Jew blasts Howard over immigration

I found this report on the Independent’s website today - an Iranian Jewish immigrant had a go at Michael Howard on a BBC phone-in show for stoking hostility to immigrants. The man involved was Federico Mazandarani, the grandson of an Iranian chief rabbi, who came to the UK in the 1970s, initially as a student, but sought asylum after the revolution.

“Every time Michael Howard speaks about immigration, I get abused on the streets by the general public. This issue has absolutely been the bane of my life in this country for 32 years. I’m sick and tired of having politicians inflating this issue.”

Another caller accused Howard of xenophobia; Howard rejected it and brought up his grandma who was killed in the Holocaust.

Also from Mazandarani:

“He is typical of the children of immigrants who are born in this country who completely negate the torture and misery of their parents. … In 1997 [after Labour came to power] I would perhaps get abuse by the public about once a year. Now I am abused about three times a week. In the past three to four weeks, I have felt far greater hostility from the general public than the weeks before or the years before, since immigration has become an election issue. My Jewishness is not written on my face but my dark complexion and my accent makes me stand out.”

Bear in mind that the immigrants people have the most hostility to in this country do tend to be non-white immigrants, and this includes dark-skinned Europeans like Portuguese and Romanies. Darcus Howe has a column in this week’s New Statesman in which he describes his experiences in Belfast, described by his ex-IRA friend as the “most racist city in the world”. The friend told him of an African, a successful asylum seeker who had been sent to live in a loyalist district of Belfast (what were they thinking?), who had recently been “dragged out of his house and beaten almost to death” by a loyalist gang.

And a few years ago when the newspapers were reporting on a rise in hostility to Portuguese migrant workers (and there is no such thing as a Portuguese illegal immigrant - they are allowed to work here as EU citizens), one reason given for it was the rise in propaganda against gypsies. People assumed that Portuguese, who (like gypsies) tend to be darker-skinned than Brits, were illegals, while the real illegal immigrants were “blue-eyed blond-haired Poles and White Russians”.

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