antisemitism

British diplomat hates the “fucking Jews”

A British diplomat is on bail after ranting about the “fucking Jews” at a crowded gym in London. The Telegraph picks up the story:

Rowan Laxton, 47, an expert on the Middle East, allegedly shouted “f*****g Israelis” “f*****g Jews” while watching television reports of the Israeli attack on Gaza in the gym.

He is also alleged to have said Israeli soldiers should be “wiped off the face of the earth” during the rant, which was overheard by staff and gym members.

A complaint was made to police and Mr Laxton was arrested for inciting religious hatred through threatening words and behaviour. He was subsequently bailed until late next month.

Just to make it clear that he isn’t some nobody, Laxton’s resume reads: “HM Diplomatic Service (1993-);  Deputy Head, South Asia Group, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London (2007-).  Formerly:  Deputy Head of Mission, Kabul (2001-03);  Head of Chancery, Islamabad (1997-2000).”

I suppose it goes without saying that it is not very reassuring when senior Bristish diplomats are raving antisemites.

David T adds

The issue of whether this man should have been arrested or not is neither here nor there. You can be arrested for shouting in public places. That has been the case since the middle ages. If anything, things have got better: the offence is now more closely defined that it used to be, and it enjoys Article 10 protection under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998.

In any case, as Joshua Rozenberg points out, as this is an “incitement to religious” rather than “racial” charge, it is very unlikely to result in a conviction.

Now, moving on:

This is a HUGELY serious matter. Rowan Laxton is responsible for foreign policy is South Asia: i.e. in Pakistan and India. The Evening Standard reports:

Mr Laxton is still working as normal as head of the South Asia Group at the Foreign Office. He is responsible for all the UK’s diplomacy in that area and for briefing Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who is Jewish.

 

All last week, our papers have been filled with facile discussion of whether a TV presenter was racist, because she described somebody’s hairstyle as like a ‘gollywog’. Yes, that is a bit racist. Yes, it matters if people are racist in the work environment. But, given that Carol Thatcher is (was) a daytime TV presenter, frankly very little turns on this.

By contrast, this racist wasn’t simply making a flip comment. He was expressing just about the most disturbing comment that a racist can make. Moreover, he isn’t a Z List celebrity. He is a senior policy adviser.

Via Google News:

Here are the 850 articles on the Carol Thatcher affair.

Here are the five articles on Rowan Laxton.

Notably, no liberal newspaper – not the Guardian which devoted a number of articles to Carol Thatcher – has picked up on this story. It is only being run in the centre-right British papers.

Anti-semitism is no longer a left wing concern.

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