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Jews are mostly concerned with selling food, clothes, furniture and tobacco — exactly the commodities of which there is a chronic shortage, with consequent overcharging, black-marketing and favouritism.
And again, the common charge that Jews behave in an exceptionally cowardly way during air raids was given a certain amount of colour by the big raids of 1940.
But now let me come back to that point I mentioned earlier — that there is widespread awareness of the prevalence of antisemitic feeling, and unwillingness to admit sharing it.
Among educated people, antisemitism is held to be an unforgivable sin and in a quite different category from other kinds of racial prejudice.
These people always say (as Hitler says in Mein Kampf) that they started out with no anti-Jewish prejudice but were driven into their present position by mere observation of the facts.
Yet one of the marks of antisemitism is an ability to believe stories that could not possibly be true.
But it was essentially a conscious effort to behave decently by people whose subjective feelings must in many cases have been very different.
The only useful approach is to discover why they can swallow absurdities on one particular subject while remaining sane on others.I start off with these background facts, which are already known to any well-informed person, in order to emphasise that there is no real Jewish “problem” in England.The Jews are not numerous or powerful enough, and it is only in what are loosely called “intellectual circles” that they have any noticeable influence.As the last of the above-quoted remarks shows, people can remain antisemitic, or at least anti-Jewish, while being fully aware that their outlook is indefensible.If you dislike somebody, you dislike him and there is an end of it: your feelings are not made any better by a recital of his virtues.
One could see a good example of this in the strange accident that occurred in London in 1942, when a crowd, frightened by a bomb-burst nearby, fled into the mouth of an Underground station, with the result that something over a hundred people were crushed to death.