One area where the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog pretend to excel is to be hot on perceived anti-semitism, even if their focus is usually on discrediting the Labour Party. So it was that last January they put the boot in on broadcaster Al-Jazeera over a series called “The Lobby”, about the pro-Israel lobby and how politicians are influenced - plus how some are attacked and smeared.
Behold the great and wise being sitting in judgment on others
Almost as soon as the programmes were broadcast, The Great Guido was in full smear mode, telling readers “Al-Jazeera Over-Eggs Israeli Conspiracy Sting … Al-Jazeera Jumps The Shark”. The tone was dismissive, with the hint that Al-Jazeera had indulged in a little anti-Semitism. “Was it a ‘plot’ to ‘take down’ a Tory minister? No. Maria Strizzolo was a very junior aide” they told. Ms Strizzolo resigned her post as a result of the exposé.
There was more. “Part two of the sting caught [Israeli diplomat Shai] Masot telling Labour Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan that he could fund trips for MPs to Israel. If you believe Al-Jazeera this is proof of a million pound Israeli conspiracy to buy off British MPs. Again they’ve over-egged it”. Nothing to see here, clearly. So no exploration of the fact that Masot was called back to Israel and forced to resign his post, then.
And yet more. “Today brings part three: the Israeli embassy helped Jewish students campaign against Malia Bouattia’s election as NUS president. Seriously? … Noteworthy that the Qatari-funded Al-Jazeera is siding with an alleged anti-Semite while peddling a bunch of far-fetched anti-Israel conspiracies in a series titled ‘The Lobby’ (that old trope)”. No mention that ambassador Mark Regev apologised to the Government over it all.
But what the Fawkes massive is not telling its readers is, as the Guardian has reported, “Ofcom has cleared al-Jazeera of antisemitism and breaching impartiality rules over an undercover investigation that caught an Israeli embassy official plotting to ‘take down’ British MPs regarded as hostile towards Israel … The media regulator investigated the Qatar-based broadcaster after receiving complaints about The Lobby, a four-part documentary investigating the political influence of the Israeli embassy in Britain”.
What The Great Guido is also not telling readers is that it managed to mount a series of smears against Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger, but ignore completely the anti-Semitic attacks against her and the conviction of two sad individuals as a result.
And what the Fawkes rabble is also not telling readers is that it has not been averse to dispensing occasional anti-Semitic tropes of its own, including describing then Labour leader Ed Miliband as “other-wordly” and “Crucifixion material”, and on another occasion claiming Miliband “dances at the despatch box like a spastic marionette” with “his convulsive string master taking another swig of the meths”.
Nor has there been so much as a peep from the Fawkes blog about Al-Jazeera being cleared by Ofcom (you can see the judgment HERE). As so often, The Great Guido is good at throwing around suggestions of anti-Semitism, but not at all good at keeping well away from the practice himself. Another fine mess, once again.