Jewish hostility to Christians: the prejudice no one ever writes about
(The Telegraph) -- by Damian Thompson --
The case of the Oxford lecturer in Jewish studies who says she was sacked after she converted to Christianity has thrown a spotlight on to an acutely sensitive subject. I have no idea whether Dr Tali Argov was treated unfairly – that’s for the employment tribunal to decide – but let’s not pretend that Jews who become Christians don’t face intense disapproval from their own community.
Christian anti-Semitism, Muslim anti-Semitism, Christian Islamophobia, Muslim persecution of Christians – all of these are acceptable topics of debate. But not Jewish hostility to Christianity.
You can understand why Jews might dislike the Christian religion: not only does it deify a man, the ultimate blasphemy for pious Jews just as it is for pious Muslims, but it’s also implicated in centuries of anti-Semitism. (I think its role in inspiring the Holocaust has been exaggerated, but that’s an argument for another day.)
Sometimes Jewish antipathy to Christianity spills over into hostility towards Christians. There was a piece in the Independent the other day by Christina Patterson that went way over the top in describing the rudeness of Stamford Hill’s ultra-Orthodox Jews towards gentiles:
When I moved to Stamford Hill, 12 years ago, I didn't realise that goyim were about as welcome in the Hasidic Jewish shops as Martin Luther King at a Ku Klux Klan convention. I didn't realise that a purchase by a goy was a crime to be punished with monosyllabic terseness, or that bus seats were a potential source of contamination, or that road signs, and parking restrictions, were for people who hadn't been chosen by God. And while none of this is a source of anything much more than irritation, when I see an eight-year-old boy recoiling from a normal-looking woman (because, presumably, he has been taught that she is dirty or dangerous, or, heaven forbid, dripping with menstrual blood) it makes me sad.Stephen Pollard, the brilliant editor of the Jewish Chronicle, described this as “pure, unrelenting unadulterated anti-Jewish bigotry,” on the part of Ms Patterson and indeed some of its undertones are disturbing. But monosyllabic terseness towards goyim? I’ve experienced it, and it’s maddening. Let me recommend a gripping book called Postville by the secular Jewish journalist Stephen Bloom, who records the extreme bad manners of Lubavitch Jews who moved en masse to a town in rural Iowa to run a huge kosher butchery. In the end, angry Christian townspeople, who had initially been welcoming, voted to annexe the land on which the factory was built, so they could tax and regulate it. Bloom, who felt the Lubavitchers had displayed “despicable” attitudes verging on racism, supported the move.
Jewish hostility towards Christians isn’t confined to the ultra-Orthodox. A woman friend of mine tutored the daughter of a Jewish couple in north London. When she said she wanted to take a break for Christmas, the wife went bananas. “We do not allow that word to be spoken in this house,” she said. An unrepresentative incident, no doubt; but my friend’s attitude towards Judaism changed after it took place. And I could tell other stories, of unbelievable haughtiness by the leaders of Anglo-Jewry, which would have led to diplomatic incidents if the Christians involved weren’t afraid of being accused of anti-Semitism...MORE...LINK
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