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I think in the UK, people are just sort of reckoning now with
the existence of anti-Semitism and I think that,
that sort of self-interrogation is very difficult for people.
I think it's an identity crisis in the UK - people understanding
that anti-Semitism does in fact exist.
I have experienced anti-Semitism from people who are on the far left
and the far right, and people who are black and white, men and women.
Anti-Semitism is not restricted to one party or gender or race.
Anti-Semitism is for everybody.
This is a news clip from the late-1950s.
A swastika got painted on a synagogue in Leeds.
Finally, are you worried?
No, not in the least, there's nothing to be worried about -
one ignores these things.
I think that's so British, to just be Iike,
"Yes, there's nothing to worry about, one ignores these things."
But I also think that's sort of the reason that...
The vast majority of people are not actively anti-Semitic.
And when anti-Semitic stuff like that did happen,
and for many years when it has happened, it's sort of like,
"Oh well, we'll wash it off the wall and get on with business as usual."
And now that it's back in the forefront, I think it's shocking for
people precisely because it is the kind of thing that
you would move past.
It's so interesting to watch this, because this feels like
1930's rhetoric.
This Orban speech sums up so much of anti-Semitic rhetoric,
because he says,
"Not open, but hiding. Not straightforward, but crafty."
And then he goes, "Not national, but international."
It's that tie between nationalism and anti-Semitism
that Jews are somehow not from here - they don't belong here.
They're part of this global cabal,
that's here to take stuff away from us.
And always the crafty thing.
There's no way to describe Jews that doesn't sound ludicrous
when they go into sort of that stereotype they're like,
"They're crafty" or "They're sneaky" "They're wily."
I think Jews get bludgeoned with Israel sometimes.
I think Israel is like a very weird lead pipe for a lot of people
they're just like,
"Well, you're Jewish, so explain this Israeli policy."
And you're like, "Well, I don't know if I 100% agree with that policy,
because, you know...
And they're like, "Well, then do you think Israel shouldn't exist?"
And you're like, "Well no. That's not what I said either."
Israel is a very complicated issue,
and it is the only sort of Jewish homeland on earth
so for that reason, Jews do have a special affiliation with it.
And it is a place, by the way, where I love my time in Israel,
because it is one of the only places where I do not feel
othered for being Jewish.
I've taken issue with many of its policies in the same way that
I take issue with many of the UK's policies and many American policies.
But I do think...
...or it's used to justify anti-Semitism.
My favorite quote about anti-Semitism is this Jean-Paul Sartre quote,
which is that...
...and I think about that all the time.
I do think that a good way to reduce anti-Semitism
is for people to understand that Jew is a label
or Jew as a type is a label that is entirely constructed.
It doesn't mean that you are a type of person or a certain way.
There is a strong heritage which you may opt into if you so choose.
I think it's crucial for people to understand that Jews are complicated
in the same way that everybody else is.
There are rich Jews and poor Jews, and Jews who are educated,
and Jews who are not.
And if you think all Jews are sort of powerful and educated and rich,
I have a bunch of cousins that you should meet,
because it's not the case.
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Why are people anti-Semitic? | What's Behind Prejudice? Episode 4 | BBC Ideas

3 Folder Collection
Summer published on July 31, 2020
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