The silence of the anti-racists
The explosion in anti-Semitism shames the woke left.
Remember Lady Hussey? A year ago this month, the British royal family was plunged into yet another race row, after Hussey, a senior royal aide, asked a black British woman at a palace event where she was ‘from’. Cue interminable TV debates, column inches and twitterings about the rotten, racist heart of British society, sparked by one clumsy comment from an octogenarian woman who clearly didn’t mean much by it.
Fast forward a year. In the past week alone the following things have happened. Islington’s menorah, erected and lit each year for Hanukkah, has been smashed to pieces. Up the road, in Finsbury Park, a Jewish man wearing a kippah alleges he was attacked at a bus stop by a man shouting ‘Kill the Jew’. At least two more unrelated violent attacks in north London are being treated as possible hate crimes by the Metropolitan Police, amid a 12-fold increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes.
Beyond Britain, last week the German and Danish authorities uncovered terror plots to slaughter Jews in Europe. The suspects are reportedly linked to Hamas, the Islamist barbarians whose anti-Semitic pogrom in Israel on 7 October unleashed a worldwide wave of Jew hatred – the kind of which some complacently thought had been consigned to history.
Alongside the hate marches, terror plots and almost random acts of racist violence, institutions that really should know better are doing outrageously anti-Semitic things, seemingly without realising it. Last week, it was revealed that British Airways had pulled a British sitcom, Hapless, from its in-flight entertainment over fears of appearing to ‘take sides’ in the Israel-Hamas conflict. The show has nothing to do with Israel. It just happens to be about Jews. BA has since u-turned and apologised.
I could go on. A man was arrested outside a synagogue in Washington, DC this week. Reportedly, he shouted ‘Gas the Jews’ and sprayed a foul-smelling substance on two members of the congregation before being apprehended. At a time when America’s racial debate is international news, in which every suspected racist incident hits the BBC homepage within hours, this vile anti-Semitic stunt hasn’t cut through at all.
Indeed, you could be forgiven for not knowing that any of those things I just mentioned happened this past week. Where’s the soul-searching? Where’s the ‘difficult conversations’ about racist violence returning to our streets? Why was Lady Hussey’s tiny faux pas treated as so much more damning, as worthy of endless discussion, than Jew hatred staging a devastating comeback across the West? I think we know why.
To say our elites have a blindspot where anti-Semitism is concerned is a grotesque understatement. Having spent years obsessing over fantasy forms of racism and fascism, having spent years soberly telling us that Boris Johnson was Eton’s answer to Hitler, the great and good look upon Jew-hating marches, attacks and even terror plots… and it barely registers.
Whether these people are ignoring anti-Semitism, making excuses for it, or participating in it, the story remains the same. Our supposedly ‘anti-racist’ betters, people who during the Black Lives Matter uprising just two years ago were taking knees and ‘doing the work’ and tweeting #SilenceIsViolence from their £4million townhouses, are so marinated in a divisive identity politics and a demented ‘anti-imperialism’ that they see Jews as ‘white’ oppressors, even when they’re being beaten up, and Israel as the aggressor, even when it is under attack.
The silence of the ‘anti-racists’ over the barbaric rise of anti-Semitism reminds us that these people were never anti-racists at all. Woke leftists and the liberal-left midwits who defer to them on these matters have just imbibed a new version of racial hierarchy, apportioning worth and solidarity not on the basis of phoney racial superiority but of questionable racial victimhood. What the new has in common with the old is that the Jews are still, at best, not to be trusted.
Rather than just shaking our heads at the moral self-immolation of the woke left, we need to do what they are so clearly incapable of doing and tackle this foul, racist scourge. We cannot allow Jew hatred to become the background noise of Western life. We cannot stand idly by while our fellow citizens are menaced for no other reason than who they are.
We need to fight this new Jew hatred with words and actions – in argument and in the streets. A society that allows anti-Semitism to become normalised is not only failing to defend its Jewish citizens, it is also a society that is deeply sick – that is overcome not only by hatred of a particular group, but by a deep-seated irrationalism and unreason, too. A society in which conspiracy theories about Jewish power – in which some people can convince themselves that 7 October didn’t happen, or wasn’t half as bad as ‘they’ are saying – is one that has become deranged and deprived of its moral bearings.
It’s high time we ignored the confected race rows that clutter public debate and confronted the very real hatred in our midst.
Tom Slater is editor of spiked. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Slater_
Picture by: Getty.
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