A guest post by AKUS
The drumbeat against Israel has finally scored a grim victory in the heart of London with the decision by the landlord of the Ahava store, Shaftesbury PLC, not to renew the store’s lease when it expires. You may think that the description of Britain as the Fourth Reich is over the top, and I imagine there will be those who do, but how else do we describe a decision to move the Jews out of a commercial area in London – not because of what they do, or the problems they create – but because of the disturbance that those who hate them have created?
Let me make it quite clear – I do not distinguish between “Jews” and “Zionists”, or “Jewish” products and “Israeli” products, or products manufactured within the area west of the Green Line that some hooligans have decided shall be Israel’s Eastern border, and those manufactured in a tiny kibbutz in a god-forsaken corner of the Dead Sea where no Arab has lived in millennia. Nor, do I believe, do those demonstrators who scored this pyrrhic victory. They are fueled by the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Britain, which has become a country where significant numbers of people are proud to demonstrate under the banners of Hamas and Hezbollah, two organizations calling for the annihilation of the Jewish citizens of Israel.
Who does not remember picture like this from Hitler’s Germany?
The owner of a store next door expressed his opinion in terms were common currency among some in Germany at that time:
Colin George, manager of clothes shop The Loft, next door to Ahava, said: “I’m pleased Ahava is leaving. It’s brought the street down…Everyone would like them to leave. I wish they had left two years ago….Maybe they should be an online business instead.”
Mr. George hopes those troublesome Jews will just go somewhere else, somewhere out of sight (online), so that the right kind of people, the people Britons do not demonstrate against, can take over their stores. Consider this news item from the Nashua Telegraph, April 1, 1933, with its echo down the decades to April 1, 2011:
Notice how Colin George has shifted the blame for the disruption to his business from those demonstrators who actually disrupted his business to the store and company targeted. He may just be a frustrated small businessman, but blaming the Jewish victim for the actions of their persecutors – the inversion of blame – is a classic feature of institutionalized and internalized anti-Semitism. The demonstrators’ success lies not in the acquiescence of Ahava, but the acquiescence of the store owners next door.
There is a grim lesson here for England. Six years after that picture was taken and that column was written the world was at war. What started with the Jews did not end with the Jews. It never does. Not only were millions of Jews slaughtered in death camps – millions more non-Jews died after the leaders of the world watched and ignored the boycott, closing, and ransacking of Jewish businesses in Germany and Austria. The dead included millions of Germans who were so happy to see the Jews “leaving”, as Mr. George puts it.
Consider this excerpt from Mark Twain’s essay in Harper’s magazine over a century ago – “Concerning the Jews”:
To conclude. – If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one per cent. of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star-dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.
He has made a marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.
The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?
Who could have believed that this miserable “triumph” in Seven Dials, this expulsion of a Jewish store orchestrated by this appalling alliance of Islamic extremists, ultra-left wing fanatics, and the naïve and misled, abetted by short-sighted local businesses, so redolent of Nazi triumphs in the 1930’s, now represents the best that Britain can achieve? If Twain were writing today, with one change he might be tempted to add Britain to the list of empires that “held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now”. Twain would replace “Jew” with “Israeli”, but unless the British act now to overturn this decision would he doubt that we are seeing the twilight of a once great country?