The price of joining polite society

By Jenni Frazer, August 21, 2014

I have had enough. I am sick of being told by people who haven’t the faintest idea of my beliefs and circumstances what I ought to think or feel. And that especially goes for the people who’ve never been closer to Israel than a packet of dates in Waitrose.

I am sick of being told by the bien-pensants in Britain’s society what antisemitism is, could be, or is not.

I am sick of people like Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who in a bleating and self-serving column in the Independent last weekend, claimed that she only didn’t go on Saturday’s Gaza march because she was nervous of being accused of being an antisemite, and then went on to define what she thought was antisemitism.

Well, Yasmin, aw, diddums. Wake up and smell the distinct whiff of hypocrisy. A very good reason for not going on the Gaza march is because the slugs come out from under their stones at these events, with their banners reading “We are all Hizbollah now.”

Want to argue that Hizbollah don’t hate Jews more than strictly necessary? Good luck with that.
Poor Yasmin. She couldn’t, she said, “get my head around the way in which extreme and even reasonable Zionists were pointing to anti-semitism as a way of shutting down debate.”

Here’s the thing, Yasmin, and it’s really kind of you to make a distinction between “extreme” and “reasonable” Zionists. (Clue: I’m not feeling very reasonable at the moment.) We Jews are the ones who know what antisemitism is, and we are sophisticated enough, on the whole, to understand it when it is directed at us.

It’s not you or George Galloway, and all the other usual suspects, who will define it. Believe me, I don’t cry antisemitism unnecessarily. But I know it when I see it.
Here it is in another form, after the Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity campaign was asked for a response to the various daubings and usual disgraceful behaviour that has taken place in the city in the wake of the Gaza violence.

The PSC’s spokesman said: “The real issue here is that there needs to be a political solution to the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. We would like the members of the Brighton Jewish community who do not agree with Israel’s policies to stand up — as 150 in Brooklyn did the other day, and many others have done — to show that there is not a divide between Jews and non-Jews.”

I’m sorry, anonymous PSC spokesperson. What that would show is that there are “good Jews” and “bad Jews”, “good Jews” who are, as the Guardian succinctly put it, ready to pay the price for entering polite society, “good Jews” who are prepared to be the “beards” for those who wish to discriminate against mainstream Jewish society.
And the “good Jews” – well, you know who you are. You are the ones who are ready to jump up and down, metaphorically crying, “Me, me!” in your effort to get to the front of the queue in denouncing Israel. Do you think it will make the non-Jews who are disposed to hate us, love you more? Get real.

Ask yourselves, by the way, why there aren’t mirror organisations on the other side, of outfits like Jews for Justice for the Palestinians. It is because you are being used.

Just because I am not an apologist for Benjamin Netanyahu’s government doesn’t mean that I am ready to attack Israel in public, or let attacks on Israel, with their hidden agenda of antisemitism, become my passport to being a good Briton.

I read a piece in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz last week which could almost have been a comedy script, suggesting sonorously that those who organised the Gaza marches in London were taking serious steps to prevent antisemitism.

Oh, please. These events are just an excuse for the scum to rise to the top. I am sick of justifications being found for racist behaviour and expressions, sick of distinctions being made by Jews who should know better, the ones who are so patrician that they might have auditioned for bit parts in The Honourable Woman.

Too bad for you if you don’t like being Jewish. Antisemites, in the end, don’t care.

Last updated: 4:35pm, August 21 2014