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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-05-10 03:26 AM
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England's not so pleasant aspect
Antisemitism, that paltry and vicious hatred, has much in it of English origin


By Anthony Julius, February 4, 2010
There are many kinds of antisemitism, and among them there are four that have an English provenance, either wholly or in substantial part.

The radical antisemitism of medieval England one of defamation, expropriation, murder and expulsion completed itself in 1290, when there were no Jews left to torment. English literary antisemitism has been continuously present from the anonymous medieval ballad Sir Hugh, or the Jews Daughter through to present times. A modern, everyday antisemitism of insult and partial exclusion has also been pervasive, if contained, in this country. This is the common antisemitism experienced by Jews from their readmission to England in the mid-17th century through to the late-20th century.

Finally, a new configuration of anti-Zionisms, which treats Zionism and the state of Israel as illegitimate Jewish enterprises, emerged here in the late 1960s and 1970s. This perspective, heavily indebted to antisemitic tropes, constitutes the greatest current threat to Anglo-Jewish security and morale.

This fourth kind of antisemitism is now more European than English but has a particularly English history, stemming from the intimacy of association between England and the Zionist project from the mid-19th century through to the mid-1950s. It denies to Jews the rights that it upholds for other, comparable peoples. It adheres to the principle of national self-determination, except in the Jews case. It affirms international law, except in Israels case. It does not understand that supporting the cause of Palestinian nationhood is one thing, while denying the right of Jews to live in their own state is quite another. It is outraged by the Jewish nature of the state of Israel, but is untroubled by, say, the Islamic nature of Iran or of Saudi Arabia. It regards as racist the social inequalities between Jew and Arab in Israel, while being indifferent to the legal inequalities between Muslim and non-Muslim in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim states.

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