Scorn and sneers for Jewish worries – Mark Gardner

Letter printed in The Independent

Caryl Churchill’s letter (21 February) typifies how so many of those who claim to oppose antisemitism actually prefer to scorn and sneer at Jewish concerns regarding contemporary manifestations and echoes of this ancient hatred. Churchill effectively accuses Howard Jacobson of faking his concern about antisemitism in order to shield Israel from criticism, and calls this “the usual tactic”.

She then blithely states: “If its really on the increase, then we should all stand up against it.” Perhaps Churchill, and some of The Independent’s staff and readers, could cease their anti-Israel obsession for a moment and register the fact that antisemitic race-hate attacks in Britain and many other countries around the world have significantly escalated in recent years: as demonstrated again during the recent Gaza conflict.

Alternatively, they could just treat mainstream Jewish concerns about racism and ostracism with the same respect they might show to the Black or Muslim communities. Or is even that too much to ask?

Mark Gardner,  Community Security Trust

The Livingstone Formulation is re-appearing everywhere

6 Responses to “Scorn and sneers for Jewish worries – Mark Gardner”

  1. zkharya Says:

    “If its really on the increase, then we should all stand up against it.”

    Or stop contributing to it.

  2. Susan Says:

    I would challenge anyone who “scorns and sneers” at Jewish concerns to wear a yarmulke or a Jewish star for a week and to keep a diary. They would visibly marked as a Jew. Then they could write about it in The Guardian and in The Independent.

  3. Saul Says:

    In the letter to the JC this week the artistic director of the Royal Court. states that he abhores antisemitism in the same paragraph that he perpetuates the myth that Jews, or as they are now known “supporters of Israel”, use the accusation to silence “political” debate.
    You couldn’t make it up!!
    I was struch at how similar it was to the York picture of a couple of posts back……………a literary equivalent to the pictorial representation.

  4. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    I do hope that this doesn’t mean that I have to stop going to the Royal Court because of their Artistic Director’s attitudes! _Most_ of their dramatic material is excellent.

    Pity about his inability to see the antisemitic wood for the anti-Zionist trees.

    Typical British contemporary lefty.

  5. Joanne Says:

    To say that concerns about antisemitism are only meant to stifle criticism of Israel is itself a “usual” tactic. I wonder how long people are going to keep resorting to that argument. How long will it be before it wears out?

  6. Susan Says:

    This is from

    Report: E.U. lax in monitoring anti-Semitism

    March 2, 2009

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Most European countries do not have official data on anti-Semitism, a new report found.

    The report, released Monday by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, examined both official and unofficial data on anti-Semitic incidents across 20 European countries from 2001 to 2008.

    Only France, Germany and Sweden collect sufficient data to provide for a trend analysis, the report said.

    In France, anti-Semitic activity increased markedly over the period considered, though it has declined substantially since the peak years of 2004 and 2002, when 974 and 936 incidents were reported, respectively. In 2007, the number of reported incidents dropped to 386.

    In Germany and Sweden, the numbers remained relatively steady over the seven years. Germany reported 1,541 incidents in 2007 and Sweden 118.

    In several of the countries, the report found a substantial difference between official and unofficial numbers.

    In Austria, for example, the nongovernmental organization Forum against Anti-Semitism reported 62 incidents in 2007, while the government reported 15 criminal incidents.

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