(I wrote this for CIFWatch which monitors anti-Semitism and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy in The Guardian)
I have an admission to make. You see the place where I live, and in fact the place where I am writing this piece, I have no rights to. That’s right I’m a trespasser, a squatter, a thief, or whatever you think is an appropriate word for a rogue such as me.
You see it all happened about 20 years ago. I had nowhere that I really wanted to live until I spied a nice little place in a London suburb one night. The light was on and pensioners Roberta and George Smith had just settled down to watch Coronation Street with a hot cup of cocoa in their hands.
As soon as they became engrossed in Corrie I barged in and told them to leave. I gave them 10 minutes to pack up their belongings and get the hell out.
I have been living here ever since and very nice it is too. The local council has passed a motion that the Smiths have a “right of return”, but I refuse to budge. You see it isn’t my fault, I tell the council. The problem is I’m Jewish and that is what us Jews do. If there is something we want, we just take it.
I mean we did it in 1948 too, I tell them. There was this already fully functioning state called Palestine full of millions and millions of people who had lived there since the dinosaurs, and the Jews (who hadn’t lived there since the dinosaurs) suddenly appeared from absolutely nowhere and took over their houses, farms and businesses and told them to get the hell out.
But it wasn’t those Jews’ fault either, I said. Just like a Tourette’s sufferer can’t help himself when swearing so us Jews just can’t stop ourselves from thieving.
Thanks to Nicholas Lezard, literary critic for The Guardian, I have recently discovered an explanation for all this; thieving might actually be in our DNA.
Lezard has uncovered a dirty little secret that has been kept hidden from us Jews and which explains a lot; one of our great forefathers, Moses, was a bit of a tea-leaf himself.
In his Guardian review (Jan. 3) of Intolerable Tongues, which describes Dr Donald McCollum’s journey through British Mandate Palestine towards the end of the 1930s, a novel by Ellis Sharp (and which is classed as “history” by The Guardian), Lezard concludes:
“And beneath all this rumbles history – not only that which is yet to come for the area, but all that has gone before. ‘I have always found it a bit rum that Moses parcelled out land that already belonged to others,’ muses McCollum at one point, which might seem like a piece of thumpingly unsubtle irony; but then sometimes that’s how history works, and it’s important to be reminded of it from time to time.” (added emphasis by me)
So now, thanks to Lezard, the truth is out; Moses, like me and probably you if you are Jewish, also stole land that wasn’t his.
You see when Moses led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt he led them to this already fully functioning state called Canaan full of millions and millions of people who had lived there since the dinosaurs and the Jews suddenly appeared from absolutely nowhere and took over their houses, farms and businesses and told them to get the hell out….