This week we celebrate Chanukah. The festival that remembers Jewish resistance against oppression is now almost mainstream.
Party leaders vie to record the best Chanukah message and newspapers publish recipes for the best latkes. This is rightly a source of comfort and pride. Jews and our customs are part of the fabric of British life.
But at the same time, there is another story to Jewish life in Britain. This same week — as last week, as the week before that, and doubtless as next week — there has been a steady stream of stories of blatant and unashamed antisemitism, from mock-ups of “dancing Jews” and references to a Final Solution for Israel, to libels about Jews setting Grenfell Tower alight and chanting of Jew-hate outside the US Embassy.
In isolation, none of these are especially earth-shattering, which doubtless explains why they have received negligible media coverage. But week in, week out, the flow of such examples of public and shameless antisemitism is incessant and few of them receive much attention beyond newspapers like the JC.
A sort of “antisemitism fatigue” is at work. Such is the regularity of these stories that many news organisations have lost interest. Perhaps this is understandable — even at the JC there is a weariness at the thought of having to report ever more examples. Understandable, but wrong. We should never lose sight of what underlies all of this — hatred of Jews, which is becoming ever more open.
That is why we have put all of this week’s stories — none of which, on their own, would merit such treatment — on the front page.
Because the sum of the individual parts demands that attention is paid.