England and the Jews

I really, really, really have to work now, but I wanted to make sure you knew about Melanie Phillip’s heart-breaking description of the violent antisemitism that is increasingly on the rise in Britain.  I used to be a passionate Anglophile, considering it the more civilized among nations, with a flawed history (and what nation doesn’t have a flawed history?) that was distinguished by the Brits’ constant striving towards being a moral nation.  That is true no longer.  Indeed, if my theory is true that Jews are the canaries in every country’s coal mine, with their treatment dictating whether a country is rising or falling, Britain is not just falling, it’s plummeting downward with blinding speed.


7 Responses

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  2. Hi Books { and BTW, you’ve got my votes ; )

    As far as I’m concerned, Britain and the Arab world were complicit in the Holocaust.

    Not only that, but after Israel was created by the UN, Britain armed ( and in the case of Jordan, armed and officered, under the notorious anti-Semite col. John Glubb) the Arab armies with modern weapons even though the Arabs had clearly announced their intention to murder every Jew in Israel.

    In more modern times, Britain’s Labour Party in the last general election made a campaign issue out of Tory leader Michael Howard’s Jewish ancestry, actually putting up campaign posters showing Howard seated on a pig and saying `Can we trust this man to put Britain first?’

    I won’t even mention the Beeb and most of the British press. They’re despicable.

    I have a fair amount of readers and friends across the pond, and they’re decent folks, but if I were a Jew in the UK I’d have been out of there a long time ago.

    All best, and good luck with the awards…

  3. Well, I don’t know what country Melanie Phillips lives in but it’s certainly not the UK that I know and love.

    I’m a native Brit and I can honestly say that in my sixty years I’ve never encountered any serious instance of anti-Semitism. The only incidents that come close are jokes in dubious taste, but then we like to poke fun at everyone – including ourselves.

    Yes, we have our fair share of extremists and assorted nutcases and one would expect a degree of anti-Semitism amongst the large Muslim community, but generally, I can see no increase in activity against Jews.

    In my immediate vicinity, there are two Indian families, one Greek family, two Chinese families, and a group of Arab men who run a convenience store. I don’t even know if there are any Jewish families because no one has ever drawn my attention to them if they exist. During the past twenty years, I have not witnessed or heard of one single instance of racial hatred or abuse in this area.

    Incidentally, England does not equal United Kingdom!

  4. You must live in a lovely neighborhood, Annaphis. When I lived in England more than 20 years ago, I was exposed to the first antisemitism I’d ever experienced in my life: Jokes about gas chambers, remarks about controlling wealth, etc. It was always there, simmering. The latter was especially prevalent. Whether of good will or bad, everyone assumed that, because I was Jewish, I had a conduit to money and power. It was unnerving, but I was young and happy, and blew it off. Nowadays, in the same setting — a university — I think it would be much harder to ignore those feelings or to take them as a sort of casual cultural ignorance.

    Incidentally, Freedom Fighter is right about the way the retreating British in Palestine attempted to ignore the UN division and throw the country to the Arabs. It was a craven thing to do.

  5. Mine is not an especially lovely neighbourhood – just average, I suppose. Admittedly, being non-Jewish I can’t experience life as a Jew; maybe I would feel differently if I were Jewish.

    As for history, we should certainly remember it and its lessons, but it’s the here and now that matters and I stand by my conviction that the UK is not institutionally anti-Semitic and that the British people are among the most tolerant and accepting in the world.

  6. Annaphis, I certainly would never accuse all Brits of being anti-Semites. One of the happiest years of my live was spent in Britain, and people there were kind and welcoming in a a way it still does my heart good to remember. But I still wasn’t unaware of the type of anti-Semitism I’d never met before.

    Frankly, there are always going to be anti-Semites. What matters is what they do with it and, lately, in England, they’re getting loud and proud of it. That’s what’s scary. Going from disliking a group, to attacking it. I attribute that trend to the coming together of British Leftists and Muslims, who have found a common enemy that they can loudly bash, while still scoring political points.

    I do agree that, historically, the British have always set a standard for tolerance. That’s one of the reasons I fell in love with British history: your country shook off intolerance ahead of other countries and set a gold standard. And that’s why I find it exceptionally sad that Britain is abandoning that position and starting to sound very shrill about “the other.”

  7. Of course, I can only speak from my own experience and from events and so on as reported by the British media and we all know how the “unbiased” media can in fact be very biased.

    If the international media see rising anti-Semitism in the UK then that is indeed cause for great concern.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my points.

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