British paper apologizes for citing Holocaust denier in anti-Israel piece

February 15, 2003

* In his polemic against Israel, A.N. Wilson relies on anti-Semitic madman who thinks Jews committed the Holocaust and refers to the Pope as a "crypto-rabbi"
* Also in the (London) Evening Standard: John Mortimer, the famous English Barrister and author of Rumpole, blames Israel for the 9/11 attacks

 

CONTENTS

1. One of the most virulent anti-Israel writers in the British press
2. Apology by the (London) Evening Standard regarding a piece by A.N. Wilson
3. Extracts on A.N. Wilson from "Jeningrad: What the British media said" (By Tom Gross, National Review, May 13, 2002)
4. "Is Wilson fit to be a journalist in any respectable newspaper?" (By Robin Stamler, February 12, 2003)


ONE OF THE MOST VIRULENT ANTI-ISRAEL WRITERS IN THE BRITISH PRESS

[Note by Tom Gross]

One of the most virulent anti-Israel writers in the British press is A.N. Wilson, a celebrated author and critic, and a columnist for the Daily Telegraph and for the Evening Standard, London's main evening newspaper. Although Wilson usually writes on cultural and literary matters he often turns to politics in order to defame Israel, frequently making things up.

This week, in his latest polemic, he has been caught out citing Michael Hoffman, a notorious white supremacist and Holocaust denier. Among other things Hoffman calls "the real Holocaust" the "Judeo-Bolshevik Holocaust against Eastern Europe" and refers to the Pope as a "crypto-rabbi". The latest piece by Wilson has now been removed from the Evening Standard's website, so cannot be reproduced here.

However, I have referred to Wilson in my own published writings several times in the past. Among these is "Jeningrad, What the British media said" (May 4, 2002) in which Wilson is criticized for comparing the Israeli government to the Taliban, accusing Israel of "the poisoning of water supplies" (a libel reminiscent of ancient anti-Semitic myths) and writing of last April's fighting in Jenin "we are talking here of massacre, and a cover-up, of genocide." Unlike his article from last Monday, this April 15, 2002 piece by Wilson, and others in which he makes up lies about the state of Israel, have not been removed from the Evening Standard's "This is London" website which is one of London's most popular internet sites.

One might also take more seriously the Evening Standard's apology for Wilson, published yesterday, if the paper had also apologized for the piece it published the same day (Monday, February 10, 2003) titled "Why I will march" by John Mortimer, the famous English Barrister and writer (author of Rumpole and other books). In the third and fourth paragraphs of his piece on Saddam, Mortimer blames Israel for the September 11 attacks.

I attach:

1. An apology published on Feb. 12, 2003 by the (London) Evening Standard for printing a piece by A.N. Wilson on Feb. 10, 2003.

2. Extracts on A.N. Wilson from "Jeningrad: What the British media said" (By Tom Gross, The National Review).

3. "Is Wilson fit to be a journalist in any respectable newspaper?" (By Robin Stamler, Feb. 12, 2003). This is an attack on the Evening Standard's apology. Stamler says it is not credible, as the Evening Standard claims, that Wilson did not know about the views of Michael Hoffman.

4. Feeling on the defensive after so prominently publishing the Mortimer and Wilson articles, the Evening Standard subsequently carries its own unsigned editorial ("Anti-war, not anti-Israel") warning that next Saturday's anti-war march should not be turned into an anti-Israel march, which it says would "turn a reasonable cause into an irresponsible slur". "Israel is not Iraq; Ariel Sharon is not Saddam Hussein," writes the Standard. Had the paper been reporting truthfully on the Middle East during the past few years such an obvious statement would not of course be necessary.

5. As a further example of the way Israel is defamed at almost every opportunity by certain sections of the European media, in an act of disrespect shocking even by its low standards, the (London) Guardian writes in its story on the mourning for the deceased space shuttle astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon, headlined, "Israel remembers astronaut as Sharon capitalises on US links," that the Israeli government "used the tragedy to paint Israel as a democratic western nation standing firm with the US against the barbarians."

-- Tom Gross

 

THE EVENING STANDARD’S APOLOGY

The Evening Standard (February 12, 2003): "On Monday, the Evening Standard published a column by A.N. Wilson in which he set out his views on Israel's record in the Middle East. The Evening Standard fundamentally disagrees with the opinions expressed by Mr. Wilson but as with all its columnists, allows him freedom of expression. The column, however, made reference to one Michael Hoffman who, unbeknown to Mr. Wilson, is a notorious white supremacist and Holocaust denier. It is a matter of great regret that Mr. Hoffman or any of his propaganda was publicised. The Evening Standard is taking appropriate action to prevent any such recurrence. We apologise to readers who were rightly offended by the material in A.N. Wilson's column."

 

JENINGRAD: WHAT THE BRITISH MEDIA SAID

Jeningrad: What the British media said
By Tom Gross
The National Review
May 13, 2002
Extracts

For full article, see www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-gross051302.asp

Whereas the Guardian's editorial writers compared the Jewish state to al Qaeda, Evening Standard commentators merely compared the Israeli government to the Taliban. Writing on April 15, A.N. Wilson, one of the Evening Standard's leading columnists accused Israel of "the poisoning of water supplies" (a libel dangerously reminiscent of ancient anti-Semitic myths) and wrote "we are talking here of massacre, and a cover-up, of genocide."

He also attempted to pit Christians against Jews by accusing Israel of "the willful burning of several church buildings," and making the perhaps even more incredible assertion that "Many young Muslims in Palestine are the children of Anglican Christians, educated at St George's Jerusalem, who felt that their parents' mild faith was not enough to fight the oppressor."

Then, before casually switching to write about how much money Catherine Zeta-Jones is paying her nanny, Wilson wrote: "Last week, we saw the Israeli troops destroy monuments in Nablus of ancient importance: the scene where Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman at the well. It is the equivalent of the Taliban destroying Buddhist sculpture." (Perhaps Wilson had forgotten that the only monument destroyed in Nablus since Arafat launched his war against Israel in September 2000, was the ancient Jewish site of Joseph's tomb, torn down by a Palestinian mob while Arafat's security forces looked on.)


IS WILSON FIT TO BE A JOURNALIST IN ANY RESPECTABLE NEWSPAPER?

Is Wilson fit to be a journalist in any respectable newspaper?
By Robin Stamler
February 12, 2003

A.N. Wilson has finally been exposed for promoting anti-semitic material. In the Evening Standard's apology (Wednesday 12th Feb), it claims that the views of Michael Hoffman, whose book Wilson promoted in his latest anti-Israel invective, were "unbeknown to Mr Wilson". No reputable journalist could have failed to do the simplest of checks on any material he was promoting. Even the sloppiest hack would have found Michael Hoffman's website (http://www.hoffman-info.com). This is what Wilson must have seen.

Hoffman's website opens with the declaration in large letters that it is "Your source for suppressed information on Judaism's strange gods, secret societies and psychological warfare and radical history". Clearly Wilson didn't find anything amiss with this, and must have happily continued through the website to discover the pages promoting Hoffman's book that Wilson featured in his article. Somehow, Wilson managed to turn a blind eye to the pages devoted to the "Judeo-Bolshevik Holocaust against Eastern Europe", the reams of material on Holocaust denial, including an advertisement for a $9.95 CD recording of interviews with Hoffman and the Holocaust-denier Robert Faurisson (with "a color photo insert of Prof. Faurisson and Mr. Hoffman"). Wilson contrived to miss Hoffman's hymn of praise for David Irving: "Revisionists were hoping for a world-shaking miracle in the Irving-Lipstadt face-off, instead they got another revisionist weed pushing itself up through hairline cracks in the Jewish concrete that covers our planet."

Wilson also managed to miss Hoffman's comments on the corruption of Christianity by Judaism. "True Christians have an animus toward false religions and wicked ideologies such as Judaism? Many supposed "Christian" pastors, preachers, ministers, "evangelists," bishops and theologians, including Franklin Graham, John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and the pope of Rome, are covert adherents of the religion of Judaism. They are crypto-rabbis, loyal to Talmudic doctrine, rather than the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ, which they betray."

Now that Wilson relies on the writings of an antisemite and Holocaust denier who calls the Pope a "crypto-rabbi" in order to bolster his own animosity to Israel, one has to ask: is Wilson fit to be a journalist in any respectable newspaper?

 

ANTI-WAR, NOT ANTI-ISRAEL, CLAIMS THE STANDARD

Anti-war, not anti-Israel
Editorial
The (London) Evening Standard
February 11, 2003

On Saturday several hundred thousand people will travel to London from around the country to take part in a march against going to war in Iraq. Many of them will be fired by honest motives of concern about the grave international situation and how it should most wisely be dealt with. They may recognise that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who oppresses and tortures his people, but they do not believe that his record of producing chemical and biological weapons constitutes sufficient reason for waging war on him.

Many will be British Muslims who are understandably averse to waging war against fellow-Muslims and are suspicious about America's motives. These marchers have a legitimate standpoint, whether or not one agrees with them.

Far more alarmingly though, the march is in danger of being hijacked by a vociferous minority who seek to turn Saturday's entire anti-war demonstration into a rally against Israel. This well-organised lobby will be marching with banners reading Free Palestine and Down With Sharon; many of them will employ the old Socialist Workers' Party trick of seeding themselves into the march at intervals so that it appears to the TV cameras as if the entire demonstration is condemning the state of Israel as much as it does the prospect of war.

Everybody from the Prime Minister down recognises that the unresolved Palestinian question is a trigger of resentment in the Islamic world. President Bush last week expressed his readiness to address the issue once Saddam had been unseated and his weapons arsenals destroyed. But willfully mingling the two issues, as many marchers will do, turns a reasonable cause into an irresponsible slur.

Israel is not Iraq; Ariel Sharon is not Saddam Hussein. He is an elected leader, fighting a terrorist war; sometimes heavy-handedly, representing the deep concerns of his people about their endangered security. Israel is a democracy and takes account of world opinion in a way that Saddam does not. It is invidious to compare the two and can only serve Saddam's propaganda purposes. If the marchers allow their cause to be infiltrated by this pernicious twisting of the anti-war cause the marchers will surrender the moral high ground they so strenuously claim. If they wish their cause to be an upright one, they must reject and denounce their anti-Israel fellow-travellers.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.