Outsider smears

October 3, 2013
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After a week of analysis, comment, anger, defence and exhaustive media coverage, the Daily Mail’s attack on Ralph Miliband has given the Labour leader’s father wider name recognition than he ever enjoyed in his lifetime. Were it not for one thing, the JC would not be adding to that coverage. We do not as a matter of course report events solely because a Jew is involved. But that one thing changes everything, because it is the whiff of antisemitism that surrounds both the original piece and the subsequent Mail editorial seeking to justify it. Nothing is explicit in either. There is no direct association of Ralph Miliband’s Jewishness with his supposed hatred of Britain. But in this murky terrain there does not always need to be. Insinuation can be everything. Readers will draw their own conclusions as to whether the attack was no more than politics — distasteful or otherwise — or whether it crossed the line into antisemitism. Yet it is difficult to imagine that a newspaper with so finely trained a nose for nuance did not realise that, even if unintended, the allegations against Ralph Miliband, the outsider, could be interpreted as being allegations against Jews themselves.

Last updated: 9:58am, October 3 2013