Letter published in the Catholic Times
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16th February 2017
Despite being a non Jew, and one with only a few Jewish acquaintances, I very much agree with the letter by Stephanie Jefford concerning anti Semitism. Those that my priest describes as the Holy Jewish people have been mercilessly persecuted and murdered for centuries, based upon either nonsensical Biblical justifications, or ridiculous conspiracy theories, the propagation of which continue to this day.
In the Middle Ages Jews were often forbidden to follow any trade except usury, and then condemned for doing so, while in our own age they have frequently suffered at the hands of those who assert that they should not be allowed to live in non Jewish countries, despite the fact that they have always been overwhelmingly hard working, law abiding and patriotic. When they have taken them at their word, and established their own state in the land from which they came, they are constantly attacked by those who justify their actions by claiming a deep and abiding sympathy for the Palestinians. While this may be true of a few I suspect that it is mainly crocodile tears by those who would always seek to persecute Jews based upon the age old prejudices. If Israel had never been created one can be sure that such people would have found other reasons to express their hateful views.
The Jewish people have proved themselves to be valiant and have established the only functioning democracy in the Middle East. They deserve our support and, as Ms Jefford says, Catholics, and indeed all Christians, have a duty to oppose anti Semitism in this country and abroad.