In a column entitled, Jews in a Whisper, (today’s NYT), columnist Roger Cohen offers a wistful appraisal of the state of cultural anti-Semitism in Great Britain. It shows no signs of abating. In fact, Cohen points to the enlightened political left as indirectly keeping historical English anti-Semitism alive and well behind the camouflage of passionate disapproval of Zionism and the policies of the State of Israel. Can one be critical of Israel and not be anti-Semitic? Of course, just ask Cohen himself.
That said, among the many brilliant things Martin Luther King, Jr. taught humanity, he observed:
“. . . You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely ‘anti-Zionist.’ And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God’s green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews–this is God’s own truth.
Coincidentally, Britain’s Jewish Chronicle is reporting that until they received complaints this past week from the Jewish community, the renown football (soccer) club, Arsenal, was trying to embarrass club member who have met their financial obligations by placing a Star of David next to their names on the club’s web page. The inference of course being, Jews are cheap people who don’t meet this financial obligations.
In a time in which one might hope that civilized western countries such as Great Britain had moved beyond the cultural disease that is anti-Semitism, its sad to note that it is alive and flourishing in the same land that gave us: Shylock, the Blood Libel, post Holocaust detention camps for Jewish refugees seeking safe haven in the Jewish homeland; that provided direct and indirect military assistance to Arab armies and militants seeking the destruction of the Jewish state in 1948; that now leads the world in organized academic, political, cultural and commercial boycotts of the State of Israel.
“I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.” Shylock in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”