Another Case of Anti-Semitism

March 14, 2013

There are many people who claim that we Jews are too quick to cry “anti-Semitism” whenever we see or hear something we do not like. Perhaps there is some validity in that claim, perhaps not. What is certain is that no-one can be accused of over reacting to the outrageous statements made by labour Peer, Lord Ahmed.

This is the man who in 2007 drove at speeds of up to seventy miles an hour on the M1 whilst simultaneously receiving and sending text messages, before driving into the back of a stationary vehicle killing the occupant. He was jailed for 12 weeks but served only 16 days on the ground that prison would hinder his work to promote conciliation between Muslims and non-Muslims.

All non-Muslims except Jews that it is. Because it now transpires that Lord Ahmed, a British parliamentarian has stated in a broadcast in Pakistan that HE was the victim of a Jewish conspiracy. Never mind that he killed a man; never mind that he put at risk the lives of countless others whilst texting on the motorway. No, his conviction and sentence was the result of a conspiracy by a cabal of those nasty Jews who control the press and the media.

When it comes to Jew hatred Lord Ahmed has form. In 2005 he hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for a man who calls himself Israel Shamir – who is also a Swedish-domiciled anti-Semite called Jöran Jermas.

There was a lot of unpleasant language used at that launch – this is just one piece. “In the Middle East we have just one reason for wars, terror and trouble — and that is Jewish supremacy drive.”

This is the company Lord Ahmed likes to keep. This is the kind of man he considers worthy of a platform in the Mother of Parliaments. The Labour Party suspended him then, but only for a short time. Today, to their credit, they have suspended him again. We shall see if this time it is permanent. If not it will be to their eternal shame.

The Liberal Democrats thus far have taken no effective action against their own anti-Semitic MP, David Ward after his disgusting comments on Holocaust Memorial Day, demonstrating once more how vastly different is the way outbursts against Jews are dealt with compared to those against other minorities, particularly Muslims. There is in this country a casual acceptance of anti-Semitism that I find difficult to understand and am loath to accept.

How long I wonder will this attitude be allowed to continue? Anti-Semitism is no less offensive and no less hurtful than Islamophobia and should be treated in exactly the same way and with the same degree of urgency. Perhaps it is partly our own fault. We have a tendency to like to keep our head down and to not want to rock the boat. If attitudes are to change we need to change as well and let people know that if you prick us, we do indeed bleed. We need to ensure that government, the media and everyone else know that if Britain wants to maintain its reputation as the most welcoming home to ALL minorities, it must understand that its Jewish citizens demand to be treated no less fairly than everyone elses.

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The Inevitability of David Ward

January 26, 2013

The deeply distasteful comments made on his blog by Liberal MP David Ward are the inevitable consequence of the never-ending anti Israel narrative promoted by significant sections of the UK Media.

And not just the media. The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Movement singles out Israel, the Jewish state alone as the one evil country in the world worthy of its attention.

Hate preachers regularly visit our universities meaning Jewish students frequently have to endure a climate of antiSemitism. So bad has this situation become that last year at Edinburgh University, Daniel Taub the Israeli ambassador was shouted down and prevented from speaking amid cries of “From the river(Jordan) to the sea, Palestine will be free” and describing the ambassador as “a propagandist for an apartheid state.” Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. Other pro-Israel speakers have had talks interrupted or cancelled, always with cries describing Israel as a racist and/or apartheid state.

Such casual misuse of language, particularly when it is repeated often enough, soon adds legitimacy to the lie, as the Nazis themselves well knew.

It matters not that across the Middle east, muslims kill each other almost on a daily basis. More than 60,000 have been killed in Syria in the last few months alone – more than have died in the entire Israel/Palestine conflict since 1948 – and the world barely bats an eyelid. But, should a single Palestinian die when Israel takes action to defend itself, then the world condemns, and Israel stands accused of using disproportionate force and countless other crimes.

It is hardly surprising therefore that in this frenzy of anti Israel hatred, anti-Semitism should flourish. Not that I believe there is any distinction between the two. Of course it is perfectly legitimate to criticize Israeli government policy and I often do so myself. But what is happening today goes way beyond that. No sane person would deny that there are far, far worse regimes around than Israel, regimes with histories of violence and human rights abuse that greatly exceed what is alleged to happen in Israel. Yet these regimes receive but a fraction of the criticism that Israel does. There are no BDS movements for them. Their representatives can visit our universities without fear of protest and their artists can perform in our theatres without interruption. There is no attempt to delegitimize these states or calls for them to be abolished. Only Israel is singled out for this treatment. So why the distinction? It can only be because Israel is the Jewish State.

And because of this poisonous atmosphere where Israel is concerned, newspapers feel free to publish tasteless cartoons that would not have been out-of-place in Der Sturmer; Otherwise respectable middle class English people feel free to disrupt concerts or theatre performances whenever Israelis come here to perform. References to the “Jewish Lobby” one of the oldest of anti-Semitic tropes, are common place. And MPs like David Ward, conscious of his large Muslim constituency see nothing wrong in equating the gas chambers and crematoria of Auschwitz with Israeli actions taken to defend itself against enemies who deny its right to exist. To say such moral equivalence is vile is to understate the case by a mile.

But make no mistake. Ward’s comments are nothing new. The only reason they have attracted such wide attention is because of the timing, coinciding as they do, with Holocaust Memorial Day. Otherwise, in the current climate, they probably would have passed un-noticed or indeed would have attracted silent nods of agreement from those who subscribe to the distorted view of Israel so prevalent today.