It’s been a few weeks since the European Elections, so let’s return to them. And I’m going to shock you – a lot of Jewish people voted UKIP.
Not shocked? OK, let’s deal with the BNP first. The big story was that they won some seats in the European Parliament. It’s awful, and they’re awful people hiding their racism under their suits. And that’s including their anti-semitism, let’s not forget – although I suspect they have a Jewish constituency to their vote as well.
Why do I say that? Because I know a lot of Jewish voters voted UKIP – not as noxious, but nearly as bigoted, and almost as anti-immigrant as well. Even if I didn’t know so many voted UKIP, I could guess by their publicity campaign explicitly targeting Jewish newspapers and posters sites in Jewish areas. They know the score – that the Jewish community is comfortable ensconced in suburban UK society. The door swung open for us in the 19th and 20th Century, anti-semitism died down, and now, we’ll chop the ladder and lock the door behind us. Back to the Golf Club.
UKIP would have opposed the immigration of Jews fleeing persecution from the Tsar, from the Nazis, from Stalin. UKIP would have called for their benefits to be withdrawn. UKIP would have told them to get to the back of the housing queue and prevented them getting jobs and setting up businesses. UKIP would have made dark references to the destruction of the national character based on foreign invaders wielding power from afar.
If the Hungarian far-right, or the Austrian Freedom Party, or their Dutch friends, were to march into Parliament, and declare that actually it’s not just the Muslims and Gypsies they want out, it’s the Jews too, what would UKIP say? Probably that it’s their own business, and that they’d turn a blind eye.
This is the face of English anti-Semitism. It’s not blind hatred, it’s indifference, it’s sly comments in the name of national pride, and it’s not rising to the defence of the oppressed. UKIP’s language when it speaks of the European ‘superstate’ is that of anti-semites – the economic and legal powers from the faceless, the secret alliances. They’re not consciously referring to Jews, I know – but they’re stoking the flames of anti-Semitic myths which lie low and then rage again. They’re using them against ‘bureaucrats’ and ethnically-unspecific ‘immigrants’. But when they talk of them they’re playing dangerous games.
This is the Ezra Pound school of anti-Semitism – English gentlemen playing to the gallery of nagging hatreds. This is the England they defend, ever in stasis and ever conservative. It’s the England of overt anti-Semitism, when we still had an Empire. It’s the England of fearing swarthy strangers.
UKIP came second in the European Elections. This is what you voted for – if you’re Jewish, you should hang your complacent head. But I don’t just blame you, I also blame our toothless leaders from the pulpit to the paper, who won’t take political responsibility and advise voting for those who believe in justice and fairness. Those whose ancestors allowed Jews fleeing persecution to enter the UK. Even the Tories would have been better than UKIP – that’s how pathetic this is.
This is a collective failure of memory and conscience within the Jewish community. Like many things, it can never happen again. Forget the BNP, there is a worse enemy to slay.