Worse Things Than Peppa Pig Are Worrying Jews and Muslims Here

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 16, 2015 | Go to article overview

Worse Things Than Peppa Pig Are Worrying Jews and Muslims Here


Byline: Lucy Tobin

"A PORKER CORKER" was how Israeli newspaper Haaretz this week headlined its mocking story of publisher the Oxford University Press's decision to ban pig from its books "to avoid offending Jews and Muslims".

The OUP's latest editorial policy is the kind of decision made by a boardroom of publishing wonks who spout sentences about "deliverables" and failed to ask a single Jew or Muslim for an opinion. For while many don't eat pork, reading about it isn't an issue.

In fact, as one observant Jewish friend posted on Facebook with a link to the story: "Ridiculous. At 5am most mornings, Peppa Pig is pretty close to God in my house."

Such posturings to political correctness do more than put Peppa, Babe and Pig Will and Pig Won't on the endangered species list. They risk obfuscating a far more serious issue: the rising tide of anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim incidents that do offend or violate or threaten Jews or Muslims in this country which have nothing to do with pigs in picture books.

This week a doom-laden stream of articles declared that the "majority of British Jews feel they have no future in UK". You can see why some might, given the poll was accompanied by another YouGov survey showing that 45 per cent of Britons agreed with at least one of four anti-Semitic statements put to them, such as "Jews chase money more than other British people" and "Jews talk about the Holocaust too much in order to get sympathy".

But while most Jewish Londoners do feel more worried about their safety in the aftermath of both the Paris killings and an increase in anti-Semitic attacks in this country, from cemetery desecrations to synagogue threats, that, sadly, is a normal side-effect of terror. …

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