The worship of equality has played a part in the recent rise of anti-Semitism

From Telegraph blogs, March 2013

After Lord Ahmed, the Labour peer, was suspended by the Labour Party for alleged anti-Semitic comments made to a Pakistani TV programme, Stephen Pollard wrote in today’s paper about the way that modern anti-Semitism has been seen as mere “eccentricity”. Although many of the notable outbursts have come from white politicians agitated about Israel/Palestine, this strain of anti-Semitism is different from the old in that it stems from the Islamic world and reflects common prejudices there about Jews.

Theodore Dalrymple once pointed out that if you were told in 1900 that a European country would commit genocide against the Jews in the following century you’d have bet your house on Russia, with France and Germany in joint second place, based purely on the levels of hatred in those countries. And popular anti-Semitism in the Middle East today is similarly widespread; much of that prejudice and hatred has been brought to Europe by immigrant communities.

Middle Eastern anti-Semitism can sound amusingly absurd to our ears because it is the prejudice of the powerless; Sacha Baron Cohen can mock Second World bigotry through Borat because, so long as Israel has its military, its neighbours’ murderous intentions will remain a fantasy. Prejudice proclaimed by the impotent and frustrated is quite funny; once said by those with the power to do something about it, it becomes remarkably less so, which is why for historical reasons anti-Semitism spoken with European accents sounds more sinister. (A German Borat wouldn’t really work, although a Jewish colleague in a previous job used to do an amusing turn as a gay Nazi he called the Camp Kommandant.)

That frustration is reflected in the bizarre conspiracy theories about Israelis and Jews that pop up in Muslim world, including a belief that they control animals such as sharks and vultures. Jewish hands are seen at work in almost every fresh blow to Muslim pride, including the dreadful The Innocence of Muslims, which was blamed on “100 Israelis” (come on, chaps, if 100 Jews made a film, don’t you think it would be a bit better than that?).

This gives us all a good laugh, but what’s disturbing about the internet is that it’s an ultra-modern form of communication that has crash-landed on relatively medieval parts of the world, creating a fertile soil for blood libels. The medieval Christian and internet-age Muslim conspiracies share similar themes: namely that Jews are somehow able to manipulate things beyond others’ knowledge and control. This probably reflects relative Jewish economic success and the popular resentment it has always caused, Christian peasants unable to attribute this to anything other than nefarious means.

The term “anti-Semitism” predates “racism” and has always been categorised separately, largely because where most forms of racial prejudice tend to be directed against poorer, less educated groups, anti-Semitism is unusual in being aimed at a more successful minority. The language of anti-Semitism is similar to that used against other dominant minorities, such as the Chinese of South-east Asia or Indians in Africa.

This has always been a feature of human life, but in recent years a new ingredient has been added to the cocktail – the doctrine of equality. Across the English-speaking world there has developed the idea, backed by the state, that all ethnic groups must achieve equality of outcomes as a matter of “fairness”; where this doesn’t happen, the only conclusion must be that it is by unfair means.

Today men of Middle Eastern or south Asian appearance commit a disproportionate amount of violent anti-Semitic incidents in the UK; is this purely confused rage about Palestine, or does it partly reflect economic resentment against a group which, agitators always tell them, is punching above its weight in the media, law and politics?

I’m sure those responsible would no doubt be horrified, but the underlying message of equality and diversity, constantly pushed by the large equality industry and various interested politicians, is inevitably interpreted by some members of non-market dominant minorities badly; that they are being cheated by more successful groups, who must have fixed everything to get ahead. Is there any better formula, I wonder, to create a multi-ethnic society marked by resentment, hatred and paranoia?

What do you think?