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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent detailed indictment of anti- Semitism in English life and literature
This work is a detailed and difficult account of how pervasive anti- Semitism has been in English life and literature. It moves from medieval times to the present, and has a powerful indictment of present- day anti- Semitism among the chattering classes in England. As a long- time student and lover of English Literature I was most impressed by the work on anti- Semitism...
Published on May 23, 2010 by Shalom Freedman

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17 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gentiles forever on trial in Anthony Julius's Beth Din
CENSORSHIP ALERT: This review was first published May 18, 2010 and then removed by Amazon. It was re-published after negotiation with Amazon concerning censorship, on Jan. 30, 2011. The review was again removed the summer of 2012. I am resubmitting it on Aug. 3, 2012. When a review is removed all of the votes it received (pro or contra) are lost, as well as any debate in...
Published on May 18, 2010 by Michael Hoffman


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20 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A misleadingly one-sided account, May 23, 2010
This review is from: Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England (Hardcover)
Anthony Julius has drawn a misleadingly one-sided picture of the Jewish experience in England, at least in relation to recent history. His view is at odds with that of the British Chief Rabbi, who said in an interview with the BBC in 2006 that "Jews in Britain have found this country one of the most tolerant places on the face of the earth." Nor is it consistent with the polls conducted by the Anti-Defamation League on attitudes to Jews in a number of European countries. In 2002 an EU report stated that the ADL found that "Compared to most of the other EU countries agreement with anti-Semitic statements in the United Kingdom was clearly lower." Again, in 2009 the ADL reported that "Britain consistently registered the lowest levels of anti-Jewish sentiment."

The book fails to record the extraordinarily large part that Jews (less than 0.5 percent of the population) have played in modern British society. This includes, at least since the time of the Conservative government of 1979, numerous Jews who have held cabinet posts in successive British Governments, including Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary - not to mention that a Jew was leader of the Conservative Party at one time during the period of the Blair Labour Government.

Perhaps an explanation for Julius's writing such a one-sided account may be found in a couple of comments he makes in the Introduction. He writes in the context of anti-Semitism that "There are certain things that will always remain unsaid between Jews and non-Jews", which to my mind implies a prejudicial attitude to non-Jews. He also claims that "For Anglo-Jewry in general, [anti-Semitism] is the background noise against which we make our lives. Almost always barely audible, one must strain to detect it..." Julius has indeed strained very hard in his attempt to demonstrate that anti-Semitism is a significant feature of present-day life in England.
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for its purpose, August 25, 2010
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This review is from: Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England (Hardcover)
1st of all I have not read anywhere past 50 pages of this book and will probably only use it as a reference on a Jewish understanding on anti-Jewishness (I eschew the term anti-semitism as it means a great deal more ethnic groups than the Jews). Thus far the book is written balanced and I expect it to become more interesting further in, not that I am rushing to re3ad it.
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25 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Trojan horse for modern far-right pro-Israeli agenda, June 30, 2010
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This review is from: Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England (Hardcover)
This book basically presents a history of British anti-semitism. But the history is basically used as a backstop for far-reaching modern political claims at the end of the end of the book as regards criticism of Israel. The author attempts to hijack the history of anti-semitism to make the case that any criticism of Israel, its politics, its government or its policies is anti-semitism.

The problem with Julius argument is that it assumes that there are no political differences among Jews or among Israelis. And no alternatives to present Israeli political policies. Its the old idea that the far right speaks for Israel and exclusively represents all Jews. And that to advocate any policy other than that of the Israeli far right is an attack on all Jews. The purpose of the political "club" the author is swinging about is to smear all criticism of Israel and at the same time silence all Jewish voices to his left.

the politics of the author also undermine the claim. He is a political supporter of the Israeli right. He has denounced Jewish groups such as 'Independent Jewish Voices' of Great Britain for being critical of Israeli policy in Gaza. The view that comes across in the book is that you either support any policy of a Benjamin Netanyahu or an Ariel Sharon or you keep quiet.

The history portion of the book is ok for what it is. But it really has nothing new to say that has not been said before. And the history portions of the book are totally undermined by the political agenda of the latter portions.
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15 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some Cheese With Your Whine?, May 17, 2010
This review is from: Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England (Hardcover)
The only reason I don't give "Trials of the Diaspora" one star is because I recognize the considerable effort that Anthony Julius put into writing this mighty tome. That being said, I disliked this book intensely. It's less historical analysis and more an extraordinarily self-indulgent whine and rant. And the level of paranoia! Delmore Schwartz is famous for having observed that even paranoiacs have enemies. So do Jews -- no shortage of them. But Julius' invitation to Jews to revel, with a sort of smug masochism, in victim status is nothing short of repellent. Some of Julius' examples of anti-Semitism are historically accurate and valid. But many others are at best exaggerated; at worst, groundless. His charge, for example, of anti-Semitism leveled against such greats as G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc is an outrageous calumny.

Jews should be aware of their history. That's not akin, however, to expecting to find (and, most perversely, being disappointed in not finding) a Heinrich Himmler wannabe beneath every bed, a nascent Irma Grese hiding behind every hedgerow, and God knows what watery Nazi fiend waiting to jump out from behind the shower curtains! If someone is a true Jew-hater, he should be called on it by Jews and indeed by all men of good will. But the free-floating, ubiquitous, and unwarranted charge of anti-Semitism (whether historical or current) is an outrage and a bore.
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10 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars John 8:44, February 13, 2011
This review is from: Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England (Hardcover)
Let's see Amazon delete the Bible itself. My comment on this one-sided bit of Talmudic commentary (is there perhaps any other kind of Talmudic commentary?) is from John 8:44

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
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Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England
Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England by Anthony Julius (Hardcover - May 3, 2010)
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