Anti-Sharon > Anti-Israel > Anti-SemiticMuch condemnation emanating from the blogosphere today toward a statement made by a British newspaper writer:
I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it.Richard Ingrams's assumption is that a Jewish person who supports Israel's government, or a gay person who defends a gay bishop (why "so-called"? he's gay, ain't he?) must have nothing worthwhile to say.
Too few people in this modern world are prepared to declare an interest when it comes to this kind of thing. It would be enormously helpful, for example, if those clerics and journalists who have been defending Canon Jeffrey John, the so-called gay bishop, were to tell us whether they themselves are gay. Some do, but more don't.
The issue arises partly because, in both cases, these people are often accusing the other side of being prejudiced and biased - we are either homophobes or anti-Semites.
It's an oddly self-contradicting remark, since Ingrams doesn't read pro-Israel letters from people whom he knows to be Jews, but he thinks that defenders of a gay bishop should declare their own sexual orientation.
The pro-Israel Jews have done what he asks, -- "declare[d] an interest when it come to this kind of thing" -- by signing a "Jewish name." He uses the information to discount their opinion, and presumably if the pro-gay people declared themselves to be gay, he would do the same to them.
In other words, anyone Ingrams deems to have a bias due to ethnic/religious status or sexual orientation cannot be part of the debate, and their accusations of prejudice are unworthy of notice because they take the prejudice personally.
Unfortunately, Ingrams's anti-semitism is the kind that is becoming common with non-Muslim Europeans. They are not anti-Jewish -- except when it comes to Israel.
There was a scandal recently about an Oxford professor who refused to accept a graduate student because the candidate was Israeli. I don't think this would have happened had it been an American, Australian, French etc. Jew, but Israeli Jews are increasingly becoming personas non grata in Europe.
I have tried to distinguish between those who are anti-semitic and anti-Israel.
However, these Europeans make it hard to draw a line between the two, because their anti-semitism is based in their anti-Israelism. They try to excuse what has grown into bigotry because they claim it is politically based.