….According to the Community Security Trust….., last year saw nearly 600 anti-Semitic assaults, incidents of vandalism, cases of abuse, and threats against Jewish individuals and institutions—double the 2001 number. According to the police, Jews are four times more likely to be attacked because of their religion than are Muslims. Every synagogue service and Jewish communal event now requires guards on the lookout for violence from both neo-Nazis and Muslim extremists. Orthodox Jews have become particular targets; some have begun wearing baseball caps instead of skullcaps and concealing their Star of David jewelry…..Islamic bookshops sell copies of Hitler’s Mein Kampf…..The Protocols of the Elders of Zion; as an undercover TV documentary revealed in January, imams routinely preach anti-Jewish sermons. Opinion polls show that nearly two-fifths of Britain’s Muslims believe that the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target “as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East”; that more than half believe that British Jews have “too much influence over the direction of UK foreign policy”; and that no fewer than 46 percent think that the Jewish community is “in league with Freemasons to control the media and politics.”
And I thought the “Jewish Lobby” was an American phenomenon. I also though that Jew hatred was a lower class phenomenon—-but I was wrong there also.
……Anti-Semitism has also become respectable in mainstream British society. “Anti-Jewish themes and remarks are gaining acceptability in some quarters in public and private discourse in Britain and there is a danger that this trend will become more and more mainstream,” reported a Parliamentary inquiry last year. “It is this phenomenon that has contributed to an atmosphere where Jews have become more anxious and more vulnerable to abuse and attack than at any other time for a generation or longer.”
“Polite” British society has found a more socially acceptable way of being Anti-Semitic–being anti-Israel.
Anti-Semitism has continually changed its shape over the centuries…..And now, in Britain and elsewhere, anti-Semitism has mutated again, its target shifting from culture to creed to race to nation. What anti-Semitism once did to Jews as people, it now does to Jews as a people. First it wanted the Jewish religion, and then the Jews themselves, to disappear; now it wants the Jewish state to disappear. For the presentation of Israel in British public discourse does not consist of mere criticism. It has become a torrent of libels, distortions, and obsessional vilification, representing Israel not as a country under exterminatory attack by the Arabs for the 60 years of its existence but as a regional bully persecuting innocent Palestinians who want only a homeland. Language straight out of the lexicon of medieval and Nazi Jew-hatred has become commonplace in acceptable British discourse, particularly in the media. Indeed, the most striking evidence that hatred of Israel is the latest mutation of anti-Semitism is that it resurrects the libel of the world Jewish conspiracy, a defining anti-Semitic motif that went underground after the Holocaust:
- In the Guardian, Geoffrey Wheatcroft lamented the fact that Conservative Party leader David Cameron had fallen under the spell of neoconservatives’ “ardent support for the Iraq war, for the US and for Israel,” and urged Cameron to ensure that British foreign policy was no longer based on the interest of “another country”—Israel.
- In the Times, Simon Jenkins supported the notion that “a small group of neo-conservatives contrived to take the greatest nation on Earth… and that these “traitors to the American conservative tradition,” whose “first commitment was to the defence of Israel,” had achieved a “seizure of Washington (and London) after 9/11.”
- The New Statesman took a more straightforward approach in 2002, printing an investigation into the power of the “Zionist” lobby in Britain, which it dubbed the “Kosher Conspiracy” and illustrated on its cover with a gold Star of David piercing the Union Jack.
The British media accuse Israel of a host of [trumped up] crimes:
- The Guardian published a two-day special report painting Israel as an apartheid state, ignoring the fact that Israeli Arabs have full civil rights.
Makes you wonder what they will say about the Saudi King’s meeting with the pope yesterday, where he told the Pontiff that Christians in his kingdom will still not be able to pray in a public setting-Probably nothing.
Another Guardian article, by Patrick Seale, portrayed Israel’s incursions into Gaza as a “destructive rampage.” Dismissing or ignoring the rocket attacks, hostage-taking, and terrorism that those incursions were trying to stop, Seale concluded instead that Israel “deliberately inflicts inhumane hardships on the Palestinians in order to radicalise them and drive the moderates from the scene.”
When the National Union of Journalists, joining a number of other academic and professional groups, voted last April to boycott Israeli goods—a move that it has since reversed—one of its members, freelancer Pamela Hardyment, described Israel as “a wonderful Nazi-like killing machine backed by the world’s richest Jews.” Then she referred to the “so-called Holocaust” and concluded: “Shame on all Jews, may your lives be cursed.”
In April 2002, many outlets labeled Israel’s assault on the refugee camp in Jenin a “massacre” with thousands dead; in fact, some 52 Palestinian men had died (of whom the great majority were terrorists), along with 23 Israeli soldiers. In last year’s Lebanon war, the media propagated manifestly false Hezbollah claims of Israeli massacres that later proved to have been staged.
- During the same war, the Guardian published a cartoon depicting a huge fist, armed with brass knuckles shaped like Stars of David, hammering a bloody child while a wasp representing Hezbollah buzzed around ineffectually. The image suggested that Israel was a gigantic oppressor, slaughtering children in brutal overreaction to Hezbollah, a minor irritant…the cartoons employed the imagery of the blood libel—the medieval European calumny that sparked many massacres of Jews by claiming that they murdered Gentile children and used their blood for religious rituals.
Last December, in a briefing for other BBC staff, Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen wrote of the incipient Palestinian civil war in Gaza: “The reason is the death of hope, caused by a cocktail of Israel’s military activities, land expropriation and settlement building—and the financial sanctions imposed on the Hamas led government.”
Phillips goes on and give countless other examples in the British Churches and Government and Military. Even one comedic one where a general accuses Rupart Murdoch of Bowing to the Jewish Lobby and George Bush having Ariel Sharon up his shirt (It must have been a size XXXXL to fit the two of them).But she then examines the British lack of reaction to the hatred.
One of the most conspicuous features of British anti-Semitism is that the British deny its existence. The Parliamentary inquiry received only a muted response. Both Mann and Richard Littlejohn, a journalist whose TV program on the subject aired in July 2007, encountered people who, when discovering their concern about anti-Semitism, said: “Oh, I didn’t know you were Jewish.” But Mann and Littlejohn aren’t Jewish. As Littlejohn noted, the implication was that no non-Jew would ever identify anti-Semitism, and therefore that anti-Semitism was generally a figment of the Jewish imagination. When I proposed to write a book about it, I was turned down by every mainstream publishing house. “No British publisher will touch this,” one editorial director told me. “Claiming there is anti-Semitism in Britain is simply unsayable.”
Britons also tend to suspect that Jews use the charge of anti-Semitism to divert attention from Israel’s crimes. This is why, for so many in Britain, the suggestion that anti-Semitism is enjoying a renaissance seems not only false but sinister. Outraged to be accused of peddling bigotry, they begin to hate those who level that charge—who, they conclude, are part of a conspiracy against truth.
Thus Jews who seek to defend Israel find themselves in a trap. By complaining that attacks on Israel are anti-Semitic, they become examples of the supposed Jewish tendency to play the anti-Semitism card to suppress legitimate debate—and provoke yet more of the very prejudice that they are trying to combat. Such Jews find themselves in a situation that Kafka could have scripted. The Economist hosted a 2004 debate in London proposing that “the enemies of antisemitism are the new McCarthyites” because they were trying to suppress legitimate criticism of Israel. And at that debate, a former Conservative higher-education minister and a member of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding stated that any British Jew who supported Israel’s policies was guilty of “dual loyalty.” I myself, on the BBC’s Question Time in 2001, was accused of dual loyalty for the same reason.
To read the entire story click here: Britain’s Anti-Semitic Turn