Tony Greenstein | 15 January 2015 | Post Views:

Another Example of ‘anti-Semitism’

This isn’t the first example of where Jewish people, who
want to become victims of anti-Semitism but can’t find any, end up faking
incidents of anti-Semitism to portray themselves as the victims.  It usually happens in the context of support
for the Palestinians and reflects a psychological desire for the limelight but
it also casts a light over the absurd claims made by many (see below) that Jews
today are living in the 1930’s.

A genuinely anti-Semitic cartoon
That over half of respondents compare the situation
in Britain today with that of the 1930’s shows a disconnect bordering on
By Anshel
Pfeffer | Jan. 14, 2015
Pfeffer is an Israeli journalist with Haaretz, covering military, Jewish and
international affairs. (Wikipedia)

report published Wednesday by the Campaign Against  

Gerald Scarfe’s anti-racist cartoon of Netanyahu building the settlements – NOT anti-semitic despite rubbish campaign of Zionists who don’t know difference between racism and anti-racism

Anti-Semitism (CAA) group is
a very worrying document. It claims that nearly half of British citizens hold
at least one anti-Semitic view, but more than what it tells us about the
British perspective on Jews, it indicates a deep, perhaps inflated, feeling of
insecurity among a section of British Jewry.

report is based on two surveys . In the first, carried out by the respectable
polling company YouGov, a sample of 3,411 British adults were asked to respond
to seven statements regarding Jews by stating to what degree they believed or
disbelieved the statements. The CAA deems each statement to be anti-Semitic —
and this is the weakest point in the survey. Some of the statements are
downright Judeophobic such as “in business, Jews are not as honest as most
The real racism today – Beitar fans in Jerusalem demonstrating against the hiring of a Muslim player
But take
for example the statement that “Jews think they are better than other people.”
Of course it’s not the thing that one should normally be caught saying in
public – but is it anti-Semitic? For a start, many Jews do subscribe to the
Jewish notion of “the chosen people,” and for that matter it’s not only Jews;
members of many if not most nations, religions and ethnicities believe they are
better than the others. That’s natural and normal national pride. Even if this
view runs counter to liberal orthodoxy, believing that Jews think of themselves
that way can certainly be a fair and honest assessment.
The same
can be said of another of the survey’s statements: “Jews talk about the
Holocaust too much in order to get sympathy.” That’s a rather nasty accusation
but the fact is too many Jews, both political leaders in public appearances and
ordinary Jews on social media, are often too quick to bring up the Holocaust in
order to make a point. The sad truth is that many Jews have cheapened the
memory of the Holocaust by using it in an inappropriate fashion. Holding that
opinion doesn’t necessarily make you an anti-Semite.
Example of anti-Semitism – photograph of Jewish child in ghetto roundup
There are
other statements there which are wrong or offensive, but agreeing with them
isn’t necessarily evidence of anti-Semitism. In their eagerness to prove a
point, the CAA has created its own definition of anti-Semitism, which is more a
reflection of what is impolite to say in public than what is actual bias
against Jews. Another group with a different definition could conduct a similar
survey and come up with radically different results.
is a very young organization set up this summer following accusations from part
of British Jewry that the veteran establishment was slow and weak in its
response to the wave of anti-Israel protests during the Gaza conflict and the
related rise in anti-Semitic offenses. While there certainly has to be
vigilance against forms of Jew-hatred, the CAA seems to be over-diagnosing the
eagerness to see the anti-Semitism in Britain, which inarguably exists, as much
more widespread than it really is, comes across in the second survey in the
report, conducted directly by the organization among 2,230 British Jews. The
survey was done over social media and though the CAA tried to widen its reach
through the email lists of a number of large Jewish organizations, you don’t
have to be a statistician to realize how such a sample is far from
methodology aside, the headline findings that 45 percent of British Jews feel
that “Jews may not have a long-term future in Britain” and that they and their
families are “threatened by Islamic extremism in Britain” should cause concern.
But then, those are subjective feelings: What relation do they have to the
actual situation on the ground?
The last
finding in the survey is that 56 percent agree that “the recent rise in
anti-Semitism in Britain has some echoes of the 1930s.” If the majority of
British Jews and the authors of the CAA report actually believe that, then it’s
hard to take anything they say about contemporary anti-Semitism in their home
country seriously. If they honestly think that the situation in Britain today
echoes the 1930s when Jews were still banned from a wide variety of clubs and
associations, when a popular fascist party, supported by members of the
nobility and popular newspapers, were marching in support of Hitler, when large
parts of the British establishment were appeasing Nazi Germany and the
government was resolutely opposed to allowing Jewish refugees of Nazism in to
Britain, finally relenting in 1938 to allow 10,000 children to arrive — but not
their parents who were to die in the Holocaust (that shameful aspect of the
Kindertransport that is seldom mentioned) — and when the situation of Jews in
other European countries at the time was so much worse, then not only are they
woefully ignorant of recent Jewish history but have little concept of what real
anti-Semitism is beyond the type they see online.
Jews are
represented in Britain in numbers that are many times their proportion of the
population in both Houses of Parliament, on the Sunday Times Rich List, in
media, academia, professions and just about every walk of public life. To
compare today’s Britain, for all its faults, with the Jews’ situation in 1930s
exhibits a disconnect from reality which borders on hysteria. Since the methodology
of the second survey is so unclear, we can but hope that this isn’t the
majority view among British Jews, but even if it reflects the feelings of a
significant minority, it proves that the real crisis is one of a lack of
self-confidence among Jews. Anti-Semitism in Britain is a problem that must not
be belittled and has to be treated with a serious and open-eyed attitude. This
report is not a step in that direction.

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Tony Greenstein

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