How can a politician be an unswerving ally of the state of Israel, yet be blatantly anti-Semitic? Received wisdom, until recently, was that this was impossible: for starters, whoever was in power in Israel would not entertain it. But now they would, and they did: the reception for Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán by Binyamin Netanyahu has been conspicuous in its warmth. Yet Orbán is blatantly anti-Semitic.
That is clear in his demonisation of George Soros; his embrace by Israeli leaders shows that some forms of anti-Semitism are more acceptable than others. This is a precedent clearly not lost on our alleged Home Secretary Priti Patel, another fervent ally of Israel - indeed, her fervour contributed significantly to her sacking by Theresa May - who has nevertheless taken out the anti-Semitic dog whistle this week.
In her speech to the Tory conference, during which she smilingly informed her audience that she would be stripping millions of people of their hard-won rights, she said, very slowly and very deliberately, “Let me tell you this … This daughter of immigrants needs no lectures from the North London metropolitan liberal elite”.
Lawyer Adam Wagner knew exactly what that meant, and he said so. “This is an antisemitic dog whistle. Either [Priti Patel] intended it or was reckless in using it. Either way [not good]”. ITV political editor Robert Peston was more nuanced, but had come to the same conclusion: “Note to [Priti Patel]’s speech writer: you should have deleted the word ‘north’ from this trope because it has connotations I know the Home Secretary would be embarrassed by (I say this as a North Londoner born and bred)”.
Presenter Danny Wallace agreed with Wagner. “I never realised what this suggested, until the night [David Baddiel] explained it to me over a pint (we were actually in literal north London at the time) and it's never left me. PP's speech will be in the opening credits of fall-of-Britain documentaries one day”. Baddiel’s reply was also notable.
“In normal circumstances I would assume anyone using this language was speaking very very cliched code for Jews. However Pritti Patel may just be stupid enough not to know. But some people will hear the dog whistle anyway”. She’s not stupid. Just sly.
And to confirm Wagner’s and Peston’s misgivings, along came the voices of others to tell two Jews that they were wrong about anti-Semitism. Like infamous Tory councillor Stephen Canning, who sneered “That famous antismemite who was, err, sacked for being too supportive of Israel”. Viktor Orbán behaviour refers.
Then there is Sussex Friends of Israel, believed to be the voice of one Simon Cobb, who snapped “Oh leave it out. An ‘antisemitic dogwhistle’ from one of the best friends we have in Parliament? It’s the daughter of immigrants talking about Corbyn, Abbott et all. Nothing more but I think you know that!” Interesting use of the word “we” there.
And former Breitbart contributor David Atherton, who pontificated “Adam, I hope this settles the matter. The Israeli Ambassador to the UK [Mark Regev] attends the Conservative Friends of Israel event with [Priti Patel]. Nice photo of them together”.
None of which address the fact of the matter: this is blatant anti-Semitic dog-whistling.
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Anti-Semitism? Surely not. What the Tsar John Mann have to say on the matter?
As vile as zealot Patel is, isn't it a bit self-involved to make everything into a euthemism that attacks your ethnicity even when there's little or no reference to it?
Funny you should say that Anon, only yesterday I was in a bookshop skim reading a couple of pages of former lioness Eni Aloku's autobiog. She continues to claim that one of the England staff referring to her in training as 'lazy as fuck' was actually not about her poor performance and all about a stereotype stretching back to slavery in the US. Hmmm.
This phenomenon is quite common.
In his book, 'Nixon's Secrets' Roger Stone contrasts Nixon's staunch pro-Israeli stance during the Yom Kippur War with his terrible anti-Semitism.
He mentions that Nixon was strongly opposed on his staunch support for Israel by Kissinger and Schlesinger. He does not mention that they are both Jewish.
Stone is an interesting figure as he was a supporter of Nixon and later became his confidant. However, he never hesitates to criticise him when he does not agree.
"North London elite"?
Shouldn't that elite include central London and the "Surrey stockbroker belt", plus any Canary Wharf/"City" connections to the Wall Street hoodlums?
Meanwhile, I await a list of the "liberal elite". Which has somehow avoided publication since gawd knows when.
Patel?......Pah. A mere tory fart in a bottle.
For a bit of football context, try Ron Atkinson's comments about Marcel Desailly
Another point in Pitel's speech applauded by the audience was her claim to "end free movement forever" and adopt an Australia style points system for immigrants.
But one glaring problem here: before Oz had such a system immigrants were warmly invited from a shattered Europe after WW2 and 10,000s would have been denied entry if such a system were in operation then. People such as Westfield founder Sir Frank Lowy who would be deemed a terrorist with his membership of Haganah, several Nobel laureates, noted scientists, writers and so on. Even some born in Australia like brilliant physicist Alexander Prochoroff who won a Nobel for his work on lazers wouldn't have happened as his immigrant Russian revolutionary parents definitely would have never made the grade. Just another example of how Tories like Priti Patel as she smugly declared you would could whistle if you didn't have the points seem to know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
And Priti Patel lives in Islington which last time I looked, was in North London. Elites indeed.
BBFB, I remember that scandal breaking and thought Atkinson deserved everything he got in the fallout. However, and I appreciate that I may be being naive here, I don't see any racist intent in that particular comment that Aluko was so incensed by.
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