‘Sometimes a Goblin Is Just a Goblin’ – UK Jewish Groups Defend Rowling Against Anti-Semitism Accusations - The Jewish Voice
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Monday, January 30, 2023

‘Sometimes a Goblin Is Just a Goblin’ – UK Jewish Groups Defend Rowling Against Anti-Semitism Accusations

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A number of Jewish groups in the United Kingdom have backed Harry Potter author JK Rowling against allegations that the avaricious goblin bankers in her novels are anti-Semitic caricatures.

Rowling, once a darling of the left noted for making large donations to the left-wing Labour Party and a comparison of Donald Trump to her fictitious villain Lord Voldemort — and branding of Brexit campaigners as “a bunch of mini-Trumps” — has now fallen foul of the woke movement for her insistence on the reality of biological sex and reluctance to regard “penised individuals” convicted of rape as women.

This has led to her being raked over the coals for a series of other historic offences against political correctness — for example, naming an East Asian character in the Harry Potter novels “Cho Chang” and an Irish character “Seamus Finnigan”, both now regarded as “problematic”.

Most recently, American comic Jon Stewart appeared to claim that the goblins who run the underground Gringotts Wizarding Bank in her novels are anti-Semitic — suggesting that Rowling had seen Jewish caricatures in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and “was like, ‘Can we get these guys to run our bank?’”

He has since denied thinking the British author is anti-Semite and accused news outlets reporting otherwise of acting in bad faith, however.

Dave Rich, director of policy for Jewish non-profit the Community Security Trust, pooh-poohed the furore by tweeting that “Sometimes a goblin in just a goblin,” going on to tell the MailOnline that “JK Rowling has been very supportive of the Jewish community in recent years and tweeted repeatedly against antisemitism, so it is hard to imagine that she used antisemitic caricatures in her books.”

“Sometimes a goblin is just a goblin,” he said again for good measure.

Rich also told the Hollywood Reporter that he found it hard to believe Rowling “is an antisemite or is responsible for creating antisemitic caricatures” due to the fact that “There is nothing in her record to suggest that she holds antisemitic views: quite the opposite in fact as she has spoken out consistently and repeatedly in support of the Jewish community and against antisemitism.”

Grassroots activists also weighed in, with the Standing Against Antisemitism social media account tweeting that the author “has been a consistent and incredible ally in the fight against antisemitism, throughout one of the darkest times in modern political history. When many were silent,” and adding the hashtag #IStandWithJKRowling.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery

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