Mrs Cohen, the Daily Mail is talking about you, too
I had always thought that the Daily Mail, despite its Hitler-appeasing past and temporary admiration for the Blackshirts, in recent years had become converted to the idea of the Jews.
I thought it saw Jews as the one immigrant group it could tolerate: suburban enthusiasts for the enterprise culture whose arrival in this country was not buttressed by benefits and council housing.
We were the legions of Old Estonians, Margaret Thatcher hugged around her.
We have tended, in recent years, not to strike or do anything to lower house prices. We like shopping. Simon Marks practically invented it.
I thought the Mail saw Jews as one immigrant group it could tolerate
The Mail’s attack on Ed Miliband through his father was, of course, an assault on the other strand of Jewishness, the dangerous intellectual class which I would like to think formed the majority of British Jews, but does not. It was an assault on the émigré left-wing Hampstead intellectual of yore.
I do not know exactly what Paul Dacre’s intentions were when he passed this story, or whether Geoffrey Levy volunteered it or was put up to hit by his bosses, but bursting forth out of it, in below-the-line comments, has been a revival of the “Jews can’t be trusted because of their divided loyalties” genre of antisemitism.
For Ralph Miliband to fight for Britain was not enough (actually, it was barely mentioned in the original piece). He had to bend his knee in obeisance to his adopted country. Surrender free speech and opinion. And his son inherits his “bad blood”, as another old anti-Semitic trope has it.
Watch out anyone born here whose parents are immigrants — we are the ones who are now all in this together. Yes, even us, the suburban shoppers at Waitrose looking for menorah candles and own-brand gefilte fish.
Linda Grant is a columnist and novelist