Friday, November 13, 2015

Op-Ed: How to post an antisemitic conspiracy theory and get away with it (Scottish edition)

Earlier this week, Sandra White, an MP in the Scottish parliament, retweeted an antisemitic conspiracy theory claiming that Israel is paying off Murdoch and Rothschild with oil in return for war on Syria.

Rothschild is obviously Jewish, and Murdoch is considered Jewish by the antisemitic-conspiracy theorists crowd.

This tweet was accompanied by two pictures illustrating the point.  

For some reason, which I really fail to understand, the media and the Jewish community pounced on the images, and completely ignored the content of the post.

Even those that do pay a bit of attention, fail to mention the fact that it's virulently antisemitic.  This is how the Guardian describes it
a tweet that linked to an article by the nationalist former diplomat Craig Murray on the Syrian oil interests of Rupert Murdoch and Lord Rothschild.
Sounds perfectly legit, doesn't it?

Sandra White, of course, apologized.   Notice that in her apology, she makes no mention of the actual content of the retweeet.  She just mentioned the 'offensive image':
I would like to take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly for the offence that has been caused by my accidental retweeting of this offensive image which I too find repellent and offensive.
I had not intended to retweet this picture, and was horrified to learn that I had done so. As soon as this was brought to my attention, I deleted the tweet.

Imagine an MP retweeting a racist image linking to a virulently racist article.  Does anybody think that "oops" would be an acceptable apology?   If she didn't notice the image, then what did she notice when she decided to retweet an article with the obviously antisemitic title: "Why Rothschild and Murdoch Push for War"?

What made her push the "retweet" button?

We'll never know, because nobody cares.  Nobody demanded she own up to the fact that she tweets antisemitic conspiracy theories.  In the UK, we're only concerned about offensive images.  We're not really concerned about completely loony theories claiming a link between worldwide Jewry, Israel and war.

I don't think Sandra White is antisemitic.  However, she can't recognize antisemitism when it hits her in the face, and therefore she's a much more serious risk to the Jewish community.  She'll continue to spread lies and hatred, while being completely unaware that they're antisemitic incitement.    All she has to do is say "oops" if she's ever discovered again and the media and her party and even the Jewish community will rush to accept her apology.

Because, really, it's not her fault she's stupid, is it?

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