Laziness at the Telegraph

April 22, 2013

Sometimes we Jews are accused of being too sensitive and of seeing ant-Semitism where none exists. I readily admit that this might be just such a case but I was incensed this morning by an article in the Telegraph.

The article in question is entitled “Disillusionment comes home to la France profonde” and is by an English journalist and author called Michael Wright who lives in rural France. The article is about the effect that the economic crisis is having on the French people and about how disillusioned they are becoming with their own country and the way it is run.

Writing about the consequences of President Hollande demanding that ministers make public all their bank accounts, Wright makes this observation. “Even the ones who aren’t millionaires have been pilloried in the press for stashing their shekels in underperforming accounts.” (My highlights.)

Now I do not know if Wright harbours anti-Semitic feelings and I am not accusing him of so doing. But why oh why did he use the word “shekel”? The currency of France is the euro. The shekel is the currency of the modern State of Israel and was the currency of biblical Judea. Its association with Jews is a matter of fact. And when used with a pejorative verb such as “to stash” it conforms with one of the most common of anti-semitic tropes, that of the money grabbing Jew.

I hope that his use of the word “shekel” rather than “euro” represents nothing more than a piece of lazy writing (and editing) although it does make me wonder about the thought process that led to its use.

The fact that seemingly it did go through the Telegraph’s editorial process unchallenged also highlights the way that casual anti-Semitism is fast becoming the norm in Britain today, often flying under the radar in a way that does not apply to other minorities. Maybe I am being too sensitive but I hope the Telegraph is more careful in future.

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The Left Loves to Hate

April 13, 2013

I am sure there are many people out there who are genuinely surprised at the level of hatred that has been on display in this country since news of the death of Baroness Thatcher was announced on Monday.

They should not be, for this hatred has been on display for a number of years if you know where to look for it.

I first became aware of it when I was elected as a Conservative councillor in 1982. Margaret Thatcher had been Prime Minister for three years by then and we won control of our council, (Hillingdon) in a landslide. I was prepared for the labour opposition to be disappointed, and I was prepared for strong, reasoned arguments against some of our policies. I was not prepared however for the naked hostility and bitterness which was so openly and frequently on display. Their loathing and contempt for us was not as politicians but as people, and it took some getting used to. As a football fan, I am not unfamiliar with hostility from opposing fans, but this was far worse than anything I had seen at a football ground. Of course, such an attitude became totally counterproductive, because even when they had something reasonable to say, it would be delivered, clothed in such vitriol, as to make it impossible to be taken seriously.

Another area in which the Left’s propensity to hate is on regular display is in the politics of the Middle east and in particular Israel. The Left do not just dislike Israel. They do not just disagree with that country’s government. They hate it. They do not want Israel to change its policies. They want it to disappear. To further their agenda they re-write history, they either ignore or distort the truth, they tell outright lies and use pejorative terms such as “apartheid state” or “racist state” believing that if you repeat all this nonsense often enough it becomes the accepted truth; and thanks to the help of their comrades in sections of the media, (take a bow Guardian and BBC), they are not wrong.

I make this reference to Israel because these same tactics have been on display again this week with regards to Margaret Thatcher, once more aided and abetted by their media friends. Thus, if you listen to the haters, you would believe that she was single-handedly responsible for the closure of all the mines in the country. In fact she closed 22. Harold Wilson closed 93 – now there is a fact you do not hear very often. They say that she was responsible for the end of manufacturing in the UK. The role of the unions in the closures of course is overlooked as is the fact that nobody was buying British cars for instance, because they were so awfully made.

Now they are trying to lay the blame for banking crisis at her door. All she did was open up the City of London to global competition thereby laying the foundation for the growth and prosperity that followed from that action. It was Gordon Brown who took governance of the City from the Bank of England and established the FSA that failed so dismally in its duties. Once again however, that fact is conveniently overlooked.

What troubles me most about the events of the past week is the way that so many young people who were not even born when Margaret Thatcher was in office have cheerfully joined in the with the anti Thatcher hate fest. From what has been seen on our television screens, many of them are not from the deprived communities in the North that might feel they are justified in their dislike of the Lady, but are from comfortable middle class homes. Where have they learned the politics of hate? Who has not taught them that are two sides to every argument. And who has failed to teach them where irrational, visceral hatred can lead?

By dominating vast sections of the media and the education establishment, the haters on the left are ensuring that their vile policies will be with us for a long time to come. That should be a cause of great concern to all of us who care about the future of our country.