Classic Antisemitism: The assumption that all Jews are rich, or that criticism of the rich is antisemitic:
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The assumption that all Jews are rich is not new. It is part of classic Nazi-style antisemitism, and is related to our previous example ‘Jewish love of money’. Although there are examples of wealthy Jewish people, it is racist to assume all Jews are rich. It is not difficult to find people of Jewish ethnicity who struggle financially and/or are members of the working class, both in Britain and in any other country where Jews live.
It is not at all uncommon for antisemites to attack Jews either generally or specifically on the supposed basis of their wealth. However, it is completely wrong to assume that all criticism of the wealthy, or ‘the few’ (as in the Labour slogan ‘For the Many, not The Few’) has an antisemitic basis. Those who make such accusations of antisemitism are thus resting on the lazy antisemitic assumptions of universal Jewish wealth. Such accusations are generally made from the political centre and right.
In the example below, Toby Young accuses Philip Hammond (and Robert Harris) of antisemitism, on the grounds that Hammond suggested that Boris Johnson’s policies were influenced by his closeness to city speculators. Of course, most city speculators are non-Jewish, and it is therefore antisemitic of Young to base his attack on an assumption that Jews were being referenced here. Not surprisingly, Hammond finds the accusation that he was antisemitic defamatory.
Incidentally, this is a separate issue from antisemitic discourse specifically about ‘the bankers’ (as opposed to rich people generally), which relates to the specific trope about Jewish bankers like the Rothschilds controlling the world.
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