There is nothing wrong with this cartoon

Netanyahu_cartoon

From Haaretz

…this was not anti-Semitic by any standard. Here are four reasons why.

1. It is not directed at Jews: There is absolutely nothing in the cartoon which identifies its subject as a Jew. No Star of David or kippa, and though some commentators have claimed Netanyahu’s nose in the cartoon is over-sized, at most this is in line with Scarfe’s style (and that of cartoonists) of slightly exaggerating physical features. Jew-noses are prevalent in truly anti-Semitic cartoons that routinely appear in Arab newspapers – you can find them easily on the web. They are big, bulbous and hooked snouts, and look nothing like Netanyahu’s nose a-la-Scarfe. Furthermore, Netanyahu is an Israeli politician who was just elected by a quarter of Israeli voters, not a Jewish symbol or a global representative of the Jews.

2. It does not use Holocaust imagery: It has become generally accepted – justifiably I think – that comparing Israel’s leaders and policies to those of the Third Reich is borderline, if not full-on anti-Semitism. Not only because there is no comparable genocide in human history, but because choosing it to describe the actions of the Jewish state is a nasty slur identifying Israelis as the successors of the Holocaust’s victims turned into perpetrators of a second Holocaust. But there is nothing in Scarfe’s cartoon that can put the Holocaust in mind. Perhaps someone thinks that the wall should remind us of the ghetto, but don’t forget, Scarfe is the original designer of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Should the Sunday Times have not published the cartoon on International Holocaust Memorial Day? Only if one believes that is a day in which Israeli politicians have immunity from being caricatured. Such a belief would certainly cheapen the memory of the Shoah. The Sunday Times, as it names indicates, appears only on Sundays and this was the end of elections week in Israel – when else did you expect them to feature a cartoon of Netanyahu?

3. There was no discrimination: If Gerald Scarfe had been a benign and gentle artist, treating the subjects of his cartoons with due respect and reverence, sharpening his pencil only on Israeli and Jewish figures, there would be grounds here for assuming he was tainted by the most ancient of hatreds. Anyone who has had even a casual glance at Scarfe’s oeuvre of over half a century knows that is not the case. Netanyahu’s depiction is grossly offensive and unfair, but that is only par for the course for any politician when Scarfe is at his drawing-board. Scarfe has spent his entire career viciously lampooning the high and mighty – Netanyahu is in illustrious company.

4. This is not what a blood libel looks like: Some have claimed that the blood-red cement Netanyahu is using in the cartoon to build his wall indicates a blood libel motif. Well of course it’s blood but is anyone seriously demanding that no cartoon reference to Israeli or Jewish figures can contain a red fluid? The classic European blood libel, like many other classic European creations, had a strict set of images which must always contain a cherubic gentile child sacrificed by those perfidious Jews, his blood to be used for ritual purposes. It was a direct continuation of the Christ-killer myth. Scarfe’s cartoon has blood-cement but no blood libel components – it almost seems he was careful not to include any small children among his Palestinian figures (one of the eight is arguably an adolescent) so as not to have any sort of libel scenery. The blood libel was a terrible feature of Jewish life in Europe up until the beginning of the 20th century, and the myth still occasionally emerges from between the cracks in some East European backwaters to this day. To ascribe Scarfe’s cartoon with any of its features distorts another chapter of Jewish history.

49 comments on “There is nothing wrong with this cartoon

  1. saothar on said:

    I Heard Steve Bell on the radio this morning debating with the editor of the Jewish Chronicle about this cartoon and one of his own that he was criticised for by the pro-Israeli lobby a few months ago.

    As always, any criticism of Israeli State-sanctioned murder and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is mediated by the Zionists to the rest of the world as Anti-Semitism.

    Norman Finkelstein pretty much summed it up in his book the ‘Holocaust Industry’, when he spoke about how the memory of the Holocaust has been debased and manipulated by today’s Zionists, in order to justify both the existence of their racist state, and its treatment of the Palestinians.

    The cartoon is mild stuff, but the response from the usual suspects was very predictable.

  2. Well done John for spotting this and and posting it.

    Time is gradually running out on the Israeli demand that opposition to their dispossession and killing of the Palestinians must be regarded as anti-semitism.

  3. jack ford on said:

    Agreed. And constantly crying wolf about anti semitism where it doesn’t exist might lead to anti semitism being taken less seriously so this is also highly dangerous.

  4. Good article, pity we have to discuss it at all, it’s got to the stage now that there are that many Israeli/Zionists media manipulators either online or on the news pissing and moaning about anything negative about Israel it has become a joke, the arrogance of these people are a disgrace, the world has to remain silent while they continue to ethnically cleanse the land of the rightful owners, Israel has and will continue to profit out of the Holocaust. 6 billion a year from the UK and also the same in military equipment, 16 Billion a year from the US, and many other countries, the bully boys of the Middle East are raking it in, the Zionists are never going to let people move on or forget about the “Holocaust” because there’s just to much money to be made from it… Bastards

  5. prianikoff on said:

    #7 Don’t put the world Holocaust in inverted commas, [abuse deleted]. All Socialists should remember the Holocaust and explain why it happened, as well as opposing the opression of Palestinians.

  6. prianikoff: 7 Don’t put the world Holocaust in inverted commas, you piece of shit.

    I’ll put whatever I wish in inverted commas [abuse deleted], and the reason I did was to signify that the “Holocaust” as taken on a life of its own and is no longer something that we should remember because of the people who died, but something that is now rammed down peoples throats and used by the Israeli government as a tool to make the world feel guilty for something that happened 70 years ago and to continue to justify what they are doing… so [abuse deleted]

  7. prianikoff on said:

    Moderator: putting the world “Holocaust” in inverted commas is highly abusive, particularly if, like me, you know what concentration camp your relatives were sent to.

    CJB ought to be banned. He could always go to some Holocaust denial site and post his garbage there.

  8. prianikoff,

    You need to calm down and stop acting like a fool. I agree that the word Holocaust should never be placed in inverted commas, but really, does it justify going into hysterics?

  9. prianikoff on said:

    btw – another example of your poor moderation:-

    In the thread (SWP, what next), you deleted a comment that I made in reply to someone who parodied my family name.

    They were using it to make specious sexual insinuations. I replied to the effect that this was racist.
    You deleted my objection, but left behind a slightly modified version of the original insinuation.
    This said that I was giving “casual sex tips”, simply because I discussed honestly a topic of a sexual nature.

    Very poor moderation, given that we’ve had thousands of posts discussing a case of a sexual nature, about which hardly anyone knows the real details.

    John#11 Given you recently dishonestly accused me of “living in a bed sit”, surrounded by books by Trostsky, I wonder who needs to calm down.

  10. prianikoff: btw – another example of your poor moderation:-

    I don’t agree. You jumped from arguing re the suitability of placing the word Holocaust in inverted commas to accusing the poster responsible of Holocaust denial.

    I agree with CJB that the Holocaust has been used and abused by supporters of Israel to justify its crimes against the Palestinians, while believing as you do that this does not invalidate the necessity of remembering one of the greatest crimes in human history.

    I did not read anything in CJB’s post that equates to Holocaust denial.

  11. CJB: it’s got to the stage now that there are that many Israeli/Zionists media manipulators either online or on the news pissing and moaning about anything negative about Israel it has become a joke

    Sort of validates this statement also…

    Just because I say something negative about Israel I am now accused of Holocaust denial…Sad

  12. prianikoff: In the thread (SWP, what next), you deleted a comment that I made in reply to someone who parodied my family name.

    I did no such thing.

  13. prianikoff: In the thread (SWP, what next), you deleted a comment that I made in reply to someone who parodied my family name.
    They were using it to make specious sexual insinuations. I replied to the effect that this was racist.

    Yes your comment was ridiculous and I deleted it.

  14. Moderator: putting the world “Holocaust” in inverted commas is highly abusive, particularly if, like me, you know what concentration camp your relatives were sent to.

    Prianikoff, I guess you’re seeing a completely united management team here – it’s clear that me, John and Andy agree that aspects of your posts have been abusive.

    However: I’m the one who put the “abuse deleted” in yours – and CJB’s – posts.

    Let me explain: You can argue hard against him using quotation marks around the word ‘Holocaust’ without calling him a piece of shit. Cos you don’t know why he did it – he used the word twice in his post, once in quotes and once without. That *might* mean he has a nuanced position on the Holocaust as a historical fact, and the “Holocaust” as an ideological industry. I don’t know – but your politics are solid enough for you to be able to put a decent argument in without calling him names.

    So, his use of quotation marks isn’t offensive unless he then comes back and starts denying that the Holocaust happened. You didn’t know at the time, and since then he’s come back and given an explanation.

    I hold you to quite a high standard as it goes – I told Andy last night that I find you really interesting to read. You can do this without calling people names.

  15. Tony Collins,

    “Cos you don’t know why he did it – he used the word twice in his post, once in quotes and once without. That *might* mean he has a nuanced position on the Holocaust as a historical fact, and the “Holocaust” as an ideological industry. ”

    Its good to see this said. One can every sympathy and sensitivity to people whose relatives died in the terrible events of the Nazi genocide. But being falsely accused of falsifying history to deny the real historical genocide of European Jews is very unpleasant if you are on the receiving end of it. Some sensitivity would be welcome there also. Its a terrible libel.

  16. CJB: Good article, pity we have to discuss it at all, it’s got to the stage now that there are that many Israeli/Zionists media manipulators either online or on the news pissing and moaning about anything negative about Israel it has become a joke, the arrogance of these people are a disgrace, the world has to remain silent while they continue to ethnically cleanse the land of the rightful owners, Israel has and will continue to profit out of the Holocaust. 6 billion a year from the UK and also the same in military equipment, 16 Billion a year from the US, and many other countries, the bully boys of the Middle East are raking it in, the Zionists are never going to let people move on or forget about the “Holocaust” because there’s just to much money to be made from it… Bastards

    I’m sorry, but I only just read this comment in full, and it does indeed look anti-Semitism to me.

    It is not only the use of quotation marks for holocaust, but look at this:

    “Israeli/Zionists media manipulators

    *really* –

    And the suggestion that the Isreali state project is about greed for money?

    the Zionists are never going to let people move on or forget about the “Holocaust” because there’s just to much money to be made from it…”

    These simply are the tropes that modern Jew-hating clothes itself in.

    I can understand why John and Tony initially brushed off Prianikoff, because he has been a bit of a dick recently; and I also understand that not everyone is attunded to the subtle and nuanced way that modern anti-Semites seek to infiltrate hints and echoes of anti-Semitism into maintstream political discourse, and so Tony and JOhn wouldn;t have picked up on it – so there is absolutely no personal criticism from me of Tony or John.

    We have to be careful, someone posted up something recently that was about the history of money, and seemed unremarkable, but when I checked the source, deep in the middle of it were references to tentaces and an Octopus.

    I have no doubt after reading that comment myself that CJB is a conscious anti-Semite, deliberately seeking to slip anti-Semitic themes into the conversation, and thus seeking to normalise them, abusing the trust of those who innocently accept the comment at face value, but meanwhile CJB has slipped in a couple of anti-Semitic suggestion hoping that other people will pick up on it.

    Prianikoff still behaved like a dick though, and could have contacted us privately, and not linked it to the ridiculous idea that someone remarking that his moniker rhymes with jerk off makes them a racist. An absolutelt clear example of the boy crying wolf.

  17. redscribe: But being falsely accused of falsifying history to deny the real historical genocide of European Jews is very unpleasant if you are on the receiving end of it

    Seeing that you personally don’t even accept that an open Jew hater like Atzmon is anti-Semitic, I don’t hold much store on your opinion.

  18. Well, I hold more store with the opinion of an accomplished Jewish scholar/activist like Norton Mezvinsky, co-author (with the late Nazi-genocide survivor and heroic Isreali civil-rights fighter Israel Shahak) of the highly regarded and seminal work Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, who agrees with me on this question. I think he is a considerably greater authority on the Jewish question than you are.

    In any case, whether or not you agree with me or respect my opinion on this question is immaterial. The fact is that to say that those who disagree with you on this are in some way in favour of holocaust denial is not a matter of opinion, but of fact. It is utterly untrue and an appalling smear. I am no more in favour of holocaust denial than is Norton Mezvinsky (the idea is utterly ridiculous), and that is a matter of fact.

    Anyway, I though we agreed not to talk about this subject.

  19. Andy Newman,

    I’m afraid I tend toward agreeing with Prianikoff. Trawling the seedier end of the net, as I do, I’ve frequently seen “Holocaust” written by neo-Nazis and their ilk, so it’s a word that should not be put in quotations unless one wishes to be lumped-in with those types. I know CJB isn’t one of them but s/he should have taken greater care, perhaps by saying “…Holocaust (in the industry sense of the word)…” or something to that effect.

  20. Omar,

    Ahh, I should have read your comments more closely, Andy. I think we should be a little wary of allowing Zionists to determine rules of engagement on what does and doesn’t constitute anti-Semitism,though ( and , no, there is no implied criticism of Prianikoff in that statement).

  21. Andy Newman: I have no doubt after reading that comment myself that CJB is a conscious anti-Semite, deliberately seeking to slip anti-Semitic themes into the conversation, and thus seeking to normalise them, abusing the trust of those who innocently accept the comment at face value, but meanwhile CJB has slipped in a couple of anti-Semitic suggestion hoping that other people will pick up on it.

    I have to say Andy this statement is complete nonsense, anti-Semitism is prejudice or hatred of, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage, please tell me from what I posted relates to this, I have nothing against Jewish people as a race or people, my beef is only directed to hypocritical Israeli/Zionist government that is on one hand preaching about the horrendous treatment of the Jewish people at the hands of a fascist regime and on the other hand brazenly carrying out their own horrendous treatment of the Palestine people with no remorse or justification, I suppose the small majority of Israeli Jewish people that are protesting against their own government about the situation are Anti-Semitic as well, and lets us not forget the context of the original article in relation to my post, this is pure bullshit, just because a person doesn’t like what I said and took it out of context and decided to throw the toys out of the pram because apparently I offended him because of what his grandparents went through, I am now labelled a Anti-Semitic, I started to read and post on the blog because I assumed it was a open forum for people to express their views and open things up for debate, I see i was wrong…

  22. stephen marks on said:

    Norman Finkelstein uses ‘the holocaust’ to refer to the historical fact of the Nazi genocide, and ‘the Holocaust’ with a capital H to refer to the Zionist narrative. That is far preferable to putting ‘the Holocaust’ in quotes which is indeed common usage among deniers. And to say that instrumental Zionist use of the holocaust is mainly motivated by money is certainly to prefer an antisemitic stereotype over a serious political analysis.

    Meanwhile, to return to the main topic of the thread, an Israeli comrade has sent me this quote from the biblical prophet Micah;

    ‘they build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. (Micah, 3:10)’.

    These self-hating antisemitic Jews get everywhere!

  23. CJB: I started to read and post on the blog because I assumed it was a open forum for people to express their views and open things up for debate, I see i was wrong…

    bye then!

  24. John Grimshaw on said:

    Andy Newman: I have no doubt after reading that comment myself that CJB is a conscious anti-Semite, deliberately seeking to slip anti-Semitic themes into the conversation, and thus seeking to normalise them, abusing the trust of those who innocently accept the comment at face value, but meanwhile CJB has slipped in a couple of anti-Semitic suggestion hoping that other people will pick up on it.

    Fuckin hell> Can these people stoop so low?

  25. @27
    Andy I see you haven’t commented or explained my Anti-Semitic remarks that I apparently made, and just resorted to a juvenile statement…bravo

  26. Bizarre that this has descended into a debate about Antisemitism!

    CJB just seems like a passionate supporter of the Palestinians to me, I think it is a great leap from his comment to an accusation of holocaust denial and Antisemitism. Enough of the vocabulary police please.

    Andy Newman does appear a little irritable at present, has someone run off with his ‘Country Classics collection’ or he is getting impatient that the SWP has still not totally disbanded despite turning this great and informative site into an anti SWP propaganda domain? Get over them, they really aren’t worth it.

  27. #31 The post is ABOUT anti-semitism and whether something is or isn’t.

    The problem with spotting nuances with punctuation is that the level of grammatical correctness or consistency is very low on blogs.

    But I also noticed some of the same problems with CJB’s post as Andy did, but I’m not so quick to believe that they were down to bad faith and anti-semitism.

    The very fact that some of the ‘codes’ are subtle means that people can fall under suspicion innocently, and it is simply impossible sometimes to work out whether they are guilty of this or merely of poor judgement and lack of sensitivity.

    If a second hand bookshop sells more than the usual number of copies of Irvine books in the history section and puts the Anne Frank diary under fiction (something I once came accross many years ago), is that a sign it’s run by nazi sympathisers or merely a coincidence, particularly if it contains lafge numbers of marxist texts as well?

    What I do think however is the fact that it is more easy now to raise the question of Palestine and NOT be accused of anti-semitism means that we should be LESS tolerant of those who use the Palestinian cause to promote anti-semitism or raise it in such a way as appears to condone anti-semitism.

    Which is why for example Galloway was right to criticise that Lib Dem MP.

  28. stephen marks: to say that instrumental Zionist use of the holocaust is mainly motivated by money is certainly to prefer an antisemitic stereotype over a serious political analysis.

    OK. However Norman Finkelstein, in ‘The Holocaust Industry’ devotes a very considerable part of the book to detailing the financial exploitation of the holocaust by Israel, specifically in extorting huge sums of money from Swiss banks and channelling these funds not to actual holocaust survivors but to Zionist organisations.

  29. comment 32:

    “The post is ABOUT anti-semitism and whether something is or isn’t.”

    Or more to the point, the article is about how the Zionist apologists use Antisemitism to undermine their opponents! I see an irony with the treatment dished out to poor old CJB.

    “What I do think however is the fact that it is more easy now to raise the question of Palestine and NOT be accused of anti-semitism means that we should be LESS tolerant of those who use the Palestinian cause to promote anti-semitism or raise it in such a way as appears to condone anti-semitism.”

    Then you really should say the cartoon was inappropriate if you think anything CJB said falls under this category.

    I think Noah makes a pertinent point re Finkelstein. Should we ignore the financial exploitation angle of the holocaust industry because finance has previously been linked to Jews by some nasty elements. The Zionist apologists would have it that way, I say they should fuck off.

  30. #36 Personally I don’t agree that the cartoon and what CJB said can be compared.

    Apart from anything else, insistence on remembering the Holocaust is not just about the Israeli government. The imlication could very easily read into what he said that people should forget the Holocaust because it’s all about zionists making money. At best that’s poor taste, particularly at this time of year.

    But my main point is a general one, and my temptation is, as I said, not to think the worst.

    The cartoon was subject to scrutiny and defended. If it HAD failed any of the tests it was subject to then it would rightly be open to criticism.

    And for the avoidance of doubt I DO think that the zionists should be attacked for exploiting the Holocaust, but with great care given to the language used.

  31. Marko: The Zionist apologists would have it that way, I say they should fuck off.

    And Israel, by carrying out its vile actions while constantly claiming to be the epitome of Jewishness, and claiming to be (and demanding recognition as) the Jewish state- – provokes anti-Jewish notions among quite a few people who lack a better frame of analysis; notions on which the Zionists then thrive because that ‘confirms’ their claim that criticism of Israel is anti-semitic.

  32. Noah: and claiming to be (and demanding recognition as) the Jewish state- – provokes anti-Jewish notions among quite a few people who lack a better frame of analysis; notions on which the Zionists then thrive because that ‘confirms’ their claim that criticism of Israel is anti-semitic.

    I don’t disagree at all with this, which is (a) why I don’t think the worst should always be thought of people who use particular language in that context, but (b) the use of such language should be open to serious question, criticism and where necessary condemnation.

    That’s the very reason there are a set of criteria that were applied to the cartoon in the quoted article .

  33. Hi Vanya, I agree with your remarks as is often the case.

    I have a particular closeness with this issue, as my girlfriend is Palestinian from internationally recognised Israeli territory, one of the appx 20% Arab ‘minority’.

  34. Noah: ‘minority’

    The world minority should never be written in inverted commas, as it suggests a prejudice against minorities.

    You are in fact an anti-minoritist :)

  35. John: minority should never be written in inverted commas

    Spot on!

    But. There is a particular reason why I put ‘minority’ in inverted commas for the Palestinian Arabs within the State of Israel.

    Their minority within that border was created by the ethnic cleansing of 1947-48, during which most of the native inhabitants were driven out, and replaced by (mainly European) colonists; and perpetuated by the refusal of the right for them, or their descendants, to return.

  36. To end this debate regarding the inverted commas and other comments I made, I put them there to signify that the Holocaust industry has taken on a life of its own, someone else quoted Finklestein, but there are many others within the Jewish community that see that the memory of the Holocaust is being used and abused by organisations and people for financial gain (No reference to stereotypes) or used to attack people who disagree with Israeli actions and policies, and these are generally the same people who jump on anything negative said or written regarding Israel, the other point I was trying to make that the Holocaust is written into history and you would be hard pushed to find someone who doesn’t know or has some understanding of what happened at that time, its not about denying what happened which is nonsense but about moving on from it, 70 years on and we the tax payer are still forking out Aid to a country that is already extremely wealthy, while there are people in the UK that cant even afford to heat their homes or feed their kids…

  37. #44 I’ve had another look at you r original comment and it occurs to me that I don’t actually know what the £6 Bn from the UK is based on, and how this is related to the Holocaust.

    I remember having a big argument with someone once who simply refused to believe that Israel received huge sums in aid for military purposes from the USA.

  38. lone nut on said:

    “6 billion a year from the UK and also the same in military equipment”
    Where on earth do you get this figure of 6 billion a year? The total UK foreign aid budget is less than £10 billion, and Israel is not listed by the DFID as being the recipient of any of it.

  39. Israel does not receive £6 billion annually, or anything remotely like it, from the UK in state aid.

    Even the US government ‘only’ gives Israel officially $3.1 billion annually (though that sum no doubt hugely understates the military value of US support to Israel, and does not include the certainly very substantial private sector support to Israel).

    Hopefully I won’t need to explain why I put ‘only’ in inverted commas :-)

  40. And meanwhile, Israel has conducted a bombing raid against Syria.

    No protests about this from the USA of course, or so far from other Western countries.

  41. Jara Handala on said:

    Thanks for the article, but I’m not sure if it’s by John Wight or by Anshel Pfeffer: the link to Haaretz gives the first paragraph of a piece by Pfeffer (the rest is behind a paywall) but this isn’t in the SU posting, and there is no note by SU indicating that Pfeffer’s article has been edited. Please let us know.

    Just a few comments.

    Point one speaks of “Jew-noses” and “anti-Semitic” matters, here concerning cartoons. But there is no such thing as a Jew-nose, just as there is no such thing as a Sikh-nose or a Basque-nose or an Indonesia-nose. This is one reason why Jewish Shin Bet and Mossad agents can so easily move among Arab populations, be it occupied eastern Palestine or the outskirts of Damascus: their noses don’t function as a yellow star.

    It’s hardly difficult to accept that national, religious and racial noses only exist as an idea and as an understanding between people, and never correspond to all the individuals making up what is said to be a nation or a religion or a race.

    Then the article speaks of the racialised group called Semites. The discourse of the Semite was entrenched in 19th-century philology and the racialisation of humans into groups. Race, and the Semite, are pre-scientific concepts. And the error is compounded when the Semite has to be a Jew – witness the nose of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. One may also compare the face of Yasser Arafat and Naum Jasny: the similarity is remarkable. (Amazon has the photo of this Russian Menshevik in his book, ‘Soviet Economists of the Twenties’.)

    As Shlomo Sand demonstrated in his ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’ (Verso, 2009), the religio-ethnic group we call Jews do NOT constitute either a people or a nation.

    The author’s second point starts, “It has become generally accepted . . . that comparing Israel’s leaders and policies to those of the Third Reich is borderline, if not full-on anti-Semitism”. This is irrational. Comparing is an exercise that can’t apply to some Jews, the Israeli state managers? Absurd. A comparison can be made, judging whether the behaviour and talk resemble fascist ideas, aims, methods and practices. Jewish Israeli supremacism (Zionism) necessarily expresses fascist values of contempt for their enemy (to the point of calling them a cancer), an anti-humanism, an obsession with making Jews pure (no breeding, no ‘mixing’, with non-Jews), a militarising of society (not for nothing has Israel been admired by some German writers as the Prussians of the Middle East), and a ruthlessness to pursue their aim to emasculate, denude and politically destroy their enemy. All this warrants the claim that Jewish Israeli supremacists necessarily have a fascist quality in what they say and do.

    The author is disingenuous in reducing German-based fascism to the judeocide it organised, and in his playing of ‘the Holocaust card’. This is a tired politics, which is why a prominent Zionist and ex-mayor of Jerusalem, Avraham Burg, entitling his book ‘The Holocaust is Over’.

    His third point speaks of causing offence. Socialists have no qualms about offending those who deserve it, and shouldn’t be so touchy themselves when subjected to the vitriol of others. The politics of toleration and offence is a liberal politics: one tolerates, makes bearable – but under sufferance – that which one judges anathema. By contrast, socialist politics is one of accepting, not tolerating: we don’t tolerate immigrants we accept them; we don’t tolerate fascists and racists we accept them as they are and campaign against them.

    Lastly, the author is to be commended for denying that a Jew (Netanyahu) should be given special treatment and not criticised on International Holocaust Memorial Day, and not bathed in the imagery of blood. People should get what they deserve – well, that’s the socialist view.