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Prince Harry and a Troubling Time in Britain
Last uploaded : Monday 24th Jan 2005 at 19:36
Contributed by : The Editor


Originally, this article was entitled 'Britain in a Wave of Anti-Semitism,' but we had two complaints from members of the Anglo-Jewish community who said that such an accusation is 'pernicious' and 'scurrilous.' I (the Editor) left Great Britain for the USA because I found the anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism intolerable, but maybe I am just imagining it!

Several news stories of the past few weeks that have now come and gone have struck my fancy but none has inspired me to write a full editorial. One, about the investments of the late Yasser Arafat in worldwide bowling alleys, inspired a colleague of mine to write a column entitled ?Bowling for Palestine? and I dismissed the story as yet another example of the corruption in Arafat?s regime and the utter exploitation of his people.

Another story was the arrival of tons of Israeli aid into Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world. After much talk that Israelis would never be allowed to set foot in their nation, the Indonesian authorities allowed an aid shipment to land and the delivery went smoothly and with great amounts of cordiality. I found this story touching considering the rancour Israel causes the moment the name of the Jewish State is mentioned in most corners of the universe these days.

But the story that has made me stop everything and wit down at the computer is the report by Israel?s commission on international anti-Semitism putting a major watch on the United Kingdom. Even with this story breaking, I am being told tonight in a social setting that ?there is no anti-Semitism in Britain? by a Jewish friend. ?Britain is one of the kindest countries in the world for Jews,? say these people.

Why is it that for many years now I have seen the British anti-Semite from an entirely different perspective? I am, after all, British myself and in mixed company am not identified as either Jewish or Christian. However, comments made at dinner parties and in work situations in which I have found myself have made me speechless with astonishment. (?Oh, I see it is a Jewish holiday -- another excuse for them to flaunt their fur coats and stuff their faces.?etc etc)

Now, we have an authoritative report (the Jewish Agency?s Global Forum Against anti-Semitism and the Natan Sharansky Israeli Government Report)


that states that the years of relentless bias against Israel and exaggerated accusations against the Jewish State and against Jews in the UK media have metamorphosed into physical attacks. Great Britain is now at the top of the league for violent incidents, the majority of which are reported to be instigated by young men of Middle Eastern origin. There is a considerable and growing white supremacist movement in Europe, and one suspects these elements are just as violent.

To quote the Agency?s report: ?Years of hostile reporting and commentary about Israel in the UK press now is spilling over into the street.? Trevor Phillips, chairman of Britain's Council for Racial Equality, told the ?Observer? he is aware of a burgeoning hatred of Jews throughout the British Isles and pointed out that elements of
British society remain consumed with a ?deep strain of anti-Semitism.? Phillips, an eloquent spokesman for the black community of Great Britain who works closely with the Jewish Council on Racial Equality, is unequivocal in expressing his anxiety in the present climate, reminding the ?Observer? that a good chunk of British society thinks Jews are part of an international conspiracy to take over the world. British MP Tam Dalyell told ?Vanity Fair? last year that Tony Blair and George Bush are surrounded by a ?cabal? of Jews.

To add to the concerns of those monitoring anti-Semitism in Britain, Melanie Phillips reports today that Iqbal Sacranie, the General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, has written to the Home Office regarding National Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies. ?We said the issue of the Holocaust is not really the concern. But we have now expressed our unwillingness to attend the ceremony because it excludes ongoing genocide and human rights abuses around the world and in the occupied territories of Palestine.?

We have written in these columns before that we worry about the relentless barrage of images of Israeli soldiers on patrol in the West Bank and Gaza, when no images are even shown on the British media of the magnificent and peaceful country of Israel, which rose from the ashes of the European Holocaust. We in Christian Europe have, I believe, a responsibility to protect world Jewry from anything remotely resembling the Holocaust repeating itself. For fifty-six years the vast majority of Jews living in tiny Israel have wanted to live in peace with their Arab neighbours. For fifty-six years war after war and terrorist campaign after terrorist campaign have blighted these relations. What is so alarming about the coverage of Israeli history in the British media is its emphasis on the ?terror gangs? that ?created Israel? and the ?genocide? of 1948. Most young Britons know nothing about the Shoah and the systematic state extermination of European Jewry. The remnant of that great and numerous community who made its way to Palestine is characterised in many British programmes and newspapers as ?a gang of terrorists.? I have had this thrown at me countless times in the private homes of otherwise gracious hosts.

We are reaping the harvest of a vicious campaign by the media to discredit and distort Jewish history by turning the near-annihilation of an entire race into a story of their systematic efforts to disenfranchise the Arab world.

Where this will end is a disturbing prospect but I see a dark road ahead. Having spent a great deal of time amongst Americans in recent months it is astonishing to hear their fair -- and often critical of the Sharon regime -- assessment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with a strong desire to protect the small Jewish community of the cast Middle East. My British colleagues will say ?Ah! But that is because the American media are run by Jews and Zionists!? Tosh: the American media are run by non-Jews and the three major news anchormen are Christians.

It is time for the British media to look at itself and see what it is engendering. I am not hopeful. Watch this space.


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