[(Continued from p.3)]writing in the Wall Street Journal Europe, describes how polite British society has found an enemy in the wake of the terror attacks in the United States and it is neither the Taliban nor al Qaeda: "it's the state of Israel and Jews in general." Phillips describes how she herself came up against the phenomenon as a panel member (along with a writer, a Labor backbencher, a Tory politician and a Liberal Democrat) on the BBC's flagship current affairs program "Question Time." The other panelists assailed Israel and when Phillips spoke up, saying she wondered why people were sympathetic when Israelis died, but not sympathetic when they tried to prevent themselves from dying and that the Palestinian Authority incited violence daily, she "was aware of a low hissing from the audience. I looked at their faces and saw disbelief and hostility." When she said Israel was a democracy, Phillips writes, "there was an astonishing reaction from the audience. They laughed...The program discussion lurched from bad to worse. From the audience came the considered view that Israel was the source of terror in the Middle East." Phillips concludes: "Just a show? I believe that the visceral hostility towards Israel and Jews displayed by both the panel and the audience are indicative now of much of mainstream British opinion."
What accounts for these worrisome developments? Clearly, the growing number of European Muslims is one factor. The younger generation is far more likely to take a political stand than their parents, most of whom came as disenfanchised foreign workers and were more concerned with day to day survival than anti-Israel activism. But now local Muslims in Britain, for example, targeted pro-Israel candidates in the June 2001 Parliamentary elections. Throughout Europe, there are politicians who seek to appeal to Muslim voters and the way to do so is all too obvious.
More important is another factor cited by Phillips, and while she writes of England, what she says is equally true of the intellectual classes of other European countries. "The establishment, that is, Labor MPs, the liberal broadsheet newspapers--and in particular the BBC-- are also dominated by the thinking of the New Left, the Marxist revisionism that replaced the class struggle by the culture war. The New Left is characterized by an abiding hatred of Israel, America, and a self-loathing about Western values." The result, writes Phillips, "is that the British intellectual classes are an all too willing conduit for anti-Jewish and anti-Israel poison and propaganda."
There is more. Phillips mentions that the British identify with the underdog and view the Palestinians in this role. In the September Outpost ("The Perils of Inaction"), this writer noted that Israel was convinced its policy of "restraint" and willingness to make ever more concessions in negotiations would gain Israel sympathy, making it clear that Arafat and the Palestinians were the aggressors, Israel the true underdog. The problem, I wrote, was that the underdogs who arouse media sympathy are those whose power is inferior to that of their opponent. "Israel possesses superior power which it fails to use effectively. There has been little sympathy for Goliath in his battle with David, although Goliath was the victim. By failing to exert its power...Israel seems to be recognizing the validity of Palestinian grievances." Despite more frequent Israeli anti-terror raids, this remains the case, with Israel failing to take the actions necessary to fundamentally change the situation, i.e. destroying the terror infrastructure, including the Palestinian Authority which fosters it.
But whatever the reasons for its growth, the current resurgence of European anti-Semitism is a reminder of the vitality of that moral disease. It reinforces the importance of Israel's existence as a fortress and refuge for the Jews of the world. The recklessness of Israel's leaders in jeopardizing the state through their failed (and continuing) policies of appeasement becomes all the more unforgivable.
Rael Jean Isaac is editor of Outpost.
PA Libels Feed Anti-Semitic Hysteria
Palestinian Media Watch reprinted an article published on December 24 in the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat al-Jadida falsely accusing Israel of stealing "body parts" from "martyrs" [suicide bombers]. Here are excerpts from the text: "When the occupying authority holds the bodies of martyrs, it does so in order to hide the traces of its crimes. The witnesses and evidence prove that the occupation forces torture the bodies of the martyrs on purpose and fire bullets into them at close range. There are clear indicators that the occupying authorities steal body parts of the martyrs during the holding process, in order to use them in Israeli hospitals, especially for Israeli patients in need of transplants. After they seize the body parts of martyrs, they bury the corpses under dubious circumstances, scorning humanitarian values and moral and religious regulations."
Outpost - 4 - January 2002