The Guardian and “powerful” Jews

Riazatt Butt is CiF’s Religious Affairs correspondent, and her column, “Divine Dispatches”, in the Belief Section of CiF, represents a round-up of sorts on religious news in the UK and around the world.  Her reports are sometimes cheeky and irreverent but, more often than not, sober and descriptive.

Her June 29th report focused on a group for those who have been alienated but wish to remain within the Anglican family, the LGBT issue within the Church of England, and the search for the next Chief Rabbi of the UK.

Regarding the latter issue, which touched on the Reform-Orthodox divide within the UK Jewish community, and other issues effecting the decision, Butt noted the “changing demographic of Britain’s small but powerful Jewish communities” – a narrative about Jewish influence, it should be noted, that Butt has explored on at least one other occasion.

Of course, anyone with a serious grasp of the history of anti-Semitism would immediately recognize this familiar trope about Jewry. No matter how small the Jewish community relative to the total population in the countries they live, their “power” and influence is always magnified – typically in the context of suggestions as to their injurious effects.  

Even in the U.S., where Jews enjoy freedoms and prosperity unparalleled in Diaspora history, the term “Israel lobby” (or “Jewish Lobby”) has become shorthand, largely within progressive political circles – a pejorative suggesting that the organized Jewish community has a harmful influence on U.S. foreign policy. 

In a previous post we commented on Haneen Zoabi’s CiF essay decrying the detention, by British Authorities, of radical Islamist preacher Raed Salah, where she accused the UK “Zionist” community of controlling British politics.

As noted in the post, the Jewish community in the UK (about 300,000) represents a minuscule percentage (less than 1/2 of 1%) of the overall British population.  

Further, as anyone who reads this blog would surely know, this “powerful” Jewish community is somehow unable to control the Guardian’s habitual demonization of the Jewish state, nor other manifestations of obsessive Israel hatred (and anti-Semitism)  in the media, as well as by Islamists, pro-Palestinian “activists”, and NGOs.

Globally, Jews make up approximately 2/10 of 1% of the world’s population.

Muslims make up 23%. Christians represent 30%.  

Sixty-six years after the Holocaust, it is horribly dispiriting that the charge that Jewry is too (or, at least, disproportionately) powerful has become practically a banality.

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