Melanie Phillips

Insulting the Pope is no joke

By Melanie Phillips, April 29, 2010

Some Jews may - when the Sunday Telegraph revealed the offensive and infantile suggestions for the Pope's visit to Britain by a bunch of extremely undiplomatic diplomats - have found themselves, for once, on the side of mandarins in the Foreign Office.

What was uppermost in these officials' minds was the Vatican's recent record on issues such as paedophile priests, gay rights, abortion and contraception.

It is a fair bet that what was not on their minds was the attitude of Benedict XVI towards Israel and the Jews. This record is certainly a troubling one.


Why truth beats diplomacy

By Melanie Phillips, March 18, 2010

The Obama administration's fury at Israel over the "insult to the US" of building more homes in east Jerusalem has provoked what is described as the worst crisis in US-Israel relations for more than three decades.

Leave aside, for the moment, the notable absence of "insult to the US" caused by the Palestinian Authority a day or so later, when it named a square after a terrorist "martyr" who not only slaughtered dozens of Israelis, but also in 1978 murdered the American niece of a US Democratic senator.


The chill in the Chilcot inquiry

By Melanie Phillips, February 4, 2010

In all the stürm und drang over the Chilcot inquiry into the war in Iraq, one feature has so far escaped attention. That is the emphasis placed on Israel’s role in the crisis, not least by the inquiry panel member Sir Roderic Lyne.

To those of us of a nervous disposition, the way Lyne, formerly Our Man in Moscow, has been dragging Israel into the story of what happened in 2003 is more than a little grating.


Aid to Livni is not pro-Israel

By Melanie Phillips, December 22, 2009

Five years ago, anti-Israel campaigners tried to arrest the then Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz for “war crimes” while he was on a visit to London.

Since then, a steady stream of senior Israeli officials have either narrowly escaped similar arrest in Britain through diplomatic immunity, or have had to cancel planned visits because such an arrest was all too likely.


My moderate-Muslim test

By Melanie Phillips, November 12, 2009

As I understand it, auto-immune diseases are caused when the immune system which protects the body turns upon itself, mistaking friendly organisms for foes and vice versa.

One might say that just such an affliction now assails the British and American intelligentsia — with some British Jews themselves amongst the worst affected.

The latest example of this general disorder was the reaction to the jihadi attack in Fort Hood, Texas, last week when a Muslim army psychiatrist screaming “Allahu akhbar” gunned down and murdered at least 13 people, leaving dozens more injured.


Goldstone's human wrongs

By Melanie Phillips, October 8, 2009

In the theatre of the absurd that now passes for international relations, a Jewish human-rights lawyer takes the side of those who wage genocidal war against the Jews.

This is in turn deemed profoundly unhelpful to a “peace process” that is attempting to reward with territory others waging the same genocidal war — albeit with better manners — against the same Jews, a process that now expects those Jews to make concessions to their assailants, who will themselves be exempt from making reciprocal gestures to their victims.


Obama's dangerous strategy

By Melanie Phillips, September 3, 2009

The farce over doorknobs for centrifuges masks the fact that President Obama’s whole Middle East strategy is in the process of imploding.

Obama has been pressuring Israel to freeze every brick and widow-frame of all settlement construction as a precondition for the US “getting tough” with Iran. This has caused Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu to walk a diplomatic tightrope. But it is arguably President Obama who has the rope around his own neck.


MidEast malice and distortion

By Melanie Phillips, July 30, 2009

The shocking rise in anti-Jewish attacks demonstrates that the way Israel is presented impacts directly on the safety of British Jews. According to the Community Security Trust, there were 609 anti-Jewish incidents in the first six months of this year, more than in the whole of 2008. And more than half the incidents reported in January made some reference to Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Well, of course. People were being told day in, day out that the Israelis were wantonly killing Palestinian children.


Obama’s deadly hand revealed

By Melanie Phillips, June 25, 2009

Among American Jews, a degree of buyers’ remorse has been detected recently.

Almost 80 per cent of American Jews voted for Barack Obama as President. Those of us who warned that this man would endanger Israel were scorned.

How could that possibly be, said the secular, liberal American Jews. He’s a Democrat, he’s black and he’s pro-abortion. With this triple-lock of unassailable virtue, how can he be bad for Israel? Now some of them are getting an awful feeling that they may have made the biggest misjudgment of their lives.


Proper Jewish pride, by George

By Melanie Phillips, May 21, 2009

Against the current backdrop of rampant anti-Israel and anti-Jewish prejudice, we find ourselves once again asking the age-old question: why are people antisemites? What is it about the Jews that makes some people hate us so much?

But we might also ask ourselves the reverse question: why are other people philosemites? Why should certain people have such a deep love for the Jews? And what might be learned about the Jews from such love?


When ‘friends’ can be enemies

By Melanie Phillips, April 16, 2009

The response of Chas W Freeman, the short-lived chairman-designate of the US National Security Council, to being forced to resign recently after protests over his lobbying activities for Saudi Arabia and China and his extreme antipathy to Israel, was not merely to pin the blame on that all-purpose scapegoat, “the Jewish lobby”, or even its modern version, “the Israel lobby”. He came up with another variation on the theme.


Analysis: Team Obama thinks just like him

By Melanie Phillips, March 19, 2009

Although Chas W Freeman is no longer to become chairman of America’s National Intelligence Council, the disturbing questions raised by his aborted appointment remain.

Freeman, a veteran Arabist who blamed 9/11 in part upon America’s policy towards Israel, was forced out through widespread concerns over his financial links to the Chinese and Saudi regimes and his apparent support for the repression of Chinese dissidents.


Mr Bean and an unfunny farce

By Melanie Phillips, March 12, 2009

Irony and satire are risky literary devices. As I know to my cost, some people always fail to get the joke by taking such conceits literally. In these dangerously discombobulated times, when the giving of offence to certain minority groups can be a capital offence, such a sense of humour failure can cost you dear.

The latest victim of this syndrome is the playwright Richard Bean, whose play at the National Theatre, England People Very Nice, received rave reviews — and then was denounced as “racist”.


How credible is the Pope’s denial?

By Melanie Phillips, February 5, 2009

As if the Jews didn’t have enough on their plate, what with blood libels and Israel-hating calumnies flying thick and fast over events in Gaza, the Pope had to choose this moment to readmit into the fold a bishop who denies the Holocaust.

Britain’s Bishop Richard Williamson has said that only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews died in Nazi concentration camps and “none of them in gas chambers”.

He also reportedly endorsed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and is on record as saying that the Jews are fighting for world domination “to prepare the Anti-Christ’s throne in Jerusalem”.


Durban II: a sick, cynical farce

By Melanie Phillips, December 30, 2008

A few days before 9/11, the UN hosted an appalling explosion of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hatred at an obscenely named “human rights” conference in Durban, South Africa.

While the worst of these gross libels and Nazi-style caricatures were expressed by the NGOs attending the conference, the official governmental declaration also made its underlying anti-Israel agenda clear.


Appease Syria — court disaster

By Melanie Phillips, November 27, 2008

Along with other British Jews, I have heard the Prime Minister speak movingly in public of his attachment to Israel, forged at his father's knee in the Scottish manse where the people of the book were revered and their attachment to their ancient land cause for sympathy and support.

Yet, at this moment of intense and escalating danger for Israel, his government has nevertheless chosen to suck up to its enemies.


God is not the enemy of reason

By Melanie Phillips, October 17, 2008

It is an article of faith (except, of course, among those who actually have a faith) that the dethronement of God by the apostles of secularism has ushered in an age of reason. Belief in the Almighty is now widely held to be a priori evidence of primitive stupidity.


On Israel, fear Obama, not Palin

By Melanie Phillips, September 12, 2008

American Jews are attacking Sarah Palin's Zionist credentials - while ignoring far larger questions about Obama's


To judge from the screams of horror from certain Jewish quarters, anyone would think that Torquemada was about to open a branch of the Inquisition in Washington DC.


Bush has betrayed us on Iran

By Melanie Phillips, August 8, 2008

The Americans have stopped behaving as if a nuclear Iran would be a disaster

In the world of diplomacy, things are often not what they seem. When it comes to the crisis over Iran, there is even more cause to be sceptical. Disinformation in such a stand-off is routine.

That's not to say there is any doubt about Iran's race to develop nuclear weapons. The regime is gloating at having faced down the international community's deadline for halting uranium enrichment.


A shameful silence over al Dura

By Melanie Phillips, July 4, 2008

A French court’s ruling that the al Dura ‘killing’ could be described as ‘staged’ was barely reported

Last May, the Paris Appeal Court delivered one of the most momentous of all libel judgments. It declared that a French media watchdog, Philippe Karsenty, was entitled to state that TV footage by the France 2 TV station purporting to show the killing of 12 year-old Palestinian Mohammed al Dura by Israeli troops in November 2000 was a staged piece of theatre and that the boy had not been killed at all.