In the fifth and final part of their series on an emergent anti-Semitism in the freedom movement that they fear will discredit it, Norman Fenton and Karen Harradine focus on how obsessed it is with Israel to the point that it ignores the actions of its enemies and genuinely globalist regimes. The series was prepared before the brutal Hamas attack on Israel on October 7. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here.
WILLINGNESS from within the freedom movement to embrace anti-Zionism is not only dangerously prejudiced and ignorant, it will fundamentally weaken it.The new championing of the persuasive communicator but a peddler of fake conspiracy theories about Jews and Israel, David Icke, will not just repel many from within the movement but discredit it from without. It is in times of great social and economic turmoil that such demagogues rise to the top. This ‘love-in’ for Icke should be seen as a red flag
Icke is a twister of the truth, not least when it comes to reporting on Israel, in ways ironically that are not dissimilar from those of the BBC. His website’s account of skirmishes in Jenin shares the BBC narrative. Both fail to put the attacks in context. Both fail to mention the activities of Iranian-backed terrorists there bent on destroying Israel. Both omit the critical information that those killed were Islamist terrorists. Both falsely call Jenin a ‘refugee camp’ when the reality is that it’s more a city than a camp. And both ignore how Hamas brutalises its own people and uses Palestinian children as human shields in their relentless jihadist war against Israel.
For all his fluency on the New World Order and Great Reset, the sympathetic tone Icke takes towards Iran and its proxies like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and his reliance on Islamist spokesmen or the Iranian regime for quotes, can’t be ignored.
Iran is a regime which persecutes women and homosexuals, pursues a globalist world order dominated by Islam and finances terror via proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah, essential to control Gaza and Lebanon in its war on Israel. Wilfully ignoring its global terror network, anti-Zionist Icke goes out of his way to portray Iran as the victim of the globalists, and Zionists and Israel as the creator of ISIS. In true Icke form, his claim is based solely on ISIS never having attacked Israel, ignoring ISIS’s responsibility for terror and rocket attacks against Israel from the Sinai Peninsula, and terror campaigns in Israel which included the murder of a member of Norman’s family in Tel Aviv.
That the self-proclaimed leader of ISIS, Iraq-born Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was a fervent devotee of the Wahhabi-Salafi interpretation of Islam, a punitive belief system which seeks a global caliphate which has no qualms about enslaving women and children, murdering Jews and slaughtering Christians, Icke does not let interfere with his ‘logic’.
Any anti-globalist should see that Iran’s 25-year economic agreement with China is a threat not only to Israel but to what’s left of global freedom and security in the West, and that it is a cynical alliance: China persecutes Muslims, Jews and Christians and is raping Africa and terrorising its neighbours. It was the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that exported authoritarian, destructive lockdowns to the rest of the world.
But never mind that, for Icke the threat is Zionism, Israel and its right of self-defence.
Holocaust denial and revisionist conspiracy theories, such as that Adolf Hitler was a ‘Zionist’, enjoying a disturbing revival in the freedom movement are other examples of this inversion. So too is questioning (disbelieving) the numbers of Jews slain, as in the recent Hamas assault and massacre, as a spurious form of ‘truth seeking’.
It is partly sheer historical and theological illiteracy, like Icke’s claim that ISIS was created and funded by Israel (a preposterous lie and another contemporary blood libel), which is also believed because Israel treated ISIS fighters wounded in the Syrian civil war. Yet the Jewish state has consistently provided medical treatment, even to wounded terrorists who have massacred Israeli civilians. Using Israel’s humanity as a weapon against it is a particularly pernicious ploy.
Typically, anti-Israel conspiracy theorists rarely, if ever,mention the genuine conspiracy of which Israelis were undoubtedly the victims: the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre of Israeli athletes which could not have happened without the involvement of the German government (who ensured the terrorists responsible were subsequently freed), and the 2001 shooting down of Flight 1812 en route from Tel Aviv to Siberia.
Despite their dislike of Marxism, many in the freedom movement fail to recognise that the anti-Semitism being disseminated echoes that of Black Lives Matter (BLM), which is partly funded by the globalist CCP and Open Society Foundations (OSF) that the freedom movement’s prime purpose is to resist.
One example is the libel that Israel is committing a deliberate genocide against Palestinians. Population figures should not be needed to point out that it is not.
Such misdirected and ill-informed rage over Israel and Jews serves only to divert attention away from the real violation of people’s democratic rights and freedoms – the ready transfer of authority, power and wealth from governments to supra-national elites and organisations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, OSF, the World Economic Forum, the United Nations and its subsidiaries such as the World Health Organization.
Anti-Zionism has long been a prerequisite for, indeed a proof of, progressive liberal anti-racist credentials. Yet the simple fact is that Israeli laws enshrine equality between races, religions and sexes in a way that is not even conceivable in a theocratic Islamic state.
So we challenge those who promulgate anti-Zionism to ask themselves why they have so eagerly fallen for prejudices and smears generated by the very organisations that they are otherwise so sceptical about?
We ask them why anyone who accepts or believes that Israel has the right to exist is labelled as ‘pro-Israel’ as though it were a crime and is therefore part of a Zionist conspiracy to take over the world. What or who is the basis for it?
There is little doubt that the many of those in the freedom movement on Twitter are convinced that the BBC and other MSM are totally pro-Israel and are therefore using the inverse of our argument – that the media is promoting a pro-Israel narrative just as it promoted pro-lockdown, pro-vaccines and pro-Ukraine war narratives and for the same reasons.
But there are two fundamental flaws to this argument. One is that the MSM is not uniform in this case. The BBC (like the Guardian and Sky News) is pro-Palestinian and has had an anti-Israel stance for years. Their reporting in recent days underlines this again.
The second is that front-page government condemnations of Hamas and shows of solidarity with Israel as pictured in the Times, the Mail and the Telegraph in fact belie government policy and stance. This was not the case with Covid, lockdowns or Ukraine where everything was in lockstep. The fact is the Foreign Office is as pro-Arab as it has been, and is pro-EU.
Meanwhile ill-informed social media commentators unthinkingly parrot Private Eye type dog whistling – see its most recent front page ‘revenge’ (not self-defence) meme, and the awful slanders on Israeli Soldiers shared across social media.
We did not risk our livelihoods and academic reputations in standing out against the climate change lies and health fascism only to witness a terrifying anti-Semitic resurgence against the right of Israel and, by definition, of Jews to exist.