The BBC’s Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bowen, tweeted an acerbic – some say offensive – message as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke in Congress: “#NetanyahuSpeech He acknowledges Elie Wiesel in audience. Once again Netanyahu plays the Holocaust card. Don’t repeat mistakes of the past.”
Writing in the Jewish Chronicle, Prof. Alan Johnson opined that “Bowen’s idea is that when an Israeli leader mentions the Holocaust he is being tricksy, manipulative, acting in bad faith, ‘playing a card’ to get narrow advantage in contemporary politics, not really expressing a genuine thought about the Holocaust itself or a genuine fear about a second, nuclear, Holocaust.
“And that idea, of the Bad Faith Jew, is unmistakably dripping in the assumptions and myths of classic antisemitism,” Johnson claimed.
Johnson explained that Bowen adopted the tactic of anti-Semitic extremists, who “reduce the invocation of the Holocaust to a common sense indicator of ‘Zionist’ bad faith and something to disdain.”
According to Johnson, Netanyahu had a duty, as Israel’s Prime Minister, to remind the world what happens when murderous tyrants who promise genocide against the Jews are appeased. “To sneer and attack him for doing so, to dismiss his words as ‘playing the Holocaust card’; well, it was a bloody disgrace.”
“Shame on you, Jeremy Bowen,” he concluded.