Worst wave of hate for quarter of a century

Gaza war being used as an excuse for racism, says CST


By Leon Symons Simon Rocker and Jonny Paul, January 15, 2009
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Despite reports of increasing numbers of antisemitic incidents, thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square last Sunday in support of Israel

Despite reports of increasing numbers of antisemitic incidents, thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square last Sunday in support of Israel

Anglo-Jewry is in the middle of the worst outbreak of antisemitism in Britain since the Community Security Trust started keeping records a quarter of a century ago.

Since the start of the Israeli offensive into Gaza on December 27, more than 150 incidents across the country have been recorded.

CST director of communications Mark Gardner said: “Antisemites are using an overseas conflict as an excuse for their racism, and this should be clearly condemned by all sectors of society. In particular, we are seeing the inevitable antisemitic impact of many years of anti-Israel hysteria, in addition to an enraged response to TV and newspaper images of this conflict.”

There have been assaults on individuals, an arson attack on a synagogue, dozens of incidents involving hate mail, emails and threatening and abusive telephone calls and many daubings and graffiti.

Communal leaders have been involved in a flurry of political activities this week, meeting Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Monday and Communities and Local Government secretary Hazel Blears on Tuesday.

Jeremy Newmark of the Jewish Leadership Council and Jon Benjamin of the Board of Deputies, said: “The community should feel reassured that their concerns are being clearly and regularly articulated at the heart of government during these difficult times.”

One aim of the meetings was to persuade the government to speak out about the startling rise in antisemitism. The only mention by a minister had been a letter from Mr Miliband to Board of Deputies president Henry Grunwald last Friday, in which he said: “I am alarmed at the attempts of extremist voices in the UK to use the conflict to legitimise antisemitic sentiments. I remain concerned by reports of this rhetoric manifesting itself in violent acts and threats against UK synagogues and the Jewish community.”

On Tuesday, the CST, in a deputation with the Board and the Jewish Leadership Council, presented Ms Blears and junior minister Sadiq Khan with a dossier of the incidents. They outlined their concerns about security, particularly near schools and campuses.

After the meeting, Ms Blears said: “The government strongly condemns the increase in antisemitic incidents and understands the fears and concerns of the Jewish community in Britain. British Jews, like all communities, must be able to live their lives free from fear of verbal or physical attack.”

On Wednesday, Ms Blears sent a letter to all synagogues in Britain saying that the government would not “tolerate racists and trouble-makers disrupting our local communities” and that “international events, however distressing, provide no justification for violence”. She said it was “important to recognise, and to build on, the excellent interfaith work and dialogue that both the Muslim and Jewish communities have developed in recent years”.

A young Orthodox man was viciously beaten after last Wednesday’s pro-Israel rally in what is perhaps the most serious incident.

Daniel Lowe, from Hendon, a bearded Orthodox Jew who wears a kippah, was a founding member of MuJewz, the Muslim-Jewish dialogue group at Oxford University. He had attended last Wednesday night’s pro-Israel rally in Kensington and was on his way to visit friends nearby afterwards when he was attacked.

He said: “As I was about to knock on their door, someone behind me said hello.” He turned to find two men of Asian appearance, one wearing a Palestinian flag on his jacket, the other wearing a keffiyeh. “They asked me where I had been. When I told them it was none of their business, they punched me in the head, pushed me to the ground and kicked me.”

Mr Lowe said the attack made him even more determined to attend Sunday’s Trafalgar Square event: “Jews shouldn’t be attacked for expressing their views in public.”

On Tuesday, a gang of Palestinian supporters forced their way into the offices in central London of the Israel lobbying organisation Bicom after a man called saying he was delivering a parcel.

Eight men and women — one armed with a loudhailer — shouted at and intimidated staff, ripped out computer cables, cut telephone lines and threw leaflets out of the windows.

One staff member said: “They were very aggressive, and asked whether we were Jewish and why we were supporting Israel. It was very frightening.”

It is understood that detectives at Westminster are investigating the criminal damage and viewing CCTV footage of the incident.

Bicom chief executive Lorna Fitzsimons said: “The vandalism and thuggery at our offices and against my staff this morning was utterly reprehensible. Bicom is a pro-peace organisation that promotes understanding and dialogue, often promoting moderate Palestinian voices for the sake of a speedy and peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Middle East.”

Both Marks & Spencer and John Lewis contacted suppliers this week to ask whether goods they stocked originated from Israel.

But both companies insisted that they were regular routine calls and that the timing was coincidental.

On Saturday, three protestors were arrested after occupying an Israeli-owned cosmetics store in central London.

The protestors chained themselves to the door of the Ahava store in Covent Garden, forcing it to close for around five hours. They also hung a banner in the window accusing the company of “funding Israeli war crimes in Gaza”.

A protest in Belfast on Saturday by pro-Palestinian campaigners against a stall selling Israeli products is being investigated by police as a racially motivated incident. Video footage posted on the internet showed the Sea Spa stall, which sells Dead Sea cosmetics, being deluged with leaflets from a balcony above as demonstrators shouted “Boycott Israeli goods”.

In Bristol, one man was arrested after about 30 pro-Palestinian protestors entered a city centre branch of Marks & Spencer, filled their trollies with Israeli produce and then refused to pay.

Birmingham City Council failed to agree a statement on the Middle East crisis after a debate on Tuesday. Both the ruling Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition and the Labour opposition had released statements before the meeting supporting an immediate ceasefire, but could not resolve their differences. A discussion document supporting sanctions against Israel had been presented by four out of the 120 city councillors, from the Labour, Lib Dem, Conservative and Respect parties. But it was not tabled as a resolution, nor was any vote taken.

A speech by Muslim academic Azam Tamimi, who spoke at last Saturday’s anti-Israel rally, shouting: “We’re all Hamas now,” has been reported to the police.

A CST spokesman said it had taken “numerous enquiries” about whether the speech breached anti-terrorism legislation.

“The CST will do its utmost to ensure that the police are made aware of our community’s concerns. We have been asked about a speech at last Saturday’s anti-Israel rally that may breach glorification of terrorism legislation. This will be passed to police for their consideration and possible investigation.”

Israeli sources confirmed this week that a planned flying visit by Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu to London had been postponed after Downing Street failed to give him the opportunity of a meeting with Gordon Brown.

    Last updated: 3:02pm, March 10 2009

    COMMENTS

    abgvn

    Thu, 01/15/2009 - 20:42

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    What I really don't quite understand is, why, when some Jews in another country - whether English Jews support them or not - do something that people here do not agree with, they take it out on the English Jews... Surely they have not done anything to deserve this?
    The way people are behaving over here is worse than the way Israel are acting over there, because it is unprovoked.


    dinski

    Fri, 01/16/2009 - 16:17

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    I find it hypocritical that people try to excuse the violence against Jews in the UK because of what is happening in Gaza and then try to justify these acts. Imagine if Muslims in the UK were attacked and their shops vandalized for what their fellow Muslims have done and are still doing to the Africans in Sudan? Where are the rallies against the genocide in Darfur or against the racism against Jews and Christians in almost all Arab/Muslim countries? The fact is that Jews and Israel are an easy target whilst other conflicts and the instigators of those conflict get off lightly. I find those that criticise Israel very one-sided and on the whole extremely hypocritical and I suspect that most of them have a hidden agenda which of course they would never admit to.


    jose (not verified)

    Fri, 01/16/2009 - 16:44

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    What Israel is doing is protecting its citizens from future aggressions by a terrorist organization.
    That is exactly what NATO forces are doing in Afghanistan. Civilian over Taliban victims' ratio, in Afghanistan, was about 30%.
    And compared with Gaza, Afghanistan is a desert!

    Those who pretend Israelis deliberately target civilians cannot count: Gaza city has a density of 150,000 inhabitants/mi2. To kill 1,000 people deliberately would take half an hour to a moderate Israeli force, by simply destroying a sqare of 100 yard. But Israeli army is not interested in killing civilians. On the contrary, it cancelled many missions because of the risks of casualties among civilians, used as human shields, voluntarily or not, by Hamas terrorists.

    Now, some use that conflict to justify attacks on Jews, sometimes hypocritically as when saying "of course, it's wrong but I can't blame them for that, considering what happens in Gaza". Kristallnacht was triggered after a Jew killed a Nazi diplomat in Paris. The next years were not so bright, for Europe.


    jose (not verified)

    Fri, 01/16/2009 - 17:52

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    Invicta, could you get your facts straight?
    Gaza is not occupied and not blockaded by Israel.
    Israel could not do that if it wanted. Repeating a wrong statement does not make it true.

    No one wants to do business with terrorists, no tourist want to visit a (institutionalized) 'refugee' camp, and Gaza will always be under threat of military action while Hamas persists in sending bombs on Israel and trying to take non-belligerent hostages.

    For Israel to be free, terrorist organizations have to be uprooted, which will be difficult but not impossible. Other options look simplistic and, by the way, already tried and failed.


    Natasha Iqbal

    Sat, 01/17/2009 - 00:53

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    Jose, I think you need to get your facts right, not only is Gaza occupied but the whole of the Palestinian land! You made the point ealier that is Israel wanted they could kill 1000 Gazans in half and hour..I;m sure they would like to do that but it would openly be admitting their Game plan of mass murder and genocide. 1.5 million Gazans are stuffed into a 28mile long and 8mole wide piece of land whilse only 2million Israllies enjoy 78% of there illegally occupied land that they took in 1948 - when the UN convention agreed it should be 55%. Israel are killing children that are innocent, shooting them at point blank range, no mistake...so stop trying to sugar coat reality..WAKE UP!

    Refugee camps...you are digusting...not by there choice..you must no that and as far as business with terrorists...well America seems to do alot of business with Israel so that theory is out the window!


    Philip Witriol

    Sat, 01/17/2009 - 01:54

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    Extracted from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/01/what_is_it_about_the_jews_1.html

    Quite regularly, various leaders of various Islamic terrorist groups, and even an ex-CIA agent that the NYT uses as an expert on Mid-East affairs, refer to Israel as a "cancer" on the world. Louis Farrakhan, America's best-known Jew-hater, is honored by the twenty-year church home of our first black President, and hardly more than a few bat an eyelash in disapproval. A black minister can stand in the full view of esteemed dignitaries and spew anti-Semitic tripe, and it causes barely a stir. CNN can air terrorist-inspired "news" footage, and it takes a determined conservative blog-press to highlight the truth before anyone even notices.

    Well, any time Israel gets the chutzpah to fight back against nonstop, deadly rocket attacks with any determination, nearly every Muslim enclave the world over can be counted upon to take to the streets in their propaganda solidarity. And leftist newspapers and television outlets the world over can be counted upon to broadcast the terrorists' anti-Jew poppycock as though no one will notice that it's woven of the same cloth.

    The more things change...and the beat goes on...

    But, really, hating Jews is as old and entrenched as, well, as old as the Bible. Long, long, long before Africans enslaved other Africans and sold them to European and American traders, there was Jew-hatred. Jew-hatred is so much older than the State of Israel that it would take a historical scholar to date it.

    Way, way, way, way before there was the Holocaust, there was Jew-hatred. Jew-hatred runs through the 7th century's Koran like a consistent thread. Karl Marx himself was a self-loathing Jew. George Soros is a modern day version of Karl Marx. Louis Farrakhan thinks Hitler had the right idea. So does David Duke. So does Ahmadinejad. So does that American woman in Muslim dress standing on the street in Fort Lauderdale.

    Isn't it about time someone, somewhere explains exactly what it is about the Jews that inspires this vile, purely diabolical hatred. Why, if even a fair number of Jews utterly despise their own Jewishness, and as this is an ancient hatred, persisting throughout the ages, there must be something pretty substantial to it. Hate this vile doesn't just spring out of pure air.

    Jew-hatred is the elephant in the room of humanity.


    jose (not verified)

    Sat, 01/17/2009 - 19:42

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    Natasha, repeating false statements do not make them true.
    Gaza is not occupied. And it is not blockaded either by Israel, which cannot control what is happening at the Egyptian border. The correct fact, is that Gaza is boycotted by Israel, just as any country would boycott a terrorist state.

    Palestinians are stuffed in Gaza because they multiplied by four their population in 60 years and the Arab countries refused to welcome them. I don't see how you can blame Gazans' demography on Israelis. Or maybe you think the children are those of Israeli soldiers or settlers?

    Please, stop propaganda and try realities. But careful: truth-saying can be addictive.


    bood

    Sun, 01/18/2009 - 08:47

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    This is truly terrible, and a dangerous and sad side-effect of what's been happening in Israel and Gaza, as if what was happening there wasn't already tragic enough.

    What's also very sad is that Jews who support Gaza are being attacked, too, by other Jews.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/british-jews-attacked-for...


    Jeni30

    Mon, 01/19/2009 - 04:50

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    I find it horrifying that Jews would be anti-semitic against other Jews. Self loathing? Let's try the lowest of the low. I feel we are chosen because it is our duty to commit to G-d the required acts that others would not do.

    The events in Florida ultimately called for the "extermination of the Jews". But that was not really put on the tube over here. All we see is continuous suffering for the Palestinians. Yes suffering despite electing Hamas leaders and agreeing to be martyrs for the rest of the Arab Islamic nations.

    How many rockets is Israel supposed to be comfortable with before they send out a message to back off? Until all Islamic countries recognize Israel as a Jewish state- we will always have problems. I believe that in one's sub-concious, most people are anti-Jewish. That is a scary thought considering there are so few of us. Peaceful talks are not something that Palestinians understand. It is NOT with a heavy heart that I pray we continue to attack terrorists who hide like cowards. There is plenty of desert to be shared by neighboring lands. Why don't the Palestinians ask for that? Oh wait... because other Arab countries really don't give a hoot about them.


    vincit veritas

    Mon, 01/19/2009 - 09:32

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    Study the Balfour Declaration of 1917 closely: "view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" with the understanding that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."