All forms of racism are unacceptable. But what the attacks on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have shown is that there are some out there who consider some forms of racism to be less unacceptable than others.This brings us to the outpourings of Stephen Pollard, who, as editor of the Jewish Chronicle, holds a position of great responsibility.
Pollard has been in the vanguard of those condemning Corbyn and his leadership; no utterance made by the Labour leader on the subject of alleged anti-Semitism can be allowed to pass without the JC editor passing severely adverse comment on it. If only he could be consistent when it comes to other forms of racism - like Islamophobia.
This inconsistency was highlighted by Abi Wilkinson, who noted “I missed this Stephen Pollard piece from a couple of days ago, praising Douglas Murray's book about the threat of mass migration to Europe”. And there is Pollard, happily quoting Doug Murray The K talking of “the movement of millions of people into a guilty, jaded and dying culture”. What if it had been “German Jews pouring into this country”?
Mehdi Hasan mused “Imagine Pollard's response (‘existential threat’!!) if Jeremy Corbyn or anyone else from Labour reviewed+praised a book by a guy who said ‘conditions for Jews in Europe must be made harder across the board’”. Murray said “Muslims”, but the point is well made. Hasan also notes “JC editor Pollard, in between leading a crusade against anti-Jewish bigotry inside Labour, happily promotes and endorses a book by a guy whose views on Muslims are so extreme that the Tory Party front bench once cut ties with him”.
Shane McElligott was not surprised. “No surprise. In his 2009 New York Times review of a book by Bruce Bawer, Pollard endorsed the notion that ‘liberal appeasement’ is paving the way for a ‘replacement’ of European civilization by radical Islamist ideology”. The old racist “replacement” one. And Michael Rosen had another reminder of Pollard’s standards.
“Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, scourge of Corbyn: ‘[Rupert] Murdoch is a man who has done more to democratise news, sport and leisure than any of his opponents’ and who is the same Murdoch who tweeted about the 'Jewish-owned press’”.
And that attack on Corbyn for putting out an article just before the start of Shabbat? The Tweeter known as The Prole Star reminded us “Here's when Stephen Pollard was forced to apologise for his racist and Islamophobic article about Islam Expo - he posted the apology on a Friday, the Muslim holy day”. Ms Wilkinson thought all of this a bit obvious.
“It's really come to something when highlighting an overtly racist article from a prominent journalist is treated as somehow suspicious. I know that anti-migrant, anti-Muslim sentiment is extremely normalised, but come on”. And it wasn’t an isolated incident.
Pollard himself has guaranteed that: “Time to wheel out my regular comment: It's Arsenal v Chelsea tonight, the football version of the Iran/Iraq war when you want both sides to lose”. What does Wikipedia tell us about that conflict? “An estimated 500,000 Iraqi and Iranian soldiers died, in addition to a similar number of civilians”.
Still, they were only Muslims, eh? Stephen Pollard needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror. And then ask himself why he is standing in an extremely draughty glasshouse.
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