Royal Mint re­jected idea of Roald Dahl coin over his racism

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANIEL SUGARMAN

THE ROYAL Mint de­cided not to is­sue a com­mem­o­ra­tive coin to mark the cen­te­nary of Roald Dahl’s birth be­cause of his an­tisemitic views, it has been re­vealed.

Min­utes of a 2014 sub­com­mit­tee meet­ing, ob­tained by the Guardian, show the com­pany de­cided not to hon­our the au­thor of beloved chil­dren’s books in­clud­ing Char­lie and the Choco­late Fac­tory, Matilda and James and the Gi­ant Peach, be­cause he was “as­so­ci­ated with an­tisemitism and not re­garded as an au­thor of the high­est rep­u­ta­tion”. They de­cided in­stead to hon­our William Shake­speare and Beatrix Pot­ter.

In a 1983 in­ter­view with the New States­man, Dahl said: “There is a trait in the Jewish char­ac­ter that does pro­voke an­i­mos­ity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of gen­eros­ity to­wards non-Jews. “I mean, there’s al­ways a rea­son why anti-any­thing crops up any­where; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no rea­son.” In 1990, he told the In­de­pen­dent: “I’m cer­tainly an­tiIs­raeli and I’ve be­come an­tisemitic in as much as that you get a Jewish per­son in an­other coun­try like Eng­land strongly sup­port­ing Zion­ism.

“I think they should see both sides. It’s the same old thing. We all know about Jews and the rest of it. There aren’t any non-Jewish pub­lish­ers any­where. They con­trol the me­dia — jolly clever thing to do — that’s why the pres­i­dent of the United States has to sell all this stuff to Is­rael.”

Board of Deputies Vice Pres­i­dent Amanda Bow­man said: “The Royal Mint was ab­so­lutely cor­rect to re­ject the idea of a com­mem­o­ra­tive coin for Roald Dahl. Many of his ut­ter­ances were un­am­bigu­ously an­tisemitic. He may have been a great chil­dren’s writer but he was also a racist.”

Though Shake­speare’s The Mer­chant Of Venice has been ac­cused of be­ing an­tisemitic, some schol­ars have ar­gued the “hath not a Jew eyes” speech by Shy­lock, the Jewish money­len­der in the play, is ev­i­dence of philosemitism.

No­to­ri­ous: Dahl

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