Friday, October 17, 2014

England's Constant Anti-Semitic History

Nadene Goldfoot
When Jerusalem fell to the Romans in 70 CE, Jews were not allowed to live in Jerusalem again.  They became either slaves to the Romans, taken away and sold, or were able flee just before or after the fall and get to places past Rome, like France and Germany.  Some were able to get to nearby countries.

Jews did not arrive in England until the Norman conquest of 1066, some 900 years later.  Then a handful of financiers followed William the Conqueror from the Continent.  During the next generation, Jewish communities were established in London, York, Bristol, Canterbury and other cities.  The Jews traded, lent money to the baronage, and advanced money for current needs on the security of the revenue to the Crown.  This protected them.
Then the Crusades started in 1096 that lasted for 3 years in the first attack. On the way to Palestine they killed Jews in northern France and especially in the Rhineland where massacres occurred in cities such as Mainz, Worms, Speyer, Cologne; anyplace where Jews lived.  I had relatives living there at the time.  They also attacked Jews in Prague and later in Salonica where the reports of the Crusade caused a messianic ferment.  When Jerusalem was captured in 1099, Jews and Karaites were massacred.  They were there to win Palestine from the Moslems, but didn't mind killing Jews as well.  The crusaders were riding around in religious passion and constant stimulation.  Being in such a religious environment as Jerusalem seemed to bring out the worst in them.  They were in a messianic ferment.  After their Crusading Kingdom was established, they extended some toleration to the remaining Jews who managed to stay alive.

Along came the 2nd Crusade in 1147 to 49 which was organized to succor the Crusading Kingdom.  Similar outbreaks happened in France and the Rhineland again with a monk called Rudolf.  Bernard of Clairvaux helped to restrict the deaths, however through his humanitarian efforts.   Now the Pope urged that the debts of crusaders to the Jews should be paid up, and this became a regular demand on such occasions.  (imagine-they borrowed money from Jews to come and attack Jews).

The reason Jews were money-lenders is because they were barred from all other jobs; this was one left open for them because Christians thought it was beneath their dignity to do this.

 In 1144, the first recorded Ritual Murder accusation was brought against Jews in Norwich, England.

At the time of the 3rd Crusade of 1189 to 1192, there were riots all over the country resulting in much bloodshed, especially in London and York where their
business bonds were burned.
                                             3rd Crusaders
The 3rd Crusade had far more support than the other 2.  This led to preliminary attacks by the assembled crusaders on the Jews in many places, especially in York in 1190.  Later, Crusaders involved the Jews only
incidentally, though the so called Shepherds' Crusade in 1320 resulted in widespread attacks on the Jews in southern France and in northern Spain.  The Crusades may be said to have begun the age of unmitigated suffering for medieval Jewry.  The Crusaders also gave an impetus to the Italian maritime republics and to international intercourse and helped to displace the Jewish merchants from their former  favored position and so started the economic decline of the Jews.

To keep bonds from being burned  and the loss to the Exchequer, a system of registration of Jewish debts was set up in 1194 with Archae or chirograph chests in all the principal cities under the control of a central Exchequer of the Jews. This was not merely a financial institution, but it also had important judicial and administrative functions.

  This made it possible to have a systematic exploitation of Jewish resources by merciless taxation during the reigns of John in 1199 to 1216 and Henry III from 1216 to 1277.  The enforced sternness of Jewish creditors in exacting their dues now resulted in growing unpopularity evidenced in the Ritual Murder case of Hugh of Lincoln  in 1255 .  Hugh was the  8 year old illegitimate son of Beatrice, born in 1247 who  disappeared on  July 31, 1255.  His body was found in a well belonging to Jopin, a Jew on August 29th.  Through torture, a confession was that  the child had been crucified by a number of the most prominent Jews of England, who had gone to Lincoln on the pretext of a wedding.  Then Henry III came a month later and caused Jopin the Jew to be dragged around the city tied to the tail of a wild horse, and then hanged.  There were also  attacks made on Jews during the Barons' Wars in 1263 to 1265. 

The Ritual Murder case was a blood libel.  The typical allegation was that Jews murder Christians in order to get blood for the Passover or other rituals.  In England the first charge was in 1144 in Norwich, and concerned a Christian child named William.  The best known charge was of Hugh of Lincoln.  What the heads of the city did was torture Jews until they got a confession.  They would never have any proof.  Then they would usually  have "miracles" in connection with the dead body and this would be taken as proof that death was due to Ritual Murder.  

 The Jews had competition from the Italian bankers that  was making their services superfluous.  So, what happened was that the Jews' rights were progressively restricted from 1269 on, and in 1290 the Jews were expelled from the country.   They were not allowed back in the country until 1655, 365 years for England to be without Jews.  

In 1655, Manasseh Ben Israel was the negotiator with Cromwell for the readmission of the Jews.  A group of Jews today called Anusim, then called Marranos, Jews hiding the fact of who they really were, were the first to go to live in England and received official recognition in 1664.  The original Sephardi community (Spanish-Ladino speaking Jews) were joined by Ashkenazi immigrants from Germany and Central Europe and spread throughout England.  By this time there were no important restrictions on Jews and no ghetto system was used.  There was no violence to speak of, but there was a controversial JEW bill in 1753 which didn't cause any Jews to be molested. " While the Sephardim chiefly congregated in London as the centre of international commerce, Jews immigrating from Germany and Poland settled for the most part in the seaports of the south and west, such as FalmouthPlymouth,LiverpoolBristol, etc., as pawnbrokers and small dealers. From these centres it became their custom to send out hawkers every Monday with packs to the neighbouring villages; and in this way connections were made with some of the inland towns, in which they began to settle, as CanterburyChatham, and Cambridge, not to mention Manchester andBirmingham. Traders of this type, while not of such prominence as the larger merchants of the capital, came in closer touch with English life; and may have helped to allay some of the prejudice which had been manifested so strongly during 1753. " Some Jews moved to Ireland after being in England, and from Ireland moved to South Africa.  

In the 19th century with the activity of Sir Moses Montiefiore, English Jewry took a leading part in Jewish philanthropy.  In 1829 and onward, disabilities held against Jews were removed slowly.  Lionel de Rothschild was admitted to parliament in 1858.  

From 1881, the older Jewish community was reinforced by immigration of refugees from Russian persecutions and pogroms.  They soon adapted themselves to the English Jewish way of life under the Chief Rabbi, Board of Deputies of British Jews, and in London, the United Synagogue.  There were new communities in Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester, etc.  More arrived from Germany in 1933 to 1939 who helped to stimulate a weak and short-lived organized anti-Semitic movement.  Under Nazi influence, it grew. 

At the same time, the League of Nations had appointed Great Britain to hold the mandate of Palestine and to establish the Jewish Homeland.  What they did shortly after being given this responsibility was to turn 80% of the land over to Abdullah of Saudi Arabia so that he could be a king, and he named the eastern part he took as Trans-Jordan, later called Jordan by his descendants.  England then kept Jews out of the land that was left and allowed Arabs to enter.  Their White Paper put a limit of 75,000 Jews for entering Palestine from 1940 to 1945, the most important time when they needed a haven, their own state.  They were showing two things:  their anti-Semitic attitude and their greed for controlling land that could hold oil.   They were being influenced by the Nazi regime.  
Even after the war on July 11,  1947, just before the mandate ended, the English  turned away Jews from entering Palestine.  "Exodus 1947 was a ship that carried Jewish emigrants from France to British Mandatory Palestine on July 11, 1947. Most of the emigrants were Holocaust survivors who had no legal immigration certificates for Palestine. Following wide media coverage, the British Royal Navy seized the ship and deported all its passengers back to Europe. Then in 10 months, Israel was re-born on May 14, 1948.  That was when the British mandate was finished.  

England was the only important European country to escape the Nazi persecutions, but the air bombardment of the main cities caused Jewish populations to scatter in England, and weakened the traditional Jewish life.  

The Jewish population of Great Britain including northern Ireland was estimated in 1990 to be 330,000.   The 2011 census showed 263,346 or 0.5% of the population.  "The UK is home to the second largest Jewish population in Europe, and has the fifth largest Jewish community worldwide." 

They just recently recognized Palestine.  Palestine is ruled by Hamas, a terror organization jointly with Abbas, a former Fatah terrorist member  in Judea and Samaria and alone in Gaza.  Hamas was elected by the Palestinians living in Gaza.  There has been no peace agreement with Israel before or since Operation Defensive Edge.  Palestinians remain the enemy of Israel.  

Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Update:  on Jew Bill; naturalization 

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