there in their millions by the Nazis.

And how ironic that Hasan now chooses to employ British Jews in his defence when he has previously shown us such disregard with his casual attitude to anti-Semitism.

In an echo of Ben White’s article in 2002 Is It Possible to Understand the Rise in Anti-Semitism? in which White wrote “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are” Hasan wrote in his article Does Israel “cause” anti-Semitism?:

“Nothing justifies anti-Semitism…But I do find it both tragic and ironic that the state of Israel…through its actions today…provokes such awful anti-Semitic attacks against diaspora Jews who have nothing to do with the actions of the IDF or the policies of Netanyahu, Olmert and Sharon.”

As The CST‘s Dave Rich wrote in the comment section of that post:

“The people who are primarily responsible for racist hate crimes are the racists who perpetrate them; the “cause” is their bigotry and hatred for a chosen ‘other’…You would not write an article lamenting that fact that Muslim immigration “caused” the recent arson attack on the Luton Islamic Centre…Don’t make excuses for racists, and don’t use racism as an excuse to score political points.”

And anyway, Hasan and President Ahmadinejad do have similar ideas which suggests that Hasan might actually feel at home in Tehran. For example, they both wish for Israel to be wiped off the map. In his article I’ve changed my mind about a two-state solution Hasan describes his own solution as being:

“a single, secular and binational state for Israelis and Palestinians. No longer ‘two states for two peoples’, but ‘one person, one vote’.”

And in mid-July 2009 he wrote of the Iranian regime’s Press TV that “not a single critic so far has claimed that his or her views were ever censored”. However, two weeks earlier Press TV interviewed Hossein Mousavi in his prison cell in Iran asking him questions prepared by the Iranian regime with Mousavi reading his answers from a script also prepared by the regime. (OFCOM recently upheld the complaint of unfair treatment and unwarranted infringement of privacy in making the programme containing Mousavi’s interview.)

So, Mehdi, by all means hate Israel, excuse anti-Semitism and support the Iranian regime if you are that way inclined but please don’t try to use British Jews in your defence when it suits you politically. And if anyone does tell me to “bugger off to Tel Aviv” I will be happy that, finally, they will have stopped trying to force me back to Poland.

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35 responses to “Oh, Mehdi, feel free to tell us to “bugger off to Tel Aviv”.

  1. Noam Greenwald

    One wonders what drives just a little man like yourself Richard to engage in the work which you do. You clearly do not speak Hebrew nor have the balls to live in Israel yourself. It is doubtful that you could even follow a political conversation in a cafe in Tel Aviv. Youre ignorance and absolute racism is deeply reflected in basically every word you write. As a Israeli resident of Jerusalem, I can share the following message with you: You are not welcome. you are not one of us. Leave your racism in the UK and leave us alone.

    • richardmillett

      Noam, although you know nothing about me I would appreciate it if you could point out where you think I have been racist.

    • As a Israeli resident of Jerusalem, I can share the following message with you: You are not welcome.

      Can you please provide the exact details of who it was who died and thereby made you king of Israel?

    • Good for you, Noam. Richard hoo ish katan ve’me’atzben, kemo yetush.

    • ‘One wonders what drives just a little man like yourself Richard to engage in the work which you do.’
      Looking at Richards bio might give us an idea. He is a ‘non-practising’ solicitor. Read what you will of this, barred? useless? incompetent? He seems to have sadly failed in his preferred profession and is now seeking something else to excel at. So he has decided to become a full time Hasbaranick. Basically you have to sell your soul to defend the indefensible. It can’t pay that well because last time I saw him he could have done with a shower & change of clothes.

      • was that by chance after having attended an especially exciting football and/or soccer match?

        non-practising is not a synonym of failed

      • Basically you have to sell your soul to defend the indefensible

        Translation: I am a psychopathic Israel-hater who can’t stand the fact that Joos have their own country. It eats me up from the inside.

      • Richard, like all the armchair Zionist-hasbaraniks, has the priviledge of being out of range. So he can fight to the last Israeli.

      • richardmillett

        What are you talking about? This is a blog about anti-Semitism. I have never claimed it is about anything else. I make no apologies for highlighting anti-Semitism in the UK where I live.

    • For the record, Richard is many things, a racist is not one of them.

  2. I don’t see why you don’t live in Israel. It is the homeland of the Jewish people, or so we are told
    And as for
    “a single, secular and binational state for Israelis and Palestinians. No longer ‘two states for two peoples’, but ‘one person, one vote’.”
    That’s precisely where Israel is headed.

  3. Following the logic that it is the behaviour of Jews that leads to anti-semitism I wonder why the behaviour of Jews in WW1 didn’t lead to pro-semitism.

    i.e. if the behaviour of Jews had any influence on the feelings of those devoted to singling them out then surely WW1 should have had an effect.

    Tim Grady, the third of the interviewed in this audio, tells a heap of very very interesting things about how Jewish soldiers were regarded between the wars by Germans and how the undermining of the credit from the war was worked.

    http://www.historytoday.com/blog/2011/10/history-today-podcast-november-2011

    The paywalled article by Tim Grady doesn’t focus on that part of the story, in fact hardly mentions it.

    PS: why does it seem to be always the slanderers who win?

  4. @ Noam you wrote …’You clearly do not speak Hebrew nor have the balls to live in Israel yourself’

    Really ..do you no Richard? If not then how do you deduce from this article that richard cannot speak hebrew and even if he cannot speak hebrew how dose this devalue his work?

    you also wrote…’You’re ignorance and absolute racism is deeply reflected in basically every word you write.’

    Richard writes very thoughtful and intelligent articles highlighting the racism and hypocrisy of others.

    You may disagree with Richard’s political P.O.V however i see no racism in Richards words.

    • You clearly do not speak Hebrew

      I assume Noam would have refused to allow into Israel any refugee from WW2 Europe who didn’t speak Hebrew.
      Maybe he is the grandson of Chomsky, another dumb as-a-Jew Noam.

  5. Carry on the good work Richard wherever you choose to live but it may be that the time is right to come home to Israel ..

    It doesn’t matter what we do for others -the world will hate Jews and at certain times more than at other times. But let’s at least know what Israel is doing for the world so we can be proud of our achievements and tell others if they are willing listen. See http://www.verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com.

  6. Cor, it’s proper kicking-off!

  7. Michael Rabins posts here, doesn’t he? He is tearing the absurd Hill to shreds on HP.

  8. I must admit I tire of Jews who are anti-Israeli/Zionist- for me one in the same-
    I often wonder if when Churchill encourage the the state of Trans Jordan back in 1920 he would have followed up on Balfour and carried out the same transition for the Hebrews and an Israel-
    Would 6 million have perished- for surely they would have had a country to run to where there was no quotas.
    Should it happen again and it is quite likely to the way things are going-
    Then no Jewish homeland means history will repeat itself.

  9. Noam, why don’t you offer some proper criticism of the article instead of making personal comments? And why all of a sudden have you emerged?

  10. Hi Richard
    Chas is right ! It is all kicking off ! It’s what comes from supporting Leeds united . You get infested with a bunch of Israel hating trolls as a punishment . Now of course if you supported a proper team like Chelsea ……

  11. Hi Noam,

    “As a Israeli resident of Jerusalem, I can share the following message with you: You are not welcome.”

    “It is doubtful that you could even follow a political conversation in a cafe in Tel Aviv.”

    I suspect that if the political views of Richard and yours were put up for referendum in Jerusalem, Richard would win hands down, though many would consider him far to moderate.

    I rarely find time to spend in Tel Aviv coffee shops, and on the uncommon occasions that I do, unlike your excellent self, I do not eavesdrop on other people’s conversations. Whatever Richard’s level of Hebrew, and I trust it is better than that of your English, I would advise him to do the same. Such practices are considered quite rude and sad.

    Frankly, I consider the whole, “I know more Hebrew than you, and therefore I’m a better Zionist” (paraphrased) to be a little silly. There was a time when the Left mocked the Israeli Right asking them how many kibbutzim they had built, then the Left stopped building kibbutzim and the Right built settlements instead. The next question was “How many officers and pilots do you have?”. Today Tel Aviv has one of the lowest level of IDF enlistment, especially to combat units which are full of skull-cap wearing Rightist, so what’s left? “How much Hebrew do you know?” Is that final boast of the Left? “I can sit around in coffee shops eavesdropping on Hebrew conversations, but you can’t” Is that what you guys have come to? Maybe that’s why the Left has been rejected by the Israeli people time and time again since 1977.

    Noam, I rarely do this, but as you have expressed a keen interest in linguistics, here are a few points to remember:

    1. ‘One wonders what drives just a little man like yourself…”

    “as yourself” not “like yourself” and the “just” is quite out of place.

    2. “He seems to have sadly failed…”

    “..failed sadly” or better “Sadly, he has…”

    3. “…So he has decided to become a full time Hasbaranick. Basically you..”

    Confused pronoun usage as “he” and “you” are muddled up.

    Okay, those are the first couple of sentences. If you feel more comfortable writing in Hebrew, please free to do so. I suspect you could use a few pointers there too.

    Enjoy the old Tel Aviv eavesdropping, or even better – why not get a life?

    Regards,

    Daniel Marks

  12. Daniel
    Simply devastating !
    The down side however , is that I will have to check every comment I make for spelling , grammatical errors ,syntax , etc lest the masterful and scholarly defining judgement of Marks marks me down accordingly . Even the wildly and unpredictably brilliant comments emanating from Silke, whose first language is not english ,will not be exempt from the mighty and terrible judgement that awaits all who comment here .
    All hail Sir Marks , scourge of the left leaning Israel hating Israeli troll .
    Cue multiple genuflections and hat doffing .

    • Noam doesn’t hate Israel, nor do most of the Israeli Left. They love her. They love her to the extent that an English Jew loves England or a Canadian Jew loves Canada.

      The problem is that that’s just not enough. Even the relatively secure and affluent Israel of 2011 requires a lot more loyalty, sacrifice and altruism of her citizens than than their diaspora counterparts, but many of my countrymen have yet to come to terms with this simple truth.

      They ask why we can’t make a quick peace deal (Peace Now) and just get on with our lives. Our British and Canadian cousins aren’t required to serve in their respective armies, let alone endanger their lives, so why us?

      These people feel tired, and betrayed by their parents’ generation that promised them peace and a “New Middle East”, they look for someone to blame; settlers, religious, ultra-orthodox, Russian immigrants, Richard Millett, you name it.

      That might be the conversation overheard in the coffee shops of Tel Aviv, “Who can we blame for all the mess of Oslo? How can we explain our next election defeat? Where can I get hold of a Green Card?”

      Happy are those who do not understand such Hebrew conversations!

      I join the subject of this excellent page in inviting all Jewish Anglo Jewry to “bugger off” to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or anywhere else you should choose. We love you all and like an adoring mother, Israel waits every day for all her children to return home.

    • If Daniel should ever take the trouble to take my English to task and advise me on how to do better I’d melt with gratitude like butter under a Mediterranean sun.

      It all depends how it is done and experience has taught me that Daniel is quite capable of applying his admirable knowledge with as much compassion and respect as he is of serving it with a generous dose of acid mixed in.

      • I’d melt with gratitude like butter under a Mediterranean sun.

        Kindly spare us this hugely over-explicit girly Schwaermerei.

      • sorry I can’t.

        My experience is that once one has reached a certain fluency in a foreign language everybody stops trying to help with one’s improvement.

        The one exception I have met hitherto were Parisian French.

  13. ‘Can you imagine the media reaction if a British Jew wrote a column about Israel which prompted the response of “bugger off to Tel Aviv”?’

    I think Hasan has a point against Bozier, in this regard (not necessarily the rest). I find Richard’s response unconvincing. Why not just admit that, for once, Hasan has a point?

  14. It’s true Hasan isn’t Iranian, but there is a likeness of sentiment to the two propositions: if you sympathise, or defend, to any extent, a certain party, why don’t you go away and join them?

  15. I was simply going to say what a brilliant blog Richard when I came across @noam – OMG! Things is kicking off!!