I don’t much care for identity politics, particularly when I am a guest in another country, a country I respect and admire. But the fact remains that I am an American Jew (half-Jewish anyway, but that’s enough for some people), living in London with my family.
I send my kid to a British school, I eat British food, I have a couple of favorite pubs and I have two bona-fide British friends (OK, I cheated, one’s actually a Scotsman). I like London and I think the English have plenty to be proud of and I tell my son that the English are beloved cousins…And yes, the New Republic article [update: the link has vanished] is a coherent and accurate description of British culture today especially, let’s face it, among the left. You can say anything you want about Jews as long as you call them Israelis. It’s cowardly, it’s sanctified, it’s racism, and I feel it in the marrow of my bones.
But riddle me this: Should I take some comfort in the fact that native English people don’t just tend to dislike Jews, but Muslims too–and the French, and the Russians and yes, themselves a great part of the time? Or should this place–the left-wing aspects of this place to be precise–just give me the frigging creeps? These are not rhetorical questions by the way. They are real.