No, no, no, no, no. I know you were all trying to be nice, responding to my complaint about the lack of any memorial to the Israeli athletes gunned down at the Munich Games in 1972, with cosy phrases about how nice it was that me and Crox Minor held our own memorial; and about making do with silences for non-specific absent friends. I have thought about it some more and it Will Not Do. I will not be palmed off – dare I say patronized – in this way.
Every day I am forced to hear Leftish people go on and on in that holier-than-thou way of theirs that everyone is entitled to their ‘human rights’, racism is wrong, that discrimination of any kind is wrong, and that one should hound to the edge of madness even those people who have (at least in their patronising, self-elected Leftish view) perpetrated such biases unconsciously, heaven forfend, but when it comes to Jews they make mealy-mouthed excuses and shuffle their feet, or say that those damned Jews are so emotional, they complain all the time, they don’t know when they are well-off. So why look in minute holes and corners for unconscious bias against [minority of choice] when you are, yourself, simply lousy with a bias that’s a good deal more conscious ?
This has one meaning and it is very clear – that we Jews are not to be counted as human beings, and therefore have no human rights, just as if we were blacks in the antebellum South. It wasn’t so long ago that we were reputed to have have horns and tails and a distinctive smell – or (and you can’t have it both ways) that we look so much like humans that you must be very careful in case we screw your women. Look out, honky, there’s an old black ram (with a hat on) who’s tupping your snow-white ewe. Or that we sacrifice non-Jewish children and use their blood to make matzot. Or that we have formed a secret cabal to run the world, a canard that’s openly popular in many nations and runs just beneath the surface in anti-globalization, anti-war, rent-a-mob banker-bashers and even among distinguished academics who should know better.
These Israeli athletes, who were Jewish (so please don’t recycle the conventional buttock-clenching bilge that criticism of Israel isn’t antisemitism, to let yourself off the hook, because it’s just not true) were Olympians, and deserve commemoration, loudly, and in the Olympic Stadium, before people of all nations, whether or not that makes people uncomfortable, and if it does, so much the better. The lives of Jews are plainly devalued to such an extent that their remembrance might occasion – wait for it - embarrassment.
If the same tragedy had befallen athletes of any other nation we’d never have heard the end of it. And if I were black, or a woman, or gay, or a member of any other minority whatsoever, and was trying to raise the issue of discrimination against a memorial for slaughtered [insert minority of choice], the Lefties have long since condemned such discrimination, and castigated those who tell denigratory racist lies of the kind that are allowed to persist about Jews. Jokes about black people, women, gays and so on are now rightly proscribed – yet telling anti-semitic jokes is, I hear, quite the thing in trendy metropolitan circles.
Such discrimination runs deep, and has inserted itself like dry rot into the very fabric of our national life. If it’s now no longer the done thing to have Othello portrayed by anyone other than a black person, why is it not obligatory for Shylock to be portrayed by a Jew? It didn’t occur to you? Well, that proves my point. When I complained to my then literary agent and publisher about antisemitic attitudes at The Guardian that had affected me, personally, such that I didn’t want my latest book reviewed there, did I receive any measure of support for my principled stand? No: I was quietly dropped by both agent and publisher, and have had no literary representation in the UK ever since.
To me it’s painfully clear – If you (yes, you) want to prove you aren’t guilty of antisemitism, that you aren’t a hypocrite, then you should stand up and be counted and protest, if not at any of these other things, then at least at the shameful way the memory of these Olympians has been treated.
And if you can’t do that, you are nothing more than a pissant poseur and your views or moral judgements on anything whatsoever are worthless.