Oh dear, am I an antisemite?
Why do I ask?
Well, first read this anecdote by the British columnist Rod Liddle who was on holiday in Israel and, besides telling everybody what a great place it is, made a joke about Orthodox Jews.
"Last week I was in Israel on holiday – a good destination if you want a safe and beautiful resort in the Med and where the locals still like us.
On the Monday I was sitting by the pool and people kept coming up to me and asking for a light for their cigarettes.
What’s going on, I wondered? Israel run out of Bic lighters?
No – it was a Jewish holiday. And the Orthodox Jews were not allowed to use a lighter themselves. The same day, we were told that we couldn’t have coffee because the staff weren’t allowed to push the buttons on the machine.
But they were allowed to push the buttons on their cash registers, I noticed. You can’t beat Orthodox religious belief for providing a good laugh."
Liddle has now been accused by all and sundry in the British Jewish community of rampant antisemitism for these remarks. Even the Muslim mayor of London got into the act.
Mike Katz of the Jewish Labour Movement (Liddle derides the current Labour Party) said he should be fired for his “rancid views and racism”.
Jonathan Goldstein, the chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council was shocked by the "abhorrent" views.
Liberal Judaism's rabbi Charley Baginsky also waded in.
According to her, "Liberal Judaism unequivocally, and will always, condemn this language and hatred."
Charley Baginsky is the rabbi who unequivocally refused to condemn the members of her community who said Kaddish for Hamas.
So, Liddle is a Jew-hater?
He does write scurrilous and provocative articles for right–wing media, but he has never been associated with antisemitism. In fact, quite the opposite, he usually lambastes the antisemites of the Corbyn cult and BDS-supporters.
No, he has never been considered to be a Jew-hater, but someone who criticizes all forms of orthodox religion; usually Orthodox Islam, this time it was Orthodox Judaism.
Still, if the bigwigs of the British Jewish community think he is an antisemite, he must be an antisemite.
We Diaspora Jews always follow our leaders.
What is then my problem?
If he met people who could smoke but not light their own cigarettes, could not press the buttons of a coffee machine but could push the buttons on their cash registers, I do not think that is funny. I think it is religious hypocrisy.
According to the reading of the Diaspora bigwigs, I must be an even bigger antisemite.
A Zionist self-hating Jew?