July 07, 2003


Oxford’s Professor No Jews is now under investigation:

The University of Oxford is appalled that any member of its staff should have responded to an inquiry from a potential graduate student in the terms in which Professor Wilkie emailed Amit Duvshani on 23 June. A thorough investigation began as soon as the University became aware of this correspondence. Based on the information that was collected during this process, and in the light of all the circumstances, particularly the importance attached by the University to fair processes of selection, the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Colin Lucas, has taken the view that this matter should be referred for consideration by the University's disciplinary panel for academic staff, known as the Visitatorial Board.

Yes -- the fearsome Visitatorial Board. Incidentally, with all the anti-Semitism around lately, it was a delight today to read this:

Though [Alf Hill] was deeply suspicious of organised religion, and espoused no particular belief, he was forthright in his respect for Jewish people, whom he saw as survivors, and usually winners. Bill Jacques recalls ... “He admired Jews greatly, always wanted to be Jewish, claimed to speak Yiddish” ... Across Westrow Gardens, the Hills were especially close to Mimi and Phillip Levy. Mimi would regularly send across a plate of delicacies, which all five Hills would grab at, Big Alf sputtering through sticky lips, “Only the Jews make food as good as this!” ... “Make friends with Jewish people,” [Hill] instructed his children, “and you won’t go wrong.”

Alf Hill was the father of Benny Hill. The extract is from Funny, Peculiar, Mark Lewisohn’s excellent biography of the late comedian.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 7, 2003 05:24 AM

Is it too obvious to point out that anti-semitism in Britain was/is an upper-class phenomenon, while tolerance for Jews seems to be at least fairly common in the lower classes? On the subject of low-born comedians, remember that Chaplin routinely refused to deny that he was Jewish (especially around the time of The Great Dictator) because he believed that addressing the accusation at all was acknowledging that Jewishness was something to be ashamed of.

Posted by: Mike G at July 7, 2003 at 06:01 AM

No-one expects the Visitatorial Board!

Posted by: Mork at July 7, 2003 at 10:14 AM

Is the Visitatorial Board like the Catholic Church's Inquisition (aka the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, or something)? Does it mean he will be burnt at the stake?

Posted by: Rob at July 7, 2003 at 10:45 AM

Isn't it obvious anti-semtism isn't just an `upper-class' phenomenon. It never was, it was a ploy by the odd savage totalitarian king to extract money out of, Jews, but that was in the medieval past, and the habit of only the odd king and not widely liked by those out side of those kings cricles.

Next, the number of Jewish hereditary and life peerages is telling.Until phony tony Blair and his fellow communistos, peerages were not bestowed to the craven and ductile.Peerages , until Phoney Tony, were bestowed for formidable reasons.Jews who are peers today show the sort of reasons why. Lord Winton is a very good example: ( as an aside ,I'm not much taken with the corny meet the ancestors series). Then there are the great banking families, who did much to revolutionise commerce.

Posted by: d at July 7, 2003 at 11:25 AM

d: couldn't have put it better myself.

Of course, that's largely because I have no idea what you're trying to say.

Posted by: Mork at July 7, 2003 at 11:30 AM


Remind us which party gave England it's first and only Jewish Prime Minister?

Posted by: Craig Ranapia at July 7, 2003 at 12:05 PM

Ooh, I think I know a song for that one. Allan Sherman:

Won't you come home, Disraeli?
Won't you come home?
Come home to Queen Victoria.
Don't leave that House of Commons, and that House of Lords.
Just sittin' waitin' for ya.
I'm gettin' awful lomesome, 'cause all I do
Is sit here reading Ethan Frome.
Now don't leave me flat,
The key to the palace is under the mat.
Disraeli, won't you please come home?

Posted by: Meryl Yourish at July 7, 2003 at 12:22 PM

The bloody irony of it. Politically correct Jewish ''comedian'' Ben Elton did more than anyone else to get Benny Hill the shaft from TV. Not because he wasn't funny -- he was a scream -- but because he was "sexist''. Yeah, he used to have well-stacked blonde bimboes on his show back in the 70s and early 80s. Pretty much like every friggin TV show watched by the masses today. That persecution killed Benny. Assholes like Elton have much to answer for.

Posted by: slatts at July 7, 2003 at 01:10 PM

I enjoyed Benny Hill to. These days, all that is served up is a lot of pukers trying to be funny and only manage to trip over their own ugly mugs, including that bit of garbage the ABC put up - some sort of a debate which , made one reach for the switch after a generous 45 seconds of tolerating the first rate gits and wankers.

Posted by: d at July 7, 2003 at 03:15 PM

As an American, I frequently smiled while watching Benny Hill, but almost never laughed outright. Yet I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and watched it religiously. Maybe it's similar to the fascination that Kang and Kodos have with watching Earth, and especially Springfield. Maybe it's that the women were always worth watching.

Posted by: CGeib at July 7, 2003 at 05:42 PM

Yes, Tim seems to be thoroughly enamoured of our Hebrew friends, doesn't he?

Won't be holding my breath to see if he covers the next USS Liberty or Israeli Art-Scandal to occur.

Shalom :)

Posted by: MM at July 8, 2003 at 11:10 PM