I don’t believe Mr McDonald
is a racist. He, most certainly, is not an antisemite or anywhere close.
But like many on social media he suspends his natural cynicism and assumes that everyone retweeting material on Gaza is as pure as the driven snow.Mr McDonald
didn’t seem to realise that any subject connected to Jews is contested terrain where antisemites exist and try to thrive.Obvious question
Obviously, that begets the question, how to distinguish between those genuinely concerned with the plight of the Palestinians and real antisemites?
Surprisingly, it’s not that difficult, it involves merely looking in Twitter timelines for critical themes that antisemites argue over and then tallying them up.Two examples
1. A genuine person concerned with the human rights of the Palestinians is unlikely to indulge in Holocaust denial, whereas antisemites will.
2. Someone sincerely touched by the plight of the Palestinians is unlikely to have a fixation with conspiracy theories and rant on about “Rothschilds” or "Bilderberg", etc but antisemites will.
It is probably best to illustrate the views of these people and let reasoned individuals, like Mr McDonald, learn the characteristics of antisemites and how to spot them. Once more, I do not think Mr McDonald is a racist but has mistakenly let down his guard against antisemitism and those that push it.
Mr McDonald is not alone in being taken in by Twitter antisemites or is he going to be the last.Distinguishing antisemites from everyone else.
It is not a complicated process, merely looking out for significant antisemitic themes and their re-occurrence in a particular timeline or exchange on Twitter. Amongst hardened antisemites there is a recurring usage of them, which is not true amongst the normal population.
That is the method, lookout for unusual antisemitic themes and their regularity.
In this Storify I shall illustrate the initial tweets, then the cranks behind them and why sensible people avoid them.