On attempts to smear the ECR leader
There have been a number of attempts in the press and the blogosphere to smear the new leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists group as an alleged anti-semite. There was a comment along these lines on one of the threads on this blog a couple of weeks ago.
A definitive answer to these smears has been given in the Daily Telegraph by the distinguished journalist Stephen Pollard, who is Editor of the Jewish Chronicle.
(Note - I originally had a link to Stephen Pollard's article at the Telegraph website here, but it appears to have been moved or deleted.)
Pollard's article is entitled “Anti-Semitic mudslinging of the worst kind” and includes this comment:
“There are few things more despicable than anti-Semitism, but here’s one of them: using a false charge of anti-Semitism for political gain. Yet it seems there are few depths to which some will not sink in their desperation to damage David Cameron.”
“there is simply no evidence that Mr Kaminski is an anti-Semite, only a series of politically motivated assertions”
and, on Michal Kaminski's comments about an apology for an atrocity,
“The intention is clear: to accuse Mr Kaminski of sympathising with the murderers. But this is a grotesque distortion. Mr Kaminski’s argument was that apologising for the collective guilt of Poles let the individual murderers off the hook. Far from trying to cover up the massacre, he was using the president’s apology to make a wider point: that the massacre was not committed by “the Poles” against “the Jews”, but was a vile crime committed by specific individuals against their fellow nationals.”
I know myself the tactics that such people use. I worked in Brussels for seven years from 2001. Early on, I condemned the banning of the Belgian far-Right party, the Vlaams Blok, which had a number of elected officials. I argued that, repellent as the party was, democracy meant that it had a right to exist and seek election. From then on, almost any view I expressed on Belgian politics was met with the lie that I was a Vlaams Blok supporter.
Far from being an anti-Semite, Mr Kaminski is about as pro-Israeli an MEP as exists ....
Yes, the resurgence of anti-Semitism is a serious and worrying issue – but to use it to further your political ends is mudslinging of the most disgusting kind.