Far right still flies the flag of hate

May 05, 2016 12:26

When I meet people who need antisemitism explained, I usually begin by showing them three items from the old Jewish defence archives.

The first is a National Socialist Movement flyer from 1962. Entitled "Free Britain From Jewish Control", it shows a fat hook-nosed Jew in banker's clothing, wielding a whip, its end shaped like a pound sterling sign. In the grotesque Jew's other hand is a sack of coins. Across his stomach is a watch chain, bearing a Star of David. Licking his feet, begging like dogs, are politicians marked "Labour", "Conservative" and "Lib".

Next, the September 1939 edition of The Fascist. The front page bears a black swastika and the headline "Jew-Control in Britain during the last World War". It lists dozens of people who were supposedly controlled by Jews in 1914 and asks "Are you going to stand for this again"?

Then, I show a 1936 copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, from the Britons Publishing Society.

Each of these source documents is undeniably antisemitic. I am yet to meet anyone who doesn't understand that. These antisemitic horror shows demonstrate how Jewish money is alleged to control politicians, the media, war; and much else besides. So, people get my concerns when I then produce the January 14 2002 edition of the New Statesman, with its cover showing a golden Star of David, piercing a supine Union jack, under the title "A kosher conspiracy?".

Far-right antisemitism is, however, more than just a historical artefact, useful for explaining how today's "anti-Zionism" apes older Jew-hatred. It is, sadly, alive and kicking, widespread on Facebook, Twitter and any other platform that allows hateful ideas to be spread in the name of modernity and free speech.

The internet itself has more of this hatred than Goebbels could ever have imagined, but this is not just a virtual problem: it is a real one, in every way. You can see it in large-scale far-right political parties, such as in Hungary and Greece, countries where older forms of antisemitism remain dangerous, giving powerful reminders of what unadulterated Jew-hatred looks like, when given its head.

Here in Britain, we recall the transparent attempts of the British National Party to cast off its antisemitic image. That lasted about as long as the BNP's relative electoral success.

Newer groups such as the English Defence League push a basic anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant message that reflects modern identity politics, rather than the increasingly outdated Jew-obsession of their BNP and National Front counterparts.

Old British right-wing antisemitic sneering still exists, such as the handful of middle-aged racists who pathetically ate a pork pie when demonstrating recently in Golders Green.

Such idiocy must not, however, blind us to the emergence of small groups, such as National Action, whose rhetoric is increasingly wild, embracing vicious antisemitism to demonstrate its ideological purity and commitment.

We ridicule, ignore and belittle the old antisemitism at our peril: as police, CST and others know only too well.

May 05, 2016 12:26

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