This article first appeared in the Jewish Telegraph of 1st June 2018
In the 1980s, Norman (now Lord) Tebbit articulated a combative test of nationality and loyalty for those Brits who had originated in the Sub Continent – Who would they support at cricket; England or their opponents?
This subtly racist, entirely derogatory statement has rather stuck in the national memory, being used to fling accusations of dual loyalty at any Brits whose family origins are from the Caribbean or the Sub Continent.
For the Jewish community, this was wearily familiar, as we have, over the centuries, become accustomed to the dual loyalty accusation as one of a number of cards played by antisemites.
But, this dual loyalty accusation became topical in the last month. It was used against two German International footballers of Turkish origin- Mesut Ozil of Arsenal and Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City. They had been photographed presenting the Turkish President Erdogan, on his visit to London, with signed shirts. Gundogan’s bore the message “With great respect for my President”.
One week later, they had to both pose for photographs with President Steinmeier of Germany to dispel the claims of divided loyalties and the abuse that they had received since the original pictures. The players were forced to affirm their loyalty to Germany during their meeting. Gundogan was forced to grovel and say “Germany is today clearly my country and my team”.Read more
The JLC Chief Executive brings a weekly video update on the week's events.
In his weekly video blog this week, JLC Chief Executive Simon Johnson talks from Jerusalem about Jewish Legacy Month, which the JLC are the key sponsor this year. To find out more visit http://www.jewishlegacy.org.uk/