Who Is a British Jew?
Anyone accused of racism in Britain stands in danger of extreme condemnation. The historical memory of the cost to the United Kingdom of defeating Nazism is carried along, apparently, by fear of a repeat. With forebodings of that kind in mind, the Race Relations Act of 1976 prohibited discrimination on grounds of “colour, race, nationality, or ethnic or national origins,” and subsequent acts have confirmed the thrust of it. The theoretical area between race and ethnicity is a slippery and undifferentiated zone, but the wording of the act seems intended to cover the prejudices that set people apart.
At about that same time, however, the United Nations passed the resolution declaring “Zionism is racism” with the very intention of encouraging ethnic or racist discrimination against Israel and anyone supporting it. This had a malign contemporary originality all its own. For if Israelis and Jews are truly to be perceived by the world as racist, then they are nothing more than criminals, and they are lost.
About the Author
David Pryce-Jones, the British novelist and political analyst, is the author of, among other books, Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews (Encounter).