English Anti-Semitism (The Leader, 1904)

1.666-68. The Leader. A Review of Current Affairs, Politics, Literature, Art and Industry, Vol. VIII., No.10 (Dublin), 30 April, 1904, 149-50.

Extract from a letter headed ‘The Libel on Limerick’.

This letter to the editor of The Leader from William J. Moloney is highly supportive of the message of Father Creagh’s notorious lecture on the Jews of the 13th of January, 1904, and critical of what Moloney regards as slurs on Limerick on the parts of the Protestant Bishop of Limerick; E.B. Levin the head rabbi in that city; and Michael Davitt. The Leader’s editorial line on Jewish affairs at the time is perhaps best demonstrated by the pride with which, during June 1904, it trumpeted the fact that it was delighted to carry an advertisement for John S. Kelly, Ltd., a firm of Dublin house furnishers, which bore the line ‘No connection with Jews’, while mocking the Evening Herald and the Evening Telegraph for having flatly refused to do likewise. Towards the end of Moloney’s letter, he turns to consider the English perspective on the ‘Jewish Question’, using English anti-semitism of the kind which Haines voices as a prop for his argument about the response of those inhabitants of Limerick in agreement with Father Creagh:

¶¶It is necessary in England to have a Royal Commission of Inquiry on alien immigration, principally on that of foreign Jews. Thoughtful and provident Englishmen see the injury that is being done to their country by the influx of low-type Jews, a fact that is constantly being shown up in English periodicals. For instance, the British Baker, of March 11th, 1904, shows the baneful influence of Jewish bakers in London, on the baking trade. Again, in an issue of Answers for the end of January, the foreign Jews are shown up in a light that would make one shudder for the interests of morality. And have we in Limerick to close our eyes to the evil influence on morality of the low-type Jews, who have come into Limerick during the past twenty years, and not to consider, before it is too late, where the evil will stop, if allowed to grow? Ireland is, at present, being drained of its Gaelic population by emigration, and Jewish colonists are trooping in to fill up the places of the emigrants, and to turn Ireland into a filthy Ghetto. . . . Anyone acquainted with the present state of Ireland must shudder at the thought of the danger threatening this country because of the Jews. Unless the Irish people beware, the present landlords will only be bought out for the introduction of Jewish landlords, and any thinking man must prefer the present landlords, with all their faults, than to have the sons of Sem as masters of our peasantry.
¶¶Finally, let me add that it is the opinion of shrewd people in Limerick that the whole outcry is a money-making scheme on the part of the Jews.