Jewish-American playwright David Mamet took aim at the British in an interview with the Financial Times published on Sunday saying their society and culture were deeply imbued with anti-Semitism.
Citing examples of Jewish stereotypes in the works of authors George Elliot and Anthony Trollope, Mamet said anti-Israeli sentiment in Britain today is directly influenced by negative portrayals of Jews throughout the country’s history.
“There is a profound and ineradicable taint of anti-Semitism in the British,” he was quoted as saying by the Financial Times. “The paradigmatic Brit as far as the Middle East goes is [TE] Lawrence. That’s just the fact. Even before the oil was there, you loved the desert. It had all these wacky characters … But there is a Jewish state there ratified by the United Nations and you want to give it away to some people whose claim is rather dubious.”
The combative playwright famed for his masterpiece “Glengarry Glen Ross” and scripts for films such as Wag the Dog and The Verdict declined to name names of living British authors with an allegedly anti-Semitic bent because of the U.K’s “horrendous libel laws” but said there were many.
Earlier in the interview, he drew a historical parallel between criticism of Israel today and that of Jews by fascist leaders and appeasers in the 1930s.