Gerald Kaufman reports on an ugly incident in which he was subject to anti-Semitic abuse:
At this point I was spotted by a pro-hunt demonstrator, a stout, middle-aged man dressed in checked tweeds. He rushed up to me and yelled: "You Jewish bigot!" He went on screaming this at me dozens of times; perhaps it was the only phrase he knew.Loathsome is right, as are some of the other epithets Kaufman applies in the same piece. All the same I find part of what he says here disturbing. Intended or not, there's a suggestion that his being a critic of the Sharon government makes him more of a 'good' Jew; or if not this exactly, then that it has some bearing on the character of his Jewishness or on what happened to him. But (a) it doesn't. And (b) that isn't how these prejudices and hatreds work.
The commotion he made attracted other pro-hunt demonstrators, hundreds of them, who surrounded me, penning me in so closely that I was unable to move and could, to my repellence, see the pores in their faces, which were contorted with rage and hatred. All of them were howling at me, and a number took up the tweed-clad man's theme, offering such observations as: "You're an immigrant", and "You weren't born in this country".
I found their anti-semitism, though loathsome, ironically amusing, since I was - if I could get there - on my way to make a speech which would undoubtedly impel pro-Sharon Jewish chauvinists to accuse me of being a self-hating Jew and, as a lackey of the Board of Deputies of British Jews has recently put it, straying far from my Jewish roots.