The Hidden Costs of Jew-Baiting in England


By Joshua18
July 11, 2010
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An excellent article by Richard Landes, an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Boston University.

The Hidden Costs of Jew-Baiting in England
Jew-baiting has become something of a sport in England, as Brits feed the monster — radical Islam — that devours them.

July 10, 2010 - by Richard Landes

London is an amazing place, full of vitality, intensity, foreign tourists and residents, a patchwork of pluralism. Talk to the average person, and nothing seems amiss: this cab driver, having driven in London for 40 years, sees no significant change in the neighborhoods he travels through; this financier sees no signs of intimidation; this shopper, this tavern-hopper, this man on the bus, lives in an interesting and relatively normal world. A superficial walk through the [Regent’s] park gives the distinct sense of normality.

But talk to the Jews, and you get a different story. The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists held a conference here this week. The topic: Democratic and Legal Norms in an Age of Terror. Panels discussed everything from the Goldstone Report, to the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, to “universal jurisdiction” (lawfare against Israelis brought in foreign courts). Here, in the Khalili Lecture Theatre of the SOAS (School for Oriental and African Studies), Jewish lawyers discussed a grim reality whose only public appearance on an everyday basis is the drumbeat of calumny that a boisterous elite — NGOs, journalists, academics — rain down on Israel.

Perhaps the most startling of the sessions concerned the BDS movement. Jonathan Rynhold, from the BESA Center at Bar Ilan, and Anthony Julius, author of Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England, both presented a picture of British anti-Zionist activity whose intellectual and moral foundations were profoundly irrational, a dogmatic will to stigmatize and destroy Israel that responded to no argument about proportion (what about other places?) or reason (you make no moral demands of the Palestinians). And behind that lies a much weightier volume of negative feeling, a kind of unthinking animosity that expressed itself in its most banal form when a woman explained to Julius: “We all know why the Jews are hated: you marry among yourselves and live in ghettos like Golders Green and Vienna [sic].” In so doing, she put her finger on the most widespread subtext for hostility to Jews – “they think they’re the chosen people.”

Daniel Eilon, an English barrister, explained to me one of the mechanisms. It isn’t real anti-Semitism. In fact, most of the stuff that comes out against Israel is intellectually hopeless — phony narratives based on fantasy “facts.” This is really just good old-fashioned Jew-baiting. It’s saying things in all righteous innocence that you know will hurt the Jews to whom you address the criticism. The problem for the Brits (and the Europeans in general), he pointed out, is that historically, there’s never been a particularly high price to pay for Jew-baiting. Now there is.

What my friend referred to with this last remark is lucidly analyzed by Robin Shepherd in his recent book, A State Beyond the Pale: Europe’s Problem with Israel. The elephant in the room, of course, is radical Islam — the people who interpret being “chosen” by Allah as a charter to dominate the world and submit everyone, willingly or not, to Islam. They’re the people no one dares bait; and they’re the folks who take full advantage of every deference to press for more. Daily aggressions from violent gangs constantly expand the territories where the Queen’s writ does not run. In tempo with the retreat of British law and enforcement, Sharia advances from internal community affairs (explicitly on the model of Jewish religious courts) towards the policing of community boundaries and claims on the state for special treatment. The British — like so many other Western nations –mainstream the extremists and marginalize the moderates. As Nick Cohen put it: “The world faces a psychotic movement and won’t admit it to themselves.”

A documentary filmmaker reveals a double assault on freedom of speech: on the one hand, everyone is terrified of peers calling them Islamophobes; and on the other, anyone who does something negative on Islam puts his or her life in danger. When I respond animatedly to her point, she looks around nervously and signals for me to lower my voice. How often did my British informants tell me in hushed tones about being intimidated!

For the rest of the article, follow the link:

http://tinyurl.com/32ct59x

COMMENTS

Jonathan Hoffman

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 10:20

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Terrific article, thank you


happygoldfish

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 10:37

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uhh?? where is there anything about jew-baiting and its costs??

your quote is about islam-baiting and its costs


Joshua18

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 10:43

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From the article:

"In the European past, Jew-baiting may have seemed relatively cost-free. After all, humiliate a Jew and the worst he’ll do is hector you. Sure, sometimes the sport got out of hand, and killing Jews en masse, or forcing them to convert, or kicking them out may have deeply damaged the economy and empowered repressive forces, like the Inquisition, to go after other religious dissidents. But who really noticed?

Today, however, the situation has changed dramatically because Europe doesn’t just run the risk of internal failure, but getting vanquished by an implacable and merciless foe. By failing to denounce toxic Muslim communitarianism and instead adopting its shrill discourse of demonization about Jews, Brits feed the monster that devours them. If it continues apace, if the British do not make Muslim civility towards Jews the shibboleth of assimilation to a free and democratic culture, they risk losing that civil polity entirely. As always with real anti-Semites, the Jews are only their first target.

Can Britain wake up in time? And if and when it does, can it swallow the painful price of giving up its addiction to Jew-baiting? Or will it be, as some close observers think, the first country in Europe to succumb to Islamism? Walking through the delightful streets of London, watching a brilliant performance of Henry IV Part II at the reconstituted Globe Theatre, passing by a multi-cultural mass of dancers by the embankment at night, viewing the vibrant energy of the city, one has little clue to the problem.

Or is watching this joyful celebration akin to seeing a fat man with a serious cholesterol problem dine on his deep-fried fish-and-chips and wash down those tasty truffles of moral Schadenfreude that so grieve the Jews and comfort the resentful?"


Joshua18

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 10:45

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"Terrific article, thank you"

You are most welcome.


Isca Stieglitz

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 12:01

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Very interesting, thanks. Even if I 'take out' the tones I find a tad hyperbolic, this article brings together some serious problems.

I'll admit to becoming more fearful, the more I personally experience and witness. I must avoid paranoia, however, and try and do something about it. 'What?' is the big question.

I heard lots of furore around Geert Wilders and so naturally wondered what all the fuss was about and chose to investigate; I'd not heard of him until very recently. My opinions on Geert Wilders, I will perhaps leave for another day, but I did happen upon his film 'Fitna'.

1) I felt violated after watching it (not by Wilders, but by what I saw), but was glad that I had watched it.
2) I was struck by the fact, that if you took out the atmospheric music and the odd comment from the Wilders, the film was simply an edit of things which were actually said, done and committed by Islamist-Moslems in everyday life, in everyday cities. A mirror; 'hoist be their own petard'?
3) I'm not sure how far jewish orthodox zealots/ bigots would go, but I've not seen, heard, witnessed anything like I have under radical Islam - by this I mean personal accounts and video footage. If I did, I would be just as horrified and frightened.
4) There is anger over Israeli military action, justified or not, but we have to question motive and unintended consequences. Any investigations should be fair.
5) I have witnessed many jewish groups going on marches and protesting islamophobia, but I have never witnessed the opposite. Do correct me if I'm wrong.
6)What I have not witnessed is: a group of jewish civilian terrorists (Israeli or not) in the UK or anywhere, outside of Israel or inside, blowing up a bus, underground trains, skyscrapers, planes and bars; killing olympians; beheading hostages on the telly; executing women on television; have training at camps for children in Golders Green to train for suicide bombing. Neither, have I witnessed Rabbis issuing death sentences or similar to writers/filmakers/cartoonists who are critical of judaism/Isarel.

The IDF's/ Mossad's activities, may well be viewed by some as the equivalent - this is another debate - I am talking about taking the fight, (deliberately and with religious sanction), to non-combatant civilians anywhere in the world.

Which brings me back to the article; I might not agree with everything in it, but I do feel the desensitisation towards anti-semitic rhetoric via the guise of anti-zionism, which just goes to show the ignorance by many towards both issues.

The casual nature of anti-semitism is the most damning.


Jon_i_Cohen

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 12:13

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Isca
Your post is excellent and hits the issues on the nail.
Geert Wilders is a good bloke, he is pro-Israel and pro-Jewish. He speaks about Islam as it is, if only more politicians spoke out in support we would not be in the mess that we are.
Europe and the UK have a "Trojan horse" with thousands or radicalised young moslems in our midst.
As for the UK's anti-semitism, this is something we should not be surprised about as the UK has always been an inherently anti-semitic society, it is only a question to what degree it has manifested itself over the years.
It is a fact that all terrorists in the world today are moslems, but of course I do not think that all moslems are terrorists.
If we took the weapons from the moslems there would be peace in the world, if we took the weapons away from Israel there would be..................
This is the reality.


Yvetta

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 17:20

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Fantastic article. Very depressing, of course. Historical British antisemitism shouldn't be exaggerated at the cost of ignoring a very strong strand of philosemitism; we all know who drives antisemitism in these isles today, and it is not yer average Brit.


Ben Abuyah

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 21:43

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-1 points

The usual crap from the ultra-Zionist panic-mongers. This idea that we are cowering under our beds, afraid to walk the streets because of the all-pervasive atmosphere of antisemitism - I'm sorry, but it's COMPLETE BOLLOCKS.

There are certain organisations and groups who would like this to be the case. The CST, for example, who rely on a perception of extreme levels of antisemitism in order to justify their existence and funding. It's also really good for the ultra-Zionists (ie the "Israel right or wrong" brigade), since it enables them to point to increasing levels of antisemitism as a means of delegitimising legitimate criticism of Israel.

"They're only criticising Israel because, deep down, they're antisemitic. However, it's not acceptable to be openly antisemitic these days, so they instead turn their attention to the Jewish state." That's the argument you'll hear people using. Therefore, any criticism of Israel is almost certainly antisemitic. It's a ludicrous argument, but a lot of idiots seem to be taken in by it.

Then of course there are the non-Jewish Islamophobes - the likes of Douglas Murray and Geert Wilders - who find it very convenient to be able to tag along. Plus, the fundamentalist "Christian Zionists", who are only backing Israel in the hope that the ingathering of the Jews will accelerate the arrival of Armageddon, at which point we'll end up on the losing side along with everyone else who hasn't accepted Jesus.


Yvetta

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 22:20

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I don't agree with Jon that Britain is "an inherently antisemitic society" - not for a moment. I just don't get that. Jews from true lands of antisemitism who came to GB or to Oz or any other land under the British flag were always grateful that they had come to lands of freedom. That's why in Oz so many Jews flocked to the colours in the First World War, before conscription. A couple won the VC. Sure, there are antisemitic individuals and ratbag groups around, but Britain and the Old Domimions as they were known aren't hives of antisemitism - French Canada was pretty prejudiced, though. And in that fact we see why Britain was different - the Reformation swept away the old Catholic prejudices with their cult of Little Saint Hugh, introduced the Bible in English and fostered the "Old Dissenting" groups which were strongly philosemitic. The rise of mercantilism advantaged the Jews - Cromwell knew that Jews were beneficial to the English economy, and so did Charles II. A famous speech by Sir Josiah Child is symbolic of this 17th century appreciation of the economic benefit to this country of having Jews around.
At the same time, I disagree profoundly with Ben re the Islamic threat - islamofascism is a real and present (and future) danger, and not only to the Jewish community. Apart from the nutcase political heirs of Mosley and Colin Jordan, who are the main antisemites in Britain today? Muslim radicals and their totalitarian leftie mates, of course. I agree with Jon - well, the evidence is there in plain view - that there's a Trojan Horse in Europe's midst.


happygoldfish

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 22:25

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2 points

what are you talking about??

Ben Abuyah This idea that we are cowering under our beds, afraid to walk the streets because of the all-pervasive atmosphere of antisemitism

nobody has said that


Joshua18

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 23:09

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Yvetta writes:

"I don't agree with Jon that Britain is "an inherently antisemitic society" - not for a moment."

Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England by Anthony Julius

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trials-Diaspora-History-Anti-Semitism-England/dp...


Joshua18

Sun, 07/11/2010 - 23:24

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"I'm sorry, but it's COMPLETE BOLLOCKS."

You say that firstly because you couldn't care less about anti-Semitism (actually, like most of your fellow travellers, you revel in it), and secondly because nothing would delight you more than the complete destruction of the Jewish state.

As I've said before, if you are really Jewish then it's a great shame we can't swap you for one of your relatives who died in the Holocaust.

--------

"Ben Abuyah" certainly chose his name well. A little bit about that infamous traitor:

"Elisha [ben Abuyah] played the part of an informer during the Hadrianic persecutions, when the Jews were ordered to violate the laws of the Torah. As evidence of this it is related that when the Jews were ordered to do work on Shabbat, they tried to perform it in a way which could be considered as not profaning the Sabbath. But Elisha betrayed the Pharisees to the Roman authorities."


Yvetta

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 08:31

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Joshua, the Julius book is an absolutely brilliant tour-de-force. The best. Without in any way detracting from it, I think - as Prof. Vernon Bogdanor pointed out in his JC review of it - we need to also have a look at the book "Philosemitism: Admiration and Support for Jews in the English-speaking World, 1840-1939" by Prof. Rubinstein and his wife, or we'll all be "paranoid".
It's clear that the post-Holocaust moratorium on voiced antisemitism has broken down, of course, and for a lot of that I blamed the biased reportage of Al Beeb.


Ben Abuyah

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 10:22

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-1 points

happygoldfish:

Agreed, no-one in this particular blog has explicitly used the "all-pervasive antisemitism" motif. But articles like the one here by Richard Landes are constantly getting picked up and elaborated upon by other people. Take a look at the blogs on sites like Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post, and you'll find lots of people from outside the UK who, based on mischievous articles like these, are under the impression that we're living in a situation like that in Germany in the 1930s.

Joshua18:

You make statements about me without any shred of evidence. You suggest that I revel in antisemitism - of course I don't. The people who do, as I mentioned, are organisations like the CST. The problem with people playing the antisemitism card every time Israel is criticised, is that real incidents of antisemitism get ignored.

And when have I ever indicated that I would like to see Israel destroyed? So I'm not a Zionist, but that doesn't mean I feel any enmity towards the State of Israel. I have some concerns about the way that the State was established, but given that the State does exist, I want it to continue to exist as a democratic state, based on Jewish values, which sets an example to other countries, and of which I can be proud.

And for those who haven't read my explanation on other threads as to why I chose my pseudonym - it's because I expected to get precisely the sort of vitriol I'm getting from morons like Joshua18.


Joshua18

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 11:27

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Jonathan Hoffman pretty much says it all about Abuyah here:

http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/horn-plenty

------------

"So I'm not a Zionist"

If you are not a Zionist then you do not believe Israel has a right to exist. Consequently, all your other justifications are pure bunkum.

"I have some concerns about the way that the State was established"

Yes, and we can imagine what those concerns relate to.

My own concerns largely relate to the fact that the vast majority of Jews who should have settled in Israel were murdered instead primarily because of the collaboration of Britain and the United States in the Holocaust.

"I want it to continue to exist as a democratic state, based on Jewish values"

You have no concern for Judaism except when you employ it, or at least some skewed and idealised version of it, to berate and deligitimise Israel.

And, once again, we can just imagine what your notion of a "democratic state" would entail.

"which sets an example to other countries, and of which I can be proud."

To hold Israel to a higher standard than other nations is anti-Semitism pure and simple. Besides, Israel would have to sink very low indeed to come even close to the countries of Europe. If any nations should be held to a high standard, especially in terms of their conduct vis-à-vis Jews and the Jewish state, then it should be those countries which collaborated in the Holocaust. It is a perverse and wicked sort of logic that suggests that the victims of genocide should be nobler than the perpetrators of genocide.

Who gives a damn what you can be proud of?

"And for those who haven't read my explanation on other threads as to why I chose my pseudonym - it's because I expected to get precisely the sort of vitriol I'm getting from morons like Joshua18."

Exactly - you are a vicious Jew-baiter. You employed the same kind of tactic when you asked me whether my name was inspired by Adolf Hitler.


Ben Abuyah

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 12:32

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Joshua18 - it's pointless arguing with you, since you appear to live in some fantasy world created within your tiny mind. Please seek help.


Joshua18

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 13:17

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Like the coward that you are, you run away from an argument.

Anyone who has studied the lives of Stalin and Hitler will be aware that you are certainly not the first anti-Semite to make the accusation that Jews suffer from a mental disorder. What makes your own charge
particularly risible is that fact you are a preternaturally ignorant individual. Your knowledge of psychiatry is on a par with your understanding of Judaism and Zionism. As a perfect example of human failure, you are beyond help.


Ben Abuyah

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 14:06

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See what I mean?


Joshua18

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 14:14

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See what I mean: a Jew-baiter from the top of his ignorant head right down to his unwashed feet. Complete human garbage.


happygoldfish

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 14:20

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Ben Abuyah: Joshua18 - it's pointless arguing with you, since you appear to live in some fantasy world created within your tiny mind. Please seek help.

Ben Abuyah: See what I mean?

i rather like his fantasy world …

it's so much simpler than the real world!


Joshua18

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 14:30

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"it's so much simpler than the real world!"

That must be the world where he baits Jews and you cheer him on.

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