Indeed, this formulation offers a convenient get-out for the Irish Times when it comes to addressing its and particularly Eamonn McCann’s vicious treatment of Israel (and in McCann’s last outing, the Jewish religion). Clearly, judging by the anti-Israel output of the Irish Times (and many other media outlets), the accusation that Israel’s supporters have successfully “muzzled” many Israel critics doesn’t hold any water.
As for the reference to the “Israel lobby” in the U.S., the Irish Times is echoing the rantings of other anti-Israel obsessives who believe that the hidden hand of Jewish or Zionist power has its grip on the U.S. body politic.
Regarding McCann’s latest piece, the headline tells the story:
We are all anti-Semites now, including US secretary of state John Kerry. That’s according to a clutch of ministers in Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, plus a mixum-gatherum of colonial settlers, super-Zionists and most US senators.
McCann plays rather loose with the truth when he claims that Israeli minister Naftali Bennett had “come within an inch of smearing Kerry as an anti-Semite.” In fact, Bennett was referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as anti-Semitic rather than Kerry himself.
As for the charge by the Irish Times that Israel’s defenders use the anti-Semitism charge for their own nefarious ends, the public criticism against one MK by the Anti-Defamation League for implying that Kerry’s actions may have “anti-Semitic undertones” is a good example of why the Irish Times’ charge is false.
That Eamonn McCann and the Irish Times felt it necessary to clutch at the very few and unrepresentative examples they could find to fit their distorted formula speaks volumes for their motivations. By doing so they have conveniently changed the topic away from the real conversation – McCann’s and the Irish Times’ continued demonization of Israel.