Ode to Arthur

Arthur Koestler.

By Marie Miguel

There are certainly more than enough horrific tales of how the persecuted lived under fascism in the middle of the 20th century, and indeed dozens of books with “Koestler” on their covers.

“Scum of the Earth” is a unique kind of autobiographical adventure, a guide to suffering atrocious treatment with as much good humor as possible. The book also describes  how a totalitarian regime can subvert the morals of both states and individuals.

For someone who wasn’t actually a criminal, Arthur Koestler certainly saw the inside of a large number of cells. Reprising this aspect of his personal history is possibly the best way to explain what the reader can expect from “Scum of the Earth.”

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English Anti-Semites Desperate for Reasons

Neo-nazis in London outnumbered by counter-demonstrators. (YouTube)

Neo-nazis in London outnumbered by counter-demonstrators. (YouTube)

Neo-Nazis in the English city of Birmingham claim Jews are employed as bankers and comprise “the 1%.” Yet neo-Nazis 90 miles south contend that the Jews of Golders Green, in northwest London, are not only rich but also “conspire with a corrupt state” 2,300 miles to the east that commits “horrific war crimes.”

Petty criminals in Birmingham, a city with a population of 1 million, vandalized a menorah, apparently because Jews are rich. Crude activists will descend upon Golders Green to tear up Israeli flags and burn the Talmud because Jews “oppress the Palestinians.”

The rationale of bigots is difficult to comprehend. Their motives are so thin and sweeping that their accusations cannot stand up to objective analysis.

A group of neo-Nazis, with their faces concealed, were seen in a video spray-painting a Star of David onto the gates of a Birmingham park gates, with the words “bankers” and “1%,” The Jewish Chronicle of London reported. The video then shows them climbing the menorah to hang a Third Reich swastika flag and a placard with the logo for National Action, a neo-Nazi organization.

In Golders Green and vicinity, home to 50,000 British Jews, neo-Nazis intend to “dismember by hand” Israeli flags in the center of town on July 4, a Sabbath day, and do the same in other Jewish communities later in the summer, according to The Chronicle. “Jewish privilege” is only one flaw attributed to Jews there.

White supremacist activist Joshua Bonehill-Paine wrote on his website, June 15, that destroying Israeli flags would be “in solidarity with those oppressed by the illegal state of Israel”:

This will be a show of solidarity by English people who recognise that Israel is a corrupt state which is responsible for horrific war crimes.

Bonehill-Paine also plans a “private ceremony” to burn the Talmud “in recognition of its racist anti-white teachings.”

Interestingly, these latter words correspond to an anti-Semitic message attributed to Dylann Storm Roof, 21, who is accused of murdering the nine black parishioners during Bible study inside a Charleston, S.C. church, June 17. The New York Daily News reported that Roof wrote on a website called “Last Rhodesian,” “How about we protect the White race and stop fighting for the Jews”:

The issue with Jews is not their blood, but their identity. I think that if we could somehow destroy the Jewish identity, then they wouldn’t cause much of a problem… most Jews are always thinking about the fact that they are Jewish.

Bonehill-Paine arguably contradicts himself, since western civilization, which is ostensibly run by the white race, has long been accused of imposing its imperialistic ways on the Third World. So where does the guilt lie for the Jews of Golders Green? Are they a threat to the white race? Or do they collude with the white race of Europe to colonize the lands of the Middle East? It is doubtful that even Bonehill-Paine can explain the discrepancy.

Though the English do not observe any kind of independence day, on July 4, 200 Britons, Jewish and others, declared their independence from neo-Nazis when the one-hour rally was held. Police had ordered the demonstration to relocate from Golders Green to central London where the area is more diverse, The Times of Israel reported.

The Times of Israel also reported that counter-protesters outnumbered the neo-Nazis eight to one that day. The counter protesters shouted slogans such as “Nazis off our streets,” and “We are black, white, Asian and we’re Jews, and there’s many, many more of us than you,” according to a report in the Evening Standard. The central London site was secured by 200 police officers who cordoned off an area for the rally.

Also, 80 people showed up in Golders Green for a pre-planned counter-protest on Friday, July 3, because many needed to observe the Sabbath the next day. The Times of Israel described the event as mostly “good-humored,” but two Jewish women who raised a large Jewish flag offended some, because in England more people distinguish between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

All the same, the English in Golders Green and central London championed the spirit of Independence Day for two days instead of just the one.