In July, Christina Patterson wrote a spectacularly unpleasant column about Hasidic Jews in Stamford Hill. Her hate-driven and narcissistic column caused widespread offence. I think Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard put it best when he wrote that Patterson’s article was “pure, unrelenting unadulterated anti-Jewish bigotry”.
A passage from Patterson’s column was recently selected by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for inclusion in its ‘Top 10 Anti-Semitic Slurs of 2010′ list. Had her column not been sinisterly motivated she might at this point have paused for thought and perhaps even reconsidered her words.
Instead, she has embarked on a follow-up article that is just as hateful and embarrassingly egotistical as her July effort. In her fury that the Jewish community has held her to account for her words, she employs some breathtakingly ill-judged attempts at defence:
1) Using the ‘but some of my best friends Jewish’ line
2) Pretending her article only attacked people “who happen to be Jewish” when the opposite is clearly true
3) Mocking the Simon Wiesenthal Center
4) Making cheap Holocaust gags
5) Tossing in some half-baked distortions about Israel
Poor Christina Patterson, so much hate and so little self-awareness. I am going to recommend she reads one of my favourite books, The Light And Fire Of The Baal Shem Tov. In it, she can read about the beautiful roots of the Hasidic movement and also see how wonderful it is to bring light, rather than darkness, to the world.
(See also Robyn Rosen’s blog.)