Con­spir­acy time

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

It did not take long for an­tisemites to lay the cause of the global fi­nan­cial dis­as­ter squarely at the col­lec­tive feet of the Jewish peo­ple. Like the nasty ur­ban myths spawned by pre­vi­ous crises — such as the false claim that hun­dreds of Is­raelis mys­te­ri­ously “failed to turn up for work” in the Twin Tow­ers on the morn­ing of Septem­ber 11, 2001 — Is­raelis, Zion­ists or just plain old Jews were ap­par­ently both the cause and the ex­ploiters of the cur­rent fi­nan­cial crash. Whether it was the Lehman Broth­ers ex­ec­u­tives (Jewish, of course) who sent $400bn to Is­rael on the eve of the bank’s col­lapse, or the bad bank­ing prac­tices put in place by the “Jewish lobby” — thanks for that one, Ha­mas — the only sur­pris­ing as­pect of th­ese sto­ries is that they took so long to emerge. And so it was heart-warm­ing to hear the Prime Min­is­ter, Gor­don Brown, laud Jewish val­ues so abun­dantly at this week’s UJIA an­nual din­ner. Ap­par­ently, it is just those val­ues that might help see us through the stormy days of the credit cri­sis and back into the calm wa­ters of a new era of eco­nomic pru­dence and sta­bil­ity. “Hope is the defin­ing theme of Jewish his­tory,” Mr Brown told his au­di­ence, as he called for “morals” in the mar­kets, based on “trans­parency, in­tegrity, re­spon­si­bil­ity, [and] good house­keep­ing”. Let us hope for all our sakes — not least the char­i­ties that rely on our com­mu­nity’s gen­eros­ity — that such val­ues, com­bined with Chan­cel­lor Alis­tair Dar­ling’s vast bank res­cue plan, will in­deed save us all from fi­nan­cial de­spair.

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