Sense of proportion

November 24, 2016 23:20

Dave Whelan, the Wigan chairman, is clearly not the brightest spark in the firmament. His remark that "Jewish people chase money more than everybody else" is a classic antisemitic trope.

And his defence that some of his best friends are Jews is simply classic. As chairman of a football club he is subject to the FA's rules of behaviour and if he has broken them - it is difficult to see how he has not - he should be punished accordingly.

But there is something depressing and, ultimately, worrying about the vehemence with which our communal bodies have attacked him. Mr Whelan is an idiot and he should be corrected. We need, however, to hold on to a sense of proportion. Mr Whelan is a figure of his time and his environment, a generation that speaks of "Chinks" and "tight" Jews and doesn't see the problem. But he is not the enemy we really need to worry about.

He is not - as per Nicolas Anelka - premeditatedly parading his support for a racist like Dieudonné. He is not a demagogue inciting hatred.

He is simply a foolish man caught spouting drivel. When we jump and down demanding his defenestration, we diminish the impact of our outrage and anger when it is actually needed. If we react with all guns blazing every time someone says something antisemitic, no matter how trivial the context, we will soon find the currency of our anger severely diminished.

November 24, 2016 23:20

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive