Posted Friday, February 8, 2002

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A few anti-Semites took aid and comfort when it appeared that their prejudices were shared by a magazine of authority and standing -- The New Statesman

London, Friday, February 8, 2002


Editor sorry for 'anti-Semitic' image

Statesman apologises over cover



THE EDITOR of the New Statesman has apologised for the publication of a cover illustration which many readers considered anti-Semitic.

However, Peter Wilby defended the two articles promoted by the offending January 14 cover, which depicted a large Magen David standing on a Union Jack above the words: "A kosher conspiracy?"

Writing in today's issue. Mr Wilby admitted: "We [or, more precisely, I] got it wrong.

"The cover was not intended to be anti-Semitic; the New Statesman is vigorously opposed to racism in all its forms.

"But it used images and words in such a way as to create unwittingly the impression that the New Statesman was following an anti-Semitic tradition that sees Jews as a conspiracy piercing the heart of the nation."

He acknowledged that "a few anti-Semites [as some comments on our web-site, quickly removed, suggested], took aid and comfort when it appeared that their prejudices were shared by a magazine of authority and standing. Moreover, the cover upset very many Jews, who are right to feel that. in the fight against anti-Semitism ... this magazine ought to be on their side."

Mr Wilby was bullish in his response to criticism of the articles by Dennis Sewell, on an alleged "Zionist media lobby" in Britain, and by John Pilger, on the relationship between Tony Blair and Ariel Sharon.

"Sewell's report was fair and balanced and many critics [including Jews] in asking me to express regret for the cover, have also asked me to make that clear." he pointed out.

Mr Pilger's contribution was "more contentious, but it was not anti-Semitic."

The issue elicited a flood of angry e-mails and letters from readers, academics and other journalists.

A website bonne-bouche

The traditions of Der Stürmer

click to enlarge

Stürmer was notorious for its vile anti-Semitic caricatures, like the one above, from its children's guides to the Jewish "enemy".

David Irving writes: Ignorant wafflers often refer to Der Sturmer , easily the most poisonous tabloid published in the Nazi era, without ever having seen it. The publisher was Julius Streicher, gauleiter of Nuremberg, who was hanged by the victorious Allies at Nuremberg probably for no other reason than this publication -- no doubt the Taliban would have dealt equally fiercely with Hugh Hefner or the editors of the Sun and News of the World for their pornographic excesses. Adolf Hitler had a soft spot for Streicher, who was one of the few privileged to address him as "Du"; but he despised the magazine. Even Dr Joseph Goebbels found it impossible to control the beast, but it was so popular among street-level Nazis that it remained outside the propaganda ministry's control. Streicher was stripped of his gauleiter position in 1940, after he fell out with Hermann Göring (he not inaccurately published the story that the Reichsmarschall's daughter Edda, born 1938, was the product of artificial insemination, a pioneering procedure in those days).

See: Index to the Origins of Anti-Semitism on this website

Last week, four East London Jews staged a brief "invasion" of the magazine's premises to seek an apology.

Labour Party general secretary David Triesman wrote: "I have read, agreed and disagreed with the New Statesman for 40 years. I never thought I would come to regard it as anti-Semitic. I do today." Professor Stefan Reif, of St John's College, Cambridge, described the cover as being "in the best traditions of Nazi Germany's Der Stürmer."

Referring to the protesters from East London, Mr Wilby said the New Statesman would not respond to "a self-appointed group of unknown standing which walks in off the street."

But he conceded that "this episode has reached the point where we owe our readers, and the Jewish community in general, some statement of our position."


Relevant items on this website:

New York outrage at New Statesman article: Specter of "Zionist Lobby" in UK



David Irving comments:
THE JEWISH community is so brainless that it does not realise that by their very action in applying pressure on The New Statesman, not a journal for which we normally have much sympathy -- and now publicly boasting about it -- they are justifying the main thrust of the articles complained of: the baleful influence of their community on the British free press.
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