The longer Israel’s war against the barbaric nihilist jihadists of Hamas drags on, the more anti-Israel protests take place around the world, and the more antisemitic those protests become. I addressed this subject a few weeks ago when the Gaza war began, but as we can see, the phenomenon has only worsened. What’s more, this obsession with Gaza’s victims highlights the hypocrisy of the protestors when you consider their utter lack of response to the barbaric atrocities being carried out by ISIS, Assad in Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria and so much more Muslim-on-Muslim violence.
This tweet illustrates the one-sidedness so clearly:
Here is the Bolt Report from (I think) Australian TV giving just a short list of the antisemitic protests that have taken place recently – and that does not include all of the protests in my above-mentioned post.
Since I’m an ex-Londoner I’m going to concentrate for now on the ugly displays of antisemitism that have occurred in Britain.
To start with, some politicians have gotten in on the act in a most despicable way, and it must be borne in mind that politicians act when they feel they have the public behind them, and conversely many members of the public take their lead from their politicians. This has therefore carries the danger of a ripple effect for Britain’s Jewish community.
The Respect Party (pfft!) MP George Galloway declared his constituency of Bradford an “Israel-free zone”:
The notoriously anti-Israel Galloway told a meeting of the Respect Party which he heads that Israelis of any persuasion were “not welcome” in Bradford, where serves as MP.
“We have declared Bradford an Israel free zone,” he told party activists at the meeting in Leeds.
“We don’t want any Israeli goods. We don’t want any Israeli services. We don’t want any Israeli academics, coming to the university or the college. We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford if any of them had thought of doing so.
“We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same.”
As noted on the Guido Fawkes blog which initially posted the video, Israeli tourists are hardly going to be rushing to make changes to their holiday plans, as Bradford is not a tourist attraction by any means. Some areas of the city suffering from the worst levels of social deprivation in all of the UK, and is a hot spot for Muslim extremism.
Galloway has a long history of anti-Israeli bigotry. He was branded a racist when he stormed out of a debate after finding out that his opponent was Israel, saying “I don’t debate with Israelis.” He has also publicly aired several bizarre anti-Israel conspiracy theories, including claims that Israel was engineering unrest in Ukraine, and that the Jewish state had given chemical weapons to Al Qaeda – comments he then denied making despite them having been recorded.
His declaration notwithstanding, a crowd of cheeky Israelis challenged his authority with a visit to Bradford, complete with flags!
Personally, I wouldn’t have graced the place with my presence, but good for them.
Lord John Prescott wrote a revolting article in the Mirror accusing Israel of turning Gaza into a concentration camp resembling the Warsaw Ghetto (I shall not link to his execrable screed). Blogger Ray Cook took him to task for his ignorance and provocation in an excellent fisking.
Earlier last week Baroness Sayeeda Warsi resigned from the government in protest at the British Government’s policy on Gaza – i.e. they didn’t condemn enough for her liking. A Daily Telegraph editorial dismissed her resignation:
She alleges that the even-handed position adopted by Britain towards the two combatants is “morally indefensible”. This suggests that Lady Warsi wanted far greater condemnation of Israel than has been forthcoming from David Cameron and his ministers. But how would that have helped matters? “Megaphone diplomacy,” as Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary called it, might make some people in the West feel better – but it does not deal with the issues that brought about the carnage in Gaza. Nor is Lady Warsi impartial in her interpretation of what is “morally indefensible”. She might have been on surer ground had she been equally condemnatory of Hamas and its bombardment of Israel with rockets.
The Glasgow local council also got in on the act of supporting Hamas by flying a Palestinian flag from City Hall, causing consternation, antagonism and a general outcry:
Glasgow’s council has provoked controversy by flying the flag of the Palestinian people from the City Hall.
They seemed oblivious of the hurt and fear this would cause the local Jewish community:
“We met with people from the Jewish Representative Council … The last thing we want to do is offend anyone and we absolutely condemn any anti-Semitism anywhere and we feel for the victims of the conflict no matter which side they are on.
“We are working with the Jewish Representative Council to try and allay any fears they might have but we feel absolutely that we have to show solidarity with the victims of this conflict, many of whom are innocent children.”
Hmm. But not Israeli children obviously. They don’t deserve anyone’s solidarity or sympathy.
The Daily Telegraph slammed Glasgow’s decision as “gesture politics”:
David Meikle, the Scottish Conservative councillor, said he was disappointed the decision was taken without consulting members and said it could cause division in the city.
He added: “I not that the Lord Provost has also written to the mayor of Bethlehem advising them of the decision to fly the flag. I failed to read in the letter where the Lord Provost mentions the plight of the Christian population in Bethlehem who are leaving owing to harassment.
“I also failed to see in the letter any condemnation of the Hamas terrorists who have declared war on Israel and their use of civilians as human shields to protect its forces.”
The Daily Express too condemned Glasgow’s provocative flag-waving and said Glasgow had lost the admiration of the world after the success of the Commonwealth Games last week:
Since only the Palestinian flag will be seen fluttering above the chamber’s Victorian cupolas, we can presume that Ms Docherty’s sympathies do not extend to the men, women and children terrorised day and night by Hamas’s rockets, 180 of which have been fired into Israel within the space of just three days.
It is worth reminding ourselves who started the present conflict in Gaza because it is plain that Glasgow, and other councils who have also decided to fly the Palestinian flag, seem congenitally incapable of trying to understand its byzantine roots, preferring to demonstrate their “caring” attitude by implying that all the blame lies at the feet of the Israelis and their government.
The Daily Express bravely reminds its readers how these pro-Palestinian gestures rapidly descend into antisemitism:
Indeed, the very idea that we have a government in Edinburgh who seek to aid organisations endlessly committed to the destruction, not just of Israel, but also of the Jewish people, is sickening.
It is, of course, unthinkable that any of these councillors would agree to a similar gesture demonising any other ethnic group or nation. Just imagine the furore if the Italian, the Polish, the Chinese, the Pakistani, the Indian or even the English communities were effectively being held up to general vilification.
Yet it seems that demonstrations of anti-Jewishness are somehow allowable in the world of right-on municipal thinking.
The British cultural elite have also displayed their antisemitism once again as the Tricycle Theatre cancelled its Jewish (not Israeli) Film Festival because it receives backing from (gasp!) the Israeli Embassy in London:
In a move condemned as “anti-Semitic”, a London theater has shocked the British Jewish community by refusing to host the UK Jewish Film Festival this coming November, because the event is sponsored by the Israeli embassy.
The Tricycle Theatre was to have been the main venue for the UKJFF for the eighth year running, hosting 26 separate screenings and six gala events, according to the Jewish Chronicle, but venue directors told festival organizers that they did not want to be “associated” with the Israeli embassy.
But when asked by Arutz Sheva whether they had ever previously refused to host an event which had ties to a country involved in an armed conflict, and how it could justify asking Jews to renounce ties to their own homeland as a precondition to being hosted at the venue, the theater said it had “nothing to add” to Rubasingham’s comments.The decision has been attacked as anti-Semitic by prominent British Jews, including the Jewish Chronicle‘s editor, Stephen Pollard:
In Cambridge meanwhile a
pro-Palestinian antisemitic demonstration was cancelled following huge outrage (via Harry’s Place). It was intended to have been held outside a synagogue on Friday night! (a clear-cut case of antisemitism):
A horrifying article by Ted Jeory, a non-Jewish journalist, tells us how he was verbally abused and physically threatened simply for taking a photo of an ISIS flag flying in the Muslim-majority borough of Tower Hamlets:
One user Jay Stoll wrote on Twitter: “There is a planned protest outside Cambridge Synagogue on Shabbat? Is this some sick joke? Unjustifiable.”
Another, Diana Muir Appelbaum described it as “vile anti-Semitism gnawing at the heart of a university.”
Michael Cahn, one of the organisers, initially posted the invitation to the Cambridge Palestine Forum’s Facebook page.
WAS told this morning by a community activist in east London to be kind in this article to the Bengali Muslim youths who threatened violence last night…and who told me to “F*** off Jew, you’re not welcome here.”
So let me state her well-meaning view that they’re “good boys” and that they’ve been raising much money for the victims of the terrible violence in Gaza.
My wife, a Bengali Muslim herself, disagrees.
She thinks they’re a “disgrace”, both to their families and to their shared community.
My wife is always right.
A few more youths, all of them mid-late teens, a couple a little older, joined the group.Then one stared at me.“Are you a Jew?” he asked.I’m not. I have a large nose; I fitted his stereotype. I glared back at him. “What if I were? Would that be a problem for you?” I asked.“Yeah,” he said. “F*** off Jew, you’re not welcome here.”
The Mayor of Tower Hamlets is a controversial figure in himself. To give him credit however he did try to calm the situation down:
About five minutes’ walk away from the Will Crooks estate is the Tower Hamlets town hall.
There last week, the borough’s directly elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman, ordered the flag of Palestine be raised as a “humanitarian gesture of solidarity” with Gaza.
His decision created national headlines.
Some applauded his principles; others worried his action would stoke the fires of division, that his example would somehow legitimise hatred among those less able, or willing, to spot the difference between the policies of an Israeli government and the views of the British Jewish community at large.
But to the mayor’s credit, when he heard about the incident in Poplar last night, he asked council officials to have the black flag taken down.
Sometimes it takes a non-Jew to see the situation with clarity: (emphases are mine):
It may well be that yesterday’s incident was just local hooligans looking for a cause and identity, and acting territorially on their estate.
But I think there’s probably more to it than that. They seemed to want a Jew-free zone.
The conflict in Gaza has unleashed what I think has been latent anti-Semitism in the minds or far too many in Tower Hamlets.
A few years ago, I was called ‘Ted Jewry’ by one former councillor.
He later apologised.
But social media, particularly during Ramadan, when the violence in Gaza was at its peak, was awash with pro-Hitler prejudice against Jews.
The terms ‘Jew’ and ‘Zionist’ have been used interchangeably as a form of abuse.
Official reaction to these displays of antisemitism have been predictably shock, horror and outrage. Even the Guardian (!) has denounced this phenomenon. And in the Independent, Yasmin Alibhai Brown turns herself into a pretzel worrying about the surge of antisemitism, but claiming at the same time that the charge of antisemitism is used by “Zionists” to “silence criticism of Israel” – otherwise described by David Hirsh as the Livingstone Formulation.
But there’s no reason that the UK media be given a clear pass when they themselves, through their tendentious reporting with its distortions, smears, libels of Israel in their reports from Gaza, have only encouraged such displays, and when their letters pages are full of leftist radical chic complaints about Israel’s behaviour from “Outraged from ‘Ampstead”. For examples see CiFWatch here and here and anything and everything on BBC Watch.
Until they confront their own built-in anti-Israel bias they are nothing but hypocritical.
Melanie Phillips tells us what our leaders would say if they really cared about defending Britain’s Jews:
People are aghast. Yet this lynch-mob mentality has been building for years. Every time Israel takes military action to prevent further Palestinian attacks, it is falsely presented as the aggressive persecutor of the innocent.
Unless British Jews join this demonisation, they are deemed complicit with Israel’s ‘war crimes’. As a result, attacks on British Jews always spike during Israel’s wars. So much for the supposed distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.
Even more appalling is the silence in the face of all this of the political class.
Anti-Semitism can never be eradicated. Yet much could be done to push it back under its stone if both the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition were to display moral leadership and state a number of home truths. This is what David Cameron should say: ‘I am utterly appalled by the attacks on the Jewish people on the streets of Britain and in our public discourse. This hatred and bigotry is being fuelled by warped and distorted reporting about the Gaza war.
‘Frankly, in Iraq and Afghanistan we showed nothing like the care Israel is taking to avoid killing civilians wherever possible, even sacrificing its own soldiers to do so.
‘I have become aware that this Jew-hatred is fuelled by falsehoods about Israel’s historic and legal rights. Accordingly, Philip Hammond will ensure that the Foreign Office corrects its untrue claims about the ‘occupation’ and ‘illegal settlements’.
And this is what Ed Miliband should be saying: ‘I am horrified, not just because of the resurgence of the madness from which my own family so grievously suffered in the Holocaust, but also because we on the left bear no small responsibility for this current obscenity.
‘We ignore Muslim on Muslim violence in Iraq, Yemen, Libya or Gaza. We ignore the 800 or so civilians killed in Ukraine. In Syria, more than 200,000 people have been slaughtered, 2,000 in the past two weeks alone. Yet we don’t march against Assad or Putin, only against Israel.
‘We think we are progressives building a better world. We tell ourselves anti-Semitism is right-wing. We are terribly wrong. Today, anti-Semitism is overwhelmingly on the left.
All of that would help. So do you think there’s any chance that either of them will say it? No, me neither.
Such silence and worse by our politicians makes them complicit in this resurgence of the oldest hatred. Small wonder many British Jews now feel so betrayed, so nauseated and so alone.
Everything that Melanie Phillips writes is the truth, and moreover, is applicable to every single country in the world in which antisemitic demonstrations, disguised as fury at Israel’s actions in Gaza, have taken place.
As to the inherent hypocrisy in all this faux-outrage, Hillel Neuer of UN Watch puts it so clearly in his “Are you anti-Israel Test”:
If in the past year you didn’t CRY OUT when thousands of protesters were killed and injured by Turkey, Egypt and Libya, when more victims than ever were hanged by Iran, women and children in Afghanistan were bombed, whole communities were massacred in South Sudan, 1800 Palestinians were starved and murdered by Assad in Syria, hundreds in Pakistan were killed by jihadist terror attacks, 10,000 Iraqis were killed by terrorists, villagers were slaughtered in Nigeria, but you ONLY cry out for GAZA, then you are not pro HUMAN RIGHTS, you are only ANTI-ISRAEL.
We must not allow either the politicians or the media to get away with their slander and smearing of Israel which then incites the masses to antisemitism. They must be challenged at every turn. Certainly the likes of the IDF Spokesman Peter Lerner, Minister Naftali Bennett and MK Danny Ayalon amongst others have done sterling work in the English-speaking media. And yet – our message is not trickling down to the antisemite-in-the-street.
Perhaps local Jews have to step out of their comfort zone and confront the media like this New York Jewish protest outside the CNN offices, protesting their anger at their bias:
Kol hakavod to them!