February 19, 2005

Rod Liddle: Anti-capitalism is anti-semitic and pro-Islamic

I haven't read much of Rod Liddle's stuff but someone emailed me the link to this absurd article, headed "Why Labour does not need the Jews". The main thrust of the article is that Jews are now such a small minority their votes aren't worth pitching for, unlike the good old days when Jewish votes were politically significant and overwhelmingly Labour. Which, if true, would also mean that Jewish votes weren't worth pitching for. But he doesn't let such logic distract him. He then goes on an oddysey around the various things that Labourites have done to offend Jews. So we see posters portraying Michael Howard and Oliver Letwin as flying pigs, a Faginesque caricature of Michael Howard, and an article by a Labour Minister in, heaven forbid! Muslim News. Of course, since it's the pretext for the article, Ken Livingstone's "give a man a uniform" jibe doesn't escape scrutiny here. For Liddle, this was indicative of Ken's arrogance and offensiveness but:

There may, too, have been some of that unconscious anti-Semitism which has historically infested the far Left; many psychoanalysts believe that the Left’s aversion to capitalism is simply a displaced loathing of Jews.
Did you catch that? "Displaced loathing of Jews?" I've seen this in Melanie Phillips's writing as well. There is no such thing as a sincerely held belief that capitalism isn't nice, on account of, say, inequality, hardship, exploitation, homelessness, and so on. No, it's a "displaced loathing of Jews." The downside of capitalism has had millions of Jews working towards its downfall, fighting and dying in revolutions. But for Liddle, the essence of the Jew is capitalism. And therefore to oppose capitalism is to oppose Jews. Now I can live with there being one. Melanie Phillips in the media, but now there are two. This really is too much.

But where was I?

Ah yes. For Liddle, since they are not worth courting, it doesn't hurt to offend Jews and since we all know that Muslims hate Jews, the more a party offends Jews, the more Muslim votes they will get. Then we get Liddle's take on why Labour politicians "defend" Muslim women's "right" (his quotes not mine) to wear a head covering. Apparently, in Liddle world, Muslim women must be forced to wear the hejab, because, after all, they can't possibly enjoy such a manifestly inferior culture. Taking the unconscious anti-semitism and the cultural tolerance together with the invitation to the Islamic cleric, al-Qaradawi, Liddle then tells us that "there is nothing Labour won’t do to protect its Muslim vote". He doesn't explain why Labour still supports Israel, why Blair wouldn't lay a wreath at Arafat's grave or why Blair won't apologise for the war in Iraq or withdraw the troops from there. He does though, tell us that the "reason [for this appeasement] is very, very simple". It's the fact that "Muslims have always tended to vote en bloc". That's right, the workers, the businessmen, the landlords, the whole rotten lot. In fairness, according to Liddle, in the good old days, so did Jews.

But now we live in the bad new days with a large Muslim population. Jews are being harrassed, and abused by Labour, because whilst,
there are no opinion polls which show that Muslim voters, moderate or less moderate, [ie the whole rotten lot] leap up and down with glee when Labour politicians gratuitously offend the Jews...my guess is that they do. Is it possible, or even likely, that Labour has made the very same guess?

My predictions:

1) there will be no complaint from the Board of Deputies about Liddle accusing all Jews of being capitalists, and

2) there will be no howls of outrage in the mainstream media about his anti-Muslim racism.

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