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Posted on Jan 14, 2013

Anti-Semitic groups criticise Julie Burchill

Anti-Semitic groups criticise Julie Burchill

The recent furore over Julie Burchill’s article in the Observer, in defence of Suzanne Moore, has taken an interesting twist as comments in the social media has fallen back to anti-Semitism – not a bigotry one would initially associate with the question of transsexuality!

A large number of the attacks on Burchill have condemned her support for the Jewish people. Regardless of how one feels about the State of Israel, the hysterical shrieks of ‘Zionist’ in an argument about transsexuality is a clear and worrying form of anti-Semitism.

MPACUK was one of the first:

MPACUK is run by Asghar Bukhari, a man who famously once offered to fundraise for the Holocaust denier David Irving. In 2004, MPACUK was the subject of a no-platform order by the National Union of Students, because of its alleged publication of antisemitic conspiracy theories and inciteful racist material, and further material on its website encouraging activists to break the law.

In 2006, the Community Security Trust, a Jewish body that works with the police to combat anti-Semitism and protect the Jewish community,  accused MPACUK of anti-Jewish hatred. An All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism observed that MPACUK was criticised by the CST for promoting the idea of a worldwide Zionist conspiracy and using material taken from neo-Nazi, white nationalist, and Holocaust denial websites.

The report also noted CST’s assertion that “use of ‘Zionist’ as a replacement for ‘Jewish’ is common on the MPACUK website” and that MPACUK has articulated antisemitic conspiracy theories through the language of anti-Zionism.

Within the social media, this thinly-veiled anti-Semitism is replete.

The last twitter user, Mary Ann Penniman, went on to voice support for Raed Salah, who advocates the murder of homosexuals and Jews. Penniman deemed his bigotries irrelevant; and later described British Jewry’s support for Israel as a form of “Holocaust denial”.

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Penniman defended herself against charges of anti-Semitism by noting her closeness to Neturei Karta, a radical Jewish fringe group whose leader Aharon Cohen recently claimed the Holocaust dead “deserved it”. Cohen also recently addressed a far-Right group at St George’s Tavern in London, according to anti-facist organisation Searchlight. The group, led by ex-National Front member Troy Southgate, declares itself “opposed to liberalism, democracy and egalitarianism.”

That such patent anti-Semitism could emerge from an article about transsexuals is testament to the hysteria and bigotry that has enveloped the entire affair.


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