The Rupert Murdoch-owned UK tabloid The Sun reached new depths this week. That Murdoch, an Australian-American can so blatantly intervene in British politics is of course galling enough. His discredited newspapers have been implicated in the phone hacking scandals, necessitating a personal apology from Murdoch to the family of a murdered child Milly Dowler, after his newspaper had hacked the dead girl’s phone.
While Milliband looked silly eating this sandwich, it is the subtext that is so toxic: a barely-coded slur on Milliband’s Jewish background. Interviewed in The New Statesman Milliband said:
“I am not religious. But I am Jewish. My relationship with my Jewishness is complex. But whose isn’t?
My family history often feels distant and far away. Yet the pain of this history is such that I feel a duty to remember, understand and discuss it – a duty that grows, rather than diminishes, over time.”
Against the backdrop of the election, held the next day on May 7th 2015, which saw millions unashamedly voting for the blatantly racist UKIP party, The Sun did it’s best to overturn Milliband’s assertion that “The first Jewish leader of the Labour Party.” It says something about me and about Britain that I am rarely described as such.
The Sun did what it could to slur Milliband on racial lines, making sure Milliband’s Jewishness was front page news – and it makes my blood boil.