Michael White on antisemitism and Islamophobia

The former Guardian journalist offered this surprisingly curt response to a question about the lack of coverage of alleged Islamophobia in the Conservative Party:

A number of instances have been offered where Muslims have experienced a problem in the Conservative Party or where Conservative activists have made bigoted remarks. I’m not sure how deep or widespread the problem is but it should be tackled without reference to Islamist terrorism.

White then offered a further response when challenged.

This reminded me a little of the debating dodges used by some Corbyn supporters.  Express a concern about antisemtism – you are just trying to shut down criticism of Israel.  No one was saying there isn’t a problem with jihadi violence – they were just questioning whether it’s a reason not to engage with the alleged issue of anti-Muslim bigotry in the Conservative Party.

My sense of a parallel between the debate prompted by White’s tweet and some of the disagreements around antisemitism was compounded by a faint echo of a conversation between White and Daniel Finkelstein from a few years back. Finkelstein, as you can read here, was bemused by the way White dragged Israel into a story about antisemitism.  The same non-sequitur quality characterises White’s responses in both cases.

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