Everything before the but...
There’s a very old saying, used here for example, that “everything before the but is bullshit”. It’s a handy way of remembering that the ritual ‘I’m not a racist but…’ lines can be safely ignored. Bearing that in mind, lets have a look at the comments to Jonathon Freedland’s article, which says that it is important not to allow legitimate criticism of Israel to spill over into a general anti-Semitism.
“Firstly let me say I completely and utterly condemn all anti-semitism. But…”
“Who couldn't agree with the sentiment, but…”
“There is some truth in what Mr Freedland has to say but…”
“Of course anti-semitic attacks of the kind JF describes are unacceptable, and if anyone is deliberately stoking this extremist fringe into such acts, they need to think again. But…”
“I deplore any instances of anti-Semitic abuse, violence or intimidation, wherever they come from and for whatever reason. But…”
“You make valid points. Anti-semitism should not darken world history, along with all the other race-isms: Never Again. But…”
“There's no excuse for anti-semitism, but…”
“All anti-semitism, like all racism, is vile and should be condemned outright. More often than not, its perpetrators are wilfully ignorant or insecure. So I agree wholeheartedly with this article. But…”
“We all know that the British Jewish community are not directly responsible for the massacre in Gaza, but…”
Comments have only been open for an hour or so…