Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Vicious and Misdirected

One of the ugliest responses to Israel’s Operation Protective Edge comes courtesy of serial Israel basher Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in The Independent under the headline “Israel’s reaction has been vicious and misdirected.”

Referring to a personal confrontation with a “spitting mad British Jewish businessman,” Alibhai-Brown writes:

This vignette dramatised the mindset of hardline Zionists. It is a combination of paranoia, indiscriminate loyalty and odium towards any person or group opposed to Israel’s violent oppression of Palestinians.


Conscientious Jews do condemn what is done even though dissidence is often avenged. (Uri Avnery, a former member of the Knesset, now a columnist, damned the barbaric revenge murder of a Palestinian boy and bombs raining on Gaza which followed the kidnap and brutal murders of three innocent Israeli teenagers.)


But most either keep quiet or approve of the tactics which last week led to the deaths of about 100 people: most of them civilians, many of them children, and some disabled residents of a care home.

Who exactly are these “hardline Zionists”? Most supporters of Israel do not display a “combination of paranoia, indiscriminate loyalty and odium.” Rather, there is a healthy debate amongst Jews, including the Anglo-Jewish community, over Israeli policies.

What Alibhai-Brown does not concede is that many of those people or groups “opposed to Israel’s violent oppression of Palestinians” are less interested in the welfare of Palestinians and more concerned with seeing the demise of Israel as a Jewish state, period.

For Alibhai-Brown, only “conscientious Jews” who condemn not only the despicable murder of an Arab teen but also the actions of Israel in defending its citizens, are good Jews in her eyes.

Intent is irrelevant is Alibhai-Brown’s hateful world as she stresses that “not a single Israeli has died” while claiming that:

David here is Palestine; Goliath the nuclear armed, unaccountable Jewish state.

She then makes a false and offensive comparison between atrocities carried out by Islamist jihadis and the legitimate actions of Israel, while once again holding British Jews to an inappropriate standard of behavior :

When Jihadis commit atrocities, British Muslims are collectively blamed, told to protest, to issue statements from mosques, to say sorry, to stop the Islamicists. Israel builds walls, grabs land, introduces racist rules, imprisons Palestinian children, uses grotesque force and gets undeclared donations from British Zionists, and British Jews are not asked to march, or issue condemnations or promises.

Then comes the abuse of the Holocaust along with the implication that Israel is a colonialist enterprise:

The Holocaust – one of the most obscene, inhumane pogroms in world history – is now used as a guarantee of perpetual indemnity by a state which was to be a sanctuary and an exemplar of survival, dignity and morality. Israel’s leadership has discarded moral sense and wants to eliminate Palestinians altogether from the pitifully small bits of land they live in. They have learnt the wrong lessons from their own history and seem to be modelling themselves on Europeans who took over Australia,North and South America.

Alibhai-Brown concludes by attacking the “governments of the US, Canada and the UK, various Western political parties and the EU” who have, in her eyes, not done enough to oppose Israel’s actions, which she describes as “evil”:

In past conflicts and wars, collaborators were seen for what they were – people who facilitated evil. So it is with our times. Name them. Shame them.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown should be named and shamed for a particularly vicious piece of writing that not only attacks Israel but also the legitimate right of British Jews to support the country.

You can send your considered comments to The Independent – letters@independent.co.uk – remembering to include your name, postal address and daytime telephone number for a chance of publication.

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Image: CC BY Wikimedia Commons/Simon Veit-Wilson