Academics - intellectuals - whatever - and anti-semitism - funny area... People who aren't liberals, people who are anti-racist in their thinking and writings but who are anti-semitic anyway - or maybe who throw away lines that are open to that interpretation...

I spend time with one who asked why I had sought my family in the Whitechapel area. I said it wasn't my real family but my imagined one, the imagined community thing. Then, as if answering something I heard a long time ago, I responded shortly. I was actually answering the academic, Stuart Hall, who at a conference said that the problem with Israel was that Jewish people made an imagined community into a real one. It was a throw away line apropos of nothing.

I explained to BD that it's not just imagined, its something that Jewish people do all the time, we are part of a global community - something like that anyway... I think it came out too passionate, too strong, kind of wrong because I was afraid of where she was coming from with the question and because I have long wanted to answer Stuart Hall.

I just finished re-reading Nineteen Eighty Four. Is it a coincidence that the only mention of race or ethnicity in the book - except when fighting the enemy - is Jewish? A "Jewess" who is a refugee is brutaly murdered by the border patrols and the crowd who watch it at the movies cheer. The fictional head of the Resistance and person that everyone is must hate is called "Goldstein", and at the end of the book , in the Appendix, "Jews of old" are compared to the ideal Party members in the future (and by this stage we perfectly well understand that the future is bleak, and without the possibility of thought - let alone independent, creative thought.

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