March 10, 2013

Not so "brave" Ed Miliband didn't actually use the Z word

Apparently Ed Miliband's office has claimed that his words, reported, incidentally in reported speech, to the effect that he is a "zionist" were misinterpreted.

Here's some zionist in the Daily Telegraph, Dan Hodges:
As I suspected, Ed Miliband is no longer a Zionist. According to the Labour leader’s office, his comments at last night’s Board of Deputies event were misinterpreted. Asked at the event whether he was a Zionist Miliband reportedly responded, “Yes, I am a supporter of Israel”. But I’m told he wasn’t using the word Zionist to describe himself, but merely reaffirming his strong support for the state of Israel, and warning that we should – in the words of a Labour source – be “intolerant of those who questions [sic] Israel’s right to exist”.
This will no doubt disappoint some members of the Jewish community. But the significance of the general thrust of Miliband’s comments shouldn’t be overlooked.
Obviously since the Jewish community in the UK consists of hundreds of thousands of individuals there is nothing anyone can say about anything that won't "disappoint some members of the Jewish community".  So that was a rather stupid thing to say but I did say that this Dan Hodges chap is a zionist, unlike Ed's mother, Marion Kozak, who may well be disappointed in her son whatever he calls his support for Israel.

In fact if you follow the link at the start of the blockquote, ok, here it is again, you will see that this Dan Hodges chap claims that it is "brave and welcome" for Ed to claim to be a "zionist" but that he would probably retreat from that within 24 hours.  Now, according to his office, he was simply saying that Israel has a right to exist.  Now if you look at what he actually said, it is true, that he didn't say "I am a zionist" but he still appears to have said "yes" when asked "are you a zionist?"  Clearly the Jewish Chronicle was being slippery by claiming that he said that he was a zionist. Here's The JC:
He said that he considered himself a Zionist 
Looking at the site today there's no correction or clarification so far.

But now perhaps this Dan Hodges is being equally slippery in not actually quoting the question Ed was asked.
Asked at the event whether he was a Zionist Miliband reportedly responded, “Yes, I am a supporter of Israel”
But then of course we have the slipperiness of Ed himself in allowing himself to be a zionist in zionist company and a non-zionist in non-zionist company.

So the remaining question is how does being a zionist differ from supporting Israel's "right to exist"?  I suspect it is down to the fact that zionism is the idea that there should be a state specifically for Jews whereas the idea that Israel has a "right to exist" could simply mean that it's ok for a state to be called "Israel".  But then why does Miliband say that he is "“intolerant of those who questions [sic] Israel’s right to exist”?  Oh, he didn't say it.  A "Labour source" said he said it.

And this Dan Hodges chap finds, or found, Ed Miliband's support for Israel "brave and welcome".  Obviously it takes more bravery for a careerist politician to oppose Israel and zionism than it does to support it so the idea that he was or is brave on the question of Israel is just plain stupid.  And his stance, as mealy mouthed as it now is, is clearly only welcome to zionists.

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