The Spectator - antisemitic conspiracy

The Spectator falls down an antisemitic conspiracy rabbit hole

The Jews were persecuted, dispossessed, and forced out of Iraq. Most turned up as penniless refugees in Israel. This is fact, not opinion – and there is overwhelming evidence to prove that this is true. Yet Spectator Magazine has just published an article that gives legitimacy to a disgraceful antisemitic conspiracy theory – one which claims that it was the result of a Zionist plot.

The article by Justin Marozzi

The title of the article by Justin Marozzi is ‘the shocking truth behind the Baghdad bombings of 1950 and 1951‘. It is a review of a book by the anti-Zionist writer Avi Shlaim called ‘Three Worlds: Memoir of an Arab-Jew‘.

The review is gushing in clear admiration. Marozzi calls the book ‘beautifully written‘ and says it ‘carefully blends the personal with the political‘. To reinforce the narrative the journalist calls Shlaim a ‘powerful and humane voice‘.  Marozzi also focuses on a key claim that Shlaim has long pushed – that a series of bombings against Jewish targets which took place in Baghdad in 1950 and 1951, were set by ‘Zionist agents‘ in order to ‘force them to flee Iraq‘.

The article also pushes Shlaim’s other anti-Zionist lies, such as the idea that the Jews in Arab lands were ‘compatriots’ of their Muslim overlords – and it was Zionism (rather than rising Arab antisemitism and religious nationalisms) which dealt their position a ‘mortal blow‘.

(editor’s note: One wonders what dealt all the other suffering minorities in the Middle East – the Christians, the Kurds, the Yazidis, Assyrians, Armenians, Bahrani, Baloch, Coptic Christians, Druze, etc., their own mortal blow, if these cannot be blamed on ‘Zionist agents’?)

Marozzi even writes that it is difficult to mount a credible argument against some of Shlaim’s ‘conclusions’. Convincing stuff!

Which conspiracy theory will the Spectator promote next?

But that is what conspiracy theorists do – they use distorted arguments, false logic, lie through omission, deflect, and cherry-pick ‘facts’, in order to reveal ‘the shocking truth’ about whichever conspiracy they are spinning.

The issue here is that Marozzi decided to give this conspiracy legitimacy – and the spectator then disgracefully decided to platform it. Did nobody do the slightest bit of real research – or consider the implications of pointing the finger of blame for Jewish persecution – back on the Jews?

Would Marozzi positively review Terence Smart’s ‘the search for the truth‘ about how Israel and the ‘the Jewish Zionist’s within the Bush administration were behind 9/11? Would the Spectator publish that review in their magazine?

How about one of David Icke‘s books covering lizard royals and Rothschild Zionism?

I have dozens of antisemitic conspiracy books on my shelf – and they almost all carry ‘the shocking truth’ about how evil the Jews are – and all are full of  ‘convincing’ evidence.

What on earth was the Spectator thinking?

The author and his audience

Avi Shlaim was about six when he left Iraq, so it is fair to assume much of his memory was etched later by his ideological slant. His Jewish-Iraqi family was wealthy, and no doubt suffered hardship after being forced to flee and dispossessed by Iraq – arriving in an Israel that could barely afford to put tents up for the tsunami of refugees arriving.

But Shlaim didn’t stay in Israel long and has spent about 56 of his 77 years living in the UK. Over the last few decades Shlaim has become a key anti-Israel activist and claims he was ‘shown the light‘ by the anti-Zionist Ilan Pappe. On antisemitism he has written articles stating that the charges of Jew-hatred (against the Labour Party) were ‘deliberately manipulated to serve a pro-Zionist agenda’.

The Spectator often stood up against Corbyn’s antisemitism – and here they are shamefully promoting the twisted anti-Zionist ideology of one of its defenders. That makes this unforgivable. They know – and they still chose to do it.

A hero of the Corbynista anti-Zionist circuit

It is stating the obvious to say that the Spectator article will be one of its most popular – because it will be spread far and wide by those who attack the Jews. The Spectator is not Electronic Intifada or Middle East Eye – it carries weight outside of the antisemitic bubble – and the spectator has just armed those such as Jackie Walker with a more legitimate means of spreading antisemitic conspiracy:

Spectator - Jackie Walker

Make no mistake about where Avi Shlaim sits. Even spreading his venom for the Qatari state propaganda channel Al Jazeera:

Al Jazeera - Spectator - Avi Shlaim

A question for the Spectator

Avi Shlaim’s believed that the Antisemitism issue in the Labour party was a scam. He has said that a Black Lives Matter protestor ‘had a point‘ when he defaced a Churchill statue, he promotes the drive to decolonise school curricula, and refers to the British Empire’s ‘shameful legacy’. He opposes the IHRA definition of antisemitism, and regards the proscribed radical Islamic terror group Hamas, as ‘the legitimate government of Gaza’.

A simple question for the Spectator. Do the editors at the Spectator believe that Avi Shlaim is right on these points (are they changing their editorial position on these ‘hard-left’ academics they’ve long opposed) – or is it only when it comes to building conspiracies against the Jews do they feel that Shlaim should be showered with praise and given a platform?

The simple facts – 1 – the background of antisemitism

The Jews of Iraq had been experiencing a dangerously degrading atmosphere for years – even before the Farhud. 1938 provides us with evidence of a bombing campaign against Jews in Iraq that cannot be explained away on ‘Zionist agents’. This bombing of a Jewish club in Baghdad took place in August. (source Kew – FO 371/21861).

bombing bagdhad

And this one in October:

  • In 1941 the Farhud Pogrom left 180+ Jews murdered and 1000s of businesses and homes destroyed. This occurred just nine years before the exodus.
  • In 1947 a Jewish man was lynched for the trope of ‘giving kids poisoned candy’ and the Jewish quarter of Fallujah, was ransacked
  • Before the partition vote the Iraqi Foreign Minister threatened the expulsion of Iraqi Jews
  • By 1948 on the hearsay of two Muslims any Jew could be thrown into jail for years as a ‘Zionist’, Jewish banking rights were restricted, Jews were banned from most civil service positions, Jewish businesses were boycotted – and countless Jews were arrested and dispossessed (source: Uprooted).
  • Also in 1948, Iraq’s richest Jew was executed – he was found guilty without evidence, refused a defence and sentenced to death (source: In Ishmael’s House).

This antisemitism, reminiscent of the early years of Nazi rule, is the background and cause of the exodus.

The simple facts – 2 – retrospective rewrite of history

Searching through contemporary news reports (1950-1951) about the escape of Iraqi Jews, there appear to be very few references to these attacks. Even in the Jewish newspapers – with their wide coverage of the evacuation – there is almost no mention. Nobody was talking about them as a factor. This provides strong evidence – along with the fact British reports in the archives at Kew also do not reference these attacks – that they were minor incidents with little impact.

It makes no sense at all. If it were a ‘Zionist plot’ – why is there no contemporary reference to the fear factor that is blamed on these bombings? It is therefore far more likely that the importance of these bombs was exaggerated years later – and only because they became useful tools for antisemites and anti-Zionist propaganda.

The simple facts -3 -Israel’s refugee problem

The truth is that Israel couldn’t cope with the number of refugees already arriving – the delays caused by Israel’s logistical capabilities had already created a backlog – and this more than anything else busts the entire ‘conspiracy’.

At the time of the 1951 bombings, most Iraqi Jews had already registered to leave – yet Israel had only managed to evacuate some of them – which meant 10,000s of Jews were already trapped in no-mans-land. (Source: Zionism in an Arab Country: Iraq)

Why on earth would Israel exacerbate a situation it was already out of control of? It makes no sense. On the one side you have the Iraqi state persecuting Jews and threatening to expel them, and on the other, an Israeli state pleading to slow the immigration down.

If either is involved, which side is more likely to have been behind the bombings?

The simple facts – 4 – a few minor bombings

In 1950, there were three attacks – and not a single fatality. In 1951 there were another four – only one of which was deadly. The conspiracy wants us to believe that a few (mostly toothless) explosions uprooted the entire Iraqi Jewish population. Remember these people – as the Spectator would have us believe – lived in ‘harmonious milieu’ and ”halcyon days’.

So let us use France as an example. Over the last ten years, France’s Jewish community has experienced several deadly attacks. These did lead to an increase in the number of people moving to Israel – but that’s it, just an increase. Has the entire French Jewish population been uprooted? Of course not. 33,000 left for Israel during those ten years. Only about 8%. And this is a situation where unlike those forced out in Iraq, French Jews could take everything with them.

NOTHING (short of war) would make an entire civilian population leave unless they were being forced out. It certainly wouldn’t occur after just a few minor incidents. That is such an obvious statement – and it blows the entire conspiracy theory to smithereens. Shlaim’s conspiracy turns the Iraqi Jewish population into a caricature – something that just is not real.

Ending inside the rabbit hole

The Iraqi Jews were persecuted, were offered a window to leave- and despite the fact they had to leave everything behind – they almost all left. This is what really happened.

The explosions were (as Shlaim admits) set by different actors.  Even if (and it is unlikely given the evidence) there was a Jewish Zionist involved in any of them – it still doesn’t mean Israel was involved. The idea that every single Zionist Jew is a puppet of the Israeli state – is a classic antisemitic trope. But most importantly –  whoever set them – these explosions did not cause the exodus.

Avi Shlaim writes in his book that:

‘the question of who was behind the bombs is of crucial importance for understanding the real origins of the exodus’.

Except it isn’t important at all. He is deflecting away from everything else that was taking place. Shlaim is just spinning fairy tales – creating a straw man – and leading everyone down a rabbit hole.

To draw an analogy – Shlaim wants to spin stories about why WTC7 collapsed, rather than focus on the Islamist hijacked planes that flew into the Twin Towers.

And the Spectator has just given that unforgivable strategy a huge platform. Remember that this was not news. This was a book review – this was something the Editors at the Spectator thought would be a good idea to promote. They chose to write it – and to give antisemites the ammunition. If like me this makes you angry and you wish to complain to them, feel free to do so.

Help me fight for the truth

I battle back against those who seek to revise history, and I expose extremism and antisemitism wherever it is found. My research is unique and hard hitting – my findings have led to countless news headlines – and I have won awards for my journalism.

This research really does depend on community support so please – if you can – consider making a donation to help. These contributions make everything that I do possible.

You can make PayPal donations using the donate button below.

Or by using my Paypal,me account.

If you wish to provide regular monthly support you can also do this via my Patreon page

I truly appreciate every contribution


42 thoughts on “The Spectator falls down an antisemitic conspiracy rabbit hole

  1. I haven’t read the book but I have read the review. So I can’t see any detail of the “undeniable proof of Zionist involvement”. This “bombshell” is apparently followed by an acknowledgement that the Jews became regarded as a “fifth column”, a much more likely explanation. In all a review by someone clearly with their own agenda. Unworthy of the “Spectator”.

  2. Thanks Dave for letting me know about this. I have not read the full article but I have now cancelled my subscription to the Spectator and quoted you as the reason. I will also tweet them and leave a message on facebook.Disgusting, just want to know when they are going to promote David Ike!

  3. Give it a break already David. Stop crying wolf about antisemitism. You’re doing more harm than you realize.

    1. Joe Jihad, Keep crying about how the IDF and IAF kick your azz.

      Happy Eternal Nakba!

    2. Mr Muhammad (JoeJüden) why do you cry do loud with [Taqyyia] choosing such a “name” to make someone believe you’re not Muslim ?

    1. Joe Jihad,

      Your “T-SHIRT”s will make great SURRENDER flags for Ham-Ass, Hezbola and Islamofascist Iran’s Revolutionary Gestapo.

      Marg Bar Iran!
      Happy Eternal Nakba!

  4. Obviously a troll. Can’t find this JJ anywhere. There is a facebook page with nobody on it. Keep up the good work David.

    1. Nothing new with our current House Troll; all of the customary slogans and no greater ambition that a spot of low level online provocation delivered in a somewhat unimaginative style.** We may get a few months out of this one before it runs out of steam.

      ** See Farmer, Rogers, Bellamy, Goebbels, Levy et al from the archive.

      1. I’ve been a poster here for a long time, and there are two repeated salient features for the trolls here that seem interesting. The first is that they provably don’t have their facts straight, and end up confirming this THEMSELVES by either citing “experts” who don’t back them up at all or screaming ad hominem insults (Jack T’s speciality). The other is that none of them can really keep the mask on for very long. At some point, every troll in this board’s history has lost their shit and revealed that they’re common bigoted trash and nothing more. Think Mike Farmer declaring that the main victims of Nazism were Russian soldiers, or Bruce Levy screeching about DC’s family being whores, or (my fav example) Charles Alban combining both features by calling Jews pedophiles via…a link about pederasty by Catholic clergymen. Juggs Judy here just skipped ahead of the fake “fight for justice” facade and went right to Der Sturmer. Nice job Juggs. And goodbye.

  5. David, the Spectator site right now had a headline on this piece that reads “A shocking claim about the Baghdad bombings . . . ” not “the shocking truth about . . . ” Have they changed it? Or did you get it wrong?

      1. Just clicked on that link and it’s say Page not found ?

        Has it been deleted ?

        1. It is not a link – it is the title of the URL on the spectator page. I just put it to be read, not clicked.

          This is the link

          You can see the difference between the original title – kept in the url – (the shocking truth) – and the headline they currently have on the article (a shocking claim)

  6. A great expose of a self hating character 👌
    Would Shlaim believe also on the same basis of his argument that the slaughter of the hole Kashkoush family in their home in Baghdad which preceded the mass escape of the remaining 5,000 Jews in Iraq , was committed by Zionist elements as well ?
    Shlaim is a delusional who should pack up his bags & return to Iraq , his beloved land .
    I was there & I know what I am talking about , not like Shlaim ho is talking out of fantasy !

  7. Even if what Shlaim has said were true (and it clearly isn’t) then how does it explain a 99% emptying of Jews living in ALL Arab countries (not just Iraq) in the 10 years following the creation of the State of Israel ?


  8. I have heard Shlaim speak a few times and have always felt afterwards that I had been exposed to a highly opinionated, but factually limited diatribe against Israel by a person supporting a ‘pantechnicon’ of chips on his shoulder. Any questions I ever asked were either ignored or belittled, but never properly answered.

    Probably a good book to read on the expulsion of Jews from Iraq is ‘UPROOTED’ by Lyn Julius

  9. Well Dina, that last silly little comment of yours certainly puts you in a box. Incidently why did you use the the term ‘Jewish supremecee’; or are you just a plain old Antisemite.

  10. As a member of the Tribe, I can state The greatest international Jewish conspiracy is always to accuse others of antisemitism instead of looking inwards to see how their words and actions encourage hatred towards themselves.

    It’s a nasty circle that won’t be broken until the world is scrubbed clean of racist doctrine of Zionism.

    1. FULL HOUSE !!!

      All the main slogans from the Armchair Activists Anthology now used by our latest house troll.

      Next up will be heartwarming tale of a very close and totally real friend of theirs called Cohen who used to be an officer in the IDF but is now a vigorous antiZionist who hates Israel**, honest !!

      **See archive. Chris Rogers “..any stick I can find to beat the Jew over the head..” 2017

    2. Joey lad

      Regardless of whether you think you are Jewish or not (and it’s clear that you’re as Jewish as a bacon sandwich) don’t ever presume to speak for anyone other than yourself

      Whatever you are (or think you are) your opinions are your own and nobody else’s and only represent you personally and nobody else.


      The fact is that Zionism was born OUT of antisemitism and thousands of years of Jewish persecution

      If not for antisemitism then Zionism would not exist because it wouldn’t need to exist

      Personally speaking I’m glad Israel exists because history has taught us that it needs to exist

      And people like you only reinforce the need for Israel to exist so well done to you for that


      This is me speaking for myself btw and not for anyone else

      Do you get it now Joey lad ?

    3. The “palestine” Nazi-Imam (under Joe Juden and Johannes Juden) spamming at [] with Taqiyia as if he is “not” Moslem.

      Head tip. Quoting one particular selected-out token (true or fake) Jew for support by a Nazi is an old trick. David Duke also likes some Haaretz pieces…

    1. Not getting the “speak for yourself” thing are you Joey lad ?


      Not the brightest spark are you JJ ??


  11. FACT’ A growing number of Jews are denouncing apartheid Israel and distancing themselves from Zionism. Put that in your pipe, Ken 💨

    1. A growing number of Jews huh ?

      Well if they are all as “intelligent” as you Joey lad then we supporters of Israel have absolutely nothing to worry about !


      Shabbat Shalom JJ

      And don’t forget to get up in time for Shul tomorrow


  12. Deary Deary me.

    There has always been a very vocal anti-Zionist lobby among a certain section of the ‘Jewish’ population.
    The difference today is they seem more numerous because of the amplification of social media.
    In fact there were anti-Zionists decades before the rebirth of Israel.
    So nothing new there except for the constant bleating of the anti-Zionist/Antisemitic brigades.

    Incidently, you claim to be Jewish, yet
    there is nothing in your posts,other than your own claims, to say you are actually Jewish. So are you Jewish, or are you just another dingbat claiming to be Jewish as many do for political reasons

  13. I read about you and your sick obsession with antisemitism.

    I’m one of the Tribe, what more do you want?

    You’re just a paranoid, deranged joo Richard who uses antisemitism as a crutch. I don’t have to prove anything to you.

    1. Posting on Shabbat Joey lad ?

      Tut tut

      What would the rabbi say ?

      Bad joo JJ

      Very bad joo


      1. One word to describe you Ken is HYPOCRITE.

        For there to be peace and freedom in this world, Zionism MUST be destroyed 🔥🇮🇱🔥

          1. Massive shout out to all who are attending the Haj in Mecca. You’re doing Allah’s work!

            Let those Zionist infidels squeal like the pigs they are.

            1. Allah’s work ??

              Funny thing for a joo to say Joey lad ?


              What a cunt you are


              And a thick one at that


              Ah well never mind

              Am Yisroel Chai


              1. I didn’t expect the mask of our latest house troll to slip to quickly Ken. Normally it takes at least 3 months. Where do they find them and how do they prep them for this sort of thing?

                It’s almost as if they’re saying ” Yeah, alright, we hate Joos but who’s got the energy?”

                Bit insulting really.

                1. Mask? Impossible, I’m one of the tribe.

                  Those child-killing Zionist infidels must pay the ultimate price.

                  1. Praise be to Allah !

                    Joey is one of the tribe after all


                    And if he says he is that’s plenty good enough for me


                    Unfortunately he is also a bit of a twat


                    And that is all

Comments are closed.