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Ben White: I’m not antisemitic, I’m like the prophet Elijah

Ben White is a blogger who sends out racist messages, who wants to boycott Jews based on the fact he dislikes Howard Jacobson’s face. He has argued that Ahmadinejad did not deny the Holocaust, and that Ahmadinejad is correct to describe the Holocaust as a “myth“. Ben White recommends the writings of Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy. Ben White also claims to “understand” antisemitism.

Ben White has been frequently guilty of publishing antisemitism. But by being subject of this accusation, it turns out that Ben White is comparable to the Prophet Elijah. Let’s have a look at a recently-unearthed Ben White article from 2004, which says way more about him than it does about the people he’s trying to criticise.

White’s prophetic gift meant that he was aware in 2004, that accusations of antisemitism would rather taint his career in later years.

And so Ben White wrote a piece in Third Way,  comparing the people of Israel to the wicked King Ahab of the Old Testament. White claims that Ahab is guilty of “greed, false witness, corruption, murder and expropriation,” implying that these are key components within modern theological support for Israel.

For Ben White, Ahab is not just like modern Israel, he is also like some “pre-state Jewish settlers”, paying Naboth (Palestinian Arabs) for land. Ben White pushes and pushes this metaphor, claiming that Ahab paints Naboth as “rejectionist”, just as Israel does to Arab nations who refuse to recognise the Jewish state. According to Ben White, Israel’s security barrier designed to reduce terror attacks and using a legal defence to justify this, is comparable to Jezebel’s legalistic interpretation of Torah.

On antisemitism, White wrote:

“When Ahab sees Elijah he calls him ‘my enemy’, in an earlier denouncement of Elijah as a ‘troubler of Israel.’ It is analogous with the blanket labelling of contemporary Israel critics with the charge of anti-Semitism. Rather than repeating Genesis 12:3 like a mantra, Israel’s friends should realise that in 1 Kings the troublesome Elijah was in fact Israel’s best friend. [...] Let us heed the lesson that a friend of Israel does not justify the unjustifiable.”

Prophetic, or just pathetic?