Earlier this week we asked Manchester City Council to impose a fine and licence conditions on the O2 Apollo theatre for providing a platform to antisemitic hate preacher David Icke, who delivered a twelve-hour sermon on his world view, including his notorious segment on the supposed conspiracy he calls “Rothschild Zionism”. We asked witnesses to the performance to e-mail us, and interestingly Icke’s associates urged his disciples to contact us. We have received numerous e-mails from Icke’s devotees unanimously reassuring us that Icke is no antisemite, and his message is one of love and compassion.
We decided to publish extracts below, unedited save for the grammar and spelling.
While their comments are patently risible, they are also highly dangerous. They illustrate how easy it is for a demagogue like Icke to convince people that age-old antisemitic conspiracy myths are real. Icke passionately warns his followers that the “Rothschild Zionists” have the world in their grip, and that even the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion should be heeded. It is perhaps unsurprising that people who are willing to pay up to £80 to be lectured for twelve hours straight by Icke are susceptible to his views. It is, nonetheless, extremely alarming. He preys on ordinary people who are suggestible, and persuades them that he is revealing a hidden truth, and that they cannot trust anybody else to be honest with them. Like a cult leader, he “wakes them up” from the “dreamworld” they were living in before they met him.
Take David Wright for example. He resoundingly endorsed Icke’s philosemitic credentials, telling us: “Just because he believes a Jewish elite run the world doesn’t make him an antisemite.” In a separate e-mail, he assured us that: “David Icke is nothing like an antisemite,” reinforcing the point with a link to David Icke’s “Rothschild Zionism” speech.
Kevin Whittle sent us an equally impassioned rebuttal of the accusation that Icke is an antisemite: “Mr Icke did indeed mention the Rothschild Zionists and global elite who are factually running things in this world. He also gave proof of this in his presentation. More and more people understand what the Rothschild Zionists have done to the world […]. Problem is they have 80% of the lobby in the UK and practically own the US congressionals. When talking about Zionism David always referred to the Rothschild Zionists to make it clear to the thought police he was talking about a particular faction hiding behind the Jewish faith.”
Kaya Davidson expressed her indignation at the notion that Icke is an antisemite thus: “It is my understanding that he believes, upon conducting extensive unbiased research, a group of Zionists control the media, many political decisions that affect us all. How is that antisemitic?”
Bob Alford suggested that broadening our choice of reading matter would help us to understand Icke better: “May I recommend you read a book called ‘The falsification of history’ by John Hamer. Here you will find documented and remembered proof about the Hitler myth. (I am NOT a neo-Nazi, by the way, before you start accusing me of causing all the s*** the ‘Jews’ bring on themselves for self pity. Check it out, they even have a word for it.)” In order to leave us in absolutely no doubt that he is “NOT a neo-Nazi”, Mr Alford added a postscript: “There’s a great video on YouTube called ‘Adolf Hitler – the greatest story NEVER told’. If you are non-biased, give it a look, you might learn something you’re not taught to believe. Then, who knows, you might even find some self respect and pack in your well-paid job of attacking ‘antisemites’ for your Zionist masters.” The Greatest Story Never Told is a virulently antisemitic film that seeks to rehabilitate Hitler and his policies, while blaming Jews for the circumstances that led to World War 2.
A fan writing in under the name “Tym R”, in his defence of Icke, adds Holocaust denial to classic antisemitic conspiracy theory: “…a nefarious cabal of Khazar-Ashkenazi ersatz Jews of convenience control the world to the global society’s detriment and have hijacked the term ‘antisemitic’ (as per the six million Holohoax fiction).”
These sentiments expressed to us by Icke’s fans are representative of the vast majority of those who contacted us after attending his show. They insist that Icke, an advocate for love and compassion, cannot possibly be antisemitic because he is only telling the truth about Jews. We would urge them to acquaint themselves with the International Definition of Antisemitism, recently adopted by the British government. It cites various examples of antisemitism, including:
- Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions; and
- Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
Many correspondents allowed their enthusiasm for defending Icke to lure them into another antisemitic conspiracy theory, insisting that accusations of antisemitism only exist to shut down criticism of Israel. The International Definition of Antisemitism identifies these practices as antisemitic, especially:
- Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour);
- Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis; and
- Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
But Kate Coley e-mailed us to inform us that: “David Icke may use a different definition of Zionism to the one that you use.” There is only one useful definition of Zionism: it is the aspiration of the Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland — an ideal that has always been central to Judaism. Other definitions of Zionism are almost always manufactured by antisemites. Icke can be found on video clearly distinguishing between the Jews he approves of (those who disavow Israel) and those he regards as objectionable (Zionists). Over 90% of British Jews identify as Zionists.
A man calling himself “Neil” was scathing about the the Jewish right to self-determination: “I have come to learn a lot about Zionism and find it repulsive. All my friends and family understand the sickness that is Zionism, and all their friends and family have been duly enlightened.” Wendy Steele went further: “I have lived long enough to see the Israelis behave worse than the Nazis. On that, it was a great number of Jewish bankers who brought that pathetic wee man, Hitler to power.” A correspondent who identified himself only as “hocusfocus” agreed wholeheartedly: “It is evident to many of us now that the Israeli regime is akin to Nazi Germany”
A fan e-mailing under the name of “scousepies” was convinced that Israel is behind far-right extremisim: “Zionism is not Judaism. It bears no resemblance to it — it only hijacks the religion as a front for other activities. Same as the Vatican does with Christianity, same as the KKK does, same as any extremist minds warp their views and goals into a more acceptable front…Exposing a group of people who claim to be ‘Jews’ when in fact they are only using that religion as a front to hide the fact they are Satanists is not hating Jewish people.”
Max Johnson reminded us of a more modern conspiracy theory that is popular among antisemites: “The sad realisation that 9/11 was an inside job carried out by Israeli dual nationals in the Bush administration brought me to the conclusion; over the last 15 years we have been lied to and manipulated which is absolutely disgusting.”
E-mails continue to pour in from the many people all over the world that Icke has convinced that “Rothschild Zionists” are behind many of the world’s ills.
Icke is a modern-day antisemitic hate preacher who uses social media, his books and his stage performances to incite hatred towards Jewish people by repeating centuries-old libels, as well as the same conspiracy myths that were used by Nazi Germany to justify the Holocaust. His appearance at the O2 Apollo in Manchester was the only UK appearance of his international tour. Not only did the O2 Apollo allow Icke to address their packed venue for twelve hours,
You may wish to contact O2’s Chief Executive, Mark Evans, at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know how you feel about the decision by the O2 Apollo, which O2 sponsors, to host a modern-day antisemitic hate preacher to address a sell-out audience for twelve hours. You may also want to contact Manchester City Council’s Licensing Unit at email@example.com setting out how you feel about the venue hosting speakers of this nature.
No @DavidIcke, our issue is that you say a cabal of Jews controls the world. For success you should’ve remained a 3rd-rate sports presenter.
— CAA #Antisemitism (@antisemitism) January 17, 2017