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

April 11 2019

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.

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

 

At the UN, Nikki Haley Told the Truth about Israel—and the World Didn’t Burn Down

April 22 2019

Although Nikki Haley had never been to Israel when she took the position of American ambassador to the UN, and had no prior foreign-policy experience, she distinguished herself as one of the most capable and vigorous defenders of the Jewish state ever to hold the position. Jon Lerner, who served as Haley’s deputy during her ambassadorship, sees the key to her success—regarding both Israel and many other matters—in her refusal to abide by the polite fictions that the institution holds sacred:

Myths are sometimes assets in international relations. The fiction that Taiwan is not an independent country, for example, allows [the U.S.] to sustain [its] relationship with China. In other cases, however, myths can create serious problems. On Israel–Palestinian issues, the Trump administration was determined to test some mythical propositions that many had come to take for granted, and, in some cases, to refute them. Haley’s prominence at the UN arose in large part from a conscious choice to reject myths that had pervaded diplomacy on Israel–Palestinian issues for decades. . . .

[For instance], U.S. presidents were intimidated by the argument that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would trigger violent explosions throughout the Muslim world. President Trump and key colleagues doubted this, and they turned out to be right. Violent reaction in the Palestinian territories was limited, and there was virtually none elsewhere in Arab and Islamic countries. . . .

It turns out that the United States can support Israel strongly and still work closely with Arab states to promote common interests like opposing Iranian threats. The Arab street is not narrowly Israel-minded and is not as volatile as long believed. The sky won’t fall if the U.S. stops funding UN sacred cows like the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA). Even if future U.S. administrations revert to the policies of the past, these old assumptions will remain disproved. That is a valuable accomplishment that will last long after Nikki Haley’s UN tenure.

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More about: Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, United Nations, US-Israel relations