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April 2, 2019 10:53 am

‘The Independent’ Newspaper Publishes Article With ‘Antisemitic Tropes’

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Anti-Israel protest in the United Kingdom. Photo: Channel 4 News/Britain. – Longtime Middle East correspondent at The Independent Robert Fisk promoted dangerous antisemitic tropes in a March 26 piece published online, titled “US grovels to Israel the same way ‘supporters’ fawned on Saddam.”

Fisk’s central argument was that Israel controls the United States.

In the article, Fisk criticized mainstream news outlets, like the BBC, for not granting sufficient legitimacy to Syrian claims to the Golan, but also argued that such “pro-Israel” coverage of the issue is evidence of the broader media’s “groveling, cowardly,  craven obeisance to Israel,” which he maintained is motivated by their “fear of being cast into the accusatory hell of ‘antisemitism.’”

He later added that Israel has “annexed America.”

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“Fisk charges the international media with being subservient to the Jewish state, and later suggests that Jews control Washington,” said Adam Levick, managing editor of CAMERA’s UK Media Watch. “Such a narrative not only falls within the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, but is nearly indistinguishable from the toxic rhetoric used by far-right extremists like David Duke,” he continued.

“In our nine years of monitoring the British media, we have rarely come across an article with such an explicit use of antisemitic tropes,” added Levick.

Mark Gardner, director of communications at the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity dedicated to the security of the British Jewish community, affirmed Levick’s grievances with the piece.

“This kind of overblown and catch-all rhetoric, with its echoes of antisemitic conspiracy theories, should have no place in a respectable newspaper,” he said.

Beyond multiple instances of antisemitism throughout Fisk’s article, its initial headline read: “By accepting Israeli control of the Golan Heights, Trump has accepted that Israel controls America.”

Following contact from CAMERA’s UK Media Watch, the headline was amended by editors, though remains problematic, according to Levick. “Fisk’s antisemitic narrative, that Israel controls the policies of the US government, remains in the article,” he said.

“In light of the ongoing national antisemitism crisis perceived by many in the British Jewish community as nothing short of an existential threat to Jewish life,” concluded Levick, “their failure to distance themselves from such hateful views would represent a serious moral abdication and undermine their claim to be serious, responsible news outlet.”

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