Johnson and Antisemitism
Posted on November 26, 2019
This will be a short blog as it is not difficult to explain…or it shouldn’t be.
Boris Johnson is a populist politician, we all know that. He is like a political version of Kelvin Mackenzie (former editor of The Sun) chucking around populist remarks in the newspapers who pay him good money in return for protecting their offshore accounts.
If the Jewish community were predominantly left leaning, Johnson would write articles about them wearing silly hats. He would pen an article in The Telegraph saying he finds Jews strange and can’t understand why someone would want to smash their head against a brick wall.
It’s what Johnson does. It doesn’t mean he is particularly racist, its just that he has decided (or Cummings has) that he can’t really be bothered with the serious political stuff, so he will gain power by appealing to bar stool pub bores. He doesn’t care about Jews unless they give him donations, he just wants to be PM.
Johnson knows damn well that the majority of the ‘men on the street’ don’t really know what anti-Semitism is. He knows damn well they don’t know what Zionism is either. He doesn’t care that some people might think Zionism is a twisted political ideology with ironic similarities to fascism; those people won’t vote for him anyway.
The critical part of all this is that if individuals think the current political ideology in Israel is abhorrent, it doesn’t make them antisemitic. This is all about turning people against the Labour Party. The rest is just waffling conspiracy theories with no substance.
About a year ago a chap I was doing some work with asked whether I had accepted that Corbyn was anti-Jewish. I said that I believe Corbyn is anti-Zionist, particularly under the Netanyahu regime.
He didn’t know what Zionism is. He’s a nice bloke but whilst he is not particularly interested in the Middle East, he was prepared to accept Corbyn was antisemitic because he heard a Tory MP say it on the news.
Johnson and Cummings know most people have busy lives and have better things to do than indulge in the complexities Middle Eastern politics. As a consequence, he can easily intertwine antisemitism and anti-Zionism and get away with calling Jeremy Corbyn a racist.
So he does.