The Dishonest Smearing of a British Philosopher as an Anti-Semite

Yesterday, the philosopher Roger Scruton lost his largely advisory position as the head of a UK housing commission on the grounds of allegedly anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and anti-Chinese statements cited in an interview by one George Eaton, published in the New Statesman. Douglas Murray comments:

It appeared that Scruton had said that Islamophobia is “a propaganda word invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in order to stop discussion of a major issue.” Which is true. He also said that “Anybody who doesn’t think that there’s a Soros empire in Hungary has not observed the facts.” A fact which is also true.

Obviously since the British Labor party became a party of anti-Semites it has become exceptionally important to pretend that anti-Semitism is equally prevalent on the political right in Britain and that to criticize any of the actions of George Soros is in fact simply to indulge in anti-Semitism equivalent to that rolling through the Labor party. A very useful play for the political left, but wholly untrue. Anyway, I say “it appears” that Scruton said this because there seem to be a few journalistic problems here.

Though Eaton says that Scruton said the above I am not confident that this is so. Eaton . . . claims, for instance, that what Scruton said about Soros was in actual fact a quote “on Hungarian Jews,” as though Scruton had attacked all Hungarian Jews, rather than one very influential and political man who happens to be a Hungarian Jew.

Scruton’s remarks about Hungarian Jewry, it turns out, were quoted by Eaton—with liberal use of an ellipsis—from a speech Scruton had given in Hungary. A closer examination of the paragraph of the speech cited by Eaton shows that Scruton was expressing sympathy for Hungarian Jewish supporters of Soros and expressing his concerns over Hungarian anti-Semitism.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Anti-Semitism, Hungary, Labor Party (UK), Muslim Brotherhood, United Kingdom

Would an American-Backed UN Resolution Calling for a Temporary Ceasefire Undermine Israel?

Yesterday morning, the U.S. vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution, sponsored by Algeria, that demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. As an alternative, the American delegation has been circulating a draft resolution calling for a “temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as practicable, based on the formula of all hostages being released.” Benny Avni comments:

While the Israel Defense Force may be able to maintain its Gaza operations under that provision, the U.S.-proposed resolution also warns the military against proceeding with its plan to enter the southern Gaza town of Rafah. Israel says that a critical number of Hamas fighters are hiding inside tunnels and in civilian buildings at Rafah, surrounded by a number of the remaining 134 hostages.

In one paragraph, the text of the new American resolution says that the council “determines that under current circumstances a major ground offensive into Rafah would result in further harm to civilians and their further displacement including potentially into neighboring countries, which would have serious implications for regional peace and security, and therefore underscores that such a major ground offensive should not proceed under current circumstances.”

In addition to the paragraph about Rafah, the American-proposed resolution is admonishing Israel not to create a buffer zone inside Gaza. Such a narrow zone, as wide as two miles, is seen by many Israelis as a future protection against infiltration from Gaza.

Perhaps, as Robert Satloff argues, the resolution isn’t intended to forestall an IDF operation in Rafah, but only—consistent with prior statements from the Biden administration—to demand that Israel come up with a plan to move civilians out of harms way before advancing on the city.

If that is so, the resolution wouldn’t change much if passed. But why is the U.S. proposing an alternative ceasefire resolution at all? Strategically, Washington has nothing to gain from stopping Israel, its ally, from achieving a complete victory over Hamas. Why not instead pass a resolution condemning Hamas (something the Security Council has not done), calling for the release of hostages, and demanding that Qatar and Iran stop providing the group with arms and funds? Better yet, demand that these two countries—along with Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon—arrest Hamas leaders on their territory.

Surely Russia would veto such a resolution, but still, why not go on the offensive, rather than trying to come up with another UN resolution aimed at restraining Israel?

Read more at New York Sun

More about: Gaza War 2023, U.S.-Israel relationship, United Nations