Trials of the Diaspora

Friday, April 30, 2010

Anthony Julius discusses the history of anti-Semitism in England, beginning with the medieval persecution of Jews to he contemporary anti-Semitism that emerged in the late 1960s that dismisses the legitimacy of Zionism and the State of Israel. His book Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England is a ground-breaking look at the distinct forms of English anti-Semitism.


Anthony Julius

Comments [45]

Kevin from Queens

In the interview, Leonard says that the famous writer Thomas Mann stated that "antisemitism is the socialism of fools." While Mann may have repeated this comment, it was actually first said by August Bebel, a co-founder of the German Social Democrats in the late 19th century. The SPD was also in competition with the then-marginal anti-Semitic political parties and movements for votes. Anthony Julius also didn't seem to know the statement's origin but perhaps he was being polite.

May. 11 2010 05:34 PM
yehoshua from brooklyn

After reading many of the comments i felt the need to contribute a brief though. The point of the segment was to point out that in modern times alot of Anti Semetism or jew hatred has been dressep up as anti israel sentiments. Anti semetisim is a reallity. To discuss the actions of jews or arabs or muslims is missing the point. Also, just like there are many racists who do not consider themselves racist, so to with anti semites. I think it is a subject which requires sensativity because we have to admit to ourselves that our motives and oppinions might not be pure.

May. 03 2010 01:10 PM
arn from

After skimming through these comments, with many resonating and informing me, as a Jew I can't help but feel a bit of pride for always being held to a higher standard than those on the "other side" of nearly every relationship and conflict.

May. 01 2010 10:06 AM
fred from usa ca

@Martin Tyrrell
It is a democracy, one at war. Your standards are ridiculous. From gays to palestinians, all have far more rights in israel than in the surrounding countries, and are treated better than minorities in those countries as well. Its not perfect, but they live in constant war. in 2008 over 2000 rockets were fired into israel, scaled up to the us population would be an attack of 100,000 rockets on american civilians. that is what israel has to deal with, and your standards of perfection are unrealistic, and unfair. You only have to see how america and uk behaved in war, the uk and us bombed german cities into oblivion, japanese were rounded up in camps, and none of the japanese were guilty of anything near what terrorist palestinians are guilty of commiting. can you even imagine what would have happened to japanese americans if most of them swore death to america, and blew themselves up in restaurants? But i guess this is the double standard of antisemetism, extreme standards for the jews, none for their enemies. the only good jew is a dead jew, and then you can shed your noble tear for them

May. 01 2010 05:30 AM
fred from usa ca

@Enrique from Elizabeth
such casual use of the term genocide shows exactly how blinded by hate you are. the only ones with a genocidal mindset of kill as many as possible are the palestinians. but you throw around the term in a way that renders it meaningless. Turkeys killed tens of thousands of kurds in its campaign to keep them from having their own state, hundreds of kurdish children in turkish jails. Yet folks like you don't call for boycotts, or scream genocide, or froth from the mouth, its mainly the simply fact that no jews are involved. In pakistan over a million were made refugees and their villages razed in the hunt for "terrorists", yet there was silence from the islamic/antisemetic world. It shows the double standard as clear as day. In the uk antisemitism is far worse, the jews there have to remain rather silent, zionism is pretty much equivalent to racism in public discourse, and the left basically gets in bed with the worst of the far right and the islamic population when nit comes to the issue of israel. Blatantly antisemetic politicians like george galloway are electable in that country.

May. 01 2010 05:23 AM
sanych from NJ

I enjoyed Mr. Julius's appearance on the show. He is a very knowledgeable and articulate person.

I also enjoyed him kicking Lenny's butt a few times for Mr. Lopate's left-wing narrow-mind view of Israel. Nice job, Mr. Julius.

Apr. 30 2010 09:04 PM
Martin Tyrrell from Honolulu, Hi

Strike is right on-- post #25. Right on. As far as post 32 is concerned, Israel claims to be a democracy, which it is for some. These other Arab countries, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq (every one knows this story), Libya, Egypt with the exception of Egypt, which is not really a democracy either, but is not defended as such in the west, do not claim to be democracies. In addition, no one thinks that these Arab countries or any Arab countries are places where people are treated fairly and equally. Israel likes to think of it self as a democracy, which it is for some. Arabs are treated as second class citizens in Israel.

Apr. 30 2010 04:46 PM
Strike from Brooklyn

@ Jgarbuz. "It was 'my Brooklyn' back in 1950 when none of those you described were there.'??? Old man, you seriously need a clue if you think there were no Jamaicans, Irish or Bengalis in Brooklyn back in 1950. This is just the sort of crazy "Chosen People" narcissim I'm talking about. Brooklyn does not exclusively belong to you (especially since you moved to Queens!) and neither does Israel/Palestine. And unlike Jews like you, we who now live in Brooklyn don't red-line and race-bait. I have never heard any Muslims ever claim that they constitute a Chosen People. And neither have you. Can you really say (truthfully that is, I mean really truthfully, not "truth fit for the goys") that about Jews? I think not. BTW, why did all those European Jews sit on their hands for 2000 years if Palestine was truly their homeland? Why did they not go back during all that time? Why wait until the high-water mark of racist European imperialism in the late 19th century to suddenly remember Israel? Hadn't your right hands withered by then? You have everything in common with those old white bigots I remember growing up around in Brooklyn . . . oh wait . . . you are one of those.

Apr. 30 2010 02:12 PM
gaetano catelli from downtown manhattan (for now)

re: "many bad Muslims or Christians do not inspire the same tendency of generalization."

that's for sure. [chuckling]

Apr. 30 2010 01:43 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

To strike

It was "my Brooklyn" back in 1950 when none of those you described were there. But In fact, I agree with you. After all, it was Jewish liberals in Congress that pressed for the changes in the immigration laws back in 1965 that opened up the gates of America to y'all, that made "my Brooklyn" your Brooklyn.
But really, you made my case for "Palestine." Why did Arabs resist Jewish immigration back to their original homeland? You Muslim Arabs got to get over your "chosen religion" status and stop claiming every country as Islamic as soon as you become a majority. Israel is the ONLY Jewish homeland in the world. That was my real point.

Apr. 30 2010 01:31 PM
Strike from Brooklyn

@ Ephraim. Your anguish is very touching. Ironic is more like it. As you said earlier, I think you "unwillingly" (the word is unwittingly, BTW) illustrated my point, i.e., that you're bigoted towards all Arabs and Muslims based on the acts (some even justifiable) of the very few. But really, your problem and that of those you claim to weep for, is in the mirror. Take a hard look if you dare brother man.

Apr. 30 2010 01:19 PM
Ephraim Lior from Brooklyn

Dear Strike.
I am answering your question:
No, I DO NOT demonize, stereotype, applaud the killings.
In fact I am very sorry for all Arabs made to live in ghettos in order to preserve their poverty, suffering, refugee status for sheer reason of destroying Jews. I cry for every Arab child turned into a murderer. I sorry for every soul filled with the hatred.
Yes you guessed correctly, I am a Jew, which apparently is important for you.
And I am sorry for you too.

Love you, Strike.
and thanks for another illustration of my previous point.

Apr. 30 2010 01:12 PM
Strike from Brooklyn

@ Jgarbuz -- There are many wonderful Jews in Brooklyn, but so are there Jamaicans, Bangladeshis, Irishmen and nearly everyone else. But there being Jews in Brooklyn does not make it your "Brooklyn Jewish homeland". I mean, c'mon how many exclusive homelands do you want? @ Ephraim -- I love you too man. Just need you to give up the Chosen People mentality. Have a great weekend. Shalom shalom.

Apr. 30 2010 01:09 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

If Arabs are second class citizens in Israel, what are Jews in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, et al?

Apr. 30 2010 01:08 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

To strike

Why are you settling and occupying my Brooklyn Jewish homeland?

Apr. 30 2010 01:01 PM
Ephraim Lior from Brooklyn

Dear Strike (Comments #5 and #24), I love you.
A. for illustrating my point (see comment #25)
B. for illustrating the logic used by anti-Semites supporting their hatred.
No question, cotton traders benefited from cotton production. The problem is that you choose to see that and not see who were the slave traders. And still are - read more about arabization of Africa and human trafficking.

Apr. 30 2010 01:01 PM
Strike from Brooklyn

@ Ephraim Lior. What are you talking about?! You mean to say that neither you nor any other Jews you know demonize and stereotype (if not outright applaud the killing of) Muslims based on the acts of bad Muslims? Hard to believe, especially coming from a Jewish Brooklynite.

Apr. 30 2010 12:54 PM
Pete, London

My impression of the attitude of ordinary English people to any religion- even the Church of England - is as long as people don't make too much of a fuss about it then no-one is too bothered - certainly not amongst the working classes where I reside anyway.

England is a peculiarly irreligious country, or has been for the past thirty or so years - churches are mainly regarded as being quite sweet for wedding photo opportunites. I think one of the problems that we have with Islamophobia at the moment is that strident religious belief quite unnerves the English. That's why we think Palin and her ilk are absolute dribbling loons.

Jewish people are successful and admired in all areas of English life and are deeply embedded in English culture.

I'm not sure that conscripting the all pervasive English snobbery into a debate about anti-Semitism is particularly valid. It is simply there within every social situation and is only tangentially about ethnicity or religion.

Apr. 30 2010 12:53 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

The Land of Israel was overrun by Roman imperialism, Islamic Arab imperialism, Turkish imperialism, and finally British imperialism. Zionism is the liberation of the Jewish homeland from all forms of foreign imperialism. We should all support it.

Apr. 30 2010 12:52 PM
Ephraim Lior from Brooklyn

Can't refrain from commenting on the Comment#20 above.
Mr. Pierre, unwillingly, you made a great point to the topic.
Any perception of a "bad Jew" can turn a one into anti-Semite, while many bad Muslims or Christians do not inspire the same tendency of generalization.

Apr. 30 2010 12:47 PM
Strike from Brooklyn

@ "Abu Hassan". Your concern for the Jews is touching and posting under an Arabic sounding name is a nice (very Mossadish) touch but in fact everyone knows that bigoted Likudnik nuts like yourself hate the Palestinians and would just as soon see all of them leave or be forced to leave Israel and Palestine to make more room for the Chosen People. BTW, obviously almost all of the Confederates were White Christians. The point is that many American White Jews supported slavery and profited from it as cotton brokers. Likewise in Britain, as far as I'm aware, no Jews ever opposed the evil that was British Imperialism. Why would they, I guess, when it was precisely through that imperialism that the Zionists among them were able to disposses the Palestinians and set up their own colonial state. But of course, only discussion of Jewish suffering is permissible. Simply awful to question the relatively recent Jewish complicity in suffering visited upon others.

Apr. 30 2010 12:43 PM
Jennifer from NYC

@ Barbara from Monmouth - Hmmm wonder why a Palestinian might opt out of serving in the Israeli military... and at the rest of your comment - B.S.! Pull your head out of the sand

Apr. 30 2010 12:40 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

When is England going to kick its Muslims out? Why only the Jews?

Apr. 30 2010 12:40 PM
Enrique from Elizabeth, NJ



Israel should stop making a great part of its community look bad: with the genocide of the palestinians. Ironically seemed in practice...
just like the nazi's genocide upon them.

He dicho.

Apr. 30 2010 12:40 PM
Pierre from Brooklyn

This man's smug and condescending tone is turning me into an anti-semite, and I'm half jewish!

Apr. 30 2010 12:38 PM
Emily from Brooklyn

You're right, James, and the fact that Leonard pressed him on the subject indicates that Leonard is not nearly the knee-jerk apologist for Israel that he is often made out to be by the commenters on this site. I think we all listen to his show for the well-informed and penetrating approach he brings to his topics.

Apr. 30 2010 12:36 PM

Arabs are second class "citizens" in IL - a thorn in the country's side. Even if some wanted to serve the army - for security reasons most don't serve. Only Druz serve and in strategically placed army units. Pal' arabs living in IL don't serve for security reasons.
Let's not dance around it.

Apr. 30 2010 12:36 PM
Ephraim Lior from Brooklyn

Dear Mr. Lopate.
During your interview with Anthony Julius you made a comment that Avigdor Liberman called for expulsion of Arabs from Israel.
Don't you confuse it with his proposition of an exchange or swap between Jews living in Arab land and Arabs living in Israel?
... which, of course, is quite different from expulsion...

Ephraim Lior

Apr. 30 2010 12:36 PM
James from Brooklyn

Some Jews who are anti-Semitic on Anthony Julius's understanding of anti-Semitism: Noam Chomsky, the late Howard Zinn, Tony Judt, Naomi Klein, Judith Butler, Philip Weiss, Norman Finkelstein, and many, many others.

Apr. 30 2010 12:35 PM
Freddy Jenkins

@ TJ from NYC: you're right! He does sound like David Gilmour!

Apr. 30 2010 12:34 PM
Barbara from Monmouth Beach, NJ

Leonard, I visit Israel every year, and all citizens-- whether Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, etc. - have equal standing under the law. Over 1 million Muslim Arabs are citizens of Israel and are allowed to serve in the military (and get Veteran benefits), but most choose NOT to serve (and are not forced to serve). All citizens have the same rights of land ownership, voting, education, etc. Many choose NOT to participate -- such as NOT paying taxes and therefore don't get the services associated with those taxes.

Apr. 30 2010 12:34 PM
Abu Hassan from Jersey City

lol #5 - Was not many Christian Americans members of the traitorous, racist Confederate "government" during the Civil War?

Care to comment on these questions?
Probably not, right?

Apr. 30 2010 12:32 PM
a. g. from hudson county nj

i do feel a lot of people are challenged by the idea of moral and intellectual parity in discussions with jews. converstions can be wonderful until hot button subjects come up. i think the haters often will hate more. those who seek objectivety become disillusioned. inevitably empowering anti- semites,while alienating those[non-jews] who strivefor honesty and openness.

Apr. 30 2010 12:32 PM
James from Brooklyn

Julius should take a look at what AIPAC executive Jonathan Kessler _said on video_ about AIPAC's strategy in Washington and elsewhere before he slanders critics of AIPAC as anti-Semitic.

Apr. 30 2010 12:32 PM

Mr. Julius obviously wants to engage in his own kind of "holocaust denial" by deflecting criticism of Isreal's treatment of Palestine.

That weakens his whole moral position, since it reduces claims of "anti-Semitism" to a palid excuse for Israeli *fascist totalitarianism*.

Apr. 30 2010 12:31 PM
Abu Hassan from Jersey City

Leonard is really going overboard re: Israel & Awigdor Liberman - he never called for kicking out anyone.

I'd rather live in Israel than in Gaza, Egypt or Jordan any day. I have a sister in Haifa in Technion and she's quite happy.

Apr. 30 2010 12:30 PM
James from Brooklyn

Mr. Julius is absolutely lying when he states that what Mr. Lopate is saying is untrue. Arabs are _expressly_ discriminated against in Israeli law.

An Arab can be born in Israel and _not_ be a citizen.

Israel _expressly_ distinguishes between citizenship and nationality. Fact of law. Mr. Julius presumably knows this.

Finally, Avigdor Lieberman certainly has made the demands that Mr. Lopate attributes to him (as have others, like Martin Kramer at Harvard).

Apr. 30 2010 12:29 PM
andrew from ny ny

Jewdaism is not yje only religion that was and is marginalized in the uk. For example, Islam, Buddhisam,Catholic etc. Anthony Julius is crying wolf.

Apr. 30 2010 12:29 PM
db from nyc

How is it possible to be critical of Israel and NOT be accused of ant-semitism???

Isn't this one of the tools that Israel uses to get away with the crimes that is does?

Apr. 30 2010 12:28 PM
James from Brooklyn

Mr. Julius has answered my question -- very well. Much better stated than many American speakers on this subject.

On Zionism, I wish people could understand that Zionism is one of many national movements, with many streams of thought within itself.

Apr. 30 2010 12:26 PM
Strike from Brooklyn

Did English Jews ever stand up against the violent, racist and exploitative policies of British Imperialism? Or did they rather enrich themselves by supporting and colluding with those awful, awful anti-semitic British gentiles? Was not a Jewish American a member of the traitorous, racist Confederate "government" during the Civil War? Did not said Jew then flee to Britian and end up becoming a Lord and prominent British jurist? Care to comment on these questions? Probably not, right?

Apr. 30 2010 12:25 PM
James from Brooklyn

Did Mr. Julius mean to suggest that there is no such thing as an Israel lobby or that those who speak of an Israel lobby are all anti-Semitic? Many Jews speak of and criticize the Israel lobby. And, by the way, I have not personally heard anyone speak of the Jewish lobby.

Apr. 30 2010 12:23 PM
TJ from NYC

It's an intriguing discussion, ...but on a completely unrelated (and less weighty) note, Mr Julius' speaking voice sounds exactly like David Gilmour's of Pink Floyd. (sorry, just had to throw that out there)

Apr. 30 2010 12:23 PM
Elaine from Baltimore MD

Current evidence of British anti-Semitism is now disguised as anti-Israel sentiments.

The ASA ( Advertising Standards Authority ) is the UK independent watchdog (although not a part of the UK government) that in its wisdom has decided to respond to an Israeli Tourist Office press campaign which includes pictures of the Wailing Wall (the Kotel) by banning it - they have judged that Jerusalem is not part of Israel but Occupied Territory.

Apr. 30 2010 12:18 PM
Sally B from UES

This should be talked about weekly on this show. Oh wait it is!

Apr. 30 2010 12:09 PM

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