In Academia hedging is advised and “In 1914 the people in Britain thought …..”, becomes, “The evidence would appear to suggest that in 1914 many British people thought …..”, “will happen”, becomes “might happen”, or “could happen” and academic caution is required. Wooly thinkers are discouraged and the analogy comparing the social scientist’s brain to a dung heap, which states that if you leave both long enough, something will grow, loses its relevance. However, not so with the daily drivel.
Philip Johnston’s article, in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph,“The best cure for anti-Semitism is to stop pretending we’re all guilty”contends that there is an increase in anti-Semitism in the UK and that this increase is due to immigration. Now, being quite certain that most people are not anti-Semitic and don’t consider themselves to be anti-Semitic, Mr Johnston makes about as much sense as those pseudo academics, who write things like, “people in ancient Rome thought …..”, when he refers to “all”, but it gets worse when he bases this nonsense on the fact that:
“In 2014, the number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded by the Metropolitan Police was more than double the previous year’s, and they rose 60 per cent in 2015. Partly this is because the police are taking the offence more seriously. Many acts of abuse are racist comments made on the internet.”
There is no attempt to inform us what the actual figures are and there is no attempt to tell us the nature of the crimes, apart from many of them being “racist comments made on the internet”. There isn’t even any emphasis on the fact that the Metropolitan Police are limited to Greater London. However, Mr Johnston moves on and asserts this alleged increase in anti-Semitism comes from the influx of “Muslims and eastern Europeans, where the religious and cultural roots lie deep.”
Nevertheless, it is when he expands on the reasons for this alleged Muslim antipathy towards Jews that the real reason for this disgraceful piece of writing becomes clear and we are not only told that this hatred is fostered by a “well-established cultural dislike that is exacerbated by the unresolved Palestinian question,” but that it is also accompanied by “ostensible criticism of the Israeli government”, which turns into “anti-Zionism and, by extension, into anti-Semitism masquerading as legitimate political comment.”
“Ostensible” criticism of the Israeli government and it doesn’t matter that what is really being talked about is someone taking someone else’s land, it doesn’t matter that there has been an ongoing ethnic cleansing since 1948, it doesn’t matter that illegal settlements are being built on illegally occupied land to complete that ethnic cleansing and it doesn’t matter that crimes are being committed on an almost daily basis by Israel.
We are certainly not “all” guilty of anti-Semitism. Moreover, in this part of Europe it is difficult not to be aware of the hell on earth which anti-Semitism led to. However, that awareness should contribute to us speaking out not only against the crimes that Israel has been perpetrating uninterrupted since 1948, but also against anyone who glibly refers to, “muslims and eastern Europeans” as some sort of designated “other”, as the outsider, the scapegoat. In Europe we really have been there before.