The Faragists Dog-Whistling in the Wind
Those politicians and commentators using the crisis in the Middle East to inflame racial and religious tensions here in the UK should be thoroughly ashamed
There has been a spike in antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crimes since the start of the current crisis in Israel and Gaza, according to the Metropolitan Police.
Footage of the horrendous events in the Middle East, and evidence of antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents in the UK have combined to make this a frightening time for many British Jews and Muslims.
Yet rather than offer their understanding and support, some individuals in British politics and media have instead sought to inflame those tensions further.
There was a particularly egregious example of this yesterday when the formerly-respected academic, turned Farageist culture warrior, Matt Goodwin, attempted to initiate a pile-on against the British Jewish journalist Hugo Rifkind.
Rifkind’s crime was to have posted two tweets a month apart - the first of which he used to criticise the Home Secretary Suella Braverman for her comments about multiculturalism having “failed”, and the second of which he used to express his concern about the recent rise in antisemitism.
Now any honest assessment of Rifkind’s tweets will conclude that there is no real logical connection between them. You can quite obviously be in favour of multiculturalism while also being opposed to racism. Indeed support for one is necessarily dependent on opposition to the other.
Yet for Goodwin, opposition to anti-Jewish racism is apparently of less interest than furthering his own hard-right political aims. And if that means using the current crisis as an excuse to target a British Jewish journalist during a spike in antisemitic incidents, then so be it.