Britain's lengthening shadow -- by Melanie Philllps (February 07, 2006)
- by Melanie PhilllpsBritain's lengthening shadowFebruary 07, 2006
So now we can see the true extent of Muslim moderation in Britain. The Times today published the results of a Populus poll of British Muslims, commissioned by a coalition of Jewish community groups, which produced some truly terrifying findings for Britain’s Jews:
Nearly two fifths (37 per cent) believe that the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target 'as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East'. Moreover, only 52 per cent think that the state of Israel has the right to exist, with 30 per cent disagreeing, a big minority. One in six of all Muslims questioned thinks suicide bombings can sometimes be justified in Israel, though many fewer (7 per cent) say the same about Britain. This is broadly comparable to the number justifying suicide attacks in ICM and YouGov polls of British Muslims after the July 7 attacks…
12 per cent of 18 to 24-year-old Muslims believe that suicide bombings can be justified here, and 21 per cent in Israel. A fifth of all Muslims, and a quarter of men, say suicide attacks against the military can be justified, though only 7 per cent say this about civilians.
Furthermore, other findings showed that 53% believed British Jews had 'too much influence over the direction of UK foreign policy', and no fewer than 46% thought the Jewish community was 'in league with Freemasons to control the media and politics'.
These are -- as has been the case in previous similar polls -- horrifying figures which reveal that a huge proportion of British Muslims are not ‘moderate’ by any reasonable interpretation of the word. There are officially 1.6 million Muslims and only about 300,000 identifying British Jews. If these findings are accurate – and this was a small poll of 500 Muslims – it would mean that around 600,000 British Muslims believed Britain’s 300,000 Jews were a ‘legitimate target’.
Note also the reason: the Middle East conflict. So much for those who claim that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are totally distinct. Well, forgive us but among the beleaguered 300,000 it doesn’t quite feel like that. If there’s still any doubt about the inseparability of these two hatreds, other findings of this poll reveal both the horrifying extent and depth of the anti-Jewish prejudice among British Muslims and the extent to which they have swallowed the demented, Nazi-style libels and conspiracy theories which pour unstoppably out of the Muslim world. Nearly half of British Muslims actually believe this stuff. That is a staggering proportion, and a vast problem. But who can be surprised, when it is a stock-in-trade of the Muslim world that the Jews are behind every single bad thing that happens? Thus Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed that the Danish cartoons were an Israeli conspiracy motivated by anger over Hamas’s win in the Palestinian elections. Eh? The cartoons were published early last autumn. Hamas won the elections last month. No matter – doubtless those diabolical Jews can make the calendar run backwards, too.
When will the penny finally drop that this hatred of the Jews is not primarily caused by the Middle East conflict but by the fact that vast numbers of Muslims – including, it seems, getting on for a million in Britain -- really do believe, with all the credulousness of their Jew-hating forbears across the globe, that the Jews are a conspiracy for evil in the world? The Middle East conflict is the result, not the cause, of this appalling hatred. ‘Too much influence over the direction of UK foreign policy’, eh? With Britain’s ‘camel-corps’ Foreign Office, and an establishment which is bending over backwards to appease the Muslim and Arab world?! If it wasn’t so terrifying, it would be absolutely hilarious.
But it is indeed terrifying, not least because of the attitude of the wider British society which, far from springing to the defence of the Jews against this terrible prejudice and mortal threat, is either indifferent to it, actually shares the prejudice or blames the Jews of Israel for causing the threat. Far from correcting the lies that underpin the Muslim hatred of the Jews and of Israel – and beyond them, in a direct line, the west -- the British intelligentsia helps foment them.
Thus a quite appalling article in the Guardian – even by its own standards – which sought with unprecedented ferocity and malice to paint Israel as an apartheid state, even though anyone with even a passing knowledge of that country can see at a glance that this is an utterly baseless lie and despicable libel. Did I say article? It ran to 14 pages over two days. What kind of sick obsession is this?
The Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) has published a riposte. As it says:
• Did black South Africans have the right to full citizenship in apartheid South Africa? No
• Are Israeli Arabs citizens with full rights? Yes
• Did black South Africans have full political rights in apartheid South Africa? No
• Do Arab citizens of Israel have full political rights, including voting rights and representation in the government? Arab citizens of Israel are full citizens with voting rights and representation in the government. There are currently 11 Israeli Arab and Druze MKs.
• Did black South Africans have the right to pursue any type of education or employment they desired in apartheid South Africa? No
•Do Arab citizens of Israel have the right to pursue any type of education of employment they choose in Israel? Yes
•Did apartheid South Africa have segregated public transport? Yes
•Does Israel have segregated public transport? No
•Was there severe censorship of the press in apartheid South Africa? Yes
•Is there complete freedom of speech and freedom of press in Israel? Yes
•Who were the majority in apartheid South Africa? The black community
•Who are the majority in Israel? The Jews
This extensive piece of work published in the Guardian offends not only British Jews but all friends of democracy as well as friends of Israel. Direct comparisons to apartheid South Africa and insinuations about collusion between Jews and Nazis are simply abhorrent. The content and associated imagery are inflammatory and one-sided. They are conveyed with a degree of emotion and hatred that should have immediately alerted the Guardian’s editors to question the writer’s professional integrity. There is a difference between criticising what Israel does and what Israel is. This article puts Israel’s right to exist in question and therefore crosses a very dangerous red line.
At any time, crossing this most dangerous red line would have been utterly disgusting, a travesty of journalism. But at this particular juncture, with Muslims in Britain and around the world being incited to violence against Jews in particular and the west in general on the basis of just such lies and libels, with demonstrators on the streets of London calling for more human bomb attacks on Britain and for the beheading of people they don’t like, with Islamists rampaging around the Middle East seeking Europeans to kidnap at random and with Iran racing to equip itself with nuclear weapons to annihilate Israel, such an ‘article’ takes on a different hue altogether. Along with the unrivalled platform the paper affords the Muslim Brotherhood on its op-ed pages, the article looks like a placard for the Farringdon Road wing of the jihad.
The British press is supposed to regulate itself. I hope there are complaints about this monstrosity to the Press Complaints Commission; if the British press had any moral fibre left, it would call the Guardian to account not just for this egregious display of its pathological hatred of Israel but for the likely consequences in these most incendiary of times. The press is supposed to spread enlightenment; instead, articles like this merely spread the darkest kind of prejudice which is casting ever lengthening shadows over Britain.