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Howard Jacobson: Let’s hope he has reason to feel more optimistic soon.

Poor Howard Jacobson. He seems to be labouring under a delusion that anti-Semitism is on the rise, both in the Labour Party and elsewhere. It isn’t.

In fact, all the indications are that the blight of anti-Semitism is in retreat.

That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist in the UK, and nobody who expects to be taken seriously would say so.

And I am encouraged by the headline of his Guardian article:

‘Jews know what antisemitism is and what it isn’t. To invent it would be a sacrilege’

We all know that certain people – whether Jews or not – have been doing exactly that. It is heartening to see a prominent member of that faith standing up and saying that any Jewish people found to have been doing so should be treated as sacrilegious.

I look forward to his denunciation of the so-called charity the Campaign Against Antisemitism, after its false claims about This Writer are finally and decisively proved to be lies (and it won’t be long, now)!

But he certainly seems to have a few strange ideas, summed up in the last paragraph of his piece:

The incantatory repetition of the charge that Jews cry antisemitism only in order to subvert criticism of Israel or discredit Corbyn is more than fatuous and lazy, and it is more than painful to those many Jews who own an old allegiance to the Labour party and who are not strangers to criticising Israel.

Who, exactly, is making this claim? I cannot recall seeing anybody quoted as having done so.

do recall seeing it attributed to others, by the kind of people who are likely to be accused of inventing accusations.

It is the deepest imaginable insult.

Again, I look forward to Mr Jacobson’s denunciation of those among the accusers who are making these claims without any basis. I also stand ready to be corrected if it can be shown that Jeremy Corbyn has said such a thing, or Jennie Formby, or a member of Jewdas (to quote a few prominent possibles).

I cannot speak for all Jews, but a profound depression has taken hold of those I know. For myself, I feel I am back in that lightless swamp of medieval ignorance where the Jew who is the author of all humanity’s ills lies, cheats, cringes and dissembles. And this time there is no horse to punch.

This Writer certainly wouldn’t condone cruelty to animals!

As for the Jew being the author of all humanity’s ills – I don’t think anybody would say that when, for example, Theresa May is the prime minister of the United Kingdom.

But I do think that Mr Jacobson needs to be prepared to let some of his assumptions go, as the extent of the fake anti-Semitism claims becomes clear.

I imagine it will come as a huge relief to him.

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