Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. World
  2. Europe
29 October 2009updated 27 Sep 2015 5:42am

Kaminski and the Israel angle

Can we deal with this red herring, please?

By Mehdi Hasan

Here is the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, in his latest email on the subject of the Polish MEP Michal Kaminski:

There is no doubt that Kaminski is a strong friend of the State of Israel.

Sorry, why does that matter? As I have pointed out before, why do so many people indulge this nonsensical and simplistic view that being pro-Israeli and being pro-Jewish are the same thing? As the former Jewish Chronicle reporter Julian Kossoff pointed out in a guest blog this month, Jewish supporters of the Polish MEP have “been left balancing on the pinhead argument that Kaminski is pro-Israel. However, many on the European right admire Israel as a bulwark against Islamic militancy, and not because of any feelings of fondness towards Jews in their own backyard.”

Here’s the BNP’s Nick Griffin, speaking on Question Time last week:

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

I have brought the British National Party from being, frankly, an anti-Semitic and racist organisation into being the only political party which, in the clashes between Israel and Gaza, stood full square behind Israel’s right to deal with Hamas terrorists.

Content from our partners
The shrinking road to net zero
The tree-planting misconception
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?

Is he now considered a friend of the Jews, too?