Things Not To Say To Jewish People. Or Anyone.

This clip was produced by BBC3. I don’t know what the 3 means but apparently, they are the part of the British Broadcasting Company, who, as part of their mission, are responsible for the production of idiotic YouTube videos. For the Queen. Ok, I don’t know if these are actually for the Queen, but how funny would it be if it was true? Anyway, this British clip is about Jews and perhaps it’s important to first look at the chequered history of Jews in the UK (I used the British spelling of “chequered” instead of the American “checkered” because it just seemed appropriate). Here’s the history of Jews in the UK in a nutshell as per Wikipedia:

The first recorded Jewish community in Britain was brought to England in 1070 by King William the Conqueror, who believed that what he assumed to be its commercial skills would make his newly won country more prosperous. Two hundred years later the Jews were no longer welcome. On 16 March 1190 in the run up to the 3rd Crusade the Jewish population of York was massacred at the site where Clifford’s Tower now stands, and King Edward I of England passed the Statute of the Jewry (Statutum de Judaismo) in 1275, restricting the community’s activities, most notably outlawing the practice of usury (charging interest). When, 15 years later, Edward found that many of these provisions were ignored, he expelled the Jews from England. They emigrated to countries such as Poland which protected them by law. A small English community persisted in hiding despite the expulsion. Jews were not banned from Scotland, which until 1707 was an independent kingdom… In 1656 Oliver Cromwell made it clear that the ban on Jewish settlement in England and Wales would no longer be enforced, although when Rabbi Manasseh Ben Israel brought a petition to allow Jews to return, the majority of the Protectorate Government turned it down. Gradually Jews eased back into England, first visiting for trade, then staying longer periods, and finally bringing their families. In mid-nineteenth century Ireland, then ruled by the British, Daniel O’Connell, known as “The Liberator” for his work on Catholic Emancipation, worked successfully for the repeal of the “De Judaismo” law, which prescribed a special yellow badge for Jews. Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881), of Jewish birth although he joined the Church of England, served in government for three decades, twice as prime minister… In 2006, the Jewish community celebrated the 350th anniversary of the resettlement in England.

So you would think that after hosting Jews for 362 years, the British would have developed a certain measure of familiarity with them, right? Well… apparently not. Luckily we have BBC3 around to dispel some common misconceptions about the chosen people. Thanks.


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