Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Patter of Antisemitism

London, 1945. The first harrowing reports of the horrors perpetrated on European Jewry by the Nazis are reaching the public.  Yet casual remarks such as these are still being made:

Middle-aged office employee: "I generally come to work by bus. It takes longer, but I don't care about using the Underground from Golders Green nowadays. There's too many of the Chosen Race travelling on that line."
Young intellectual, Communist or near-Communist: "No, I do NOT like Jews. I've never made any secret of that. I can't stick them. Mind you, I'm not antisemitic, of course."
Middle-class woman: "Well, no one could call me antisemitic, but I do think the way these Jews behave is too absolutely stinking. The way they push their way to the head of queues, and so on. They're so abominably selfish. I think they're responsible for a lot of what happens to them."
Those were three of several individuals whom George Orwell heard, and quoted in his essay "Anti-semitism in Britain".

Yet, after the full scale of the destruction of European Jewry became known, most people, appalled, ceased such remarks, and all but the most diehard antisemitics were too ashamed to voice them (except perhaps in private).

However, 65 years later "the longest hatred" has gone mainstream again – as Rabbi Marvin Hier noted last week when the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which he founded and heads, printed its list of "TheTop Ten Antisemitic Slurs" of 2010.

"Never before, in recent memory, has the Simon Wiesenthal Center seen such a proliferation of anti-Semitism going mainstream," he said. "Unfortunately, our list shows that anti-Semitic canards normally thought to belong to the lunatic fringe have, in fact, been bought into by major elements of Western society."

Ninth on the list is British columnist Christina Patterson, who in The Independent (28 July) made an ill-tempered outburst about the manners of her Chasidic Jews of neighbours. It almost amounted to group defamation.

Wrote Ms Patterson, inter alia:
"I would like to say to all these people that I don't care if they wear frock-coats, and funny suits and hats covered in plastic bags, and insist on wearing their hair in ringlets (if they're male) or covered up by wigs (if they're female), but I do think they could treat their neighbours with a bit more courtesy and just a little bit more respect.
When I moved to Stamford Hill, 12 years ago, I didn't realise that goyim were about as welcome in the Hasidic Jewish shops as Martin Luther King at a Klu [sic] Klux Klan convention. I didn't realise that a purchase by a goy was a crime to be punished with monosyllabic terseness, or that bus seats were a potential source of contamination, or that road signs, and parking restrictions, were for people who hadn't been chosen by God"
And now, in the same newspaper (Independent, 23 December 2010), she’s vented her rage at finding herself on the Wiesenthal Center's roll of infamy.

'The Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal died five years ago, at 96. Just, perhaps, before he could hunt me down, too', she opens, before scorning the work of the Center, and going on to say:

'They [the Center], and their friends in this country, seem pretty damn serious that anyone, anywhere, who criticises the behaviour of anyone who happens to be Jewish should be stuck in the stocks and slapped with a label that marks them out as not just racist, but a hater of a particular, entire race, so that when anyone puts their name in Google, what pops up is words like "anti-Semitic", "prick" and "bigot". They seem pretty damn serious that their support for "Jewish Rights in the World" translates into direct support of Israel, too. "Had enough of Israel-bashing?" asks the Wiesenthal website. "Act now!" To speed things along, it has even written the letter. "To the President, Prime Minister and Leaders of Israel," it says. "We are with you!! Don't heed the world's Israel-bashers. We, Jewish and non-Jewish lovers of peace, are with you in your just defensive war against Hamas terror."
And then come a splenetic dig at Israel:
'It doesn't matter if a UN report says that Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla "betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality". It doesn't matter if its soldiers use weapons banned by the Geneva Convention. It doesn't matter if they use a nine-year-old child as a human shield. It doesn't matter if its citizens raze homes and build new ones on someone else's land. Or if they destroy their neighbours' crops and treat them like criminals. It doesn't matter what they do. "We stand," says the Wiesenthal website, "in solidarity." And we know what they call those who don’t.' http://www.independent.co.uk/.../christina-patterson/christina-patterson-how-i-was-%20smeared-as-an-antisemite-2167310.html
In the Telegraph (23 December) Guy Walters, who wrote the book Hunting Evil, in which he denigrated Simon Wiesenthal, raced to Ms Patterson’s aid in a repellent little piece – accompanied by a photograph of several Chasidim in Stamford Hill (who have therefore been defamed by implication) – entitled "It’s not anti-Semitic to say that Hasidic Jews are intolerant of goyim", which supports her arguments by repeating website slurs on Chasidim. (For shame!)

'What, precisely, is so wrong with what Patterson is saying?' he begins.
 'First, it is clear from her biography that she is hardly likely to be chummy with Nick Griffin and David Irving. According to The Independent’s website, she is a "former director of the Poetry Society, and literary programmer at the Southbank Centre". With these credentials, I hope it is not bigoted of me to assume that Patterson is perhaps not a member of the BNP. For heaven’s sake, she writes a column for The Independent.'
(Now that is unintentionally funny: I mean, does he really think that only the far right is antisemitic and that writing for The Independent, stomping ground of Robert Fisk, instils reassurance!)

'In her column', he goes on to say, making a slur or two of his own, 'she cites the example of a black friend being made to feel unwelcome in a local fishmonger’s shop. Does that sound an unlikely scenario? I think not. Hasidic Jews have a reputation for being intolerant of those outside their world. It’s clear, that by moving to Stamford Hill, Patterson witnesses this intolerance every day. Let’s get this straight: Patterson is telling the truth.'
You can read all of Walters’s gutter-sniping here: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/guywalters/100069450/its-not-antisemitic/

I’ve made my own quick list of ten "dishonourable mentions" – slurs that were uttered or issued during the year in England’s green and pleasant land. I’ve barely scratched the surface, for I’ve made no attempt to trawl the antisemitic comments that appear on the Guardian’s Comment is Free (CiF) site and similar sites day in, day out. Patterson's and Walters's pieces (above) certainly qualify for inclusion. These are the other eight, in broad categorical order; they’re representative of the slurs that can be found without any trouble at all on CiF and even on the comments sections of the online Times and Telegraph, though their sources were elsewhere:

'Bloody Jews, bugger the Jews, I’ve no sympathy for them.... Israel is terrible, the massacres, Plan Dalet, the ethnic cleansing, they’re like the Nazis, they’re the same as the Nazis…" Unnamed academic at a university dinner in front of a shocked Eve Garrard (http://www.fighthatred.com/recent-events/.../774-table-talk-by-eve-garrard )
'There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system.' Labour MP (now ex-MP) Martin Linton
'Europe cannot think straight about Israel because of the Holocaust and America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish lobby.' Lord Phillips of Sudbury (Lib Dem life peer)

"The treatment of Palestinians by Israel is held up as an example of how the West treats Muslims and is at the root cause of terrorism worldwide.
....Why do we let it continue? Is it Holocaust guilt? ... Is it the power of the pro-Israel lobby here and in the USA?
....Or is it the need, maybe, to have an aircraft carrier called Israel in the Middle East from which to launch attacks on countries such as Iran? The cynic might think that that is why HMS 'Ark Royal' and the Harriers can be dispensed with - we already have a static 'Ark Royal' in a strategic position, armed to the teeth and ready to fight, provided that we do not offend Israel.
I feel sorry for the people of Israel sometimes. Their government's policies have made that country the cause of a lot of the world's problems, yet now they are seen as the remedy and the base for the West to fight back." Baroness [Jenny] Tonge (Lib Dem life peer)
"The Jewish population in the UK is 280,000 or 0.46 per cent. There are 650 seats in the House of Commons so, as a proportion, Jewish entitlement is only three seats.
With 24 seats they are eight times over-represented. Which means, of course, that other groups must be under-represented, including Muslims.
The UK's Muslim population is 2.4 million or 3.93 per cent. Their proportional entitlement is 25 seats but they have only eight – a serious shortfall. If Muslims were over-represented to the same extent as the Jews (i.e. eight times) they’d have 200 seats.
Jewish over-representation is only part of our problem. An even bigger worry is the huge number of non-Jew Zionists that have stealthily infiltrated every level of political and institutional life.
....Too many pro-Israel MPs speak and act as if they would rather wave the Israeli flag than the Union Jack....
 It is business as usual between Britain and the rogue state’s amoral thugs, as Sir Gerald Kaufman calls them.” Veteran judeophobic ranter Stuart Littlewood
http://www.redress.cc/global/slittlewood20100521
"So is it true or not? Did Israelis remove or did they not remove body parts? That is all we want to know,quite simple really" tomeisner2 [Tom Eisner, a Jewish pro-Palestinian activist] supporting Baroness Tonge’s call for an enquiry into the behaviour of Israeli medical teams in earthquake-stricken Haiti http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/tonge-tied (See what I mean, incidentally, about "The Organ of Anglo-Jewry" allowing antisemitism on its blogs? – this is one such post among dozens that remained unmoderated!)
"Israel ... wants the Holocaust of Jews to be unique. That way Jews are uniquely privileged to do things others are not." Anti-Israel activist Rod Cox rodcoxandgaza.blogspot.com/.../turkey-sending-ten-boats-to-break-gaza.html
"In case you missed it, the jokes in question are: 'I’ve been studying Israeli Army Martial Arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back. People think that the Middle East is very complex but I have an analogy that sums it up quite well. If you imagine that Palestine is a big cake, well…that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.'
I think the problem here is that the show’s producers will have thought that Israel, an aggressive, terrorist state with a nuclear arsenal was an appropriate target for satire. The Trust’s ruling is essentially a note from their line managers. It says that if you imagine that a state busily going about the destruction of an entire people is fair game, you are mistaken. Israel is out of bounds
..... It’s tragic for such a great institution but it is now cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well drilled lobbying." Comedian Frankie Boyle responding to his rebuke by the BBC Trust  http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2010/04/30/10922/franke_boyle%3A_bbc_are_cowards#ixzz18flUbGpP

8 comments:

  1. See this important study on forces the UK aiming at the delegimisation of Israel
    http://www.jcpa.org/text/Mapping_Delegitimization.pdf

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  2. Daohne, I think Stamford Hill is the home of Neturei Karta in Britain.

    Haven't read any further yet but for your own comment. Just Journalism has a report on an interesting conference on Britain and the delegitimisation of Israel.

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  3. I'll have a look, Ariadne - thanks!

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  4. This is Neturei Karta.

    Despite them the lists you have presented are vile.

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  5. Interesting article. I note that the so-called international community was quick to condemn North Korea for shelling a South Korean island with the loss of civilian lives (thankfully, few in number). North Korea was vociferously condemned for sinking a South Korean warship. Iran is under an "embargo" because of its nuclear program and the threat it poses to the stability of the Middle East. Israel, however, which faces an almost daily attack by rockets from Gaza against its own civilian population comes under international condemnation for attempting to protect itself. Hamas seeks to convert Gaza into the "aircraft carrier" that can be used to attack Israel and actively attempts to kidnap more Israeli soldiers. Israeli attempts at self defense are, however, criticized as immoral and crimes against humanity. Once again, Jews and Israel by extension are subjected to double standards. To the Left the use of human shields by Hamas and Hezbollah is morally acceptable but the use of legitimate military force and an embargo, legal under international law, to prevent the importation of weapons into Gaza is an immoral act. I doubt that within my lifetime the day of using the Jew as the scapegoat for the world's travails will end. If Jews were so all powerful then my comments, like those of others, certainly would not be necessary. Perhaps my life would be easier if I owned one of those banks that Jews control...

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  6. Ariadne, I don't think all the Chasidim of that area are Neturei Karta, thank goodness.

    Dennis, good points. Prejudice against the Jews seems to require no excuse.

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  7. Daphne,

    One of my very good friends is a chassidic woman, who by a misforune of destiny, married a Neturei Karta man. They have 6 children (not children anymore) together. All of them were born in Israel but the father is the only menace there. All the kids speak Hebrew, while the father forces them to speak Yiddish instead.

    He is abusive and nasty to everyone of them, but not to me. To me he is sweet as anything, despite the fact that I have trashed every single one of his arguments, and exposed his lies about the Torah during a Pessach seder in their own home.

    Anyway, he is Neturei Karta but the rest of the family is not and they actually hate him. His wife (my friend) has tried to divorce him several times to no avail, as the rabbis there won't give her a get.

    But I believe that while not all chassidim there are Neturei Karta, the Neturei Karta holds the area in their hands. They are a sickening bunch!! One of her children was drugged in an Ashdod Yeshivah (Neturei Karta obviously) for asking too many questions. He was only 10 at the time. Now, after all these drugs and a coma in hospital, he has become disabled.

    Nothing pisses me off more than these guys.

    Roberta
    EDL Jewish Division

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  8. Hi, Roberta! Thanks for the comment.

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