Bullies use false anti-Semitism allegations to whip up hatred against women
The dictionary provides us with a concise definition of anti-Semitism as ‘hostility and prejudice against Jews’. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – an inter-governmental organisation set up some years ago to focus on issues related to the Jewish holocaust – provides a comprehensive list of examples. The mention of George Soros’ name and objecting to any of his political and philanthropic activities doesn’t feature in that list of examples.
Yet opposition to some things that George Soros does is reason enough for a swathe of trans activists to accuse women they hate of bigotry and anti-Semitism.
Catholic journalist and commentator, Caroline Farrow – about whom I have written one post already, on the occasion of her being sued by the notorious transgender litigant, Stephanie Hayden – is the latest to be defamed in this manner.
Her accuser is none other than the repugnant and obsessed James Billingham, about whom I have also blogged previously. In this instance, Billingham uses his sock-puppet, @TheOnlySprout, to tweet a screenshot of a Facebook post by Caroline promoting a CitizenGo petition, which was launched after an article written by Soros himself in the New York Times: Mark Zuckerberg Should Not Be in Control of Facebook.
The petition states:
Incidentally, Billingham’s description of Caroline as a ‘TERF’ provides yet another illustration of the utter stupidity of the oft-repeated claim that ‘it’s not a slur, it’s an accurate acronym’. The RF stands for ‘radical feminist’. Caroline is conservative, deeply religious, married to a priest and holds traditional Catholic views that are the antithesis of those of radical feminists.
However, it is the charge of anti-Semitism I am concerned with here. There is nothing in the wording of the petition that can be remotely described as ‘anti-Semitic’. The Jewish heritage that Soros and Zuckerberg share isn’t alluded to in any way, so what on earth gives rise to this allegation?
This is the next comment Billingham aka Sprout tweeted:
One would be forgiven for inferring from this tweet that Caroline said or did something that the Hungarian government also said or did. So, what did the Hungarian government use to demonise Jews and how does it fit the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism?
The same tweet links to this statement, dated July 2017, by the European Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism which starts:
The webpage obligingly provides us with the image in question, which needs no explanation. That it is savagely anti-Semitic is beyond question and I was horrified, on further reading, to learn that the Hungarian government had spent a fortune on a grotesque anti-Soros poster campaign clearly designed to provoke anti-Semitic hatred.
This still leaves us with the question of what it was Caroline did that compares with what the Fidesz government did? The answer is absolutely nothing. The allegation is unsupportable and indefensible.
Significantly, the post lifted from Caroline’s Facebook page and tweeted by Billingham to defame her as ‘anti-Semitic’ appeared directly above one posted on the same day, in which she urges people to take part in the two-day boycott of Twitter in protest at the platform’s lack of action against anti-Semitic tweets like these by the British rapper, ‘Wiley’, aka Richard Kylea Cowie Jr., MBE, even after they were highlighted by David Baddiel and others.
That Billingham should disregard this evidence that Caroline clearly isn’t anti-Semitic is only to be expected from someone singularly lacking in integrity – as is the fact that he confines his charges of anti-Semitism almost entirely to those he calls ‘TERFs’. While Wiley was dropped by his management, and banned by Facebook, Instagram and – finally – Twitter and thousands petitioned for him to be stripped of his MBE, Billingham had nothing to say about him but instead whinged about ‘TERFs’ not calling out the non-existent anti-Semitism of Mrs Farrow.
That Caroline Farrow is alive and well is, I suspect, the reason Billingham is keen to avoid getting his hands dirty and uses his sockpuppet when targeting her. But Magdalen Berns, RIP, isn’t in a place where she can fight back, so Billingham – together with countless other trans activist bullies – throws caution to the wind.
How cowardly do you have to be to make a vile and unsupportable allegation against someone who can’t defend herself? Just after her death, when the defamation against her started, Billingham didn’t even bother to learn to spell her name right. Neither did his sock puppet Sprout, funnily enough. Quelle coincidence!
Anyone who knew Magdalen Berns knew she was not antisemitic or racist in any way. I spent quite a bit of time researching and found no evidence whatsoever of her having “flung around” any anti-Semitic slurs. On being asked for evidence, Sprout pointed to the fact that Magdalen had retweeted this report in the Washington Times that Soros has given a lot of money to transgender causes. Indeed, anyone who retweets that article is considered by Billingham and other dimwits of the cult to be anti-Semitic.
Let’s engage our brains and try to clear this up.
George Soros is a billionaire who gives away vast sums of money through a grant-making network he founded called the Open Society Foundations. The network is described by one LGBT group it funds as “the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance and human rights”. Indeed, the Open Society Foundations website shows that it has funded many worthwhile causes. The website also carries numerous articles promoting transgender campaigns, which one would have thought the trans activists and allies would have approved of. Apart from giving a few figures acquired from Soros’ tax returns, the Washington Times report tells us nothing about George Soros that he isn’t quite open about himself.
So that’s it, basically. A rich man is giving money to causes he supports, as rich people – even ones who aren’t JK Rowling – quite often do, so I’m told. Yet trans activist bullies are behaving as if Soros’ generosity to the transgender movement is something to be ashamed of – even fabricated by journalists and spread by malicious opponents to discredit him. Why?
Because Soros is Jewish and Jews have been targeted with hatred and persecution since time immemorial. Soros himself is a holocaust survivor and, as we’ve seen in Hungary, the fortune he has made and donated so much of has not protected him from anti-Semitic hatred. Quite the contrary.
And because the trans activists are every bit as vicious as the Jew-haters who defaced Soros’ posters with abhorrent graffiti, they think nothing of pretending that those of us fighting to hang onto our sex-based rights are no better than they are.
It is, of course, quite incredible that any of them can seriously see either the WT report or the sharing of it as ‘depicting Soros as a sinister puppet-master’ and in any way comparable to the Hungarian poster, which does exactly that. Alan Sugar is also a very generous benefactor who has supported a variety of causes – including the Labour Party back in the good old days when Labour was worth supporting – but not once have I heard anyone being called anti-semitic for pointing this out. But then Lord Sugar doesn’t donate to transgender campaigns, so far as I know. If he did and if feminists and our allies started tweeting disapprovingly about it, I’ve no doubt the cultists would do exactly as they have done with Soros and use the history of the oppression and suffering of Jewish people to whip up hatred against women fighting back against male entitlement.
Yet there appears to be no danger of these people asking themselves if they are the baddies here. It’s high time they did.
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I confess I haven’t properly read this post, Maria, only half-skimmed it. But I want to make just two points. To save me having to post *loads* of separate links to serious, informed, expert legal critiques of the IHRA so-called definition, I’ll refer interested people to the page https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/search?s=ihra which has a collection of articles showing clearly how the IHRA definition doesn’t do what it claims to do. I’ll single out just one of the pieces titled ‘Why the man who drafted the IHRA definition condemns its use.’
Please (any reader) don’t be put off (as if you might be) by the name of the website. As a one-time supporter of Jeremy Corbyn I recognise the sincerity, integrity and authenticity of the site’s stance and arguments (although I came to believe that Corbyn’s leadership was a disaster for Labour and for the advance of progressive politics in the UK, but that’s a different matter — it’s a serious website with valuable insights).
But the IHRA “definition” has wreaked much mischief and caused huge confusion.
Secondly, I would add a bit to Maria’s citing from the dictionary. Antisemitism isn’t just hostility & prejudice towards Jews, it’s hostility (&c) to Jews *as Jews*. It’s actually even more than that because it almost always contains an element of projection in the minds of those harbouring the hostility. Indeed the Oxford philosopher Brian Klug has made a seemingly small but astute correction making this very point; he’s added scarequotes: ‘Hostility towards Jews as “Jews”.’ That is, as not-Jews. As someone’s misconceived personal construct of what Jews are.
But taking the basic statement without the refinement, anti-Jewish prejudice is like other racist sentiments in that it’s directed against the Other not for something they do (and might conceivably change) but for something they *are* (and cannot change, regardless of whether anything needs changing in the first place).
As to the substantive matters that Maria deals with in the post, to my discredit I know nothing and should probably now go and read it — properly. But I felt I couldn’t pass over the issues I’ve highlighted above. The IHRA isn’t, and in its origins was never meant to be, an authoritative definition of antisemitism. Because I don’t want to drag another highly contentious politics and polemics (albeit relevant) into the place here, I’ll, well, to misapply (but it’s convenient!) Wittgenstein’s remark, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”. (If you know what I mean, you know. If you don’t know, you’re probably lucky.)