Delving into Hansard, the record of Parliamentary debates, turned up astonishing results on Israel, the Levant, Jews and antisemitism. It highlights a total obsession with Israel in Parliament and suggests antisemitism is a growing problem, of which Corbyn is merely a symptom. It has something to say on ‘Palestine’ and Israeli settlements too. Take a look:

Hansard

Hansard provides official transcripts of Parliamentary Debates in Britain. The digital archive is online and searchable. Like many things associated with the British Parliament, Hansard’s own history is built upon the bedrock of people fighting for freedom. Thomas Curson Hansard was one of the original pressmen who fought for the right to publish reports of Parliamentary proceedings.

Hansard opens a window into the beating heart of British democracy. Through use of the archives from the 1800s, these discussions can help recreate the world vision, of what was at the time, the most powerful nation on the Planet.

We start with searching the terms of ‘Palestine’ and ‘Jerusalem’.

O Palestine, Palestine, where art thou Palestine?

Hansard Palestine

If anti-Israel propaganda is to be believed, ‘Palestine’ was the name used to describe this region, long before the ‘British Mandate’ was created. Except Hansard records show that there is almost no mention of ‘Palestine’, before the 1920s (when it was created as the legal vessel to enable the Jewish people to return to their historical homeland). If the British considered this area ‘Palestine’ and they were certainly active within it, then why is it hardly mentioned? Perhaps, you might weakly suggest, that the British were simply not talking about the region or foreign affairs at all. You would be wrong:

Jerusalem was mentioned 219 times in the 19th century. On the rare occasions (41 times) that ‘Palestine’ was mentioned, more than half were when someone in Parliament used a biblical reference or spoke about British Jews:

The 19th Century mentions of ‘Palestine’.

  • 1809 -1- Biblical reference
  • 1820 -2- Reference to foreign travels of Princess Caroline of Brunswick.
  • 1833 -2- In discussion of the ’emancipation of the Jews’ debate, 1833 and with reference to the Jewish return to Zion.
  • 1834 -2- In discussion of the ‘disabilities of the Jews’ debate, 1834, and again as a reference to the Jewish return to their Holy Land.
  • 1842 -1- As a region, in discussion of British trade levels.
  • 1845 -3- In discussion about the mission of a Protestant bishop to Jerusalem.
  • 1846 -1- As region someone visited.
  • 1847-3- In discussion of the ‘disabilities of the Jews’ debate, 1847, and again as a reference to the Jewish return to their Holy Land.
  • 1847-1- Biblical reference
  • 1848-1- Further discussion of the ‘disabilities of the Jews'(these debates touched on the rights of British Jews within the UK).
  • 1848-2- During discussion on Parliamentary Oaths Bill and the loyalty and trustworthiness of British Jews. Referenced because of ‘the desire and aim of the Jews to return to Palestine’.
  • 1853-1- With reference to ‘religious Holy Shrines’.
  • 1857-1- With reference to British Jews ridiculing that notion that ‘by being a separate people and expecting an eventual restoration to Palestine, they will not make good citizens here’.
  • 1858-2- More biblical references and talk of the Jewish return in discussions about British Jews.
  • 1865-1- Discussion on collections for British museum, used as a geographical biblical reference (areas of natural history of the Bible).
  • 1870-1- On education, and about a schoolmaster asking for a map of ‘Palestine’.
  • 1874-1- In discussion on Monastic and Conventual Institutions connected with the Church of Rome.
  • 1875-1- Biblical reference.
  • 1878-1- In discussion on international treaties and mentioned in relation to the protection / defence of Christian communities.
  • 1883-1- Discussion of Jewish people fleeing persecution who had been denied entry to ‘Palestine’ because of an order from the Ottoman Vilayet of Syria. They were deported (to Egypt)
  • 1883-1- On the Anglican Bishopric of Jerusalem
  • 1883-1- Referenced ‘the scattered exiles from Palestine’ (the Jews).
  • 1883-4- Mentioned as a geographic district in discussion on Suez.
  • 1884-1- As geographic region.
  • 1885-1- As biblical region (‘Palestine and the Old Testament’).
  • 1887-1- Discussion of British Consul in ‘Palestine’.
  • 1888-1- Unclear and unspecified reference.
  • 1894-1- Given as place where workers are oppressed (‘he was not born in Palestine; he was born in South Wales’ and therefore did not see that argument over child labour was supportable).
  • 1895-1 Used in place of Levant in reference to the ‘Palestine Exploration Fund.’ The driver for this fund was Christian and biblical archeology.

Beyond a nostalgic biblical concept that drew lines on a map in the minds of Christian men, ‘Palestine’ simply did not exist. In comparison to ‘Palestine’, the word ‘Syria’ was referenced 517 times. The identity ‘Palestinian’ appeared for the first time in 1920 (at the time it was an identity only really accepted by Jews).

Here’s another nugget. I did a search for Israel v Palestine from 1800 until 3/11/1917 (the day after Balfour). Even when I deduct the errant results (reference to a man named Israel), there were twice as many 19th Century mentions of ‘Israel’ in Westminster, than there were of Palestine.

Israel Hansard

I searched and I searched

Gaza is mentioned seven times in the 19th Century. Not once in the same speech as the word ‘Palestine’. Whenever Gaza is referenced, it is with linkage to the Bedouin and always geographically tied to Egypt. Ramallah was not mentioned until 1948. The city Jericho was mentioned eighteen times. Each occasion either a biblical ‘Walls of Jericho’ (Jewish) analogy or quoting from the Gospel of Luke (Christian).

Nablus is mentioned once, on the opening in 1882 of the English Episcopal Church in the town.  Nazareth has fifteen mentions. If it wasn’t used in a discussion about Jews, then it was to quote the bible (‘can any good thing come out of Nazareth’).

The search of ‘Acre’ (Akko) is illuminating. In discussions of the 1840 capture of Acre by Sir Charles Napier are all manner of international identities. The Egyptians, Turks, Lebanese and Syrians are all mentioned as players. The one identity completely missing? ‘Palestine’. This is evidence against the argument that the British simply viewed ‘the natives’ as beneath them. The British seemed to have noticed, and named, everyone involved. In moments of biblical nostalgia, Palestine may be referenced, but in cold, hard real-world political talk, it is simply not there.

Hebron had no mention at all. Jenin’s first mention was during the 1930 uprisings. Haifa had three mentions before 1850, all of them typographical errors of the words ‘Half a‘. Haifa’s first legitimate mention? Discussions in 1883 over the denial of entry of Jews to Haifa. A matter which the British Government wanted to protest.

Hansard, on Jews, Jewish, Israel and antisemitism

The first ever use of the word ‘antisemitism’ (anti-Semitism in Hansard) was by Winston Churchill on 22 August 1911. He was discussing an incident in Wales. Some of the records during the Mandate and the rise of antisemitism are heartbreaking. Take this snippet, from a speech by Colonel Wedgwood on 24 November 1938. He was talking about Jewish refugees in Europe:

If you do not want them to come here, where humanity and Christianity would at least give them a chance of life, let them go to Palestine, to their friends, and do not keep them out of Palestine because you are afraid of offending a gang of murderers in Palestine.

It is a tragedy Britain closed the doors to British Palestine, just as Europe’s Jews needed the sanctuary the most. Wedgwood was a Labour man. Oh Jezza, what have you done to that party?

antisemitism Hansard

This Hansard graph contains an important message about rising antisemitism. It is part of a trend. It isn’t tied to a single individual, nor can accusations of antisemitism simply be a plot to unseat Corbyn. If the antisemitism ‘smear’ exists to unseat Corbyn, why were there spikes of discussion in 2004, 8, 9, 11 and 14? And why is there a clear and gradual increase *before* Corbyn was elected. The rise of Corbyn is linked to the rise of antisemitism, in that extremist ideologies have entered the mainstream. For this reason Corbyn is a focus. You can even see a gradual rise through the 90s. Each decade worse than the one before. This graph suggests Corbyn is a symptom of a problem that is getting worse.

The graph above from Hansard presents more evidence of the growing problem. The spikes are all significant points of Jewish life, from emancipation (1850s) to the rise of fascism and the Holocaust. Now look at the last two decades. There is clearly something in the air.

Obsessed much?

Israel Hansard

Anyone with a knowledge of the conflict can recognise the spikes in the graph. Independence (1948), Suez (1956), Six Day War (1967), Yom Kippur War (1973), Lebanon (1982), Gulf War to Oslo (1991-3), the Second intifada in the early 2000s and Lebanon in 2006. But look how Hansard highlights that the UK Parliament has now become totally preoccupied with Israel. What excuse is there for this astonishing obsession?

From 1/1/46-20/1/2019 there were 17,667 references to Israel. Look at the way some other nations are discussed over the same time period:

  • Lebanon 4514
  • Syria 11468
  • Iran 11671
  • Jordan 4780
  • Egypt 9676
  • Pakistan 12171
  • Saudi Arabia 5187

There have been far more mentions of Palestine (7032), a country that doesn’t exist, than Lebanon, a country that does. More too than Jordan, a country that contains half of the Palestinian ‘refugees’.

To highlight just how obsessive the fixation on Israel has become, I checked the words ‘Israel’ and ‘settlements’ since 1967.

Hansard settlements

The increasing fixation is clearly a trend. What makes it worse is that there have been almost as many references to Israeli settlements (1342) as there have been to Darfur and Syria’s Assad (1510). Which means a small area of political dispute where Jewish people build houses to live, receives as much attention from the UK Parliament as wholesale slaughter.

Yasser Arafat was mentioned 849 times, almost as often as Nelson Mandela (949) and three times more than Ronald Reagan (235). He is also mentioned more than Netanyahu, who has been Prime Minister of Israel for thirteen years. That’s outrageous. In the thirty-one years since it was founded, Hamas has received 2265 mentions, which is more than both ‘Bangor’ and ‘Port Talbot’ in Wales received in seventy years. Are the people of Bangor and Port Talbot who vote for parliamentary representation, happy about the fact that the UK Parliament is focused more on Hamas than their own well-being?

(h/t for providing the seeds of this blog must go to Sussex Friends of Israel – proof that Simon Cobbs is not just the prettiest face in pro-Israel advocacy).

There is much more to come. Stay tuned.

 

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72 thoughts on “Hansard shows British obsession with Israel, Jews and antisemitism

  1. Brilliant and original article. Very useful.
    Evidently the Jews are not imagining the obsession others have over Israel.

  2. David, stupendous work! I haven’t yet closely read this obvious tour de force of yours, but I thought I’d just note that your reference to the earliest use of the term anti-semitism (as then spelled) in Hansard as being by WSC at the time of the 1911 Welsh Riots is an interesting and perhaps surprising find. Surprising, because I’d have thought it might have been used in Parliament somewhat earlier, regarding the sufferings of Jews in Tsarist Russia and in Romania. On 13 May 1896, in a letter to Sir Samuel Montague, William Ewart Gladstone described himself as ‘anti-anti-Semitism’ (source: Jewish Chronicle, 29 May 1896). That phrase he used has always struck me as a way of saying that while not especially fond of Jews, he did abhor their persecution. I think the label “anti-anti-semite” rather than “philosemite” perfectly describes the attitude of many subsequent political figures, especially those on the left of politics. (In many cases, it probably reflects an attitude that empathises with Jews only so long as Jews are “victims”.) Lloyd George and Colonel Wedgwood, though, were genuine “philosemites”, as seen in their eloquent praise of the Jewish contribution to civilisation, their deep knowledge of the Old Testament, and their personal friendships with Jews.

    1. But of the two of us, you’re the only one getting paid for the post.

      “Ian and I..” I don’t want them docking you’re wedge for iffy grammar.

      1. “….. you’re wedge for iffy grammar.”?

        ‘.. YOUR wedge …..’

        Iffy Ian.

          1. Ah well, looks like your gravy train will have to keep running without me.

            Back to obliterating Iranians I suppose…ho hum.

    2. “As me and Ian . . . . ” Poor grammar from a poor narrator obsessed with trolling Jews & Israel. To believe that anything you say has any relevance is to believe in the fairies who live at the bottom of the garden . . . . The one thing I agree with is that you and “Ian” are tiring – tiring the credulity that you have any real knowledge about Jews, Israel and antisemitism.

  3. But it’s David that has an obsession with linking Antisemitism and Israel.

    The new fabricated IHRA def. also attempts to push that dubiously touted link.

    1. What seems clear is that there is a correlation with rising discussion of Israel and rising discussion of Israel. How these phenomena relate to one another will presumably be the subject of a subsequent blog. This analysis is from a publicly available archive which means that you (and everyone else) can easily check and repeat the analysis. If David is misrepresenting this then its easy to prove him wrong by documenting your search results. You chose instead to demolish a strawman.

    2. It’s now “Mike” – whatever happened to “Michael?”

      The “fabricated” IHRA – that is, a committee of academics who have real qualifications and knowledge. Only confirmed antisemites refer to the IHRA!

      You confirm numerous times your ineptitude as well as your qualifications as an antisemite!

        1. We have all read your comments on this blog farmer-boy! We know what you are all about. The very fact that you spend your ‘free time’ here ‘jew baiting’ is all the proof I need to prove that you are an antisemitic arse hole!!!!!

  4. You know when my kids were small. I mean small.And we were on a long hot car journey. I used to give them copies of Hansard and promise a mega attractive prize to the one that was the first to find a bit where Tony Blair was’t lying.

    An apochryphal story but the readers doubtless will get the point

    1. I am a reader and I fail to get any point you make Stephen. Probably because you and your comments are pointless.

  5. Mike back in the good old hoffman chronicled and harriets methodist room days my good friend Iris would forever chastise me. ” for fuck sake don’t talk to them, talk about them”. I keep slipping into the mistake she had in mind. Don’t talk to Ian, talk about him

    1. Apart from Jews and trolling, you seem to be obsessed with Ian . . . . . Your grammar and language is atrocious and as for the linguistics of your comment above, it is utterly unintelligible, which rather sums you up. But I’m sure someone loves you, somewhere – possibly the fairies who live at the bottom of your garden . . . .

      1. So, Ben is the one who believes that fairies live at the bottom of Stephen’s garden.

        Spooky.

        Do you believe in a fairy anywhere else, Ben?

  6. Hey, who put my name in inverted commas? I’m one of the realest people here ffs! Of course Bellers is obsessed with me. What 16 year old girl wouldn’t be? And as we know the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. Ain’t that so Steph.?

    1. But, Ian, David is complaining that Israel and Jews ARE being talked about.

      Different wavelength to you then …. or something in his job description?

  7. Palestine was a Roman territorial name, Syria Palestina, placed on the region to erase Jewish identity with. It’s possible once Rome fell and Arabs moved in the name was removed as successive invasions took over the area. This was culminated with the Ottoman Turks finally destroying the last vestage of the Eastern Roman Empire and assimilating old Judea and Samaria as part of the Ottoman Empire.

  8. Here is a 30 second Youtube of a newsreel from the 1940’s documenting a meet and greet and sit down between Fascist National SOCIALIST hitler and the Fascist Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

    1. Edward, a suggestion (free of charge): You can rent out a North London cinema for a few hours and show this clip on a nonstop loop. Maybe invite Scoff, his EDL/BNP/ ZF mates, Tesco Harv, David, Millett, Tommy, Chitrit, Roberta and friends.

      Would be quite an event, wouldn’t it?

      1. Bruce Baby, Can you arrange to get it shown at the House of Lords and House of Commons? Have the BBC broadcast it?

        1. Hey, how do I get on that guest list. I meet all their criteria. I have an M&S short sleeve short that is mostly brown, have been seen laughing at that episode of Father Ted and in 1985 was definitely in Rochdale at the same time as John Tyndell. That’s like all the others right?

        2. Nah. The Finchley cinema will allow you to live out your delusions any way you want. Think of it as a zio rave with security provided by the EDL and Tesco Harv can transport everyone to and from the screening in his rickshaw.
          Besides, Scoff wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near Parliament after getting thrown out while disrupting and giving the nazi salute to the late Holocaust survivor, Hajo Meyer years ago.

          1. Wow, fascist Ian ‘occupies’ circle seat at local Multiplex, above immigrant family in the stalls; Oops, apartheid regime? tut tut.

            1. “Immigrant family”? A useful term that, Ian.

              In Israel that would most likely be a Jewish family.But in that case they would afforded more rights than many civilians already there.

              1. “Afforded more….than many .”

                Ooo look ZioNazi “ian” on about money on a Jew blog. Whoops Rothschild conspiracists? Tut tut

  9. Bellers,you’ve reverted to the faux ‘down your way’ shtick. You’ve not paddled that dinghy since that idiot Chris Welshman had a go at it here last year. I don’t want to come across as obsessive or anyfink. It’s always been instructive to see you mixing it up in each episode rather than sticking to the lazy activist formula. Is Iris Pretend-Pall going to be a recurring character in the show? How did she focus-group?

      1. Bellers. do you get paid twice for posting as two persona with slightly similar sounding names or are they quite strict about this sort of thing?

  10. This is an excellent piece

    After having been to countless anti-Israel demos’ and conferences/lectures, my conclusion as to why Israel is the object of this irrational and obsessive attention and hatred is the ‘Jewish’ connection.

    Scratch the surface and manage to get the opposition to debate, and within minutes (sometimes only seconds) the anti-Jewish tropes of Jewish power, love of money etc etc get espoused.

    When challenged on their anti-Jewish statements, they either ratse the Livingston formulation or resort to name calling and insult; very seldom is there any attempt to engage in discussion. The most agressive are are the white ‘social justice warriors followed by those from the MENA countries. Palestinians are often the easiest to engage with (but again not always).

    The irrational hatred levelled against Israel seems to so often emotionally driven, with a serious lack of fact and evidence to back the claims

    1. “After having been to countless anti-Israel demos’ and conferences/lectures, my conclusion as to why Israel is the object of this irrational and obsessive attention and hatred is the ‘Jewish’ connection.”

      So, Richard concludes that the actions that are so condemned by civilisation i.e. descruction of the homes of innocent families, the flouting of humanitarian laws and the usage of snipers to murder protesters while on their own land is the work of the Jewish-Israelis.

      Think lots of others have reached the same conclusion through rationality, absent in your case.

      1. Ignorant sow, The ones destroying innocent families, flouting humanitarian laws, using children as Human Shields are your heroes from “The Religion of Peace” which

        – hijacked 4 passenger planes (containing men, women and children) and flew them into buildings (containing men, women and children)
        – bombed London transport on 7/7 2005 (containing men, women and children)
        – drove a truck into a crowd (containing men, women and children) in Nice France
        – bombed Pan Am 103 (containing men, women and children)
        – bombed churches in Egypt (containing men, women and children)
        – bombed churches in Pakistan (containing men, women and children)
        – shot into a crowd (containing men, women and children) at a Christmas market in Strasbourg France
        – bombed Homs Syria (containing men, women and children)
        – used poison gas (a WMD) on the town of Halabja Iraq (containing men, women and children)
        – Sand nazi Iran threatens to destroy Israel (containing men, women and children)

        and on and on.

        But Israel is at least as powerful as Fascist Iran, probably more so.

        Happy Nakba Ignorant cow!

        1. You failed to mention the USS LIBERTY again Edward.
          How many American lives were lost on account of the senseless and cowardly Israeli attack?

    1. Little wonder he’s blind to reality, Stephen.

      p.s. see what I did there, Ian?

  11. When my made up friend Phyllis Inn-Joke did her media response course in the tap room of the Stars & Stripey PJs, she was told that there are only 2 rules; Get your invoice in on time and make sure it gets paid. Bellers is right. Nothing else matters.

    1. So, Ian thinks that David isn’t the only person that profits from these blogs.

      What a suspicious mind.

  12. “Ian” obsesses about money on a blog about Jews. Ooops is that antisemitic?

    Tee hee!

      1. Ignorant sow, ‘Self-hating’ Muslims get executed – buried up to your neck and stoned by your family members.

  13. So “Ian” use satire on social media to humiliate non Jews. Racist? Tut tut!

    1. Classy Bellers. Almost as elegant as Mrs Dowler receiving a Mothers Day card from Levi Bellfield.

    1. I was going to send Kate McCann a sneak peek of the new version of ‘Madeline’ but you’re on a roll. Knock yourself out.

        1. The Ignorant Sow projecting Arab/Muslim terrorism against civilians ALL OVER THE WORLD onto others.

          See 9/11, London’s 7/7, Paris’ Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan, Bastille Day in Nice, Christmas market in Strasbourg, Mumbai, Bali, Nairobi, London and Westminster bridges, Hamass using children as Human Shields, Moscow subway, Brussels airport, Boston marathon, Rotherham rape gangs, ISIS beheading and burning civilians, Muslim snipers murdering people around DC, …

  14. Anyway, since we’re talking Shoah let’s see the only ones that really matter when we say “never again.”

    1. I mean those sexy uniforms and those designer stubbles. Good job the Wehrmacht didn’t have to mess with those guys. Wudda made messing with the Red Army ringa ringa rosey

      1. The IDF brings your Grand Mufti to tears.

        Happy Nakba to you and the Grand Mufti!

  15. Hey guess what !!!

    IDF liked your tweet 8mins ago
    Ian Kay
    @alufstone

    #behindthehumanshield

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