Things could be worse

I have been asked to convey a message to you from the president of the Jewish Self-Flagellation Association, Salisbury York Westminster. He wasn’t born that, but a lot of Jews according to the latest report, don’t like displaying their Judaism in public.

Mind you if that’s the case, how come a manufacturer of blue trilbys is making a fortune in Golders Green? Down the main road on Shabbat you can also see a parade of magnificent fur hats – on the men, not the ladies – and some stunning tallesim.

Now, agreed, the JS-FA has had some notable successes; for example, they persuaded the Israelites that they couldn’t conquer Canaan. They were less successful in trying to persuade David not to take on Goliath, but you can’t win them all.

The Association is now facing difficult times. 66% of Jews now think they have a long term future in this country.

Fortunately three members of the Patagonian Square Earth Society daubed a cross on a tree in a local forest and this outrage might obviously be the example for a full scale riot by the left wing in Trafalgar Square. Worse, the Tristan da Cunha Animal Rights Association is called for a ban on chicken soup, as unfair to chickens.

It isn’t just the left wing. Some of the minuscule far right is genuinely calling for the Houses of Parliament to be attacked like the American Congress building. What with the cold, however, and the pandemic, the attraction of social distancing may well result in even tinier attendances than usual.

The difficulty the JS-FA face is the absence of credible enemies. It’s no use forecasting disaster if everybody is patting you on the back. The report says there are anti-semites in the Labour Party. I could find you Jews who don’t like Blacks, but then I could find you Browns who don’t like Pinks. You’re going to wait a very long time if you want everybody to love everybody else.

Does that make the attention anti-Semitism gets any the less worthwhile? No, of course not. You just need to keep it in proportion. The JS-FA do not want it kept in proportion. They want to have the community live in fear.
Never mind that we’ve had nothing serious to fear for 350 years in this country; what about what’s happening in the Arctic Circle? The Jews are being blamed for all the snow. What’s more, when it melts, that’s our fault too. There are six Eskimos in North Alaska who believe that, which makes a powerful headline “Widespread international concern at Jewish climate activity.”

It’s been going on all my life. When things were particularly quiet, world news was exhaustively scrutinised to find some leaflet, some graffiti, any kind of possible legislation, which could be blown up into a Kristalnacht. Did you see they were now comparing the demonstration at the Congress building with Kristalnacht. There were 267 synagogues destroyed that night in November 1938 and 30,000 Jews sentenced to concentration camps. Alas, five died at the Congress building.

It’s like the attempt to label the Israelis Nazis. They are at war with Iraq, Iran and Syria, and if you are at war, you are entitled to defend yourself. In Britain you can rely on the good sense of the British people to see that our democratic values are maintained.

As Flander and Swan once sang “The English, the English, the English are best, and very much better than all of the rest.” So how about the other third of the Jews, who are still thinking of emigrating, relaxing a bit.

Emigrating to where, for goodness sake? Queens Park Rangers only play in Shepherds Bush.

About the Author
Derek is an author & former editor of the Jewish Year Book
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