The internet is simply awash with pornography as I mentioned before when discussing the banning of books in American schools, but there is something much more horrible, so much so that I sometimes find myself wishing there was such a thing as censorship. Quite by accident I came across a site on the internet which was so anti-Semitic it was without doubt one of the ugliest entries I have ever read. It’s a long long time since I heard the word Kike though I notice Yid wasn’t used at all which was always the word of abuse I heard when I was young. Nigger got a few mentions as well of course when ugly comparisons were made. There are some truly frightening and sick people in this world including unfortunately some Jews themselves. Did you know there is an organisation in California called Jews for Jesus? and it’s not run by Christians; make of that what you will. All the old myths and clichés were bandied about and what struck me most forcibly was the feeling of fear in so much of this despicable diatribe. Hitler is alive and well and living in the United States. What do you make of someone who writes (in German) ‘I still have gas for Jewish youth.’ I am not so naïve as to believe the days of anti-Semitism or any kind of racism for that matter are over but I never realised just how virulent it can be. More fool I you might say and with reason. I decided to explore further by opening a site on racist jokes and this proved to be even sicker, especially when it came to the holocaust and jokes about gas etcetera. The nigger jokes were just as obscene many of them referring to hanging. Obviously the KKK is still alive and kicking or, if not, wishful thinking by all those white supremacists and rednecks from the boondocks that it was. All this got me to thinking of what Jews have meant in my life. I don’t want to come out with that hoary old saying about some of my best friends (and lovers) being Jews, true though that it is but, when I think about it, I have certainly been enriched by the influence of Jews, both personal friends and out in the big wide world. My first sort of best friend at school, Peter Lasker, was Jewish. My drama teacher, Pearle Celine of blessed memory, without whose generosity, encouragement, and coaching I may never have entered the theatre, was Jewish. All our friends in New York whose hospitality we have enjoyed over the years have been Jewish. Alas time has now robbed us of them. The person to whom I am indebted for my living and working for a while in the United States, Tom Arthur, is Jewish. It was one of the happiest periods of my life and among other things resulted in my making many friends and writing two plays, directing and acting in plays I would never have been given the chance to in the commercial world.
Music, a great part of my life, the list of Jewish composers, classical, modern, Broadway, jazz is endless. What enjoyment I get from their work. Same goes for Jewish musicians, Jewish writers, Jewish performers, Jewish artists, Jews in the theatre, film and television. When I think of it, it is impossible for me to be anti-Semitic; I would be in self denial. The world owes a great deal of gratitude to the Jews in many fields and it is much more frightening to consider someone like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his kind as the real threat in this world.