Sunday, January 08, 2006

Esteemed guest I: Leo McKinstry

The monstrous inversion
(hat tip: Melanie Phillips)

A herogram for Leo McKinstry. In the Daily Express he has written, a propos the illness of Ariel Sharon, that Israel has been outrageously demonised by being wrongly portrayed as the oppressor in the Middle East impasse — and he goes on to talk about the anti-Jewish hatred which has been unleashed in Britain as a result. It is rare indeed to see a piece like this in the mainstream press in Britain. Since it appears to be subscription only, here’s a sizeable chunk of his column:

In a remarkable inversion of reality, Israel has become a pariah state because of its determination to defend itself. A grotesque double standard now operates, where murderous Arab terrorists are hailed as ‘freedom fighters’ yet Israeli security forces are treated as fascistic thugs. No nation has been more demonised than Israel. One recent survey across Europe revealed that Israel is now regarded as ‘the greatest threat’ to world peace, an utter absurdity given that Israel is actually the only democratic, free society in the Middle East. But such a finding reflects the strength of the hysterical anti-Israeli propaganda that fills the airwaves of Europe. No matter how much this anti Israeli feeling is dressed up as support for Palestine, it is in fact profoundly anti-Semitic. Questioning the right of the Jewish people to their own homeland, muttering about the influence of the ‘Zionist lobby’ on US foreign policy or cheering on the vicious terror group Hamas amounts to racial prejudice against Jews.

The tragedy is that antisemitism masquerading as ‘anti-Zionism’ is poisoning the civic culture of Britain and Europe. Earlier this week, the Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks spoke of ‘a tsunami of hate’ sweeping through the continent, with synagogues attacked and Jewish schools burnt to the ground. In Britain alone, the number of antisemitic attacks recorded by the police in 2004 rose to 532, compared to 260 in 1999. Because of the obsession with the supposed iniquities of Israel, casual antisemitism is tolerated in British public life in a way that would apply to no other ethnic minority.

So, in the field of education, university professors organise a boycott of Israeli academics. BBC cultural critic Tom Paulin publicly calls for American Jewish settlers on the West Bank to be shot dead yet is allowed to carry on working at the corporation, while former presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk loses his programme for making far less inflammatory comments about Arabs.

Traditionally, antisemitism in Britain was a feature of the far-Right, most notoriously in the British Union of Fascists. But because of the modern hatred of Israel, it is now driven by an unholy alliance of leftwingers and Muslims. The Left may make a fetish of antiracism in Africa but abandons all such concerns where the Jewish state is involved. Even more disturbing has been the malign influence of Islamic extremism and the ingrained Arab hatred of Israel that has been imported into Britain through mass immigration. Disgracefully, so-called Muslim moderates have refused to join in Holocaust Day ceremonies because they say they find the event "offensive" since it only recognises Jewish victims of Nazi oppression.

Our political system has also been tainted by this obscene kind of racism. In the 2005 general election, the bullying leftwinger George Galloway won Bethnal Green from the black Labour MP Oona King, who was attacked by many local Muslim residents not only for her support for the Iraq war but also her Jewish parentage. Similarly, in Rochdale, the sitting Labour MP Lorna Fitzsimmons was thrown out after a local Muslim group circulated a leaflet that stated, wrongly, that she was ‘Jewish’. Her defeat represented a shameful triumph for naked sectarianism. Muslims have undoubtedly been behind the rise in violent attacks on Jews yet because of political correctness this has remained hidden. In 2003 the EU suppressed a German report which showed that Arab gangs across Europe were largely responsible for the surge in antisemitic violence. That finding did not fit with the EU's political agenda, which pretends that only whites are capable of racial prejudice.

The great irony is that the governments of Europe have this problem because of our obsession with so-called racial tolerance. As a consequence of the institutional fixation with race, inspired by the terror of any repeat of Nazism in Europe, there has been a reluctance to challenge Muslim mass immigration. So, in the name of antiracism, we now have in our midst a vast Islamic culture which possesses an instinctive hostility to Judaism. We cannot go on denying this because that road will only lead to more suffering and oppression.

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