This has been a bad week for some minorities in this country.
First of all there was the Church of England Synod decision to endorse the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
The Jewish community, led by the Chief Rabbi and the Board of Deputies, together with various interfaith groups had pleaded with the Synod not to endorse EAPPI because it takes a totally partisan view of what is a hugely complex problem. Its graduates leave the Middle East without any understanding of the Israeli perspective and then return to the UK spreading that one-sided point of view around the country.
Sadly, the Synod chose to ignore those pleas and passed the resolution to endorse EAPPI. As bad as that decision was however, what was worse was the language of the debate. Phrases such as “powerful lobbies”, “Jewish sounding names” and “bringing shame on the memories of the victims of the Holocaust” are a strong indication that this debate was not about Israel but about Jews. Most telling of all were the closing comments from Dr. Dinnen who proposed the debate. He said “the Palestinians are being pushed over, while the Jews are quite powerful” he corrected himself by saying “Israelis” instead of “Jews” but the cat had been well and truly let out of the bag by then.
That such language could be used in any serious debate in this country is a worry: that it should have been used by some of the most senior members of the Church of England is nothing short of alarming. To me however it is not entirely surprising. The so-called liberal left, as exemplified by the Guardian and the BBC, have been spreading anti -Israel propaganda for a number of years, their language becoming increasingly violent all the time. It is hardly surprising that the anti- Israel line should gradually morph into anti -Jew. What we heard this week is a clear indication that this process is now rapidly gaining speed.
The John Terry case is bad news for all minorities. That he called Anton Ferdinand a f**king black C*** is not in dispute. That he was found not guilty of committing a crime is also not in dispute. This might show how fair our legal system is by proving that you cannot be found guilty where there is a reasonable doubt about your guilt, but how is this decision not going to be seen by racists as a licence to be equally obnoxious to people they do not like? And how do we know that what starts off as bad language does not in time become still worse?
I do hope the FA ensure that Terry does not get away with it totally.