Thursday, March 09, 2006
UK cited for 'obsessive' anti-Semitism
The UK seems to be one of the most anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist places in the western world. So many of the boycotts, or attempted boycotts seem to have origniated in the UK. The AUT teachers union, the Church of England Synod and a group of architects calling themselves 'Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine' have all considered boycotts emanating from the UK.
According to a British anti-Semitism expert, for the first time since the Middle Ages, England is exhibiting classic "obsessive" anti-Semitism until now reserved for its neighbors across the channel.
Robert Wistrich, who heads the Hebrew University's Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, pointed to recent characterizations of Jews as the cabal behind the Iraq war and anti-Israel rhetoric leading to activities such as boycotts.
Now, according to Brenda Katten, chair of the Israel, Britain and the Commonwealth Association, the demonization of Israel at British universities is so prevalent that "our biggest problem on campus today is that students are being asked to justify Israel's right to exist."
She mentioned that a group of Jewish students she spoke to recently related being taunted with anti-Semitic jeers when they congregated in Golders Green, a heavily Jewish neighborhood in London.
She said they told her: "We think it's our fault, because the girls dress a little loud and we talk a little loud."
Katten lamented that "the victim had suddenly become the perpetrator, and I couldn't help thinking if this is the problem we are facing in the academic world, where so many Jewish professors criticize Israel." She referred to several instances in which Jews and even Israelis lead protests against Israel and boycott drives.