Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Melanie Phillips On A Roll

Melanie Phillips has been on a roll since her return from her summer hiatus regretting the British apathy to fighting Islamist extremism in their midst.

Yesterday, in Britain's descent into madness (1), she discusses the feeling of besiegement of Jews who live in Britain. And how this is tied into Britain's Islamist problem.
There is now a real feeling of siege among the Jews of Britain. The most extraordinary anti-Jewish libels and prejudice are pouring forth from Muslims and their unholy comrades on the left — including some deracinated or pathologically embittered Jews —and yet there are no outraged or impassioned editorials condemning such bigotry, putting the record straight or warning about where all this may be leading, not just for the Jews but for the wider population. The pathological hatred of Israel and the Jews, at the very heart of which lies Holocaust denial, is central to the Muslim animus against the west. Unless this is understood, the British will never understand the danger they themselves are in. But while there is concern about Islamic extremism in Britain the assault on the Jews of Israel, and on the Jewish people as a whole, is generally put in a completely different compartment and treated to a range of attitudes stretching from indifference to endorsement.

There is therefore a real sense that the Jews are simply being abandoned — and amazingly, this seems to have increased in intensity since the July bombings in London. At present, to be a Jew in Britain feels like being under relentless ideological bombardment in a script written by Kafka. Whether it’s Holocaust denial, the lies about Israel’s ‘genocide’ of the Palestinian Arabs or the blood-lust and anarchy currently on display in Gaza, the British media are managing to blame the Jews and excuse their attackers.

Take for example the Arab torching of the abandoned synagogues in Gaza. ‘The Israelis left empty buildings,’ said Mahmoud Abbas Ph.D (Holocaust Denial). They were left intact by the Israelis because, although empty, they were still holy places. It is a hallmark of civilised peoples everywhere that they respect the holy places of others. The Israelis have never attacked mosques but have protected the places holy to all religions when they have come under their jurisdiction and refrained from attacking mosques even when the Arabs have used them as sniper points. But the rampaging Palestinian mob torched these synagogues while PA policemen passively looked on.

None of this of course is a surprise to the Jews.
Still, it's very hard to form an accurate assessment of an overseas community simply by watching the media and reading analyses of the situation by media critics. Often the situation ends up sounding worse abroad than the way it is experienced by the people on the scene. Melanie Phillips has been a consistent voice on this issue, but she is only one voice.

So, in that light, would any residents of Britain reading this, care to comment on whether they believe Phillips is accurate on this point or overblown.


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