I was intrigued that Maxine Mawhinney introduced the speech on antisemitism that Theresa May gave to the Board of Deputies of British Jews as ‘today’s top story’. And jolly good a speech it was too. It seemed to have gone down well. I’m not so sure about the tactfulness on that particular occasion of including Muslims when stressing the government’s aim to make all minorities feel safe, but I can see why she felt the need.
The problem is this. Surrounding Jewish places of worship, education and social activities is not Tackling Antisemitism. It’s protecting Jews, maybe. But it’s not tackling antisemitism.
I suppose Eric Pickles has touched on this: “He said education, youth groups and charities were the way to tackle anti-Semitism. But then he goes and spoils it all by saying something stupid like
“ faith in Islam can be part of British identity" and he’s written to Muslim leaders to tell them so.
"We must show our young people, who may be targeted, that extremists have nothing to offer them,"
Now I’d have thought that the first thing the government should do, as anyone with half a brain who’s trying to solve any problem would do for a start, is identify it. Find out where the problem is coming from.
If the government and the media refuse to acknowledge that antisemitism is coming from, a) Muslims and. b) the media, the only hope of keeping Jews safe is surrounding all Jews with protection. Containing it. Are Jews really going to feel welcome, valued and free with round the clock police protection? I don’t think so.
Throughout the week, we have heard commentators condemning the Paris attacks while simultaneously chastising Charlie Hebdo journalists for “provoking” the wrath of Muslims.It was almost like telling a rape victim she should not have “provoked” her attacker by wearing a miniskirt.Even Hamas — that well-known advocate of human rights and free speech — denounced the onslaught on the satirical magazine. Yet notable by its absence was any comment on the Jewish people murdered in the supermarket.I put this question to all those who are trying to explain away the actions of terrorists they claim had “genuine grievances”: what was the justification for the murder of the Jews? They were murdered simply for existing.
The rest is behind a paywall unfortunately, but here are the relevant bits:
“It was no surprise to read that some Muslims in France hold the Jews responsible for what happened at the magazine. While the atrocities in France were unfolding I was asked by a fellow Muslim” Are the Jews behind the cartoons?” Antisemitism is a deep rooted problem within our communities.”
“Last week I was asked by a suspicious Muslim why I was defending Jews. I have previously been labelled a ‘coconut’, sell-out and ‘Jew-lover’.Which brings me to another point that needs making. Eric Pickles said:
"We must show them (Muslims) that there are other ways to express disagreement, that their right to do so is dependent on the very freedoms that extremists seek to destroy."
That’s all well and good. Is the Pope a (pugilistic) Catholic. No-one should ever express their disagreement with an AK47. Duh! Everyone agrees on that; apart from those who disagree of course.
But what’s behind that statement - or why Pickles feels the need to make it - is this media-driven grievance about Israel’s wrongdoings, which is wrong-headed and dangerous. It is widely felt by Muslims and the political left, Guardian reading un-intelligentsia and by the BBC, and it’s wrong on many levels.
Diaspora Jews are not necessarily supporters of the Israeli government’s policies, but they are, or should be, supporters of Israel, now more than ever.
All Jews are vulnerable, however, as sort of tokens, hostages if you like, so that when a Jew is hurt, killed or abused, the perpetrator is all too often let off the hook by citing the injustice that Israel (or the Jews) are doing to the Palestinians. I’m stating the obvious here. This is wrong in principle and wrong in fact.
Reality is that Israelis (or the Jews) are the ones to whom the injustice is being done. The media has chosen to identify with the Palestinian cause to such an extent that it turns a collective blind eye to the antisemitism that has driven the entire rejectionist policy that the Arabs have been pursuing ever since the idea of the Jewish state was but a glint in the first Zionist’s eye.
To tackle antisemitism and its evil spawn, rationalisation of its manifestations, fair reporting is essential. We need to be made aware of the ongoing provocation that always occurs before Israel is goaded into retaliating.
We need a level playing field. Stop the unequal ‘personalisation’ of Palestinian and Israeli individuals, which leads the audience to identify with one and not the other.
We need the BBC to stop using loaded terminology, their constant use of “Israel says”.
How ironic that they portray, with sugar-coated sentimentality, people who are, in truth, hate-filled Jew-hating Hamas supporters, while Israelis are portrayed as liars and land thieves, and pictured as caricature-like black-coated, side-curled crows; the evil Jew straight off one of Steve Bell’s finest antisemitic cartoons. Stop that now.
Theresa May, Eric Pickles, the BBC the Guardian should urgently take a look at Hamas TV. Look at any of the virulently antisemitic videos translated by Memri.
Recognise, at least, the similarities between the Jew-hating, gun-toting Muslims that have settled in Europe and the Jew-hating gun-toting rocket-launching combo, Hamas and PA. It’s obvious to all but the leftie media, and the most tragic thing of all is that the BBC has it in its power to rectify the situation. It’s shameful that it has been cowed into - or has simply chosen not to do so.