On the 1st of September 2014, the Independent published the following article on its website.
Whilst there are valid criticisms to be made of Israeli foreign policy, this must not be allowed to spill into criticism of Jews who may have nothing to do with, or even be opposed to, Israeli actions on the basis of their Jewish identity, and this article frequently violates this principle.
It uses "Jewish" as a synonym for "Zionist" and then goes on to allege that this lobby exerts undue control over the British government. This, according to the EUMC Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, is clearly anti-Semitic. She holds that a Jewish lobby is responsible for the misdeeds of Israel, and infers that Jews are more loyal to this state than to their own countries.
She also relies on tired anti-Semitic canards such as a "multi tentacled Israeli lobby", having previously conflated the Israeli lobby with the Jewish one.
This violates the PCC's Code of Conduct under article 12 which prohibits, amongst other things, perjorative reference to an individual's religion.
It is also worth noting that the reference to "tentacled" cliques is a classic anti-Semitic trope: Nazi propaganda frequently depicted Jewish people as octopi with sprawling tentacles grasping over the globe, and Hillel's column is an extremely offensive reference to this.
Criticism of powerful lobbies is needed in our societies- it is those who wield the most influence that must be held to account. Yet this is possible without invoking racist and prejudiced stereotypes. At a time when European Jews are coming under increased attack, this is a grossly irresponsible article to publish. The Independent must apologise.
- The Independent
Apologise for publishing Mira Bar Hillel's anti-Semitic column about the "tentacled Jewish lobby"
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