Sunday, July 30, 2006

This tangentially reminds me of a converastion I had during the week, where it became clear to me that I'm probably not prepared to live anywhere in the UK where there was a Jewish massacre or blood libel. I mean, I like London, I'm not currently thinking of moving, but, you know. Which counts out York, Lincoln and Norwich (although, obviously, Norfolk in general is a lovely place to visit).

Luckily, the UK's geo-demographics have changed somewhat since the twelfth century, so I'm unlikely to want to go and live in a former medieval market town. But nowadays, that would be Birmingham, Leeds... big, urban cities with big(ish) Jewish populations.

I'm guessing a lot of English people don't know about blood libels and massacres. I remember arguing with my A-level history teacher because we did Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain, and while we mentioned the Spanish Inquisition (and of course no one forgets the Spanish Inquisition), we managed to get through the whole sylabus without mentioning the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. She said it wasn't on the sylabus.

And, just for completeness sake, in case you didn't know, the Jews were expelled from England in 1290, and re-admitted by Oliver Cromwell in 1656. And you wonder why people are sensitive.

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