By Robyn Rosen
December 23, 2010
Christina Patterson has gone and done it again.
Not satisfied with her initial rant in July about how rude her Chassidic neighbours in Stamford Hill are towards her, the Independent columnist has once again decided to defend it.
In a nutshell, she’s upset that she’s been listed on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s worst antisemitic slurs of 2010.
In her latest tirade, she justifies her original comments with an explanation closely associated to that old favourite “I can’t be antisemitic, I have Jewish friends” and says that even people with names like “Solomon, Symons or Greenfield” have sent her messages of support.
In an attempt to further explain her views, she claims 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 makes them out as not just racist, but a hater of a particular, entire race”.
But what Ms Patterson still does not realise is that she wasn’t criticising the behaviour of someone who just so happens to be Jewish.
Her original piece describes people that drive badly, talk on their phone while in the car and are rude to customers in shops with the derogatory, narrow-minded statement: “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.”
By making that very link, between bad behaviour and the fact that they are Jewish, she has made huge generalisations about the race as a whole.
She goes on to belittle one of the world’s great human rights organisations as a “Museum of Tolerance” (her quote marks) and then, after criticising it for connecting Jewish rights to supporting Israel, does just that, spending the next 100 words questioning support for a country that uses “a nine-year-old child as a human shield”.
Isn’t it ironic that Ms Patterson thinks she can teach the Simon Wiesenthal Centre about tolerance?