Once, we’d have seen Mr Robinson coming

When Tommy Robinson makes anti-Muslim statements, we should be careful not to jump on board says David Aaronovitch

June 01, 2018 09:30

I don’t really know how important Hananya Naftali is to Benjamin Netanyahu. He is said to be the Prime Minister’s deputy social media adviser, and was described by the actual social media adviser who hired him, a Mr Topaz Luk, as a “superstar”. So maybe he matters. And therefore maybe it mattered when, this week, he saw it as part of his social media duty to tweet in support of the British anti-Muslim activist, Tommy Robinson.

“Free Tommy Robinson!” Naftali tweeted and then, showing a strange confidence in his understanding of English law, added, “He has done nothing wrong and it is his right to express his freedom of speech. #FreeTommy #FreeTommyRobinson.”

Mr Naftali has since deleted his tweet. Perhaps it was pointed out to him that if sainted Sir David Attenborough had done what Tommy Robinson had done and committed an aggravated contempt of court after already having been warned, then he, too, would have ended up in talking to the cockroaches in chokey. But by then it was too late to avoid the question: what in the name of the Almighty was an aide to the Israeli government doing giving support to a far-right British head-banger like Mr Robinson?

Perhaps he was a reader (I mused) of the website the Times of Israel, where a man who calls himself Brian of London in 2016 published a long account of how he escorted Mr Robinson round Israel. Brian, who is now an Israeli citizen and one of those aliyahites who has a fine contempt for the community he has left behind, was a big fan of the convicted former football hooligan. Tommy, “saw Jewish and Christian history and our obvious, deep love for our land. He saw the stunning country we built out of the diseased ruin it had become under a succession of emperors, sultans, caliphs and Imperial British troops.”

I know, I know, there’s someone’s history missing there, but let’s press on. “Since his earliest days opposing supremacist Islam on the streets of Luton”, continued Brian, skipping the bit about also opposing the fans of Newport County, “ Tommy knew most of what he heard about Israel in the mainstream press was distorted.”

According to Brian, then, what Tommy really represented was a solid ally in the confontation with the Muslim world. It’s him and us against the A-rabs. Brian concluded, “Tommy’s time in Israel confirmed to him that he is on the right side of a fight that will define Europe. On which side will British Jews line up? That remains to be seen.”

Well, let’s see. Do British Jews share Tommy Robinson’s view of Muslims as essentially unassimilable and alien? Because that it is what he thinks. Like Geert Wilders (who Brian retweets from time to time) Robinson argues that Islam is itself an incorrigible religion, with religious intolerance, violence and misogyny at its scriptural heart. Its followers are therefore enjoined to be incorrigible too, and thus negative aspects of behaviour of some Muslims — female inequality, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, grooming gangs, jihadi terror, gender segregation, sectarianism and homophobia — are at the very least latent characteristics in all of them.

Robinson regards it at his crusade to open the eyes of a docile and over-tolerant majority to the demographic disaster happening all around them. That’s why he visits courts during ongoing trials to make films there, that’s why he used to tweet every single negative story that featured a Muslim in it (while leaving alone any other people’s infractions). The result is propaganda not dissimilar to what would happen if you took every bad story about Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Britain and then generalised from them. You want to talk about gender segregation? Gay rights? Weird inward-looking schools? That’s Jews for you.

And that’s why, as soon as it appears that there might have been a terrorist incident involving Muslims, Tommy legs it down to the scene to do an atrocity-selfie on Youtube. Last October he was down by the Natural History Museum in Kensington almost moments after a car hit some pedestrians. It was, he told reporters, a “jihadi terror attack”. In fact it was a road accident involving a Nigerian uber driver who has been charged with dangerous driving and not being insured. I’d tell you more of what I think about that but it’s possible that the case is going on right now and I might be in contempt of court. Still, I’d have Hanyana Naftali’s support.

Once the unassimilable aliens were us. Once the Tommy Robinsons were warning about us. Once any self-respecting Jew with a sense of history would have seen a man like him coming. Now some don’t. Idiots.

June 01, 2018 09:30

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