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Mira Bar-Hillel’s bizarre claims on the Today programme

I am not quite sure why the Today programme (from about 0:1.51) thought Mira Bar-Hillel was a good spokesperson for Jewish/Israeli criticism of Israel.  As I noted on a recent thread, she directed an antisemitic jibe at Jeremy Newmark a couple of days ago, and has plenty of previous form.

She asserted that there is ‘almost blind support’ for Israel’s actions from Jewish communities all over the world, and claimed that Jewish journalists and writers are not speaking out loudly enough against what is happening in Gaza.  Clearly Jewish journalists and writers have a range of views, which are aired freely. This piece from Jonathan Freedland, for example, was published in the Jewish Chronicle. Those with different views argue with each other pretty trenchantly, of course.

She also asserted that critics of Israel are afraid of excommunication, even retribution, from the Jewish community, that they would be unable to go to synagogue and would be denied Jewish burial. Rabbi Janner Klausner did not accept these claims, and pointed out that there was plenty of empathy for people on both sides, and an appreciation of the complexity of the situation.

Bar-Hillel says she’s received much abuse on Twitter, ‘mostly from Jewish activists’ as well as from CifWatch.  It’s a pity most of those listening are likely to be unaware that she is criticized not (or not primarily) because she is critical of Israel, but because she makes bizarre and unfounded claims and seems indifferent to the issue of antisemitism.