Sunday, May 9, 2010

The One About the English Antisemites

Ever wondered where the Guardian draws its hatred of the Jews from? Well, there was Shakespeare, of course, and Dickens, and Marlow, and Defoe, and HG Wells, and Chesteron.... and lots more were that came from. Take a course in English Literature 101, and you'll have the list.

This, and much more, in a book that probably needs to be read: Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England. Assuming you wish to spend a chunk of time being educated about Jews haters, that is. If you don't, I suppose you can be forgiven.

h/t Contentions


Anonymous said...

I am always baffled by Shylock as a "witness" for the badness of Jews - I saw the play only once on German TV and what I remember most vividly from it to this day is the "don't we bleed like you ..." - from that I'd guess that it is very much in the hand of the director and the actor how it comes across

on the other hand that vexing "Ascent of Money" book by Niall Ferguson harps so insistently on presenting Shylock as the "perfect" loan shark that it makes me shiver - the guy had a TV-series with the same title, so his view is widely spread - he has other "nice" little asides in that style every now and then in the book. (and now he is getting even more publicity because he is romancing with Ayan Hirsi Ali - rrrgh)

oh and the other day he gave an interview hypothesizing on what could induce China to put the thumb screws on the US-Dollar:
the US allowing Israel to bomb Iran, he said
- totally weird at least as a pop first into mind. Whenever I chatted with Chinese or about China with UN-people it was Taiwan, Taiwan, Taiwan

Dreams of Avarice
From Shylock's pound of flesh to the loan sharks of Glasgow, from the 'promises to pay'…

Rob said...

1. The following book makes an interesting, if highly unpopular, case for Shakespeare having jewish blood and a Jewish sensibility / agenda:

2. Anthony Julius, the author of the book you reference, has done extremely well out of the UK, both as a highly-paid lawyer and an author with an eye for antisemitism. I doubt you'll find him making Aliyah anytime soon.

3. Yaacov, please try not to make big sweeping comments about the UK. There is something childish about looking at the world through a prism of we-win-you-lose, we're-up-you're-down.

Anonymous said...

as long as the English can still come up with nonsense like that there's hope
and this is the link to the original Monty Python

4infidels said...

I often ask myself why I have always had instinctively positive feelings about Britain when one considers its role during the Mandate period and its anti-Israel media today.

Does it all come down to the Rolling Stones, the English language and the fact that they fought the Nazis when others surrendered or made accomodations?

Anonymous said...

I ask myself the same question every now and then, maybe besides that I prefer their writers it is because wide-spread anti-semitism before the war notwithstanding and some, maybe even substantial, support for letting Germany have its way including the Jew killing in Britain i.e. let them invade and "save the country", in the end they didn't succumb, in the end the no matter how flawed decent ones won the fight and they found their bearing and as a consequence the fight against Germany.