Op-eds

Anti-Semitic backlash only strengthens resolve to fight prejudice

  • MikeAbel
The other day, I was asked a shocking question on social media.
by MIKE ABEL | Jan 16, 2020

I was responding to something on Twitter (which I have mostly left due to the extreme toxicity of the platform) about the sheer evil of linking the 911 attacks to the Jewish community. This, in truth, is another one of those bizarre conspiracy theories conjured in the bowels of hell, to create and drive hatred towards Jews.

In spite of the fact that 15%-20% of those killed by al-Qaeda terrorists on that terrible day in New York were Jewish, we are somehow responsible for that atrocity...

The internet is packed with these theories to add to the other medieval blood libels created with the intention of robbing and dispossessing our tiny global community (0.2% of the population) of its assets, dignity, and rights.

The Jewish community of London, battered and bruised post the latest elections and the terrifying run-up to it, had to wake up just a few days after the significant and fortunate defeat of Corbyn, to see 911 and Magen Davids daubed on shops across heavily-populated Jewish suburbs like Golders Green and Hampstead.

These attacks on the community are powerfully reminiscent of Nazi Germany for obvious reasons.

So, back to the start of this piece. The question posed of me was, “Are you sure the 911 reference is not something more sinister – like Kristallnacht?” The latter was on 9-10 November 1938.

It hit me like a punch in the gut. The fact that both dates tragically work, both carry the same level of evil.

There is an ongoing determination to destroy, degrade, humiliate, and murder, not just Jews but ultimately all those of us who believe in kindness, tolerance, non-racism, simply, yet powerfully, enshrined in “live and let live”.

A few years ago, we watched in horror as the Grenfell Towers burnt in London. And then, to my total dismay, I watched CNN, BBC and other channels broadcasting and replaying the mad ravings of Islamic fundamentalists, living in London, accusing “the Zionists” of being behind the infernos. They were basically accusing the Jewish community of setting those buildings alight and murdering all those people. And, “respectable” television channels chose to report it. Think about that...

These lies, obviously entirely ungrounded, unfounded, and utterly false, find a willing audience among the intolerant and ignorant. Often the same type of person – often not. For sadly, there are also highly intelligent people who, through sheer jealousy, driven by insecurity, choose to use the underbelly of ignorance, to seed hatred for our perennially fragile and small community.

Who could have imagined the British Labour Party becoming the home for so much anti-Semitism, when it was so richly supported and populated over decades by Jews. Even with prominent “recent” leadership coming from politicians like the Milibands (Edward and David Miliband are Jewish brothers who have been in the Labour Party leadership for decades.)

Jeremy Corbyn’s overt support for Jew-hating organisations like Hamas gave other anti-Semites within the party permission to start hounding Jews out of their own party.

Even British Jewish celebrities like Rachel Riley felt the brunt of these vitriolic attacks as she tried to highlight the evil of this scourge. Brave non-Jewish voices like JK Rowling added their vocal support to our community, whilst Jewish families throughout the United Kingdom started assessing their future should Corbyn’s Labour triumph.

Thank goodness it didn’t.

But the graffiti appeared just a few days later. At the very same time as many attacks against Jews in New York over Chanukah. Unimaginable – until now.

It’s always unimaginable, until it happens...

This same madness stuffs the United Nations Human Rights Council full of the worst perpetrators of inhumanity, almost with the sole purpose of condemning the only democracy in the Middle East and the only Jewish country in the world, Israel, albeit the fact that it’s smaller than the Kruger National Park. Have a look at the condemnation of Israel versus any other country on earth. It’s nothing short of startling.

This blind obsession with Israel is not only to the detriment of that tiny country and global Jewry where today Jew, Zionist, and Israeli are interchangeable amongst our detractors. It’s tragically, the perfect foil for allowing the atrocities perpetrated within their own counties to be hidden and suppressed by this ancient and evil hatred.

This hatred flourished well before the creation of Israel. To conflate the two is simply not to understand history.

So as we start 2020, this latest evil against Jews has simply intensified my resolve to continue to fight hate and injustice in all its various shapes, manifestations, and guises.

Never to turn a blind eye, be silent, or walk away. In truth, none of us can afford to. Prejudice. Spot It. Stop It.

  • Mike Abel is the Chief Executive Partner at M&C SAATCHI ABEL.

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