Economist uses ‘Fagin the Jew’ to illustrate article on criminal behavior

Cross posted from the blog of David Porush

econ

I’m usually the one around the Old Jews poker table who counsels my oversensitive friends not to over-react to perceived slights. As a former English prof, I abhor PC censorship of literature (banning Twain for his use of the”N-word” is but one example.) I’m a fan of brilliant writers who are also dyed-in-the-wool anti-Semites, such as Pound, Celine TS Eliot and, yes, DIckens. Further, paying attention to intentional hatred or sniveling bigotry just stirs the toilet and makes it smell worse.

But The Economist just published a story entitled “To Have and Have Not: A disturbing study of the link between income and criminal behavior” that pushed me over the edge. Atop the piece is very large picture of Fagin the Jew from a movie version of DIcken’s Oliver Twist.

Type “Fagin the Jew” into Google (Images or Web) and you will see how viral and anti-Semitic this character portrait is historically.

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Fagin is used by Dickens as symbol of explicitly Jewish criminality and his portrayal even in the 1948 (!) film, from which this image is taken, truly captures Dickens’ animus. See this discussion of Dickens’ anti-Semitism:

The Oxford Dictionary of English Literature describes Dickens as nationalistic often both stigmatising foreign European cultures and taking his attitude to “colonized people” to “genocidal extremes”,[3] albeit based mainly on a vision of British virtue, but not on any concept of heredity. One of the best known instances of this is Dickens’ portrait of Fagin in one of his most widely read early novels Oliver Twist, which has been seen by some as deeply antisemitic, though others such as Dickens’ biograper “G.K.Chesterton” have argued against this notion. The novel refers to Fagin 257 times in the first 38 chapters as “the Jew”, while the ethnicity or religion of the other characters is rarely mentioned.

The Economist article itself resurrects traditional anti-Jewish libels of inherent or congenital criminality by gratuitously placing a photo of a Jew to accompany a report  about a study in Sweden. The study has not one mention of Jews, literature, Dickens, the 19th century, or even crime in England. But it does suggest:

“…a family’s culture, once established, is “sticky”—that you can, to put it crudely, take the kid out of the neighbourhood, but not the neighbourhood out of the kid. Given, for example, children’s propensity to emulate elder siblings whom they admire, that sounds perfectly plausible. The other possibility is that genes which predispose to criminal behaviour (several studies suggest such genes exist) are more common at the bottom of society than at the top, perhaps because the lack of impulse-control they engender also tends to reduce someone’s earning capacity.”

This is either dumbfounding insensitivity or gratuitous stereotyping, especially at a time when passions are aroused against Jews in the UK, the EU, and elsewhere. In its choice of images, The Economist has either purposefully inflamed matters or merely, casually, offhandedly confirmed its good old upper crust Brit anti-Jew bigotry.

Further, even if it’s just a poor or thoughtless choice, it’s part of a pattern. The Economist‘s anti-Israel agenda has been clear for a long time. However, they now make clear that their bias blurs the distinction between anti-Israel and anti-Jew. Maybe I’ve gone over the edge and have become enamored of the view from here. Look, I’ll tell on myself: I cancelled my subscription to The New York Times for its clear bias after five decades of reading it religiously. Yup, this former liberal Brooklyn Jew has become a bit unnerved.

Or maybe I’m not crazy. Maybe The Economist‘s cool posture of civil, rational analysis obliges it to be held to a higher standard. Maybe I just can’t abide the UK’s and EU’s pretenses and get some bad boy frisson from ripping off their masks.

Please join me in protesting to The Economist directly at letters@economist.com and asking for an apology.

Also feel free to use any verbiage herein to help make your point.

David Porush

England crushed by Israel’s winning goal at Jerusalem’s Teddy Kollek Stadium.

Cross posted by Richard Millett

Israel Defence Forces soldiers having fun before the Israel v England game.

Israel Defence Forces soldiers having fun before the Israel v England game.

England’s Under-21 football team, already eliminated from the UEFA Under-21 Finals in Israel after losing their first two games, were beaten 1-0 by Israel in Jerusalem’s Teddy Kolleck stadium to be left bottom of their group having achieved no points and having scored just one goal in their three group games (and that goal was from the penalty spot).

Israel also finally went out having won one, drawn one and lost one, although it all could have been so different had they not conceded a last-minute equaliser against Norway in their first game. England left the tournament in disarray which doesn’t bode well for the future of England’s senior team.

Over 22,000 fans in Israel’s capital Jerusalem watched a first half in which both teams matched each other but with neither side being able to finish. However, Israel stepped up a gear towards the end of the game and struck the bar with a dipping shot from 30 yards out and then almost chipped the England goalkeeper who found himself stranded before Israel finally crashed the ball home with just ten minutes left to the delight of the home fans.

Here are Israel’s fans celebrating the winning goal:

More scenes from inside the stadium in Jerusalem:

Israel's goalkeeper clears the ball as Israel go on the attack.

Israel’s goalkeeper clears the ball as Israel go on the attack.

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Yours truly with Adam Levick at half time during the game.

Wearing the scarf with pride.

Wearing the scarf with pride.

Aston Villa on your.

Aston Villa on your.

Water melon being served up at the game.

Water melon being served up at the game.

The lads.

The lads.

Supporting both sides.

Supporting both sides.

The Israeli team celebrates at the end of the game.

The Israeli team celebrates at the end of the game.

Adam Levick and Richard Millett blog the UEFA Under-21 Championship in Israel: BDS Fail Live!

Update 13: Adam: Israel wins! Game over. 

Update 12: 

Adam 9

Update 11:

Adam 8

Update 10: 

Adam 7

Update 9: Adam: Israel scores! Stadium erupts.

Adam 6

Update 8: Adam: Attendance just announced – over 22,000. 

Update 7: 

Adam 5

Update 6: Adam: Still nil-nil. Israel’s Verta  shoots just wide in 60th minute.

Update 5:

Adam 3

Update 4: Adam: the second half has begun with a near miss from Wickham.

England manager Roy Hodgson and FA Chairman David Bernstein visited Yad Vashem earlier in the day. Watch them talk about their impressions here.

FA TweetHalf time

Adam 2

Update 3: Adam: Five minutes to half time. Richard: England manager Roy Hodgson is in attendance. 

Update 2: Richard reports that England are starting to apply pressure, with Wilfred Zahar playing well. 

Adam 1Update: The match has begun and Adam and Richard report that Tom Lees – from Leeds – started for England. Lots of Israeli supporters. The score is still 0-0 at this point. 

Despite efforts by a few marginal anti-Zionist groups (and their media public relations teams) to have the games cancelled, Israel on Wednesday began hosting an extremely prestigious sports tournament – the UEFA Under-21 Championships, showcasing the rising stars of European football. Tonight, Israel – who kicked off the competition on June 5th at Netanya against the Norwegians, playing to a 2-2 draw, and lost to Italy on June 8th – will be facing England – which suffered disappointing losses to Italy and Norway – at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, at 7 pm Israeli time. 

London-based blogger Richard Millett is in Israel for the tournament, and will be joined by Adam Levick in a live blog of the game.  Additionally, Levick will be tweeting the game using the hashtag #U21EURO.

Avi M U21

Photo by Avi Mayer, Twitter

The action below will be periodically updated, with news on the most recent action placed at the top of this post – so remember to refresh your browser to get the most recent action.

 

CiF Watch prompts correction to Guardian story about (failed) BDS campaign against Israel

Yesterday, June 4, we commented on a report by Guardian football reporter Louise Taylor (‘England enter a politically loaded European Under-21 Championship‘, June 3) concerning boycott efforts targeting the 2013 European Under-21 Football Championship (UEFA U-21), hosted by Israel, from June 5th through the 18th.  

Though BDS activists have failed in their efforts – by virtue of the fact that the tournament has already begun – Taylor devoted nearly all of her story on the football championship to the efforts of anti-Israel BDS campaigners who were evidently still hoping to persuade EUFA officials to cancel the games.

However, Taylor made an error when she wrote the following:

The hurdles faced by Palestinian footballers, who have their own, Fifa-registered national side, were highlighted in November when more than 60 players from Europe’s major leagues, including Arsenal’s Abou Diaby and Newcastle’s Sylvian Marveaux, Papiss Cissé and Cheik Tioté, signed a petition demanding Uefa relocate the Under-21 tournament.

As we noted back in December, the original list of 62 included some footballers who didn’t in fact sign the petition and, as CAMERA and others reported at the time, after publicity about the ‘faux endorsers’ began generating attention the ‘official’ list shrank to 51.

Shortly after our post yesterday, we contacted Guardian editors to alert them about the error, and within the last hour we were informed that the passage has been corrected to reflect the actual number of signatories, and the following had been added:

correct

On a final note, at the time of this post Israel was tied with Norway 2-2 in the tournament’s opening match which is being held at Netanya Stadium.

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Taleb Twatha (R) of Israel is challenged by Anders Konradssen of Norway during their UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group A match on June 5.

Guardian sports writer makes unforced error in report on failing BDS campaign against Israel

As we reported on May 28, the 2013 European Under-21 Football Championship (UEFA U-21) will be hosted by Israel beginning tomorrow, June 5th, through the 18th, bringing national football teams from all over Europe to compete – with England, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands and Norway, alongside Israel, all vying for the title of champion.

Additionally, we noted in our post that the Guardian, unsurprisingly, has provided free PR to a failing BDS campaign calling for the tournament organizers, even at this late date, to reverse their decision to choose Israel as the venue, publishing a pro-boycott letter (signed largely by activists affiliated with Palestine Solidarity Campaignand a story, in their sports section, reporting on the publication of the very same letter the paper had just published.

The latest publicity provided for those calling for a sporting boycott of the Jewish state was provided by Guardian north-east football correspondent, Louise Taylor, in a piece titled ‘England enter a politically loaded European Under-21 Championship‘, June 3.

football

After explaining that Uefa’s award of the European Under-21 Championship to Israel is “politically loaded” Taylor then proceeds to devote nearly all of her 770 word report on the football tournament to the efforts of BDS campaigners who, she claims, regard Israel’s hosting of the games “as another kick in the teeth for Palestinians in the occupied territories.”

Though Taylor mostly sticks to the script, in reporting details of the boycott movement which has been reported elsewhere at the Guardian, she makes an error in the following passage:

The hurdles faced by Palestinian footballers, who have their own, Fifa-registered national side, were highlighted in November when more than 60 players from Europe’s major leagues, including Arsenal’s Abou Diaby and Newcastle’s Sylvian Marveaux, Papiss Cissé and Cheik Tioté, signed a petition demanding Uefa relocate the Under-21 tournament.

However, as we noted back in December after the Guardian’s Chris McGreal first reported news of the footballers’ “Declaration of support for Palestine, the original list of 62 included some footballers who didn’t in fact sign the petition.  As CAMERA noted at the time, shortly after the petition was first published the list of endorsers magically shrank.  

Here are the “signatories” who actually never ‘signed’ the petition:

  • André Ayew, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Jordan Ayew, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle United (UK)
  • Soulaymane Diawara, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Didier Drogba, Shanghaï Shenhua (China)
  • Rod Fanni, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Eden Hazard, Chelsea (UK)
  • Charles Kaboré, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Anthony Le Tallec, AJ Auxerre (France)
  • Steve Mandanda, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Arnold Mvuemba, Olympique Lyonnais (France)

Indeed, the petition currently posted on the website of former Tottenham and Sevilla striker Frederic Kanoute only shows 52 names. (Eden Hazard is still listed on his site despite the fact that the Chelsea star denied signing it, bringing the actual number down to 51.)

We can only hope that following this story Louise Taylor will avoid politics and return to writing about sport, where she may be less prone to committing such unforced errors. 

Not banned by the Guardian: White nationalist crusader against the ‘Holohoax’

On Jan. 14, the Guardian published at report by Peter Walker titled ‘England’s football stars feature in Holocaust educational video film for schools, about Premier League footballers teaming up with the FA to produce a film for UK schools in which players discuss the impact of their recent tour of Auschwitz – part of a broader program by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

The report includes a short film explaining the context of the Holocaust before detailing the events and their impact on Europe’s Jews.

Though the report didn’t elicit too many reader comments, it did attract the attention of a few Holocaust “skeptics”. 

More people need to see “passed” [sic] the Holocaust propaganda.

two

Truth teller

holocaust comment 2

“Holohoax” Crusader

one

Though this comment by ‘CorshmCrusader’ was eventually deleted by moderators (along with the two others) it remained at the Guardian for roughly four hours, and garnered 118 expressions of support from fellow readers.

More interestingly, the user profile of CorshmCrusdader is still up and his user privileges do not seem to have been suspended – which is interesting in light of CiF editors’ decision to ban other users who evidently ran afoul of the Guardian’s “community standards”.

Here’s the profile:

profile

This profile evidently wasn’t flagged by editors despite the URL listed, which takes you to the site of a white nationalist group so extreme they have accused the BNP of being soft on Jews:

resist

The CiF commenter appears to be the Deputy Editor of the extremist site, who goes by the name of Mark Kennedy.

deputy

He even has his own graphic on the sidebar:

crusader

The graphic links to his YouTube Channel, where you can enjoy the following videos:

videosTo those still not convinced, a post on the site of ‘British Resistance’ on Jan. 15, by the site’s Editor (who posts using the moniker ‘Green Arrow’), bitterly complained about the deletion of the same comment by CorshmCrusader shown above, and clearly revealed the author’s identity.

“In an article written by a piece of human excrement with a fetish for people who wear Lycra, known as Peter Walker, The Guardian today published a story and a video on how the Jews, through the Holocaust Memorial Trust were intending to brainwash young British children by sending every single English secondary school a DVD containing a seven and half minute video about the Holohoax and other “teaching” materials.

“…our Deputy Editor, the Corsham Crusader, was onto the comments section quicker than a terrier on a rat and left a rather good post revealing the truth about the Holohoax and advising people who did not believe what he said, to simply go and do their own research.”

Consider sending a respectful email to Guardian editors requesting that the white supremacist using the moniker CorshmCrusader be banned.

comment.editors@guardian.co.uk

Being Jewish Is Easy In Israel, Even On Yom Kippur

This was cross-posted by Brian of London at Israellycool.

(This post, describing a typical Yom Kippur in Tel Aiv, stands in stark contrast to the narrative advanced by the Guardian’s recent photo essay of Yom Kippur, which included only Ultra-Orthodox Jews, mostly performing ancient rituals which the overwhelming majority of Jews – both in Israel and the Diaspora - have never performed.)

Yom Kippur 2010, North Tel Aviv

Tonight the Yom Kippur Day of Atonement for Jews begins. Many people know that Jews don’t eat or drink for around 25 hours (sun down to sun down) but few know what actually happens on Yom Kippur in modern, non-religious, Israel. What I’m going to write below, many Jews in the UK don’t know. I didn’t know this till I moved here!

Maybe it isn’t so clear to Jews or others outside of Israel what happens on Yom Kippur in Israel. Cars stop for the day. They just stop. It looks like a post apocalypse movie where the oil ran out one night and all we have left are bicycles and roller blades.

As far as I can tell (people are very vague on this) there really is no enforceable law against driving, it just isn’t done. The police could stop you, but they’d just ask why you were driving, tell you to be careful and let you go. There is no religious police to enforce this kind of thing in Israel as it isn’t a religious state.

Now it is true that this happens on every Sabbath in places where observant, religious Jews live in large majority: parts of Jerusalem, highly religious towns like Tzfat (Safed, Zefad, whatever) and many others: but on a regular Sabbath in Tel Aviv Friday night traffic is bad and the restaurants serving pork or shell-fish are full to overflowing (some of them like to combine pork, prawns and dairy products in one dish to break as many of the Kosher rules as possible in one go).

On Yom Kippur, however, everything stops. Non-observant Jews and observant Jews alike, just hide the car keys. For sure, if your kid falls off his bike or your wife goes into labor and needs the hospital nobody (from both those communities) would think twice about driving the car to the hospital.

But on Yom Kippur the non-religious Jews just organize their lives such that they don’t need to drive.

For sure most of them will not fast, and they probably stock up on downloaded movies or DVD’s because the state TV channels shut down (but there’s plenty of other cable channels).

But they just don’t DRIVE their cars. The air smells good, the visibility gets better and from sundown to sundown the streets are full of people strolling or cycling along 10 lane highways. People have found a way to organize their lives that for just one day a year, nobody drives except for emergencies.

I left my apartment to have a look last year and I saw one pickup truck and 3 police cars moving. Slowly. Through the crowds of children on bikes on roads equivalent to the M1 or the London North Circular.

Below is a slide show of what that looks like in Tel Aviv that I found on YouTube, there are many more videos but this kind of gives a good idea.

Slideshow Yom Kippur in Tel Aviv on YouTube

Video of streets without cars

So why is being Jewish so different when you’re in Israel. Well there has never in my recollection (and when I’ve searched) been a Jew in England who’s publicly got upset by anyone eating, even in front of him, on Yom Kippur. Jews have never, and will never I assure you, ask you to stop driving for a day. It just won’t ever happen. Even in our own country this isn’t a law, it’s just something the vast majority of Jews want to do because over here, it just feels right.

That is the difference between living as a Jew in England and as a Jew in Israel: here we can just BE Jewish and the calendar and the customs and norms push us into being culturally Jewish even if we don’t want to study the Torah 9 hours a day.

Jews don’t want anywhere else, we just want this one tiny little place to feel Jewish in.

Gmar Chatima Tova to you all!