Kevin Myers is an Irish journalist whose brave and consistent criticism of Sinn Fein/IRA has won him many admirers here; he has frequently contributed to The Spectator. He will have lost some of them now because a sentence in an article in the Irish edition of The Sunday Times has seen him accused and therefore, things being as they are, convicted of anti-Semitism.

The article has been removed from the paper’s website and Myers will no longer, we are told, be writing for the paper.

Myers was writing about equal pay for men and women, following the BBC’s disclosure of what it pays leading contributors. But – rashly, careless, malignantly, take your pick – he slipped in this sentence about two Jewish contributors: “Jews are not generally known for selling their talents for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate lost-with-all-hands stupidity.”

It’s a slightly clumsy sentence, but the meaning is clear. The two ladies (whom he named) have had the good sense to make sure they got a good rate for their work. This is because Jews don’t sell their talents cheap, and selling your work at a price lower than it is worth – or less than the market price – is a very stupid thing to do.

You might even construe this as an expression of admiration for Jewish good sense. That’s how it might have been read if it had been written by a philo-Semite like Julie Burchill.

On the other hand, the association of Jewishness with getting the best deal does have a whiff – shall we say? – of the old “sheeny” garbage, and Myers has strayed into unsavoury territory before, writing an article in the “Irish Independent”, in which he remarked that six million Jews hadn’t been gassed in the death-camps because many of the six million (a figure he didn’t dispute) had actually been murdered by the Einzatsgruppen. So there he was sticking the label of Holocaust denier on himself.

Ireland hasn’t, I think, much of a record of anti –Semitism, though not for the reason given by the headmaster in “Ulysses” when he tells Stephen Daedalus that Ireland is the only country never to have persecuted the Jews: “because we didn’t let them in”. He was wrong of course. There were Jews in Ireland and there were even what were called “pogroms” in Cork, and, I think, Limerick, though by the standards of Tsarist Russian pogroms, these were scarcely worthy of the word.

So much for Ireland. What of Scotland? Well, Scotland of old, Presbyterian Scotland, was unquestionably philo-Semite. Calvinist Scots identified themselves with Biblical Israel. Like Israel we had made a Covenant with the Lord, and in consequence could claim to be a Chosen People. The Old Testament was more to Presbyterian taste than the New, and the God of the Scottish Covenant was Jehovah rather than Jesus. To get the flavour , read one of Scott’s greatest novels, “Old Mortality”.

That was then. What of now?

Well, the Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) has been taking a look at pronouncements made, mostly on social media, by members of the active and prominent Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC), and has published a report. It has excluded posts which are restricted to criticisms of the present Israeli Government and its policies and actions in the Occupied Territory of the West Bank. It is right to do so because even though some of those who make such criticisms may indeed dislike or even hate Jews, the criticisms aren’t themselves evidence of anti-Semitism. After all many Jewish Israelis say the same thing, as do many here who consider themselves to be friends of Israel.

Yet, after excluding pronouncements and posts which one may politely term merely political, the JHRW report finds that at least 40 percent of the material it has scrutinised is openly and undeniably anti-Semitic, expressing hatred of Jews as Jews, contempt for Jews as Jews. If people said the same sort of thing about Women or Blacks or Gays or Immigrants they might be charged with hate-crimes. But Jews, it seems, are different – in this respect, at least.

What is the response of the SPSC to these findings? One office-bearer, Sofiah MacLeod, says blandly that, given its provenance, “I am not inclined to take seriously this so-called report”.

She is not “inclined “ to do so. Will the Scottish Government be likewise “not inclined”? Members of the Scottish Parliament have been happy to pose for photographs with representatives of the SPSC. Will they continue to do so? Or will they speak out and say that anti-Semitism is loathsome and abhorrent to all decent people, and that the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which hosts Jew-haters among its ranks, deserves neither respect nor support until it disowns them and expels them as speedily as the Sunday Times Ireland has terminated its contract with Kevin Myers?

There are no prizes for the answer.