Writer Martin Amis calls Brits “a little anti-Semitic”, alleges double standards on Israel

30 November 2010

The British writer Martin Amis has called the UK and the West “a little anti-Semitic” and accused it of expecting “higher moral standards from Israel than its neighbors.” In an interview with Israeli newspaper ‘Haaretz’, Amis said: “If you bring up Israel in a public meeting in England, the whole atmosphere changes. The standard left-wing person never feels more comfortable than when attacking Israel. Because they are the only foreigners you can attack. Everyone else is protected by having dark skin, or colonial history, or something. But you can attack Israel. And the atmosphere becomes very unpleasant. It is traditional, snobbish, British anti-Semitism combined with present-day circumstances."

He also revealed the importance of his relationships with Jewish people. “"There have been very significant Jews in my life. Christopher Hitchens, who did not know he was a Jew until 1989. And Saul Bellow. And my current wife is Jewish, and so my daughters are too, by Jewish law, and that matters to me. I'm pleased, I am proud. It makes me more inside history than I would be."

Amis, 61, is he author of some of Britain's best-known modern literature, including ‘Money’ (1984) and ‘London Fields’ (1989). He is currently a professor of writing at the University of Manchester. ‘The Times’ newspaper named him in 2008 as one of the 50 greatest British writers since the end of World War II.

In August, Israel’s President Shimon Peres said in an interview with ‘Tablet’ magazine that the English’ attitude to Jews was “the next big problem”. “In England, there has always been something deeply pro-Arab and anti-Israeli in the establishment," was quoted as saying.

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