In my Jewish Chronicle column of 07 December 2007 I posed the question whether Jews cause, to any degree, the prejudice from which they suffer. My column focussed on the anonymous donations made to the Labour party by a Jewish property magnate. A number of correspondents have asked me for other specific examples. Well, here is one, ongoing, that does I think get to the heart of the matter.
In May 2005 the governors of the Beis Soroh Schneirer school for Jewish primary-age girls applied to the London Borough of Barnet for planning permission to convert for their purposes a disused warehouse on an industrial estate in West Hendon. The planning committee, for very cogent reasons, unanimously refused the application. But what the governors had not told the committee was that they intended to move the school into the warehouse whatever the outcome of the application. And on the very next morning after planning permission had been refused builders started converting the warehouse.
Captain Sir Richard Burton, the 19th century explorer and adventurer, who first translated the Kama Sutra into English and was one of the earliest Christians to enter Mecca, was both an anti-Semite and a plagiarist, according to new research published by the Royal Asiatic Society.
These stark conclusions appear in an article on Burton in the January 2008 edition of the Society’s Journal (published December 2007), written by two of the country’s leading experts in the history of anti-Jewish prejudice in modern Britain.
In 1989 Professor Geoffrey Alderman (University of Buckingham) and Professor Colin Holmes (University of Sheffield) were permitted to read an unpublished manuscript penned by Burton in the 1870s, and subsequently purchased by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
In their article, Professors Alderman and Holmes unravel the history of the manuscript, in which Burton alleged that Jews murder Christians in order to use their blood for ritual purposes.