Kvetch Update: Volvos, pushchairs and the Jewish threat to multi-cultural Britain
4 August 2010
I hate to kvetch further about Christina Patterson and The Independent (see blog posting immediately below, "Volvos, pushchairs and the Jewish threat to multi-cultural Britain"), but today's Indy carries a front page trailer for the latest round in Patterson's dissection of her orthodox Jewish neighbours in Stamford Hill.
The trailer reads
I've been called a bitch, a racist and an anti-Semite.
I therefore read Patterson's latest article, "We need to talk about integration", fearing she had been subjected to the same filthy rhetoric that we at CST see all too regularly directed against those deemed to be Jewish, Zionist or pro-Israeli: only in this instance, flying in the other direction.
The first few paragraphs of her article confirmed my worst fears, with the opening sentence reading
Call me Hitler
Other abuse followed, including "stupid, vile bitch"and "a bigoted toe-rag", but I was surprised to read this, buried in the fifth paragraph
But of the literally hundreds of emails I've received, only about a dozen have been negative
I do not want Christina Patterson to be subject to abuse, be it sexist, defamatory, threatening or whetever; and she is perfectly entitled to complain about the far wider use of the blogosphere to hype hatreds and libels against her.
Nevertheless, I am struck by how often certain media outlets seem to cover abuse when it flies in this particular direction, whilst largely ignoring its mirror images that CST sees all too regularly.
The remainder of Patterson's article is a largely decent explanation of why she wrote what she wrote in her previous article. It is, essentially, the article that she should have written in the first place: but an article like this would have made no waves, it would have gone unnoticed as just another plea for multi-culturalism.
That is not, however, to say that this latest article is perfect. There are three things that cause me to kvetch:
1. The penultimate paragraph carefuly explains why multi-culturalism depends upon mutual interaction. It ends with a warning that is undoubtedly correct, but I do not believe that it applies in any way whatsoever to the orthodox Jewish communities of Stamford Hill:
Where it [multi-culturalism] doesn't work is...in these cultures that people learn to be suspicious of everything that's different. And it isn't a long journey from suspicion to hate to attack
2. The final paragraph rightly calls for proper debate about multi-cultural society, which is precisely why CST, the Jewish Chroncile and others recoiled at Patterson's previous article. Furthermore, the ending of Patterson's final paragraph could be taken to imply that those who have complained about her previous article are not as British as she is:
You can call me what you like. But don't lets call the Brits a bunch of cowards.
"We are" he said "actively taught in Cheder that Goyim hate us." He hoped, he addded, that I would not "report" him. Dont' kvetch, Lev! Your secret is safe with me.