Tzipi Hotovely ...
Enter a hypocrite: “Priti Patel, the UK home secretary, has given support to a police investigation of protests outside the London School of Economics on Tuesday night that led to the Israeli ambassador being led away at speed with heavy police protection after addressing a meeting with students”. That’s the same Priti Patel that very pointedly talked about the North London Metropolitan Elite. Which is an anti-Semitic dog whistle.
So it was no surprise that Ms Patel later said “she was ‘disgusted’ by the treatment of the Israeli ambassador, and that antisemitism had no place in Britain”. Except, maybe, that from herself and her Tory colleagues. And then came those seemingly desperate to ingratiate themselves with Ms Hotovely against peaceful protesters.
... and the kind of supporter she can do without
The tally of useful idiocy included, sadly, senior Labour figures Lisa Nandy and Nick Thomas Symonds, both of whom should have known better, with the latter claiming the protests indicated the presence of anti-Semitism. Owen Jones, who like me has despaired at the behaviour of some shadow cabinet members recently, made the obvious point.
“Tzipi Hotovely is a right wing extremist who supports the annexation of all Palestinian land and describes the 'nakba' - the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 - as an ‘Arab lie’. She's the Ambassador of a state deemed by Human Rights Watch to practice Apartheid”. Also, the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, that so many excusing the actions of the Israeli Government are so keen to cite, makes clear that criticism of Israel, as one might criticise any other country and its Government, is not anti-Semitic.
By this point it was clear that, not for the first time recently, Israel and its supporters were losing the battle for hearts and minds. Who would bring some redress? Sadly, when the cavalry appeared, it was none other than David Collier, whose selective anti-racism - in other words, the worst kind of anti-racism - I considered not so long ago.
Off the end of the pier he went in no style at all. “The protests against Zionist Jewish speakers on campus are organised and led by Islamist thugs who threaten violence and try to no-platform anyone they disagree with.This is not Syria. This behaviour has NO PLACE in the UK and it is time our government dealt with it”. There was more.
“Dear Islamist thugs … This is the UK. Jewish women are allowed to speak here freely. Even on campus … I know it goes against the way things are done in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan etc, but it is how we do things in the UK … We call it D.E.M.O.C.R.A.C.Y … Best wishes, David”. Not only selectively anti-racist, but selectively pro-racist, too.
Because Collier is dabbling here in a little Islamophobia. Worse, those who protested Ms Hotovely’s LSE appearance included Jews, some of whom were women. Ms Hotovely did not have her freedom of speech circumscribed. And there was no violence.
With friends like David Collier, the state of Israel is in no need of any more enemies.
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