An Ultra-Orthodox Perspective on the UK’s Anti-Semitism Crisis

Eli Spitzer
pick
Nov. 5 2020
About Eli

Eli Spitzer is a Mosaic columnist and the headmaster of a hasidic boys’ school in London. He blogs and hosts a podcast at elispitzer.com.

With the Britain Labor party’s suspension of its former leader—the Israel-hating, anti-Semite-loving Jeremy Corbyn—Eli Spitzer considers how British Ḥaredim have responded to Corbyn’s rise and fall in ways very different from the remainder of Anglo-Jewry:

UK Jews have often framed [Labor-party anti-Semitism] in terms of their terror at seeing an old enemy rising from the dead, or, alternatively, emerging from the margins and infecting mainstream society. For Ḥaredim, however, anti-Semitism is nothing new and its level of marginality or otherwise makes no difference. Any Stamford Hill Ḥasid can rattle off at least a couple of dozen incidents of being shouted and sworn at with no provocation in a supermarket or from a passing car. The vast majority of these incidents go unreported, rightly or wrongly, because they are perceived as a normal niggle of life.

But, Spitzer continues, the real difference in perspective has deeper, theological roots:

For the ḥaredi mind, the basic framework for understanding hatred of Jews doesn’t come from [the 1950 sociological classic] The Authoritarian Personality or any other work of sociology, psychiatry, or history; it’s right there in [Deuteronomy 28]. Jews, as punishment for their sins, must reside in the lands of other nations where they will suffer until national repentance brings about the end of exile once and for all. Of course, any conscious Ḥaredi is aware that our current situation [of living in a benevolent regime] is, by the standards of exile, remarkably good. However, our basic perception of reality is one where Gentile ambivalence is normal, hostility is frequent, and benevolence is an occasional welcome novelty.

The kind of shock and disgust felt by Anglo-Jewry at the exposure of Jew-hatred spouted by Labor councilors and activists, just has no analogue for Ḥaredim.

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Read more at Eli Spitzer

More about: Anti-Semitism, British Jewry, Exile, Haredim, Jeremy Corbyn

Iran’s Dangerous Dream of a Triple Alliance with Russia and China

Aug. 16 2022

Unlike Hamas, which merely receives support from the Islamic Republic, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—with which Israel engaged in a short round of fighting last week—is more or less under its direct control. In fact, the recent hostilities began with a series of terrorist attacks launched by PIJ from Samaria, which might in turn have been a response to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s call “to open a new front in the West Bank against the Zionist enemy.” Amir Taheri writes:

In Gaza, the Islamic Republic has invested heavily in promoting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. . . . Islamic Jihad is in a minority in Gaza, hence the attempt by Tehran to help it create a base in the West Bank.

Reliable sources in Baghdad say that [Iran’s expeditionary and terrorist paramilitary] the Quds Force has been “transiting” significant quantities of arms and cash via Iraq to Jordan, to be smuggled to the West Bank. The Jordanian authorities say they are aware of these “hostile activities.” King Abdullah himself has publicly called on Iran to cease “destabilizing activities.”

But such schemes, Taheri explains, are part of a larger strategic vision of creating a grand anti-Western alliance even while engaging in nuclear negotiations with the U.S. and Europe:

Last month, Khamenei praised Vladimr Putin for his invasion of Ukraine. And this month, China’s ambassador to Iran, Chang Hua, praised the Islamic Republic for supporting China in “asserting its sovereignty” over Taiwan.

It is clear that some dangerous pipe-dreamers in Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran have fallen for the phantasmagoric vision of “three great powers” banding together and with help from “the rest,” that is to say, the so-called Third World . . . to destroy an international system created by the “corrupt and decadent.”

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: China, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Russia, West Bank