The mild-mannered British desire for the annihilation of Israel
January 19, 2009
by Melanie Phillips
The British sociologist Frank Furedi reports what he has heard from Britain's educated classes since the Gaza crisis began:
I am standing in a queue waiting to buy a train ticket from London to Canterbury. A well-dressed lady standing behind me informs her friend that she ‘can't wait till Israel disappears off the face of the earth.' What struck me was not her intense hostility to Israel but the mild-mannered, matter-of-fact tone with which she announced her wish for the annihilation of a nation. It seems that it is okay to condemn and demonize Israel. All of a sudden Israel has become an all-purpose target for a variety of disparate and confused causes. When I ask a group of Pakistani waiters sitting around a table in their restaurant why they ‘hate' Israel, they casually tell me that it is because Jews are their ‘religion's enemy.' Those who are highly educated have their own pet prejudice. One of my young colleagues who teaches media studies in a London-based university was taken aback during a seminar discussion when some of her students insisted that since all the banks are owned by Jews, Israel was responsible for the current global financial crisis.
This shocking anti-Jewish bigotry and violence - according to the Community Security Trust, Anglo-Jewry is in the middle of the worst outbreak of Jew-hatred since records began a quarter of a century ago, with more than 150 incidents across the country recorded since the beginning of the Gaza war -- has erupted in Britain as a direct result of the British media and political class giving the impression that the Israelis are deliberate child-killers. Both politicians and journalists have accepted at face value the Hamas claim that the dead in Gaza were mainly civilians, whereas the Israelis maintain that the vast majority were terrorist operatives. The British elites have accepted all claims of Israeli atrocities as well-founded, even though as far as I can see there is not a shred of evidence for any of them. They have also treated the word of the UN as objective holy writ, even though there are serious grounds for suspecting that the UN are the patsies of Hamas. For example, the UN has been screaming that Israel committed a ‘war crime' when it shelled its Gaza HQ last Thursday; few in Britain know that Israel's Prime Minister Olmert, no less, told UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon that the IDF returned fire after terrorists inside the compound fired anti-tank weapons and machine guns during the humanitarian daily pause:
‘We don't want this event to happen again,' he told Ban, ‘and I don't know if you know, but Hamas attacked from within the UNRWA compound during the humanitarian cease-fire.'
What is so terribly shocking is that in the face of this unprecedented wave of hatred and bigotry, Britain's senior politicians have been all but silent. They have a duty not merely to condemn the anti-Jewish violence but also to condemn the blood libels about Israel that have been inciting it. Instead, ministers such as International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander have breathed upon the flames by condemning Israel's behaviour as ‘disproportionate' and regurgitating as fact the distorted propaganda of Hamas and its patsy, the UN, about the number of civilian casualties.
Repeatedly, Gordon Brown has said, as here, that ‘too many innocent people' have died in Gaza without acknowledging these crucial points: that while all deaths of innocents in war are to be much regretted, the vast majority of those killed have been Hamas operatives; that Hamas deliberately falsify these figures by classifying terrorists as civilians; and most crucial of all, that Israel has gone to extreme lengths to avoid killing innocent civilians - lengths to which the British and Americans most certainly are not going in Afghanistan. For Brown to avoid stating any of this, and instead to lend credence to the libellous claims about Israel's behaviour which have incited this wave of anti-Jewish bigotry and violence makes the British Prime Minister effectively an accessory to that bigotry and violence.
Let us not hear any more pieties from him about his great love of Israel and the Jewish people. The hypocrisy is simply nauseating.
Take-A-Pen believes that the unprecedented wave of hatred of the British educated classes originates primarily in the heavily biased and libelous coverage of the Gaza events by the mighty BBC. What one can do, though without expecting ‘fast'n'easy' improvements, is to seriously and intensively complain about every BBC wrong-doing.