What on earth is the Herald up to with this image? Is a swastika scrawled on an SNP billboard evidence of ant-semitism? Surely, it would have to be on a synagogue wall or a Jewish gravestone for that to be the case? Would this image below from Indyref2 not be more meaningful unless your aim was to damage the SNP by some fake association?
In the Herald, yesterday, we read:
‘Ephraim Borowski, the director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) said that [five] members of the ethnic [religious?] minority have discussed leaving after feeling “alienated, vulnerable and not at home.’
Let’s get some more facts rather than relying on these anecdotal comments.
In February 2018, in an anonymous piece, the Herald headlined:
‘Alarm as anti-Semitic incidents surge across the UK’
‘Anti-Semitic hate incidents have reached a new record high in the UK, new figures show. A report indicates that the Jewish community was targeted at a rate of nearly four times a day last year. The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity which monitors anti-Semitism, recorded 1,382 anti-Semitic incidents nationwide in 2017.’
Clearly with more time on my hands than the reporter, I had a look at the actual report, as opposed to their press release. On page 34, I found that there had been 1 382 incidents in the UK in 2017 up 3% from 1 346 in 2016. So, not much of a surge overall but there had been a 34% increase in physical assaults from 108 in 2016 to 145 in 2017.
On the same page of the report, I found a breakdown revealing that of the 1 382 incidents, only 16 had occurred in Scotland, up 1 from 15 in 2016. With 8% of the population, only 1.15% of all anti-Semitic incidents took place in Scotland.
‘Incidents’ included tweets and shouts from passing cars. In the report, no cases of physical assault in Scotland were reported. Only two examples were offered, one was a tweet and the other was an insult from a shopkeeper angered by Israeli attacks in Gaza.
Can I say that these days?
The scribbler Paul Hutcheson, is he a member of Integrity Initiative like his colleague Leasky.
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Antisemitism must always be condemned and called out.
However, given the choice of photograph and its prominence in relation to the picture of Mr Borowski suggests to me that the reporting of this piece had an ulterior motive and was possibly and very cynically taking advantage of Mr Borowski’s concerns. This raises the question of whether the writer and/or the editor (I don’t think there are subeditors these days) made a deliberate choice of this photograph to ‘dogwhistle’ the association which unionists like to imply that “‘nationalism’ equates to nazism”. It is a wilful hollowing out of the idea on self-determination and replacing it with the nazi concept. For many decades I heard Labour members dismiss the SNP as nazis like all the other nationalists.
The word ‘Nazi’ is of course an abbreviation of “National SOCIALIST”. The last word was always omitted by Labour supporters. As a socialist myself I saw the hijacking of the term as a cynical annexation by Herr Goebbels as a way of giving the impression to the working class in Germany in the 1920s that it was working in their interests.
It is possible that whoever chose the photograph to accompany Mr Borowski was deploying a similar paradigm as that used by Herr Goebbels.
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The image is clearly an attempt to protray the SNP as nasty blood and soil nationalists who are anti-Semitic. The Herald is a dying bitter unionist rag clutching at straws on the way out.
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