Sunday, February 28, 2021

  • Sunday, February 28, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon


An interesting point from Daniel Finkelstein writing in TheJC:

Have you had a chance to read David Baddiel’s new book Jews Don’t Count? I think you ought. You might think you have read everything about antisemitism that you can be bothered with. But I think you should nevertheless bother with this.
...
I find it annoying when someone makes a point about Israel in response to an article I have written about, I don’t know, the rate of corporation tax or regression to the mean in football. I might object that Israel has got nothing to do with the point I am making and the person is only making the point because I’m Jewish. Yet in response they can always say, no, they are making it because I’m a Zionist.

This might be obviously disingenuous but it is hard to disprove.

David Baddiel is not a Zionist. I may disagree, but the power of this in the debate on antisemitism is immense. The same person replies to him about Israel after he makes a joke about corporation tax or mean reversion in football and he is able to — and does — expose the true antisemitic nature of the comment.

This makes him a hugely valuable part of the resistance to Jew hatred. It wouldn’t, in my view, be enough by itself because I think Israel is vital and David is wrong about that. But the breadth he provides is very important.
...[In addition,] he argues that the progressive left has adopted identity politics but many don’t then count Jews as an identity. People who say racist things are “cancelled”, but not if they say racist things about Jews. People who play ethnic roles as actors are excoriated if they don’t come that ethnic group themselves, unless they are a non-Jew playing a Jew. People who use ethnic influences in cooking from groups to which they don’t belong are accused of cultural appropriation unless they are appropriating Jewish food.

One or two critics have argued that none of these progressive rules are all that sensible and that the problem is with identity politics. This, however, is to miss Baddiel’s point. His book is addressed to progressives who accept identity politics. He is pointing out — and in a way that is startling and stark — their exclusion of Jews.

Nick Cohen's review of the book concentrates on the latter point:

David Baddiel’s Jews Don’t Count is out this week; a piercing 28,000-word essay that throws you back to the age of pamphlet wars. His central and unanswerable contention is that, in a time of identity politics, when every persecuted minority is listened to, there is one ethnic minority large numbers of progressives do not want to hear from: Jews, one of the most persecuted minorities in history. Baddiel builds his argument by weaving in examples so skilfully all but the most bigoted reader has to accept he has a case. A few are familiar. The people on the UK left who stuck with Jeremy Corbyn after he defended a mural showing hook-nosed capitalists, that might have come straight out of Nazi Germany. But many are drawn from a world that is unfamiliar, to me at any rate. I never knew, for instance, that Alice Walker, author of the idolised novel, The Colour Purple, took the time and trouble in 2017 to sit down and write a poem bubbling with hate entitled ‘To Study The Talmud’.

Are Goyim (us) meant to be slaves of Jews, and not only

That, but to enjoy it?

Are three year old (and a day) girls eligible for marriage and intercourse?

Are young boys fair game for rape?

It was grotesque. But the idea that an African-American author could ever be cancelled for racism against Jews remains unthinkable to right-thinking people, even though Walker went on to endorse the works of David Icke, whose anti-vax lies could incidentally lead to the deaths of, among others, a disproportionately high number of black people suffering from Covid-19. In 2019, a musical version of the Colour Purple came to the UK. There was a hell of a fuss because Seyi Omooba, one of the cast, had once written an anti-gay post. The producers fired her, of course. Omooba’s prejudice was unforgivable, while Walker’s was, if not quite forgivable, then a matter of no consequence.

 





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