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My Worries for 2007
Last uploaded : Wednesday 10th Jan 2007 at 01:39
Contributed by : Carol Gould


Three things stand out from the year just ended that have caused me considerable distress.

The first is the constant accusation in the British public discourse that the United States has too close a relationship with Israel and that American Jews have undue influence over national policy.

What I find astonishing about the way Britons pontificate about Americans, and more specifically about American Jews is that they often have scarce understanding of the complexities of society in that faraway land. Jews have made a rich and varied contribution to American life, and aside from beign 87% Democrat when they vote, are loved by millions of non-Jewish Americans. It follows that Israel is admired as a plucky little nation that survives, like America, on hard work, few holidays ( Israelis work a six-day week) and on strong family life. Knowledge and appreciation of Jewish history and culture is part of being an American. I might hasten to add that Britons who accuse Jews of running America ought to note that there were no Jews in Bush’s original Cabinet and that the Speaker of the House, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and two influential Supreme Court Justices are Italian-Americans.

Recently I had a breast operation in London preceded by visits to various eminent cancer specialists. When I reminded them that I was in the number one risk category -- Ashkenazi Jewish -- they shrugged, and one, an eminent but bemused consultant, even asked me to spell it. Every British doctor I encountered except for one had no idea what I was talking about. Ashke- what?? Could any reader imagine this in a major hospital in the centre of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago or Los Angeles? I cannot get gefilte fish, borscht or Kiddush wine in my neighbourhood in central London, and absolutely nobody from Penzance to John O’ Groats would know what a knish is. Yiddischkeit and an appreciation of things Jewish have never, ever, permeated British society the way they have in major American conurbations.

Britons love to suggest that aggressive and unpleasant Jews have, and continue to put pressure on President Bush to do bad things. It is often said in some circles that the USA invaded Iraq to protect Israel. What people outside the USA do not seem to grasp is that despite pockets of anti-Semitism, American Jews and non-Jews get along pretty well, and the plight of Israel set against an array of hostile and huge neighbours seems to be easy to comprehend. In other words, Americans seem to ‘get it,’ whilst Brits do not. If the Bush Administration did go to war to protect Israel -- which I believe is not the case -- it could be said that Americans want to help a group of people for whom they feel affection and admiration.

It upsets and disturbs me to hear people in Britain complaining about the ‘close relationship’ between Israel and the USA. Basically they are saying it is repugnant that a great white Christian nation can be nice to six million bloody Yids whose kids all join the army. Armed Jews! Jews with tanks! Horrors! The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 after being massacred at York and other places, and then even after being readmitted
were still barred from most activities to which American Jews were admitted without any fuss. (I love that word ‘readmitted‘ -- as if they were criminal pupils being allowed back after umpteen expulsions from grammar school.) Jews could not attend university until Jeremy Bentham established University College London. In contrast, in colonial times Jews were active in all aspects of American life.

2007 started with an ITV special about a visit to the Holy Land by Cardinal Cormac O’Connor, leader of British Catholics, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and several other Christian clerics. The very biased programme showed evil, violent, oppressive Israel and scores of menacing Jewish soldiers in uniform with big machine guns and little Palestinian children running around 'trapped in an open air prison .' Palestinian Christians lamented their hopeless lives. Never any mention of Christians escaping the Territories for a peaceful life inside Israel. Never any mention of the staggering corruption in the Palestinian territories that has prevented billions of dollars in aid from getting to the people.

The script mentioned for over half a decade of suicide bombings;’ suicide bombings started before Rabin's regime. I was there. Whenever Yitzhak Rabin signed a new peace accord alongside Hosni Mubarak, King Hussein and Arafat, another bomb went off inside Israel. Never any mention of the suffering of Israelis who deal on a daily basis with rockets and bombs.

There was a pernicious segment at the end of the programme showing a nun clutching a little orphan and showing little babies on the floor of the church hospital. They lived, she said, in poverty and hunger. Then she let it slip that these babies were there because of honour killings. It was never made clear that this was a Muslim crime against these infants’ mothers. It made it seem that Israel is somehow to blame for the plight of these little abandoned 'hungry' babies.

The programme, like the media and general social discourse in Britain, portrayed a heartless, wicked, murderous Israel destroying Christian places; Israeli soldiers accused of scribbling in red on the walls of a Christian school and the usual anguish about the oppression of the occupation by those bad, bad Jews. The programme was devoid of any information about the plight of Israelis and of Christians hounded out by Muslim extremists. One could not imagine such an ill-conceived programme being produced in the United States, where Jewish history is understood and Christian suffering in the Middle East is not protrayed as the fault of Israel.

My second complaint from 2006 is the relentless hatred of Jews displayed in the MPACUK (Muslim Public Affairs UK) website. No-one in the British government seems bothered about the use of an SS symbol in ‘Zionazis,’ a word used to describe any Jew who supports the survival of the State of Israel. I cannot imagine an organisation like this being allowed to expand and proliferate its scary Jew-hatred were it operating out of the USA. MPACUK is obsessed with Israel when it ought to be looking at the vile human rights abuses in Muslim nations too numerous to mention. It refuses to allow readers of its site to have their comments published on its blog unless they agree with the views of the majority of bloggers, which live somewhere between eliminating Israel from the map and punishing the Zionazis wherever they may be all over the world. I wonder how far an Anglo Jewish or Christian website would get if it had endless pages of blogs calling for the punishment of Muslims and for the elimination of Muslim nations?

My third beef is the deeply worrying fixation on Lord Levy in the British press. Does anyone in Britain appreciate how repugnant it is that the media refer to the Jewish peer as ‘Lord Cashpoint?’ Am I stunned by this because I am American? Michael Levy is not by any stretch of anyone’s imagination Jack Abramoff. Has Britain not graduated from the time of the Norwich and Lincoln Blood Libels and the imagery of Shylock and Fagin? For those outside the UK: Levy is accused of peddling peerages on behalf of Tony Blair in exchange for loans and cash to the Labour Party. He was arrested recently but not charged with anything. Last week the London ‘Evening Standard’ published a list of peers who had had abysmal attendance records in the House of Lords. The paper made a point of publishing pictures and making special mention of men with names like Kalms, Steinberg and Levy.

The constant press drumbeat about Lord ‘Cashpoint’ Levy makes me uncomfortable. He has been an immensely hard-working special envoy for Tony Blair, travelling as a kind of ambassador of goodwill at considerable peril to countries where Jews are not welcome . He has raised millions for charity and may have been wrong to peddle peerages but who asked him to? One assumes it was Tony Blair. The press obsession with the Jewish peer has left me feeling uneasy at the end of 2006. No wonder so many British Jews are lately seeking aliyah to Israel.

Eventually if all 260,000 Jews leave the UK there will be no more left to pick on. Then the British population will be confronted by the million-odd Jihadists.

Good luck, as they sing on the last night of the Proms, Land of Hope and Glory, reclaiming Jerusalem.


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