Wednesday, April 02, 2008

UK is ‘European centre of anti-Semitism’

According to Professor Robert Wistrich of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, British anti-Semitism is unparalleled throughout Europe, indeed, the UK is ‘the epicentre for anti-Semitic trends in Europe’ whose age-old literary and cultural anti-Semitism has ‘developed into a contemporary mix of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism’.

He identifies the cause quite straightforwardly as ‘a growing and increasingly radical Muslim population, the weak approach taken by a timid British Jewish leadership, and the detachment of the British from their Christian roots’.

Professor Wistrich notes that the expulsion of all Jews from Britain in 1290 by King Edward I following years of anti-Semitic violence was the first major expulsion of any Jewish community in Europe. Jews were banned from Britain until 1656, when Oliver Cromwell, who had overthrown the monarchy, authorised their return.

Somewhat obsessively, the professor then blames the continuing influence of ‘anti-Semitic stereotypes’ in Chaucer, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Dickens, Trollope, TS Elliot, and DH Lawrence, which he asserts ‘continue to impact British society hundreds of years later today’.

Cranmer rather doubts this. There are so few schoolchildren who are now taught Chaucer, and even fewer have ever heard of Marlowe, and Shakespeare is simply reduced to bite-sized chunks or turned into a trendy ‘rap’ such that students comprehend very little of the complex social dynamics at work in these texts. And when it comes to the population at large, it would be a minuscule percentage who may be even remotely familiar with The Merchant of Venice.

And obsessively further still: ‘During World War II, the British refusal to rescue the Jews of Europe and their decision to close the gates of Palestine stemmed not only from a policy of realpolitik but by anti-Semitic sentiments’.

The assertion is so facile that Cranmer is not going to waste his continuing death on the matter.

Where the professor is right, however, is in his assertion that ‘today's British media has taken an almost universally anti-Israel bias, especially but not exclusively on the BBC, with context removed from description of Israeli military actions, and Islamic jihadist activity such as suicide bombing never connected to ideology.

‘Under no circumstance will a Palestinian act of terrorism be referred to as terrorist. They are militants similar to the floor-shop dispute in Liverpool whose workers have decided to go on strike.

‘Palestinian terrorism is portrayed as a minor pin-prick compared to “massive” retaliation of this “rogue” state (Israel).

‘You cannot read a British newspaper without encountering a variant of the libel that Zionism is racism or Zionism is Nazism. With the media and the elites skewed against Israel - aided by former Israeli academics who routinely condemn the Jewish state and who have attained historic dissident status and are listened to as the authentic voice of Israel - the whole discussion of anti-Semitism has become distorted in Britain, with the accuser becoming the accused.

‘If you bring up the subject of anti-Semitism you are playing the anti-Semitism card and you are (seen as) a dishonest deceitful manipulative Jew or lover of Jews who is using the language of anti-Semitism to disguise hide or silence criticism of Israel.’

Britain now has 1.6 million Muslims compared to about 350,000 Jews, and the Qur’an is better known and more revered in the media than the Torah. Professor Wistrich notes that ‘the straying of the British from their Christian roots has also created a changed reality in the Anglo-Israeli relationship with no Bible-based reasons or raison d'etre for a Jewish presence in the Holy Land.’

He cites the recent support of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the adoption of parts of Shari’a: ‘The loss of Christian identity in what was the most Bible-believing culture in its day is one of the deeper layers of what has happened here.’

He notes some of the biblical remarks of prominent British leaders such as Lord Balfour and Lloyd George would be viewed as anathema today: ‘You cannot speak or act that way today, or you would be considered the “biggest threat to civilisation” as American Evangelicals are.’

Cranmer is not sure who, apart from Osama bin Laden and President Ahmadinejad, views American Evangelicals as ‘the biggest threat to civilisation’.

They pale into insignificance against the likes of New Labour.


Anonymous mickey said...

A couple of years ago it was France that was the target of the Professorial ire, your Grace, when he said:

"...In France the anti-Semitic demon is out of the bottle. It escaped some time ago, and the government cannot put it back again. Something similar is happening in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Sweden, and even in Britain the mood is ugly."

Now that France seems to be onside with respect to an attack on Iran, the mudslinging must find a new target. Ho-hum.

2 April 2008 at 09:36  
Blogger Bert Rustle said...

Cranmer wrote ... He cites the recent support of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the adoption of parts of Shari’a ...

Theodore Dalrymple Accommodating Islamic Law? wrote of that speech:

... Rarely does philosophical inanity dovetail so neatly into total ignorance of concrete social realities: it is as though the archbishop were the product of the coupling of Goldilocks and Neville Chamberlain. Those more charitably inclined point out that the archbishop is an erudite man ... Charity is a virtue, of course, but so is clarity ... He assumes that the benevolence of his manner will disguise the weakness of his thought, and that his opacity will be mistaken for profundity. ... There is only one word for a society in which such discourse can pass for intellectual subtlety and sophistication, and lead to career advancement: decadent. ...

2 April 2008 at 10:07  
Blogger Quiet_Man said...

Your Grace is simply stating the obvious, something that the majority of the people of this land understand but is ignored by those in power and those who run the pro Palestinian BBC. They don't seem to realise that with radical Islam they have grasped a poisonous snake to their bosom.

2 April 2008 at 10:08  
Anonymous William Lamberton said...

May I take issue with the statement, "the explusion of all Jews from Britain in 1290." That may be true of England but it wasn't true of Scotland. The small Jewish Community was not expelled. Indeed they and the Knights Templer helped Finance King Robert I's campaign in the Wars of Independence- one of the reasons why Scotland was one the least anti-semitic communities in Europe. Later, Knox's Reformation placed much emphasis on the Old Testament so there was much in common with the Jewish Faith.
The main thrust of the article however is right in that the growing Islamic Community has a strong anti-semitic streak in it

2 April 2008 at 13:16  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

According to Professor Robert Wistrich of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, British anti-Semitism is unparalleled throughout Europe, indeed, the UK is ‘the epicentre for anti-Semitic trends in Europe’ whose age-old literary and cultural anti-Semitism has ‘developed into a contemporary mix of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism’.

Jews have supported mass immigration by Muslims, "multiculturalism" and the removal of Christianity from public life every step of the way. Now the chickens are coming home to roost and they're blaming "Britain".

2 April 2008 at 15:20  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace
anti semitism is created when there is overt funding or control of organisations that seek to remove our christian foundations.

i appreciate israel wants a home but sometimes there thinking and method causes more problems than the main one , but there are complexities of islamic extremists which upset all of us. perhaps gaining understanding for help would be better than meddleing and causing in balance , but that could be said of other groups as well.

2 April 2008 at 18:16  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Your Grace
I like your post, although I take issue with your last line! Those Bible Bashers put Bush in charge of the world! And he hasn't helped anyone - not Britain, not Israel, not even America.

The discussion of anti-semitism is what makes Israel a great subject for an interesting debate. Unfortunately it can get in the way - as you say, because Jews have had the right or even the possibility to claim anti-semitism taken from them. The question is where does the blame lie?

Does the blame lie with those Westerners who are anti-semitic and who blindly hate Israel without any real understanding of the issues? Or does it lie with the Jewish lobby - some of whom scream anti-semitism at the slightest criticism of Israel?

Blacks and Jews are very similar in this respect. And with both groups, I think the blame lies both on the side of the oppressor and the oppressed. Unfortunately neither side ever sees this and continues to blame the opposing side.

2 April 2008 at 21:34  
Anonymous dearieme said...

"During World War II, the British refusal to rescue the Jews of Europe and their decision to close the gates of Palestine ..": this is anti-British race-hate rhetoric. You'd have thought a Jew might know better.

2 April 2008 at 23:33  
Blogger Boycotted British Academic said...

Could Snuffy provide an example of where the "Jewish Lobby" (which Snuffy might also define BTW) has used AS at the 'slightest' criticism of Israel?

Sorry to be exacting! It's just that I've noticed that people have the assumption that this is so but, in fact, it's just another of those myths which goes around these days, which ends up so that "Jews have had the right or even the possibility to claim anti-semitism taken from them".

Besides, there's so much of the other kind of criticism around that I can't imagine there's much time to spare for those Snuffy must have had in mind to bother with the slight.

Re your analogy with Blacks. Can you think of an equivalent to how Ken's playing it at the moment with Mr Saucy SMS?! (I liked your posts on that BTW)

3 April 2008 at 00:12  
Anonymous Voyager said...

And obsessively further still: ‘During World War II, the British refusal to rescue the Jews of Europe and their decision to close the gates of Palestine stemmed not only from a policy of realpolitik but by anti-Semitic sentiments’.

Yes that same Britain foolishly appointed the first Jewish Governor of Palestine since Roman times - Sir Herbert Samuel - and he in 1921 appointed as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem - Haj Amin al-Husseini - a man sentenced by the British to 10 years in jail for inciting riots in The Mandate.

So Samuel amnestied him and appointed him Grand Mufti in 1921 so he could start yet more riots in 1929 and 1936 - he was able to restore the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome on The Rock.

In 1941 the Grand Mufti met with Adolf Hitler. His cousin/nephew was Yassir Arafat - aka Abd al-Rahman abd al-Bauf Arafat al-Qud al-Husseini.

The British, it would appear, rather like fathers of pubescent teenagers, are always in the wrong.

3 April 2008 at 06:50  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

It is hard to define the Jewish lobby, just like it is hard to define the Black lobby - but they are there. I don't think this because underneath it all I really do hate Jews, or Blacks, for that matter. On both sides, there are people who jump to anti-semitism, or to racism as a response to everything. And they don't take the time to consider the criticisms that are put forward. It is victimhood. It is standard with any set of people who have been oppressed or even feel that they have been oppressed. Christians on this blog sometimes demonstrate it for instance - where they just cannot get out of the mentality that everyone is after them.

And the problem with these people is that it takes away the right of the real claim away from the rest of us. Same thing for the Christians, actually.

The difference between the Jews and the Blacks is that we have no power. We will always be black and poor and so the patronising Left will always feel sorry for us and will therefore not treat us the way they treat Israel.

As you know I've said before, I think it is about Israel being white, Western, and powerful that the Left doesn't like. It isn't that Lefties are anti-semitic and right-wingers are not. At the end of the day, as a concept, that doesn't really make any sense.

It is that the right-wingers aren't annoyed with people who aren't WASPS having power. They don't get some sense of satisfaction at helping poor brown people. I would be interested to hear what you think about that.

Regarding Ken - like my post - like I said the other night - It is the SAME thing. Your battle and mine are just the same. We are fighting the same people for very similar reasons. Don't you think? In the same way that I am reluctant to see racism in everything, I am reluctant to see anti-semitism. But I'm not sure I understand your question regarding Ken?

3 April 2008 at 07:35  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Apparently the muslims stopped breeding ten years ago and thier numbers have remained at 1.6 ever since,remarkable!

3 April 2008 at 20:34  
Anonymous Frances Waddams Anglican Friends of Israel said...


'I think it is about Israel being white, Western, and powerful that the Left doesn't like. '

I think that, inadvertently I am sure, you have fallen into echoing some unhelpful stereotypes of Jews in your description of Israel - you know, the powerful Jew behind all the schemes in the entire universe ..

In fact, Israel's Jews come from all over the world, from China to South America, from India to Africa and everywhere else in between. In particular, 800,000 Jews were driven from ancient communities in Muslim countries all over the Middle East and North Africa by anti-semitic pogroms in the years following modern Israel's foundation in 1948. So to describe Israel as white and Western is simply untrue. By dint of very hard work, Israel has become more productive and prosperous than any of her neighbours. But her population of a mere 7.2 million hardly makes her the all-powerful monster of the anti-Israel left's imagination.

The problem underlying much of the British media's coverage of the Middle East conflict is that they have allied themselves with a cause whose real aims they ignore. It is not Israel's actions to which her enemies object, but her very existence. They haven't been able to destroy her militarily, but they think that they can delegitimise and undermine her through propaganda.

Perhaps the question is, why have the media been so willing to join in this blatantly unfair treatment of Israel? And there, I think, underlying anti-semitism might come into play. You know, the 'some of my best friends are Jews but ...' racism with which I suspect you are only too familiar.

4 April 2008 at 18:05  
Anonymous Daniel J. Dick said...

I think the imagined quarrel between some who call themselves Jews and some who call themselves Christians springs out of wilfull laziness and ignorance. The whole prophecy of Christ was not carried in the new testament but the old, and without the law of the old testament, man's need for salvation through the ultimate sacrifice and expression of love of God could never be seen. We need the law to destroy the ignorance that takes the form of arrogance. Without the law that the Jews carried to us from God, there would be no Christianity, no foundation for Christianity, and the first Christians were Jews. Therefore real Judaism and real Christianity are not just joined at the hip, but they're joined somewhere within the atom or quark and entirely inseparable. And, that is why so many American Christians would surrender their commitment to the United States were the US ever to become the enemy of Israel. America would collapse within. But, the worrisome thing about that is that the cowardice and dishonesty and stupidity of many western nations today have already started a trend of disintegration from within. We have American whorehouse marriages that deny citizens the right to enter into a truly binding marital agreement -- a no-fault divorce system that, in the name of kindness and non-judgmentalism, drags the faithful widow or widower of divorce into court to be threatened with the loss of everything precious, and that's where the prostitution of justice takes over, where the attorneys hold their hands out for hundreds of dollars per hour on the promise of protecting the faithful from injustice. Even if the faithful win, injustice has been done due to the tremendous loss of attorney and court fees. And the longer injustice is prolonged, the more wealthy attorneys, and judges, become. That's America. That's Australia. That's a good number of European and British nations.

To give you another idea of how cowardly and corrupt things are in Melbourne, Australia, a pastor there popped open a Koran and read a little from it. Some Muslims heard it or heard about it and decided to sue this pastor, and hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions had to be spent to defend this pastor in court.

Apparently neither the Muslim community there nor the city of Melbourne have the backbone or integrity to hear any form of truth spoken without labeling it hateful. But, if reading from the Koran is "hateful", then what about the words of the Koran that speak of killing the infidels? Is the crime hating or killing or supporting hating or killing, or is the crime mentioning that the words exist in their book?

Can anyone say, "Hypocrisy"? Here, the people committing the hate crime are using the stupidity and incompetence of the Melbourne people and their government to take down a person who objects to this hate -- not by slandering, but by reading their own words.

What could this pastor be guilty of? Reading their holy book? If they regard it holy, then why would it be wrong to read it?

I have islamic friends, and yet it would not be fair or honest or right to back down from being truthful about my concern about these kinds of texts and the behavior I have seen committed in the name of Islam based on these kinds of writings.

I recognize violence was done in the name of Christianity through the Inquisition, but one must also recognize that many Christians regard this to be a hyjacking of Christianity and not something driven from the teachings of Christianity itself. Many Christians were abused and tortured and killed by atrocities done in the name of Christianity, too. And, then after suffering abuse, they must suffer accusation for the crimes committed against them far outside their approval.

Some killed Jews in the name of Christianity and Christians who loved and protected Jews suffered and died with the Jews and suffered accusation. Some enslaved blacks in the name of Christianity, and similiarly some died protecting and defending blacks and considered it impossible for one to be a truly saved Christian while abusing people because of their race.

So, what matters most is not the label, but the belief system, the commitment of direction, the love and faithfulness of heart.

17 May 2008 at 18:52  

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