A Jew-hat­ing Jew

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

Tues­day’s Daily Mail paid trib­ute to the “waspish wit” of Sir Ger­ald Kauf­man, who died this week at 86. As an ex­am­ple of his bon mots, the pa­per cited this re­mark: “The present Is­raeli gov­ern­ment cyn­i­cally ex­ploits guilt over the Holo­caust as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for their mur­der of Pales­tini­ans.” There may in­deed be peo­ple who find this witty. Then again, there have al­ways been peo­ple who are amused by an­ti­semitism — and Sir Ger­ald’s re­mark is a straight­for­ward ex­am­ple of an­ti­semitism of the foulest kind. Noth­ing sur­pris­ing there, be­cause this was Sir Ger­ald’s stock in trade. He had no com­punc­tion in at­tack­ing Jews as Jews, think­ing that some­how his own Ju­daism gave him an ex­emp­tion. It did not. And yet the Daily Mail was not alone in its ob­se­quious cov­er­age. You will have strug­gled to find a sin­gle men­tion any­where in all the trib­utes paid to him that he was a racist — a man who spat out, ‘‘Here we are, the Jews again’’, when Louise Ell­man rose to speak in the Com­mons. It would be com­fort­ing to think that this was an over­sight. But that would be mis­placed. Sir Ger­ald rep­re­sented a type that con­tin­ues to be given a free pass in much of the me­dia and po­lit­i­cal life: the Jew who is con­temp­tu­ous of other Jews and feels the need to ex­press that con­tempt at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity, most of­ten in re­la­tion to Is­rael. Sir Ger­ald was en­ti­tled to his view of Is­rael. He was not en­ti­tled to his view of Jews.

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