Monday, March 23, 2009

So, There Was British Antisemitism as Antizionism

Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 39, No. 1, 71-92 (2004)

The Antisemitism of the Eighth Duke of Northumberland’s the Patriot, 1922-1930

Markku Ruotsila
University of Tampere, Finland

This article explores British antisemitism through an investigation of the journal Patriot, a leading weekly of the interwar British radical right. It provides the first indepth examination of the Patriot’s editorial content for the period it was under the direction of its founder, the leading publicist of the aristocratic Die-hard and protofascist right, the eighth Duke of Northumberland. The roots and trajectories of the Patriot’s antisemitic propaganda are situated within the broader radical right discourse of interwar Britain and the impact of the journal is assessed in the dissemination and popularization of antisemitic thinking. Aspects of antisemitism which receive attention include racialist and conspiracist theory, the religious causes of aversion to Jews, opposition to Zionism and to the League of Nations, and the role of anticommunism in fostering twentieth century antisemitism.

Given the Duke of Northumberland’s principled adhesion to the Catholic Apostolic Church, a small premillenarian fundamentalist group, the ambivalent posture to Jews and Judaism of conservative Christianity is also assessed in considerable detail. The article argues that Northumberland and the Patriot were endowed with an attitudinal propensity to conspiracist, antisemitic paradigms by frames of reference born in the imperialist and nationalist debates of the Edwardian period. These frames of reference were refocused and renamed after the Bolshevik revolution so as to constitute the Jew-Bolshevik equation which cohered much of subsequent radical right and fascist antisemitism.

The centrality of this renaming is shown to have been crucial as means towards circumventing the theological philo-semitism which was the heritage of Northumberland and his primary audience, making the Patriot an important conduit in permeating traditionalist, religiously-rooted Conservative thinking with antisemitic ways of perception and categories of thinking. Its clothing of these perceptions in anticommunism, imperialism and racialism is seen as having significantly contributed towards making antisemitism appear more respectable, apparently unrelated to Jews as a religious or cultural community, and therefore a much more potent, durable or malleable force than might otherwise have been the case.

He deals further with this topic here.

This, too, seems interesting:

"The Anti-Jewish Career of Sir William Joynson-Hicks, Cabinet Minister", David Cesarani in Journal of Contemporary History.1989; 24: 461-482.

I wonder if there was any influence of this, in one form or another, on Roy Farran?

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