A few days after the Marmara raid by Israeli naval commandos on Memorial Day, Fox News commentator Glenn Beck dedicated an entire program to the origins of the Israel-Middle East conflict and of anti-Semitism. It was a splendid piece of journalism and moved me to tears. I recorded Glenn’s show and have already broken the tab on the videotape. This was a classic — one to keep.
Understand this: here in England we do not have anyone on television or radio who remotely resembles Glenn Beck. On the pro-Palestinian side there is George Galloway, a thundering orator who is a household name; on the pro-Israel side there are Melanie Phillips and Kelvin MacKenzie, but they do not have a daily, televised vehicle that allows them the freedom Glenn enjoys to, as it were, deliver sermons unchallenged.
His program about Israel the democracy was breathtaking because he looked at every aspect of the hatred heaped upon the tiny Jewish state and made sure the audience knew about the appalling human rights outrages perpetrated in neighboring dictatorships.
But there was one boo-boo. Glenn kept repeating over and over his contention that the left are the perpetrators of Israel-hatred and anti-Semitism. This is simply not true. Perhaps one has to live outside the United States to understand the complexities of Israel-hatred, but without a shadow of a doubt it does not confine itself to the left.
In my book Don’t Tread on Me: anti-Americanism Abroad, I relate stories of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism from people I would not characterize as leftists. To be specific, in September 2009 on the hugely popular BBC television show Question Time, Conservative Party doyen Lord Heseltine launched into a tirade about the “special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain. He said there was actually no “special relationship” except for the one between the United States and Israel. His venom could barely be contained. He also went into the predictable harangue about how Americans supported the IRA (I talk about this in my book; it is deplorable that NorAid supporters in Boston sent even one penny to the terror group but I wager 99% of Americans lamented this too). Heseltine is a conservative and very rich with absolutely no left-wing DNA.
The late Senator Robert Byrd was never an Israel enthusiast and anyone who associated him with the left had to be nuts. The same goes for Republican former Senator Chuck Hagel. Shall we add Patrick Buchanan to the mix? He really loves Israel, yes?
Dear, dear Glenn, I know your heart is in the right place but please know the worldwide conspiracy to destroy Israel is not just on the left. In Great Britain the late Dowager Lady Birdwood, who had a large distribution list of reactionaries to whom she sent her newsletter, was loved by the conservative, capitalist world of the landed gentry. Have a look at the article by her friend Martin Webster about the worldwide Israeli conspiracy at this link.