Thursday, March 11, 2004


Just as a Jew (Disraeli) saved British conservatism in the late 19th century, so two Jews (Howard and Letwin) seem to be the only hope of the British Conservative party in the early 21st century. So in their usual unprincipled way, the British Left cannot resist Jew-baiting

"Sometimes the loudest sound of all is the sound of silence. The reaction - or rather, non-reaction - to the description last weekend by Ian McCartney of Oliver Letwin as "Fagin" speaks volumes about how the Left views anti-Semitism.

The Labour Party Chairman described the Shadow Chancellor as "No Oliver Twist, this man, more of a Fagin". Fagin, let me remind you, is not merely avaricious, deceitful, grubby and a thief. He is painted as those things specifically as a Jewish caricature. That anyone with even a modicum of sense would choose to compare a Jewish politician who hopes to take charge of the public finances with, of all possible fictional characters, Fagin, is so jaw-droppingly offensive that it almost defies belief....

What is of interest, however, is that he has suffered barely a whisper of criticism from the Left-wing media or political classes. It is, it seems, just fine to make anti-Semitic remarks. We have, of course, been here before. When, last May, the Labour MP Tam Dalyell remarked that Tony Blair is "being unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers", his words prompted a similarly deafening silence of criticism.

Imagine, however, if Mr Letwin were a Muslim, and that Mr McCartney had accused him of behaving like Ali Baba, stealing from the 40 thieves. There would, be sure, have been the mother and father of all rows. Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, would doubtless have called for Mr McCartney's resignation. His fellow Lefties would have disowned him. The Guardian would have condemned him. He would be in disgrace. The penalty for describing a Jew as a thieving hook-nosed monster is, however, nothing.

If the political boot had been on the other foot, and a Conservative politician had described Peter Mandelson as Fagin, the Left would have reacted with fury. So it's not quite true to say that anti-Semitic jibes can be thrown around with impunity. The truth is that they can be thrown by the Left but not by the Right.....

The reaction to Mr McCartney's words betrayed the hidden truth: on the Left, attacking a Jew for being a Jew is perfectly fine. And attacking a Conservative Jew for being a Conservative Jew is merely doing one's duty to society."

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