Thursday, June 15, 2017

UK: British Jews - a wake up call

Via The Jerusalem Post (Isi Leibler):
It is a horrifying prospect that a man who publicly praises Hamas and Hezbollah as his “friends,” who attended a ceremony in Tunis commemorating the murderer of Israeli Olympic athletes, was employed by the state-controlled Iranian TV to present programs, and tolerated the proliferation of overt antisemitism in his party was so close to being elected prime minister. 
The recent spate of brutal terrorist attacks in London and Manchester must have stunned those British Jews who have been insisting that Islamic terrorism would never impact on the UK to the same extent as the rest of Europe. 
The recent waves of antisemitism emanating from a combination of left-wing, liberal, Muslim and traditional antisemites, and the indifference of a substantial proportion of the electorate who voted for an overtly antisemitic leader, must surely switch on a clear red light for British Jews. 
Since the return of Jews to Britain in 1656 in the Oliver Cromwell era, many claim that Jews have fared better in Britain than in any other European country. Yet the late Robert Wistrich, the greatest scholar of antisemitism, who was himself brought up in England, considered it to be the most anti-Jewish country in Europe. (...) 
Corbyn’s supporters were not fussed that he had led rallies with vicious antisemites, including Holocaust deniers and terrorists, as well as calling for a boycott against the Jewish state. At an anti-Israeli demonstration addressed by Corbyn, some of the participants were dressed as suicide bombers and others chanted “gas, gas, Tel Aviv.” Alas, many Labour voters were supportive of Corbyn’s love of Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA.  (...) 
That Jews, representing only 0.5% of the population (and whose votes in four key constituencies probably saved May from outright defeat), voted against Corbyn is indicative of the indifference to much of the electorate to antisemitism. 
British Jews have long argued that the antisemitic prejudice they faced was benign and that England was different from Europe. But, had Corbyn been elected, it would have been far worse for the Jewish community than had Marie Le Pen become head of state in France.
The time has come to speak plainly and face reality. 
As far as British Jews are concerned these elections, which almost brought to power an outright antisemite and friend of terrorists, means that the red line has now been crossed.  
Jews in the UK are considered pariahs by a substantial proportion of the nation. The anti-Israel rhetoric has reached unprecedented levels both in street demonstrations and at the universities, where many Jewish students seek to disguise their Jewish identity and in some cases even display hostility to Israel to curry favor. 
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