“God – It’s Andyboy. How Do You Deal With Claustrophobic Sinners?”


Confessional box, Holy Family Roman Catholic C...

Honestly, God, would you like to be stuck inside one of these? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think you need to open a Facebook page, or a Twitter account.

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Facebook, at...

Zuckerberg – maybe you could use his help,,,,,,,, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It may have escaped your attention, considering all the other things that are occupying your time, but we are living in the second decade of the 21st century. You need to catch up with the technology.

The reason that I am saying this is that, over the past couple of weeks, I have availed myself of the confessional service that you provide through some of your messengers.

In case they didn’t report back to you – I’m not sure that they ever do – I will tell you that I got into hot water over some remarks I made about the religious leaders of your Chosen People“, and, also, about the leaders of your not so chosen people ( the Muslims).  At least, I assume they are not so chosen, based upon their attitudes and actions. I must admit that, as a fully practicing Atheist, I have some difficulty in understanding if Jehovah and Allah are actually the same. Are they both you, or is it a family business, and you’re just related?

Anyway, that is not really the issue now.

The point is that, as I simply didn’t have the time to wait for the Day of Atonement to come round in 5 months or so, I thought I would try out the service offered by the competition. It seemed that “absolution on demand’ would be the easiest solution to my problem.

Being new to this game, I was not really prepared for the fact that it would involve me entering a dark, un-ventilated and somewhat smelly wooden box carrying the residual odours of the previous occupants. It seemed to me to be somewhat lacking in the sense of spiritual serenity I had anticipated. But then, I asked myself, “why should I expect 5 star luxury in a space reserved for sinners?”

Then it occurred to me, how do you deal with claustrophobic sinners?  

Is leaving the door open, or not drawing the curtain, sufficient? And what about privacy? Or is it that those suffering from this condition are just stuck with their sins forever, as if you didn’t give them enough of a problem anyway?

So I got to thinking, about applying some 21st century technology? Maybe you could create a Facebook page, or a Twitter account, or, even, an Internet Website.  And this would solve the problem, not only for those fearing confined spaces, but, also, for those who don’t want to leave the comfort of their home to deal with something about which they feel uncomfortable in any case.

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

How about an APP for sinners?…….Image via CrunchBase

You could even create an i-Phone or Android Application! Absolution with a swipe of the finger! You could call it “an App for sinners”, and it could get you a lot more clients.

I assume that you would not be deterred by the fact that you would have to use the services created by Jews like Zuckerberg and Brinn. They are working with a primarily non-Jewish market already, so it shouldn’t put you off. By the way, now could be a good time to get connected to Facebook. If you’re quick, you may even be able to get a piece of he action. I’m sure you could pull a few strings, and your messengers on Earth could always use a few extra bucks.

So, give it thought, and let me know your conclusion. You can always find me at the URL above.

I will assume that if I don’t hear from you, it will be confirmation that you don’t actually exist.

Either that, or you simply prefer to stick with the traditional system, and to hell with claustrophobes.

Literally!

Andyboy – Telling it as it is.

Connected articles

http://andyboy1.com/2012/04/21/forgive-me-father-for-i-have-sinned/

http://andyboy1.com/2012/05/05/sorry-father-but-i-have-sinned-again/

“Sorry, Father – But I have Sinned Again!”


I know it’s only two weeks since my last confession

But it seems that the effects of your instant absolution deal are not long lasting.

A Confessional box built in 1952 in Immaculate...

“Father – I’M IN HERE!” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may recall that my previous confession was also my first attempt at confessing, after I decided that I couldn’t wait until the next Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement). I really don’t understand how the inventors of Judaism ever imagined that people could hoard their sins for an entire year – and then release all of them inside a day.

A fundamental design fault!

So,I thought your ” forgiveness on demand” was a much better idea, and more in line with modern day needs.

But, here I am, back again. Well, to be fair to the system, I’m not confessing to the same sins. Last time it was the Jews, but now I am accused of being beastly to the Muslims.

You must understand that for an Atheist, like me, the world is like a battlefield:

Religions to the left of me,

Religions to the right of me,

Religions in front of me,

And still I blunder on regardless

(with due apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson).

So, what are my sins?

Well, for a start, they got a bit upset that I took issue with their desire to execute those who they considered had said naughty things about Allah, or his lackey, Mohammed. I had pointed out in a previous article that blasphemy was still  a capital offence in some Muslim states.

Kuwait Elections_DSC3387

“So, you think Allah will be happy with us?”
“What, you mean because we are now the laughing stock of the civilised world?” (Photo credit: Kuwaitelections2012)

A few days after publication, the National Assembly of Kuwait, as if in a gesture of defiance, passed a law which not only demands execution for insulting Allah and Mohammed, but also extends to saying unkind things about the various Mrs Mohammeds:

“The law also prescribes the death penalty for those who curse the Prophet’s wives or claim prophetic abilities.

Today, we lead the world through this law,” MP Faysal Al-Muslim told Kuwaiti establishment daily Al-Watan. “It is a triumph for the Prophet to execute those who harm him and his wives, and especially Aisha the pure. Cursing them shames us all.”

Endowments Minister Jamal Shihab told Al-Watan that the government does not intend to block the law, and will act to implement it.” (1)

I think that they also got a bit upset that this article followed so closely on the heels of another article, in which I intimated that proposed legislation in the Egyptian parliament – to legalise intercourse after death – seemed a little out of synch with the general thrust of world opinion (pun intended).

But, to be fair to the Egyptians, they did understand that there would have to be practical limits applied to this law, so intercourse with the “Dear Departed” would be limited to a period of not longer than 6 hours after death.

Apart from my reaction, the internet comedians could not let such a gem of a story pass without comment. Consequently, the blogosphere became saturated with hundreds of tasteless jokes, from which I selected and reprinted my favourite “Top Twenty”.

These included:

“gives new meaning to the word frigid”.

“my wife has been “dead” in bed for years. but at least she still cooks”.

“If they’re anything like my ex-wife, you wouldn’t notice the difference”

For the full list, just click on the link below(2)

For reasons that totally escape me, some Muslims thought I was treating the subject without due reverence. For a society that follows the practice of female genital mutilation  - meaning surgical removal of the clitoris – to ensure that a woman couldn’t enjoy sex to the full when she was alive, I thought that their concern for her body after death was somewhat bizarre.

I realise that, as a Catholic priest, you haven’t the faintest idea why a woman needs a clitoris at all: I suggest a quiet word with a few nuns could enlighten you in that department. Given their situation, I don’t know what they would do without one, but that’s a whole different subject.

So, there you have it.

Jews one week, Muslims the next, and I haven’t really got around to Christianity yet. But, I guess you’re not the best person to deal with that.

A hindu holy man in Kathmandu, Nepal. He seems...

Maybe him? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you know of a good Hindu confessor?

Andyboy – Telling it as it is!

References

(1)http://www.timesofisrael.com/kuwaiti-parliament-legislates-death-sentence-for-cursing-the-prophet-muhammad/

(2)http://andyboy1.com/2012/04/27/islam-sex-before-marriage-no-way-sex-after-death-maybe/

 

“And On The Seventh Day God Rested”


The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb

Start the brainwashing as young as possible

And He sayeth to mankind “If it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for you!”

Well, maybe it doesn’t quite say that in Genesis 2:2+3.

According to one version of the King James Bible the actual words are:

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it:because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

The title page to the 1611 first edition of th...

Fairy tales for grown ups

And who would deny Him his day of rest? After all, he’d been pretty busy the past week. It’s hard work creating the Earth and the Sun and the stars. Not to speak about the plants and animals and fish and reptiles – and a man, who, somehow, acquired the name of Adam! And all on a pretty tight time schedule.

Since He didn’t want encourage the act of buggery, he had to move pretty quickly to create a women, so that Adam could fornicate in the officially approved manner.

And so, according to Genesis 2: 21+22:

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.

And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

So it seems that God knew something about cloning. – but not everything. Given the way in which woman was supposedly created, how come she didn’t turn out to be another man? What a difference that would have made to the course of human history!

The book of Genesis is a goldmine of additional nonsense. I see it as a tribute to the unbelievably fertile imagination of man and his ability to translate these mental wanderings into such a perfect literary form.

Anyway, having created the product (a new religion) and an e-book of its era (the Bible), man’s ingenuity had to turn to the question of marketing and promotion. After some market research, it became obvious that the best nation to handle the practical and financial side had to be the Jews. So they were given the task of launching the new product on to an unsuspecting world.

Firstly, they had to identify the USP (unique selling point), and they decided on the “only one God” option as the best alternative to the plethora of Greek and Roman gods cluttering the market.

Then came the need to set up a proper operational structure to both manage the venture, and ensure a permanent source of income for those it would designate as “God’s messengers.” It was around this time that the decision was taken to keep the religion on a somewhat exclusive basis and not offer it freely to the hoi-polloi. Hence they invented the marketing trick of product exclusivity.

The marketing plan worked for a couple of thousand years or so, which is not bad for such an item.

But, as is the way with free markets, nothing can dominate for ever. So along came some Jews with a new version of the religion – sort of Judaism 1.1. Their USP was to develop the God idea to another level. The marketing gurus understood that what was needed was a spectacular launch; thus was born (literally) the idea of conception without the involvement of a man. They named the baby Jesus figuring that this name would stand out from the myriad Josephs and Jacobs so popular at that time.

They calculated – correctly as it turned out – that if they could get the people to swallow the story of a virgin giving birth, everything after that would be plain sailing. Which it was, for quite a few years. But then, they lost control of their protegé, who got a bit carried away with his own image, that had been so painstakingly created. He managed to really piss off the “original” Jews so much that they referred the problem to their Board of Directors (the “Sanhedrin’), claiming that the new product was taking too much market share.

The Directors went directly to the controlling authority in the region, the Roman Governor.  He decided the only way to deal with the problem was to put a contract out on the troublemaker – and the result is well known.

English: Jesus on the cross on the Stone Bridg...

Oops! Slight miscalculation!(but the wooden copies are a hot item) 

But this decision proved to be an unexpected windfall for the leaders of the new religion as they identified a new marketing ploy. A dead martyr could provide a really good image for the future.  They starting thinking the endless linked merchandising deals that could generate valuable extra income. Mugs and keyrings, t-shirts and carved wooden figures, the list was endless. And they had the unique advantage of knowing that their only other competitor in the market couldn’t come up with an alternative. Their predecessors  had screwed them by devising the Second Commandment forbidding any images of their God.

And so they achieved market domination very quickly, and never looked back. They also understood that new customers would be encouraged to join if the old restrictive rules were relaxed. No more having to find a secret place on Yom Kippur to eat a bacon sandwich; in fact, no more worrying about restricted foods at all. As for the Sabbath – no problem. Leave the old one to the Jews and create a new one where anything goes.

The Jews reaction to losing their number one spot in the market was to turn inwards and collectively sulk. They decided to make it even more difficult to be one of them, and spent the best part of the next 2000 years devising restriction on restriction. If you really were determined to become a Jew, it was necessary to suspend all rational thought before entering the conversion process.And it was a bit more physically painful for men!

And as if the market was not already full, along came a newcomer, some 600 years after Jesus, with yet another variation on the “One God” concept. Preaching love, but practising aggression, the religion of Islam carved out a hefty chunk of the market for a further 1000 or so years. I don’t want to say too much more about Islam, or its leading protaganist, since they are a bit too free with handing down Fatwas on those daring to question their beliefs. “Become a Muslim or die” proved to be a pretty successful and persuasive marketing slogan over the centuries

Today Islam has about a 20% market share with 1.4 billion customers. Christianity is the market leader with around 33% or 2.0 billion customers. The Jews have an insignificant share of 0.2% or around 13 million customers.

English: Milan Cathedral Polski: Katedra w Med...

Milan Cathedral - nice piece of real estate (and how many beggars outside?)

With a combined share of over half the market, Christianity and Islam have a huge operational infrastructure in place to control the smooth running of their respective businesses. Hundreds of thousands of churches,cathedrals and mosques with a real estate value running into uncountable hundreds of billions of Dollars.

Millions of priests,vicars,bishops,archbishops, and imams earning a nice living administering funds of unimaginable proportions. Even Apple and Google would be envious of such a business built on nothing more than mankind’s infinite gullibility.

The one thing than can be said about the Jews is that, although they lost numerical market share big time, they compensate for that in other ways. Some claim that they control and dominate great chunks of the market, out of all proportion to their numbers. Their activities certainly dominate the media reports every day.

But inside Israel, they continue to fight amongst themselves about hugely contentious issues such as allowing public transport on the Sabbath – or not. Any nation which manages to have 13 different political parties in a Knesset (Parliament) of 120 members cannot stop itself from struggling for consensus on everything.

Today – with the prospect of Armageddon staring it in the face – the current arguments in the nation are about the day of rest!

Those original composers of the Fourth commandment have much to answer for!

Andyboy- Telling it as it is

 

Picture credits

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12567713@N00/4188814692 (Kids book)

All others: public domain or GNU free

Related Articles

http://andyboy1.com/2011/11/05/atheists-in-israel-oh-my-god/

http://andyboy1.com/2011/11/07/so-a-rabbi-a-priest-and-an-imam-go-into-a-bar/

http://andyboy1.com/2012/01/29/facebook-is-disturbing-gods-messengers/

Facebook is Disturbing God’s Messengers


English: Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Sephardi Chief...

Rabbi Shlomo Amar - Not looking for "friends"on Facebook

Rabbis: Stay away from Internet

Sephardic religious leaders sign letter calling on every person to save relatives, other people from the web and its “dangerous” content

(From an article by Kobi Nahshoni published on Ynet 29/1/12)

I have seen it stated that man invented God, and then had to find a way to market the product. And so was born the multi-headed monster known as “Religion.” Over the centuries this marketing tool has developed in ways never envisaged by its creators.

Temple, cathedrals, churches, synagogues and mosques were built, at unimaginable cost, to provide suitable accommodations in which the entity could be worshipped.  Of course, the buildings alone only provide the point of sale location. The entire marketing concept could never have worked had it not been for the workforce.

Thus were born “God’s messengers” – the men (until recently, ONLY men) who took upon themselves the task of spreading the holy word. Naturally, since “man does not live by bread alone” the spreading involved some cost. Soon an entire hierachical structure became necessary. Vertical line management was instituted. In the front line were the “worker bees”. Monks, priests, vicars, rabbis and imams to mention a few. In time, promotion was possible – assuming that you worked hard – and didn’t get caught out doing naughty things that holy people are supposed to refrain from.

Pope Benedictus XVI

The Pope - does he send the occasional "Tweet"?

So came the abbots, bishops, archbishops, chief rabbis and mullahs. At the top of the pyramid stood the Pope, or his equivalent in the other religions. Most religions managed with one top honcho – but the Jews needed two. This was due to the phenomenon, common to all religions, of an inability to agree about how EXACTLY their God should be dealt with.

So in Israel there is not just one Chief Rabbi – but two! One takes care of the spiritual needs of Jews from a European background- the Ashkenazim or “white Jews”, and the other is responsible for those Jews from North African or Arab countries – the Sephardim or “Black Jews”.

Actually, the situation is a little more complicated by the existence of REALLY Black Jews from Ethiopia, with their own leader, and various sects of Haredi or Hassidic Jews who follow a wide variety of Rabbis. each with a slightly different interpretation of how the religion should be imposed. Most of these are better defined as “cults” but I’m not sure that there is any substantial difference between the definition of a cult or that of a religion.

As an aside, we do live in a region of the world in which two sects of Islam (the Sunnis and the Shi’ites) seem determined to capture the hearts and minds of their populations by using the device of seeing which of them can murder enough of the other side to persuade them that Allah demands to be worshipped only their way.

But I digress – so back to our rabbis.

The Ten Commandments, In SVG

The 11th Commandment: "Thou Shalt Not Google!

The Sephardi Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Amar, with the support of Rabbi Ovadia Josef, has decided that the internet is an instrument of the devil and must be banned. In their infinite wisdom they have stated that the mobile phone “can lead to difficult and dangerous sights which are undoubtedly forbidden by the Torah and have extremely destructive results …… the evil aspects of these matters is definite and difficult,”  They go on to state that, according to the Talmud: “one must save the oppressed from its persecutor and from all other lurking dangers.”

Now I know that Google is about to change its privacy policy, and that Facebook and Twitter have also made some changes, but I do think that the venerable rabbis’ reaction is a little extreme.  According to them, and a number of other rabbis, disconnecting from the internet is a Torah obligation. Rabbi Moshe Shafir, the editor of the Shas newspaper, “Yom Leyom”, claimed that being connected to the internet is “one of the worst religious sins a Jew could ever commit.”

Really? Worse than eating pork on Yom Kippur? Or driving through Mea Shearim on a Shabbat? Or having sex with your wife at the wrong time of the month? The list of religious restrictions and prohibitions is almost endless.

And as if all this nonsense isn’t enough, he finishes the article with this gem: “As Jews who had the courage to jump into the fire of the inquisition, the courage to slaughter their sons and wives and children after the “Shehecheyanyu” blessing, will have the strength now to make a firm decision and unequivocally rise up, throw away this device of impurity and abomination and obey the outstanding rabbis of the generation.”

"A device of impurity and abomination" - a new marketing slogan?

I never heard an I-Phone described like that before!  I know there were a few complaints about overheating and a short battery life, but a “device of impurity and abomination” seems a bit over the top.

I can imagine Steve Jobs now arguing with God: “what is it with your guys? can’t you control them? Don’t they realise that they are making a laughing stock of themselves and you? 

Perhaps he will teach God some marketing tricks on how to bring religion to the masses in the 21st century.

Somehow, I don’t feel that invoking images of fathers slaughtering their families is really going to cut it.

But that’s just me!

Andyboy – Telling it as it is.

England – home of “genteel” Anti -Semitism


The flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

“An Anti-Semite is a person who hates

the Jews more than is absolutely necessary!

Shimon Peres, president of the State of Israel...

President Shimon Peres

(Quotation attributed to Israeli President Shimon Peres defining Anti-Semitism in the U.K.)

Much has been written about anti-semitism in the U.K.

This is a personal memoir of my exposure to this phenomenon when I lived in England.

Introduction

I come from the middle class background of a Non- Orthodox Jewish family living in a “Jewish Neighbourhood” of London.

My Mother kept a Kosher home but we were only “3 days a year Jews”. My Father went to synagogue for the two days of Rosh Hashana ( the Jewish New Year) and the one day of Yom Kippur ( the Day of Atonement).

Additionally it was a family custom to spend the Seder Nights of Pessah ( Passover) at the home of my mother’s parents.

I hated it, because, as the youngest person, I had to ask the “4 questions” in Hebrew. ( The customary way of starting the proceedings). I didn’t understand the language so I mouthed the words parrot fashion.

For me the whole experience was torture The prayers and singing before, during and after the meal extended the eating experience interminably. I was always happy to go home.

So, you may understand, that my links to Judaism were tenuous at best. I never identified with the Concept of a God (or the “God Delusion” as Richard Dawkins describes it).

At home, the only connection to the idea of a Jewish homeland was the presence of the JNF Blue Box . Just a small collection box with a map of Palestine on it’s sides.

I knew that I was Jewish,

but that held no special meaning for me, not at nursery school and not at Junior school.

At age 9, I was sent to a boys’ preparatory school for special tuition. This was deemed necessary if I was to have a chance of getting into a Grammar School

It was there that I encountered my first “Jewish”experience. It was not anti-semitism as such, but the impression it made is still with me. The headmaster was talking to my class and somehow the word “choose” was mentioned.

Trying to make a play on the word, he said “there are no Jews here, we’re all English”.

I remember feeling a sense of shock;

up until that moment the idea that I was different , in any way, from my classmates, had never crossed my mind. Everyone duly laughed and the lesson moved on. I don’t believe that the headmaster was an anti-semite in the conventional sense, but I question the effect of such a remark on a group of impressionable 9 year olds. The rest of my time there was uneventful.

At age 11, I secured a place in a Grammar School ( now called “High School”)

The school was very well known and had a reputation for educational excellence within a highly disciplined framework; it had a total of around 800 pupils- boys only!

On my very first day,

I was walking to the school feeling very smart in my “Harry Potter style” school uniform. Suddenly, I was accosted in the street by a group of older boys. They surrounded me and without any preliminary banter asked me “are you of the Hebrew persuasion?”

My old school in a different era

I was not aware that I looked especially “Jewish” but, it seems, I did. My reaction was a mixture of bewilderment, fear and panic. I had never experienced such a situation before, and had no idea how to react. I tried to ignore the question, mumbled something unintelligible and pushed through to the school which was nearby. I subsequently learned that something similar had happened to most of the Jewish pupils on that day. I don’t recall telling my parents about the incident, for reasons that I cannot remember.

Jews are frequently accused of being cliquish and separatist.

In this school there was a situation that guaranteed that Jews would inevitably be regarded differently

Let me explain.

This was a state school, theoretically, not affiliated to any religion. Indeed it was bound by the education laws to treat religious worship, and religious teaching ,separately from secular subjects.

At the beginning of each school day, a general assembly of all the pupils and staff was held in the Great Hall.

This took about 30 minutes and was divided between a short service of Protestant Christian worship and special announcements about school matters. Within this school of 800 boys there were 42 Jews and 28 Roman Catholics.

Given the era ( the 1950′s) there were no other races or religions represented.

So, in accordance with the law, the Jews went to a classroom where they held a religious service, led by the senior pupils. The Roman Catholics did the same in their classroom. At the conclusion of the services the Jews and Catholics entered the Great Hall to join the rest of the school for the announcements.

Picture the scene.

Almost 800 Christian pupils and masters have just concluded a service honouring Jesus Christ. Suddenly, the doors at the back of the hall open and in walk the Jews and Catholics. For some reason, we were obliged to walk almost to the front of the Hall with 800 pairs of eyes following our every move. Then we sat down for the remainder of the assembly. The same scenario every day of every week of every school year.

A daily reminder that the Jews were different. Since this was not Northern Ireland, the Protestant Christians did not discriminate against the Catholics as they did the Jews. After all, they were united in their common belief that the Jews were responsible for the death of their mutual savior.

The description above is to give some context and background to what happened subsequently. This post is entitled “genteel anti-semitism”. What happened to Jews in my school over the next few years could hardly be described as genteel. Anti- Jewish sentiment was rampant. Anti-semitic remarks were commonplace.

Attacks and beatings in the playground occurred regularly.

School badge and motto: "Worth not Birth"

The teachers either turned a blind eye, or singled out the Jews for punishment. Only if the bullying was too blatant to be ignored did they punish all parties. Without the connivance of the teachers, in general, and the Headmaster in particular, none of this could have happened.

For whatever reason, maybe because we were such a small minority, or, perhaps because the situation seemed to be the accepted norm, we just lived with it.

At around age 15 a few of us decided that enough was enough. When we learned of attacks or planned attacks, we approached the perpetrators and made them understand, not too gently, that they would have to account to us in future.

The “vigilante” tactic worked and the bullying of the younger Jews virtually stopped. What happened to Jews in this school, and how we solved the problem, has, probably, influenced my worldview ever since.

Before moving on, it’s relevant to tell of an event, which caused the Jews great discomfort

The BBC organised a general knowledge competition for schools throughout the UK. The winning school would be awarded the accolade of “Top of the Form”. My school was invited to participate. A series of tests were undertaken to select the four pupils who would represent the school

Of the final four contestants, three were Jews!

The resentment was palpable, despite the fact that selection was on merit and knowledge alone,

 University yearsThe City University

This was a totally different experience.In my course alone, at least 50% of the students were from overseas.

My first experience of multiculturalism!

Although many of the UK students were Jewish, I don’t recall any serious anti-semitism in these years. We integrated well and my personal group of friends comprised one Jew, one very Christian Gentile and one Indian.

Outside the bubble of University, the real world was waiting.

I encountered many problems in trying to serve the necessary internship. It was nearly a year after obtaining my degree before I found an employer whose desperation must have exceeded mine.

In the commercial environment, you learn to “ride with the punches” This means that you decide to let the anti-semitic comments and, worse, the “Jewish jokes” pass over your head without reaction. Sometimes, if it’s known that you are Jewish, the remark or joke is qualified with “but not you, of course”. Then there’s the old standby “some of my best friends are Jews!”. All you have to do is swallow hard, smile sweetly and move on as if nothing had happened.

In later years when I moved into the world of commerce, the situations I referred to above were simply more numerous. I was aware that certain contracts and deals were not finalised when it was revealed that I was a Jew. And, of course, always difficult to be absolutely certain whether or not decisions had been made on merit only, or if there was the other hidden dimension. It’s difficult in such circumstances, not to be accused of being paranoid. I agree that is a possibility. Years of innuendo can do that to a person.

Of course, it is a fact that many Jews have succeeded in the U.K.

There are Jewish Judges and Lawyers, Doctors and Scientists, Politicians and Professors, Artists and Entertainers, Businessmen and Financiers, and the list goes on.

I don’t claim that a Jew cannot live, succeed and prosper in the. U.K. It all depends on whether you’re willing to pay the price.

One way in which many Jews deal with the situation is by a form of “Ghettoisation”.

By living in clearly defined communities, with access to synagogues, kosher food shops, Jewish schools and kindergartens etc.they compartmentalise their lives into private and public elements.

I know. I did it for enough years.

The desire not to change the relative material comfort of their lives is understandable. The pull of family and business considerations is very strong. So, what if there are places you cannot go or clubs you can’t join. For many, it’s a small price to pay.

The anti-semitism that I encountered was tolerable since it was usually nuanced and subtle. It’s a technique that the English have almost turned into an art form. They have had many years to perfect it.

However, the situation today is not what it was when I left 25 years ago.

"Out of the mouths of babes"

Violent anti-semitic acts are much more commonplace. Anti-Zionism is frequently the blood brother (literally) of anti semitism. Attacks on synagogues and Jewish property are not unusual. There were 283 recorded incidents of such attacks in the six month period from January – June 2011. The rise of militant Islam and a perception that Israel is the cause of the world’s ills, are significant factors.

The Jewish leadership in the U.K. has followed the historical reaction of the ghetto Jew. Keep a low profile and don’t do anything which might upset or irritate the Goyim ( non Jews). It’s a survival mode which has worked, more or less, for thousands of years.

Of course, today, with the existence of Israel, Jews no longer have to live that way.

There is another option.

Instead of living in the U.K. being either tolerated or villified by the local population only, they could move to Israel.

Here they can be part of a society pretty much hated by most of the world!

Andyboy – Telling it as it is

 

Click on these links for 2 interesting views on UK Anti-Semitism From George Orwell and Anthony Julius

http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/comment/26775/englands-not-so-pleasant-aspect

http://orwell.ru/library/articles/antisemitism/english/e_antib

Not so "genteel" any more