A truly stupid idea

April 16, 2015 17:10

We are all familiar with the attempts by some antisemites to hide their hatred of Jews by couching it in attacks on “Israel” or “Zionism” — just as when criticism of the “Israel lobby” is used as code for the idea that Jews control foreign policy. It should go without saying that support for, and understanding of, Israel’s case is not confined to Jews — and many of Israel’s best advocates are not Jewish. That matters, given how happily Israel’s enemies assert that support for Israel is in some way determined by Jews. It is important that no one is ever able to make that libellous claim with even a hint of accuracy. In that context, it is hard to imagine a more foolish idea than the establishment of what has been called a “communal hub”, which would bring BICOM under the same roof as the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and UJIA. BICOM is needed now more than ever –— and after the success of the We Believe In Israel conference it is on a high. But BICOM’s credibility would be destroyed if it was to be physically a part of the Jewish community’s ‘HQ’. Worse, Israel’s enemies would be handed a totally avoidable victory, as their malevolent claim that Israel advocacy is some sort of front for Jewish advocacy would be given a veneer of plausibility. At the moment, such a move is only an idea. It is a terrible one, and should be dropped immediately.

He was only a Nazi

Gunter Grass may have had literary merit but he was also a Nazi, having served proudly and freely as a member of the Waffen SS. This fact was simply swept aside as inconvenient by many of the arts establishment in their gushing tributes. The BBC’s arts editor, Will Gompertz, briefly referred to his Nazi past as having caused “controversy” before returning to Grass’ literary magnificence. Had he been found to have been a paedophile, one imagines the tone would have been rather different.

April 16, 2015 17:10

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