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CRUEL BRITANNIA

#1
Today, anti-Semitic expression in Britain most commonly takes the form of virulent, disproportionate criticism of the Jewish state. It is of course the case that not all disagreement with Israeli policy should be considered anti-Semitic or illegitimate. But in Britain, and especially in the media, such criticism frequently leaves the bounds of civilized debate and indulges in demonization, flagrant double standards, and the implicit denial of Israel's right to defend itself--in short, in the appropriation of the traditional modes of anti-Semitism.


CRUEL BRITANNIA


by Robert S. Wistrich

According to the annual report of the Community Security Trust, which tracks anti-Semitic incidents in Britain, 2004 was the worst year of anti-Semitic violence, vandalism, and harassment since the group began keeping statistics in 1996. These numbers include 83 physical assaults (up from 54 in 2003, or a 54-percent increase) and 365 acts of abusive or threatening behavior (up from 233 in 2003, or a 57-percent increase). All told, the group recorded 532 serious anti-Semitic incidents in Britain in 2004--more than double the 228 recorded in 1996, and a rise of over 40 percent from the previous year. In absolute numbers, Great Britain is today second only to France in serious anti-Semitic incidents reported among European countries--with Russia a distant third.[4]

Yet Britain is unusual not simply in the frequency and severity of anti-Semitic incidents. While many European countries have come to associate anti-Semitism with the forces of either the extreme Right, radical Left, or the increasingly vocal Muslim minorities, in Britain anti-Semitic sentiment is a part of mainstream discourse, continually resurfacing among the academic, political, and media elites. Indeed, while a great deal of attention has been focused on anti-Semitism--often masquerading under the banner of anti-Zionism--across Western Europe in the past few years, and especially in France, in some ways British anti-Semitism is more prevalent, and enjoys greater tolerance in public life, than in any other country in Europe. While the French state, for example, has marshaled its resources to fighting anti-Semitic words and actions, with greater or lesser success, in Britain the response has been far less decisive, its public denunciations frequently unsupported by institutional or government sanction.

There are many possible explanations for the unusual quarter that anti-Semitism in Britain enjoys. Whereas the efforts to combat anti-Semitism in France and Germany are intimately connected with the memory of the Holocaust that took place on their soil, Britain has never had to undergo a similar kind of soul-searching. At the same time, London has become a world center for Muslim anti-Semitism and the demonization of Jews and Israel that accompanies it. As Melanie Phillips, the Daily Mail columnist, wrote two years ago, "It is not an exaggeration to say that in Britain at present it is open season on both Israel and the Jews... I no longer feel comfortable in my own country because of the poison that has welled up toward... the Jews."[5] In a country such as Britain, with its proud history of tolerance, moderation, and multi-culturalism, this is indeed a damning indictment. Unless something significant changes, the United Kingdom risks becoming the country where anti-Semitism has the freest rein, and where Jews feel the least secure, in all of Europe.

To understand the unique nature of British anti-Semitism, and the surprising degree of legitimacy it currently enjoys in the public discourse, it is important to recognize its deep roots in modern British history. While it is true that, unlike Germany, France, Russia, or Poland, Britain was not a major stronghold of anti-Semitism in the modern era, its liberal democratic tradition has nonetheless been far more ambivalent toward Jews than is often assumed.[6] As a result of immigration from Eastern Europe, the population of Anglo-Jewry rose from 65,000 in 1880 to 300,000 by 1914,[7] of whom two-thirds settled in London. These immigrants were at times the target of malevolent anti-Semitic incitement; they were seen--especially by conservatives--as breeders of anarchism, socialism, and other subversive doctrines. The 1905 Aliens Act, intended to restrict further waves of Jewish immigration, reflected this biased climate of opinion, which also found strong echoes in the British labor movement. Only a few years earlier, during the South African War (1899-1902), a left-wing, populist anti-Semitism had emerged in Britain, which attacked wealthy Jewish capitalists and financiers for having "engineered" an imperialist war to seize the gold-rich Boer lands in order to advance the sinister interests of world Jewry. Through their presumed control of the press and high finance, this "golden international" was said to be "poisoning the wells of public information."[8]

In the first half of the twentieth century, however, Jews in Britain were associated as much with communism as with capitalism. The Russian Revolution of 1917 exacerbated fears of a world revolutionary upheaval instigated by Russian Jews purportedly engaged in a conspiracy against England.[9] This was the murky background to the popularity that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion initially attained in post-1918 Britain.[10]

In the aftermath of World War I, and with the establishment by the League of Nations of a British Mandate for Palestine, anti-Jewish feelings found yet another trigger. The Morning Post, for example, exhibited extreme hostility to the Jews and Zionism. Jews were portrayed in the early 1920s as expropriating the Palestine Arabs' land under the protective cover of British bayonets and at the expense of British taxpayers. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism became an integral part of the rhetoric used by right-wing newspapers against the Lloyd George government and British rule in Palestine.11

With the emergence of Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists in the 1930s, a new anti-Semitic motif rose to the surface--one that carries a decidedly contemporary resonance. Jews were accused of trying to drag Britain into an unnecessary war with Nazi Germany.[12] Mosley's arguments combined fascist rhetoric, calls for the preservation of the Empire and for "peace with honor," and a populist appeal to lower-class anti-Semitic sentiment, especially pervasive in London's East End. The residues of his campaigns carried through into World War II, requiring the British government ostentatiously to demonstrate that it was not fighting a "Jews' war." During the war itself, an obsessive fear of "fifth columns" and "enemy aliens" existed alongside a perceived linkage of Jews with black-marketeering, spying, and subversion.[13] This undercurrent of anti-Semitism probably contributed to Britain's refusal to undertake any serious rescue effort to save the remnants of European Jewry during the Holocaust. Britain's policy of blocking Jewish immigration to Palestine beginning in 1938, and especially from the end of the war until 1948, though mainly driven by realpolitik and imperial strategy, cannot plausibly be detached from anti-Jewish sentiment.

Even after the Holocaust, anti-Semitic attitudes only grew worse, resonating at the highest levels of the British government. The first U.S. ambassador to Israel, James G. McDonald, writing in his diary on August 3, 1948, recorded the "blazing hatred" of British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin for "the Jews, the Israelis, the Israeli government" as well as for American president Harry S. Truman.[14] Richard Crossman, the Labor MP who knew Bevin intimately, concluded in 1947 that British policy in Palestine was excessively influenced by "one man's determination to teach the Jews a lesson."[15] The refusal of Palestinian Jewry to conform to British plans for them had tipped Bevin over into "overt anti-Semitism," he said. The British foreign secretary was convinced that "the Jews were organizing a world conspiracy against poor old Britain" in which the Zionists, together with the Soviet Union, would seek to bring down the Empire.[16] The Jewish resistance to British rule in Palestine in the summer of 1947 triggered anti-Jewish riots in Britain following the hanging of two British sergeants by the Irgun, which had in turn come in retaliation for the execution of an Irgun member by British authorities. On August 1, 1947, mobs of youths rampaged through Jewish districts in Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, East London, and other cities. Jewish property was looted, synagogues attacked, and cemeteries desecrated.[17] Palestine--not for the first or last time--had become a catalyst for British hostility to Jews.

A superb example of the ways in which anti-Zionism merged with anti-Semitism can be found in the person of John Bagot Glubb, the supreme commander of the Arab Legion in Israel's War of Independence in 1948. Like many of his Arabist friends, this conservative Englishman regarded the creation of Israel as a crime. Glubb was an unabashed anti-Semite, who firmly believed that the "unlikable character" of the Jews had provoked their persecution throughout history; that most Russian and East European Jews were really Khazar Turks with no connection to the promised land; that the Jews were by nature aggressive and stiff-necked; and that the "vengeful" mentality of the Jewish people had been "passed down without a break from generation to generation."[18] Since biblical times, Jews had been imbued with "the idea of a superior race," whose blood must not be contaminated "by inter-mixture with others." Not only did Jews invent the idea of the "master race" theory, but their behavior towards Arabs was, he supposed, driven by Hitlerian politics.[19]

In a secret July 1946 memorandum, Glubb described the new Jews in Palestine as fusing the ancient, hateful Hebrew tradition with "a layer of up-to-date Eastern European fanaticism." He claimed that they had copied Nazi techniques--embracing "the theories of race, blood and soil, the terrorism of the gunman, the inculcation of hate into the young, and the youth movements." The young Jew of Palestine, Glubb concluded, was "as hard, as narrow, as fanatical, and as bitter as the Hitler youth on whom he is modeled."[20] At least four decades before it became fashionable to do so, Glubb described Zionism as a combination of "Judaism and Nazism."

But the intellectual pioneer of the idea that Judaism is a form of Nazism in the 1950s was another eminent member of the British establishment, the historian Arnold J. Toynbee. His monumental A Study in History unequivocally indicted the Zionists as "disciples of the Nazis"; they had even chosen "to imitate some of the evil deeds that the Nazis had committed against the Jews."[21] Ignoring the Arab determination to strangle the infant State of Israel at birth, he suggested that Jews had gratuitously murdered and expelled peaceful Arabs in a bloodthirsty and unprovoked frenzy.

After the Six Day War, such comparisons became commonplace in the Soviet Union and spread more gradually in Western Europe, including Britain. One source in the Western liberal democracies was the rise of the New Left, with its dogmatic "anti-racism" that pilloried Zionist policy toward the Palestinian Arabs as "genocide" and upbraided British Jews for being reactionary accomplices of Israeli "fascism."[22]

During the Lebanon war, the far-Left News Line accused the Zionists of employing "horrendous gas weapons which were once used against the Jewish people by the Nazis," and of trying to carry out a "Final Solution" against four million Palestinians.[23] Another organ of the British Left, Labor Herald, published in 1982 a cartoon that anticipated present-day calumny down to the last detail. A bespectacled, obviously Jewish Menachem Begin, then Israel's prime minister, is shown wearing Nazi jackboots, a Death's Head insignia, and a Star of David armband, raising his right arm in a Sieg Heil salute over a mountain of skull bones, Lebanon lying bleeding at his feet. The headline, in Gothic script, reads: "The 'Final Solution.'"[24]

Then, as now, prominent British writers were in the vanguard of demonizing Israel, inverting the Holocaust, and spinning a web of anti-Semitic allusions. Best-selling children's author Roald Dahl, for example, did not hesitate to brand Begin and Sharon in 1983 as "almost the exact carbon copies in miniature of Mr. Hitler and Mr. Goering."[25] They were "equally shortsighted," "bloodthirsty," and as deserving as their Nazi models to be arraigned by a war-crimes tribunal. "Never before in the history of mankind," Dahl proclaimed, "has a race of people switched so rapidly from being much pitied victims to barbarous murderers."[26] For good measure he added that the Jews had been "cowards" in World War II.[27]

Demonization of Jews, whether as individuals or as a collective, thus enjoys a long pedigree in the upper echelons of British public life. True, it has never become the mainstay of public expression, the way it was in Soviet Russia and continues to be in many Arab countries. Yet unlike the rest of Europe, where since the Holocaust anti-Semitism has become far less acceptable among the ruling elites, and tends to be relegated to immigrant populations or political extremists, in Great Britain demonization of Jews and Israel has continued to enjoy the status of a legitimate minority opinion. It is especially troubling at so sensitive a moment for Europe's Jews.

Today, anti-Semitic expression in Britain most commonly takes the form of virulent, disproportionate criticism of the Jewish state. It is of course the case that not all disagreement with Israeli policy should be considered anti-Semitic or illegitimate. But in Britain, and especially in the media, such criticism frequently leaves the bounds of civilized debate and indulges in demonization, flagrant double standards, and the implicit denial of Israel's right to defend itself--in short, in the appropriation of the traditional modes of anti-Semitism.
http://www.think-israel.org/wistrich.britannia.html
 
#3
most of those examples in the article appear to be people hacked off with past and present isreali policy rather than jewish people.

It's ignorance on both sides, jews for confusing hatred of isreal with hatred of jewish people, and people not applying the same hatred of isreal to palastinians who blow up buses full of school kids and not understanding why isreal feels the need to keep palastinians out of isreal.
 
#5
Robert S. Wistrich has an interesting article, but he seems to pull together a shed load of disconnected items to create a clearly defined British anti-semitic culture, when I would argue either there is no such thing or it is a very differant thing to that described by Mr Wistrich. Am I argueing that there was not and is not anti-semitism in the United Kingdom, no I am not but my position is that it is not the sort of animal Mr Wistrich paints to be. For a start, British anti-semitism and British working-class consciousness are conflicted in that e.g. City of London fatcats might do well out of brown-noseing Arab petro-dollar interests but British working class people see Muslim ethnic minority communitys dictating how the majority non-Muslim Community should live and while the likes of stockbrokers can insulate their lives and their family's lives from an increasingly Islamofascistacted Britain e.g. by sending their children to fee paying schools, British working class people can not. Of course it is a standard ploy of Fascists to get the broad mass of the people to hate a group be it Jews or businessmen or tradeunionists or whoever in order to divert the broadmass of the people from pursueing their legitimate interests but in order for such a project to be successfull it has to progress relatively quickly to the creation of a fully fledged fascist state or else the internal contradictions of such a project become ever more apparent and the whole project implodes on itself, and e.g. it is becoming apparent to more and more people in the United Kingdom that the grievance of Islamists in the UK is not British troops in Iraq or Afghanistan or Kashmir or Israeli troops in Lebanon but that the United Kingdom has not been converted in to a Sharia State and as a result the wheels are coming off the BBC, The Guardian, The Independent, The City of London, the Tory Mandarin and Leftist Labour Party and Liberal Democrat party; British Sharia State project.

Saludos Amigos
Zapata
 
#7
"Israel's right to defend itself"


I'd laugh, if that wasn't so sick. It's an over-used phrase that's being bandied about a lot lately by Zionists and their ignorant sympathisers who actually should know better, but choose to be 'offended'.


You're just way too oversensitive you Zionists. Did the 2 year old figures quoted above include pavement trips, whiplash claims, paper cuts and stubbed toes? Everyone and everything has got it in for you lot it seems. How tragic and pathetic that antisemitism is enshrined in law. Sadly, this means you'll never get that chip off your shoulders and we're stuck with your infernal moaning, you sad aggressive bunch of Zionist ne'er-do-wells.



The Community Security Trust - it sounds independent doesn't it? Is the ambiguous title intended to give out the impression that its findings must be above board and impartial?



http://www.thecst.org.uk/


 
#8
frenchperson said:
"Israel's right to defend itself"


I'd laugh, if that wasn't so sick. It's an over-used phrase that's being bandied about a lot lately by Zionists and their ignorant sympathisers who actually should know better, but choose to be 'offended'.


You're just way too oversensitive you Zionists. Did the 2 year old figures quoted above include pavement trips, whiplash claims, paper cuts and stubbed toes? Everyone and everything has got it in for you lot it seems. How tragic and pathetic that antisemitism is enshrined in law. Sadly, this means you'll never get that chip off your shoulders and we're stuck with your infernal moaning, you sad aggressive bunch of Zionist ne'er-do-wells.
how the hell do yiou know what part of isreals right to defend itself i am talking about, if you think im refering to the recent lebenon escapade you are mistaken you boring tit
 
#9
Careful guys - don't give anything away. Anyone who posts such a well thought out cut and paste for their first post isn't to be trusted.

OPSEC.
 
#10
frenchperson said:
"Israel's right to defend itself"


I'd laugh, if that wasn't so sick. It's an over-used phrase that's being bandied about a lot lately by Zionists and their ignorant sympathisers who actually should know better, but choose to be 'offended'.


You're just way too oversensitive you Zionists. Did the 2 year old figures quoted above include pavement trips, whiplash claims, paper cuts and stubbed toes? Everyone and everything has got it in for you lot it seems. How tragic and pathetic that antisemitism is enshrined in law. Sadly, this means you'll never get that chip off your shoulders and we're stuck with your infernal moaning, you sad aggressive bunch of Zionist ne'er-do-wells.
"Britain's right to defend itself"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destruction_of_the_French_Fleet_at_Mers-el-Kebir

Bon Chance Mon Amie, Monsieur frenchperson. And as for the future,

Verses 8-12

Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth.

He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord."

And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah,

and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city).
http://www.elite.net/~ebedyah/PastorsSite/otherscripture/genesis10-8-12.htm

http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/nimrod/

Saludos Amigos
Zapata
 
#12
mark1234 said:
frenchperson said:
"Israel's right to defend itself"


I'd laugh, if that wasn't so sick. It's an over-used phrase that's being bandied about a lot lately by Zionists and their ignorant sympathisers who actually should know better, but choose to be 'offended'.


You're just way too oversensitive you Zionists. Did the 2 year old figures quoted above include pavement trips, whiplash claims, paper cuts and stubbed toes? Everyone and everything has got it in for you lot it seems. How tragic and pathetic that antisemitism is enshrined in law. Sadly, this means you'll never get that chip off your shoulders and we're stuck with your infernal moaning, you sad aggressive bunch of Zionist ne'er-do-wells.
how the hell do yiou know what part of isreals right to defend itself i am talking about, if you think im refering to the recent lebenon escapade you are mistaken you boring tit
Calm down. I think FPs quote was from the original post. The words "Israel's right to defend itself" didn't even appear in your post.

Bye the way hello Mora, I've missed you so much. Not
 
#17
Frenchperson I am not a zionist, I do believe that the Israelis have a right to their state and I do believe that the Palestinians are badly treat by the Israelis, and that they too have a right to a state.

But I also believe that the Palestinians are far worse treat by their fellow Arabs (except the Jordanians who were repaid by the Palestinians attempting a coup in Jordan).

The state of Israel was authorised by the UN, and has every right to defend itself. Its current posture is the result of it being attacked several times by Arab nations, who were determined to destroy it. Logically Israel should hold on to Golan,Gaza and the Sinai, as these areas are vital ground in the defence of Israel. The Israelis have negotiated away Sinai and Gaza. We have all seen the response of the people in Gaza.

Blind loathing of Israel is as bad as blind support of Israel. I think when calling other people sad bastards you should take a long hard look at yourself in a mirror.
 
#18
mark1234 said:
frenchperson said:
Thanks Mark1234. Jacques Bustard was correct, and you've proven my point about oversensitivity very well indeed
'cept im not jewish or a suporter of isreal

What are you? Do you know? And did you make a mistake in your post? Will you apologise, if I choose to take offence?
 
#19
mushroom said:
Frenchperson I am not a zionist, I do believe that the Israelis have a right to their state and I do believe that the Palestinians are badly treat by the Israelis, and that they too have a right to a state.

But I also believe that the Palestinians are far worse treat by their fellow Arabs (except the Jordanians who were repaid by the Palestinians attempting a coup in Jordan).

The state of Israel was authorised by the UN, and has every right to defend itself. Its current posture is the result of it being attacked several times by Arab nations, who were determined to destroy it. Logically Israel should hold on to Golan,Gaza and the Sinai, as these areas are vital ground in the defence of Israel. The Israelis have negotiated away Sinai and Gaza. We have all seen the response of the people in Gaza.

Blind loathing of Israel is as bad as blind support of Israel. I think when calling other people sad bastards you should take a long hard look at yourself in a mirror.

I take all those points onboard, and would add that Israel has received a total of 63 (a quick totting up) UN resolutions condemning, censuring, deploring and demanding or urging action. I don't blindly loathe Israel and would encourage people to discover and research for themselves what they've been up to down the years - only then can you justifiably loathe them:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_UN_resolutions_concerning_Israel



I didn't call anyone a 'sad bastard' - 'sad, aggressive....something or other' was what I said.
 
#20
frenchperson said:
mushroom said:
Frenchperson I am not a zionist, I do believe that the Israelis have a right to their state and I do believe that the Palestinians are badly treat by the Israelis, and that they too have a right to a state.

But I also believe that the Palestinians are far worse treat by their fellow Arabs (except the Jordanians who were repaid by the Palestinians attempting a coup in Jordan).

The state of Israel was authorised by the UN, and has every right to defend itself. Its current posture is the result of it being attacked several times by Arab nations, who were determined to destroy it. Logically Israel should hold on to Golan,Gaza and the Sinai, as these areas are vital ground in the defence of Israel. The Israelis have negotiated away Sinai and Gaza. We have all seen the response of the people in Gaza.

Blind loathing of Israel is as bad as blind support of Israel. I think when calling other people sad bastards you should take a long hard look at yourself in a mirror.

I take all those points onboard, and would add that Israel has received a total of 63 (a quick totting up) UN resolutions condemning, censuring, deploring and demanding or urging action. I don't blindly loathe Israel and would encourage people to discover and research for themselves what they've been up to down the years - only then can you justifiably loathe them:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_UN_resolutions_concerning_Israel



I didn't call anyone a 'sad fatherless' - 'sad, aggressive....something or other' was what I said.
Member of the UN Security Council the People's Republic of China, enough said!

Saludos Amigos
Zapata
 

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