Op-Ed: My Fellow Journalists Are Vehicles for Anti-Semitism
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
What is surprising in the recent Sunday Times cartoon depicting Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall using blood-red mortar?
Is it that the image is reminiscent of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda? No. Many other cartoonists have previously maligned the Jews in similar fashion.
Is it that the cartoon was published on Holocaust Memorial Day? No. This, too, has happened before.
What is shocking and surprising is that The Times, owned by Rupert Murdoch and which has never been considered part of the anti-Israel media establishment, ran that kind of Judeophobic pornographic hatred. It means that the avalanche of anti-Semitism in European journalism is deeper than thought.
All the largest Europe's newspapers today indict an entire people, the Israeli Jews, by fomenting economic, religious and political blood libels; they indicate the targets for the Arab terrorists (the 'gushim' - groups - in Judea and Samaria, beginning with the "hilltop youth"); they compare Gaza to Guernica, Jenin to Katyn and the security fence to the Warsaw Ghetto; they reinvent the history of the Holy Land to proclaim that Jewish sovereignty is a nefarious plot.
When legions of “Arab martyrs” started blowing themselves up in the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Afula and Karnei Shomron, - that was when The Guardian daily newspaper ran an editorial titled “Israel Has No Right to Exist".
Take the most famous European cultural magazine, loved by academics, diplomats, intellectuals. It is the London Review of Books, the pillar of British chattering classes. The magazine runs essays written by Tom Paulin, an Irish poet who recommended that “Brooklyn-born settlers be shot dead". Another author run in the magazine is Rashid Khalidi, who called "legitimate resistance."
An even more moderate newspaper, The Telegraph, recently ran an article written by the former PLO foreign minister Nabeel Shaath. The daily's Jerusalem reporter is Adrian Blomfield, whose articles are consistently hostile to Israel.
The third largest UK daily, The Independent, is proud of being openly anti-Israel. One of its recent entries was titled "Israel is new South Africa".
The Economist's correspondents have entrance to decision-makers on all levels in Washington and Europe. The magazine presented the Israeli government’s generous plan for resettlement of Bedouin into cities - opposed by many Israelis as giving away the Negev - as part of a program driven by ethnic chauvinism. A week after the terrorist massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar, The Economist ran a cartoon comparing Israel’s construction of 400 apartments in the “settlement blocs” to Bashar el Assad, who massacred his own people.
In October 7, 2000, when Israeli restaurants and buses began to blow up, The Economist wrote that “Israel is a superior country with superior people: its talents are above the ordinary. But it has to abate its greed for other people’s land”.
In France, the largest daily Le Monde has reached embarassing levels of anti-Israel hysteria. In the article “Israel-Palestine: The Cancer", the state of Israel and the Jewish people are implicitly compared to Nazi Germany and Tsarist Russia.
But also the more centrist French weekly journal Le Nouvel Observateur published an appalling blood libel. It said Israeli soldiers rape Palestinian women, so that their relatives will kill them to preserve ''family honor".
Sweden's largest daily newspaper, the left-leaning Aftonbladet, charged that Israeli soldiers are abducting Palestinian Arabs in order to steal their organs. In a famous 2006 op-ed for Aftenposten, sarcastically titled “God’s Chosen People”, Jostein Gaarder, the author of the literary phenomenon “Sophie’s World”, wrote that “we no longer recognize the state of Israel, we don’t believe in the idea of God’s chosen people, to present oneself as God’s chosen people is not just stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity”.
A drawing was published by Norway’s largest newspaper, Dagbladet, in which cartoonist Finn Graff depicted Palestinian terrorists being released for Gilad Shalit into another “prison” - Gaza, and inserted the Buchenwald KZ lager insignia: “Jedem das Seine” (to each what he deserves).
Italy’s media, too, is becoming more and more anti-Jewish. Sergio Romano, a former ambassador and editorial contributor to the most important Italian newspaper, Il Corriere della sera, called Israel “a war-mongering, imperialist, arrogant nation” and “an unscrupulous liar.” Barbara Spinelli, the leading journalist for La Repubblica, the most popular daily in Italy, wrote that “Israel constitutes a scandal…for the way in which Moses’ religion inhabits our planet.” She also attacked the “dual and contradictory loyalty” of the Jews.
In the Netherlands, the Christian daily Trouw ran an article about prenatal care in Israel entitled: “The chosen people have to be perfect”.
Many anti-Semitic comments are based on the misunderstood concept of Jews as the "chosen people". The Bible calls Jews "chosen" only because they alone are entrusted to keep the 613 commandments of the Torah, but anti-Semites see it as self-importance.
Christina Patterson attacked the Jews in a column for The Independent: “I didn’t realize that a purchase by a goy was a crime to be punished with monosyllabic terseness, or that bus seats were a potential source of contamination, or that road signs, and parking restrictions, were for people who hadn’t been chosen by God.”
In Spain the largest newspaper El Mundo published a piece by columnist Antonio Gala, titled “Chosen People,” which blamed Jews’ “greed” and “scorn for other peoples” for the persecution of Jews throughout history. Referring to Israel, El Mundo wrote: “Without putting a stop to avarice and false accounts, the Jewish people will succumb once more".
On 20 April 2003, one of the leading Spanish newspapers, La Razon, published an article with the title "The Name of the Problem is Israel".
My fellow journalists are the best vehicle for Palestinian and Islamic anti-Semitism. Europe's media is sick, perverted and wants to cannibalize the Jews. I am personally proud of not belonging to this smelly club.