London head of music faces police inquiry for anti-semitism

The British composer Matthew Scott, head of music at the National Theatre from 2006 to 2016, is facing a police investigation after apparently posting the following on a BBC News report about the Israeli elections:

Scott: ‘The time for the erasure of Israel and the completion of the cleansing process is rapidly approaching.’

The comment has since been taken down.

Scott is a Professor of Composition in Music at the University of Southampton. His agency has de-accessed his site.

More here.

UPDATE: Where’s he disappeared?

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  • Whilst in no way associating myself with what Mr Scott is alleged to have said, it should be pointed out the anti-Semitism is one thing but sentiments in opposition to the current Israeli administration are quite another and, accordingly, should not be regarded as synonymous.

    • This twit Scott is clearly deranged. No ‘university’ of any standing should have a loon of his ilk on their faculty. Malcolm Bradbury would have pilloried him, but clearly Scott felt the need to bring down the hatchet on his own non-career in person. Has anyone ever heard a note of his ‘output’? If not, you’ve missed your chance – not a semiquaver of his drivel will get played ever again.

        • Not sure if I’m “dignifying” it as such. But I maintain that mentally healthy people are not bothered by others’ race.

          (I am not saying all mentally ill people are racist. I’d hope that would be obvious *sigh*)

    • Your speculative comment attempts to explain but does not excuse. Perhaps you were trying to be kind? If so, and unintentionally I’m sure, the kindness backfires because:
      1. You accidentally imply that people with mental illness are cruel and racist.
      2. You forget to offer support for the hurt felt by Jewish people as a result of the alleged rant.

  • Beyond the pale. Besides, of what quality or intrinsic value and interest are the man’s compositions? I venture little to none.

  • Despicable comments, of course, but should they be a police matter? (That’s not a rhetorical question, I’m truly conflicted.) In the U.S., speech is unprotected if it incites imminent violence/lawless action. I find that a more desirable standard than England’s ban on offensive or hateful speech, a far more ambiguous standard. Not sure if a case could be made under the U.S. standard that Scott’s comments incite “imminent” violence.

  • “The time of erasure for Israel and the completion of the cleansing process is rapidly approaching” .I don’t see that this is open to more than one interpretation and that is: hostility and hatred towards the Jewish state. This jerk does not deserve a benefit of the doubt and should not be in a position where he can influence at least one young mind.

    • And it’s a call for a second “Final Solution” if I ever saw one. According to The Telegraph, the full quote goes “The time for the erasure of Israel and the completion of the cleansing process is rapidly approaching. Can Netanyahu now see that his actions are feeding the furnace?”

    • While I agree that his words undeniably show Jew-hatred and I don’t think he should keep any position he has, I think you’re misinterpreting what Araragi wrote. It wasn’t an excuse of what was said or a claim that it’s not hateful. The post pointed out that the saying of hateful words in the absence of an actual incitement to violence is not a criminal offense in the U.S. and should not be in Britain or other Western countries. I happen to agree with those sentiments. Throwing people in prison for saying hateful things is a very dangerous and slippery slope in a relatively free country.

      Again, none of that should be taken as an endorsement of the anti-Semitic statements in question.

      • Where it is dangerous is in deciding what is hateful and who is offended. Sue, for instance, is offended by your “liberal values”. Barry is offended that some people believe saying something offensive should be illegal. William Osborne is offended that no-one listens to him.

  • This sort of “thinking” is widespread among supporters of the current leader of the Labour party. Before he became leader this was not at all characteristic of the party’s members. He has deliberately or otherwise achieved a repulsive fusion of the far right and the far left. Not for the first time they turn out to be very similar.

    • “Before Corbyn became leader this was not at all characteristic of the Labour party’s members”

      Sorry, but there has been a long-standing undercurrent of this kind of thinking from a significant section of the labour party left-wing for many, many years. However, even now, there are many within the labour party that deplore such thinking.

      Having said that, it would help if not every criticism of Israel, or their government’s actions, was met with the accusation of anti-semitism.

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