The politician-turned-presenter has been ranting on the radio, proving that insidious stereotypes about Jewish people are alive and well. Why do these myths still live on?
I notice Theresa May mentioned illegal settlements to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, but he wasn’t keen to chat about them, and instead started droning on about his commitment to peace and “‘the battle against militant Islam”. That was a pretty daring move by May, because some people might easily have called her antisemitic, as she was expressing a smidgin of concern about the Palestinians and questioning the Israeli government’s actions.
It can be difficult to work out what is antisemitic and what isn’t nowadays. Nigel Farage was blathering on on LBC last week that there were “about 6 million” Jews living in the US – mostly influential. Six million is an unfortunate number to use, but use it Nigel did, and said that “as a percentage it’s quite small, but … in terms of money and influence, yep, they are a very powerful lobby”. And there I was, hoping that we had got over the idea that Jews all had pots of money and ran the world. But sadly we have not. What a pity that Farage forgot to mention that there are “565,000 New Yorkers” (according to 2013 statistics) living “in Jewish households below or near the federal poverty line”. This number had doubled over the previous 20 years, and “continues to grow at an alarming rate”.