Have a look at this poster? It is a pro-Corbyn, anti-May poster erected in Bristol this week. I guess you could just say it is part of the rough and tumble of election politics, although I regard it as indicative of the simplistic dumbed down politics we are being forced to endure. Apart from that can you see anything offensive about it? Notice what May is ‘wearing’ – two Star of David ear-rings and note the word Balfour. This is a reference to the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which was the basis for establishing the Israeli state today. It is a profoundly disturbing and anti-Semitic poster. And it is only one sign of an increasing anti-Semitism – not only in its traditional home, the far Right, but now on the radical Left. Anger over ‘Star of David’ symbol on Labour poster
Wipe Out Israel
Last month I was at a meeting with the Israeli ambassador, Mark Regev in Edinburgh Theological Seminary. It was an enlightening meeting. The previous night he had been in Glasgow speaking at a University there – he was picketed by people chanting ‘from the Jordan to the sea, Palestine shall be free’. This was a less than subtle reference to the wiping out of the State of Israel.
In August 2016 600 people who were watching a show celebrating Israel’s diversity had to face a large anti-Israel protest outside the Tollcross venue. There are several of Scotland’s cultural and artistic elites who are quite happy to see Israeli artists and musicians banned. Meanwhile on the same month at Celtic Park where Celtic were playing an Israeli team – hundreds of people waved large Palestinian flags and sang ‘we are Scottish, we are singing for Palestine and we won’t be denied”. Whilst there were those who argued that this was just people standing up for an oppressed people one has to simply ask – where were the anti-Chinese flags for oppressing the people of Tibet, or anti-Saudi flags for oppressing the people of Yemen, or anti Burmese flags for oppressing the Rohingya muslims? (or countless other situations far worse). The fact is that being anti-Israel has become a cause celebre for the British Left and such faux concern for oppression provides a real cover for anti-Semitism.
Watch this channel 4 documentary on the war against Britain’s Jews.
I spoke to a leading representative of the Scottish Jewish community and asked him if my impression that anti-Semitism was on the rise in the UK and even in Scotland (I say even because as far as I know Scotland is the only country in Europe that has never had anti-Jewish laws and, because of our Christianity, we always felt an affinity with the people of Israel). He answered unequivocally Yes.
Let me give two other incidents which help demonstrate this. Since the Manchester bombing a couple of weeks ago two Jewish cafes in Manchester have been burned down https://antisemitism.uk/manchester-kosher-restaurant-gutted-by-arson-attack-after-another-kosher-restaurant-firebombed/ Something you will struggle to find reported in the British media. I also know a homosexual activist who said that he was thinking of leaving the UK, not because of homophobia, but because of anti-Semitism.
What is causing this increase in anti-Semitism?
I think there are three main reasons.
Firstly there is the traditional European anti-Semitism.
This is something that runs very deep. I have come across it in various forms, not least in one lady who told me that IF the holocaust happened the Jews probably deserved it. I have been astounded at how ingrained anti-Semitism seems to be ingrained in many of our European cultures. Another man I know – nice, middle class, left-wing and liberal – told me that the Jews were responsible for the evils of capitalism.
There really is no way around this. The primary cause of the increase in anti-Semitism in the UK is because of the increase of Islam. When the film Schindlers List came out in 1993, I asked a Muslim friend if she wanted to come and see it with me at the local Odeon. She flat out refused because she said that the Holocaust probably did not happen – it was Jewish propaganda. I was astonished because she was as liberal a Muslim as I have ever met. It began to make sense to me that Mein Kampf is still a bestseller in Turkey. It also made sense to me that several Christians I know who work with Muslims seem very quick to adopt the anti-Israel zeitgeist (although they would deny it was anti-semitic). They are the ones who engage in the game of ‘what abouterry?’ Every time you mention anti-Semitism they ask but what about Gaza or the West Bank – as though someone this was a justification.
The Radical Left
This has led onto another major cause. Traditional ingrained anti-Semitism, combined with Islamic anti-semitism has now been joined by the new kid on the block – left wing anti-semitism. This is seen in the radical left, and especially in the extreme Left of the Labour party. This is now even more significant because of the fact that one of the most extremist Marxist fringe members of the Labour party has become its leader and his organization (Momentum) is in the process of taking over the whole party. Even more so now that there is a possibility he could become Prime Minister. Corbyn says he opposes anti-semitism, but he supports those who are clearly anti-semitic – Hamas, Hezbollah and some of the more radical Islamic groups. Read Nick Cohen’s article about how this has infiltrated the Labour party.
This is never far from the surface. When Emma Barnett made a fool of Corbyn on Women’s Hour she was accused of being a Zionist!
Cameron Grills Corbyn on Anti-Semitism
It’s not just the Labour party but also other parties. You would think that the SNP of all parties, as wannbe leaders of an independent small state of 5 million people would be keen to support the independence of another small state of 5 million people facing overwhelming odds. But when has a Scottish government minister ever visited Israel? How did SNP MSP Sandra White get away with posting a cartoon on twitter showing piglets suckling a large pig with the word ‘Rothschild” written on it, and a bank with the Star of David? Scottish MSP Apologises Anti-Semitism has also been found in The Tory Party and in the Lib Dems
This is also the case in academia where being pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli is almost a necessary qualification for any self-advancing academic. How many academic institutions, so impeccably PC on so many issues, have turned a blind eye to the illiberal policies of their sponsors, just because of the money? How many have turned a blind eye to the implicit anti-Semitism on their campus’s?
Why the Focus on Israel?
I am not a Christian Zionist, although I believe that the Jewish people have a right to their own homeland – especially after centuries of pogroms, persecutions and ultimately the Holocaust, in Europe. I do not think that to criticize the country of Israel is necessarily anti-Semitic. But I do believe that the focus on Israel above all other countries is because of anti-Semitism. I havn’t had the time to check it out yet but I was told by a friend who has, that the Scottish Parliament has had 59 motions on Israel (despite the Scottish Parliament having no responsibility for foreign policy) , of which 52 have been anti-Israel. Far more than any other country in the world. Here is one example – referring to our earlier story – MSPs to Debate Celtic Flags
The Peace of Israel?
If I were Jewish I would be deeply fearful of the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn and Momentum being elected to power in the UK. Not just because of what may happen here but because of the signal it would give to the enemies of Israel whose desire is to see them destroyed. Can you see Corbyn lifting a finger to help Israel if they are attacked? Labour’s refusal to deal with the anti-Semitism in its midst, was one of the main reasons I could not vote Labour at this election. As a Christian and as a Scot I will stand with the Jewish people and oppose with every fibre of my being, this grotesque and evil increase in anti-Semitism.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.” (Psalm 122:6)