6 A new anti-semitism?
The research underpinning the historical account in the previous chapter turned
up no evidence to suggest that anti-semitism has played a part in the British left’s
change of perception of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Yet, there have been
persistent allegations that pro-Palestinian sympathy on the left is motivated by
anti-semitism. At the 1982 Labour Party conference, Denis Healey, the party’s
deputy leader, chided delegates for the prominence they gave in the debate on
foreign affairs to Israel’s bombardment of West Beirut and its
Universalism has acted as a stimulus for Jewish emancipation, that is, for civil, political and social inclusion. It has also been a source of anti-Jewish prejudice up to and beyond the classic antisemitism of the modern period. While the experience of Jews is by no means unique in this respect, one of the peculiarities of the 'anti-Judaic' tradition has been to represent Jews in some important regard as the 'other' of the universal: as the personification either of a particularism opposed to the universal, or of a false universalism concealing Jewish self-interest. The former contrasts the particularism of the Jews to the universality of bourgeois civil society. The latter contrasts the bad universalism of the 'rootless cosmopolitan Jew' to the good universalism of whatever universal is advanced: nation, race or class. This book explores debates over Jewish emancipation within the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, contrasting the work of two leading protagonists of Jewish emancipation: Christian von Dohm and Moses Mendelssohn. It discusses the emancipatory power of Karl Marx's critique of Bruno Bauer's opposition to Jewish emancipation and endorsement of The Jewish Question. Marxist debates over the growth of anti-Semitism; Hannah Arendt's critique of three types of Jewish responsiveness--assimilationism, Zionism and cosmopolitanism-- to anti-Semitism; and the endeavours of a leading postwar critical theorist, Jurgen Habermas are also discussed. Finally, the book focuses its critique on left antizionists who threaten to reinstate the Jewish question when they identify Israel and Zionism as the enemies of universalism.
Between 1933 and 1940, Manchester received between seven and eight thousand refugees from Fascist Europe. They included Jewish academics expelled from universities in Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy. Around two hundred were children from the Basque country of Spain evacuated to Britain on a temporary basis in 1937 as the fighting of the Spanish Civil War neared their home towns. Most were refugees fleeing Nazi persecution in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. As much as 95% of the refugees from Nazism were Jews threatened by the increasingly violent anti-Semitism of the Nazi regime. The rest were Communists, Social Democrats, Pacifists, Liberals, Confessional Christians and Sudeten Germans. There have been several valuable studies of the response of the British government to the refugee crisis. This study seeks to assess the responses in one city—Manchester—which had long cultivated an image of itself as a ‘liberal city’. Using documentary and oral sources, including interviews with Manchester refugees, it explores the work of those sectors of local society that took part in the work of rescue: Jewish communal organisations, the Society of Friends, the Rotarians, the University of Manchester, secondary schools in and around Manchester, pacifist bodies, the Roman Catholic Church and industrialists from the Manchester region. The book considers the reasons for their choices to help to assesses their degree of success and the forces which limited their effectiveness.
In the last decade Irish society has visibly changed with the emergence of new immigrant communities of black and ethnic minorities. This book draws upon a number of academic disciplines, focusing on the relationship between ideological forms of racism and its consequences upon black and ethnic minorities. Media and political debates on racism in Ireland during this period have tended to depict it as a new phenomenon and even as one imported by asylum seekers. Ireland was never immune from the racist ideologies that governed relationships between the west and the rest despite a history of colonial anti-Irish racism. Citizenship reproduced inequalities between nationals on the basis of gender and race and ethnicity. The book explores how the processes of nation-building which shaped contemporary Irish society and the Irish state were accompanied by a politics of national identity within which claims of social membership of various minority groups were discounted. It examines the exclusionary and assimilationist consequences of Irish nationbuilding for Protestant, Jewish and Traveller minority communities. The book also considers anti-Semitism in Irish society from independence in 1922 until the 1950s. It examines how contemporary responses to refugees and asylum seekers have been shaped by a legacy of exclusionary state practices. Finally, the book talks about anti-Traveller racism, the politics of Traveller exclusion, the work of SPIARSI, and the efforts to contest racism and discrimination faced by minorities in Ireland as expressions of multiculturalism.
Chartism was a profoundly politicised response to recent political history, but it did not develop in an economic vacuum. Indeed, in the later nineteenth century, it became commonplace for those who had been Chartists or who sympathised with them to explain the movement and excuse its militancy exclusively as the politics of hunger. The book focuses on political activities because Chartism (for all its compelling cultural dimensions) was nothing if not a political movement. Its emphasis has therefore been upon selected 'lower tier' Chartist leaders because it was at this level that the movement's enduring legacy was so vital. The book shows that Chartism was a movement of small victories. It might also be characterised as having a multiplicity of small endings. The book emphasises the perils of the elegiac mode. Blatant careerism, political charlatanry, and vapid oratory could all be found in Chartism along with casual anti-Semitism, racism and personal dishonesty. There were serious systemic flaws too. O'Connor's alarm at the implications of the new move reflected a creditable concern that Chartism must remain united around the democratic and egalitarian vision of The People's Charter. Yet more than once in the movement's history, O'Connor and other Chartist leaders were confounded, even unnerved, when suddenly faced by truly mass political mobilisation. A gradual transition from a movement that emphatically mobilised whole communities to one which increasingly espoused the male-breadwinner ideal and the politics of respectability closed-off opportunities for women's participation.
Relations between Europe and its Muslim minorities constitute an extensive focus for discussion both within and beyond the Continent. This book reports on the years mainly between 2005 and 2015 and focuses on the exploitation of recent European history when describing relations and the prospects for the nominally 'Christian' majority and Muslim minority. The discourse often references the Jews of Europe as a guiding precedent. The manifold references to the annals of the Jews during the 1930s, the Second World War and the Holocaust, used by both the Muslim minorities and the European 'white' (sic) majority presents an astonishing and instructive perspective. When researching Europe and its Muslim minorities, one is astonished by the alleged discrimination that the topic produces, in particular the expressions embodied in Islamophobia, Europhobia and anti-Semitism. The book focuses on the exemplary European realities surrounding the 'triangular' interactions and relations between the Europeans, Muslims and Jews. Pork soup, also known as 'identity soup', has been used as a protest in France and Belgium against multicultural life in Europe and against the Muslim migrants who allegedly enjoyed government benefits. If the majority on all sides of the triangle were to unite and marginalize the extreme points of the triangle, not by force but by goodwill, reason and patience, then in time the triangle would slowly but surely resolve itself into a circle. The Jews, Christians, Muslims and non-believers of Europe have before them a challenge.
Frantz Fanon's Peau noire, masques blancs (Black Skin, White Masks) was published by the Paris-based publishing house Editions du Seuil in 1952 when Fanon was twenty-seven. This book first develops the theme of the francophone contextualisation of Peau noire by concentrating on the specifically Martinican references in the text which have either been effaced or distorted in subsequent representations of Fanon. By retrieving the specific cultural and historical significance attached to particular linguistic items in the text, the book reveals the unconscious traces of a history which Fanon consciously wants to expunge. It is precisely the question of expunging the past. The book argues that Fanon's desire for a violent rupture with the past and a new beginning rules out the possibility of a Creole conception of Caribbean history and culture associated today with the writers. The book also situates Peau noire in the context of racism in metropolitan France and explores different aspects of Fanon's engagement with Sartre in Peau noire. It focuses specifically on the relationship between anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism, and discusses Fanon's engagement with another of Sartre's texts, 'Orphée noir'. The book further discusses Fanon's engagement with Sartre and the tension between universalism and particularism. Finally, it concentrates on studies of the psychic, existential and political dimensions of racial ideology in Peau noire.
This book is a collection of essays on Rudyard Kipling and brings historical, literary critical and postcolonial approaches to this perennially controversial writer. The first and fairest thing to say about Kipling is that he has borne a brilliant part in recovering the lost provinces of poetry. Kipling's morality is the morality of someone who has to prove that God is not responsible for part of the world, and that the Devil is. Kipling's imperialist opinions became more strident after the Boer War he lost the esteem of British literary intellectuals, whom he in turn despised. The book addresses Kipling's approach to the Boer war, his involvement with World War One, his Englishness and the politics of literary quotation. It demonstrates the effects of a Kipling-conditioned world on Edward Thomas, Ivor Gurney and David Jones. The book focuses on Kipling's collection of stories and accompanying poems, Actions and Reactions, which was published in October 1909. It also probes the historical subtext of the children's fable Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and Indian history, Kipling's search for God, and his longest Indian experience of footloose travel in the Native states of North India. Stalky & Co is the text of Kipling's which features the largest number of quotations. Kipling's notion of the ideally masculine 'army man' in relation to contemporary late Victorian discourses and practices of same-sex passion is analyzed. The book also addresses Kipling's views on the question of fascism, anti-Semitism and the 'doctrine of racial superiority'.
French crime fiction and the Second World War explores France's preoccupation with memories of the Second World War through an examination of crime fiction, one of popular culture's most enduring literary forms. The study analyses representations of the war years in a selection of French crime novels from the late 1940s to the 2000s. All the crime novels discussed grapple with the challenges of what it means for generations past and present to live in the shadow of the war: from memories of French resistance and collaboration to Jewish persecution and the legacies of the concentration camps. The book argues that crime fiction offers novel ways for charting the two-way traffic between official discourses and popular reconstructions of such a contested conflict in French cultural memory.
Ireland and the Holocaust
This chapter considers anti-Semitism in Irish society from
independence in 1922 until the 1950s with a specific focus upon
Ireland’s response to Jewish refugees before, during and after the
Holocaust. A number of historians have taken the view that while
there was undoubtedly anti-Semitism in Irish society in the era after
independence, it was of little consequence. Three arguments from
this perspective will be examined. The first of these is that Irish antiSemitism was inconsequential because it was latent and did not