Current AffairsJews Don’t Count by David Baddiel

Jews Don’t Count by David Baddiel

This platform is built to be a positive place, one where everyone is welcome. We have bonded with people from all walks of life, only talking about books we enjoy because we love reading for the escapism and joy it can bring. But books can also provide insight, empathy and understanding into complex issues, asking the hard questions. 

When I was fifteen, one of my colleagues at my Saturday job pulled me aside in our staff kitchen to ask me, somewhat sheepishly, if it was true. If what was true, I replied, perplexed. If I had horns, he said. I was Jewish; didn’t I have them?

In this searing book, a Sunday Times bestseller currently at number 2 in the charts @therealbaddiel explores anti-Semitism and its very nature and position in British society — past and present. A slim but utterly mighty treatise, it has a huge amount to say and it packs the mightiest punch of any book I’ve read in a seriously long time. 

Jews Don’t Count sheds raw and real light on what it means to be Jewish in Britain today. It brings to the fore so many experiences that I, for one, as a member of an ethnic minority in this country have found myself sharing. That is, those of an ethnic minority that so often seems invisible. 

Baddiel provides countless examples — across literature, politics, sports, cinema which you’ll find on nearly every page — because Jews, you see, present an awkward paradox. They are ‘somehow both sub-human and humanity’s secret masters.’ Jews are marginal, Baddiel says, but not thought of as marginalised. Jews, you see, don’t really count. 

It this identity that I ascribe to. I am a British Jew — born and raised here but with family who come from across Europe, on both sides. I’m proud of who I am and of my heritage but I can’t deny that I feel a certain apprehension about posting this review. But if I don’t, aren’t I part of the problem too? 

I urge you: just read this book. It’s really damn important and it may make you look at racism in a way that you haven’t done before. You’ll certainly learn a thing or two, too. I know I definitely have.

~ Sophie

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