It's the 1930s all over again.
The email came from a man calling himself Jihad Alshamie and the message was simple enough. “It is people like you who deserve to die.” The email was one of many streaming into the inbox of John Howell, a British member of parliament, in response to a simple question that he had asked. Howell had inquired of a left-wing activist what his position on the hundred rockets that had fallen on Israel was. And from there the death threats followed.
Howell joins the ranks of other MPs, including such prominently pro-Israel members of parliament as Louise Ellman and Robert Halfon, who have been on the receiving end of astounding volumes of vitriol and venom for refusing to align with the pro-terrorist position that dominates the political and intellectual climate in the United Kingdom. The threats that they have received are a taste of the charged atmosphere that defines the debate.
In a darkening atmosphere of hate, it has become increasingly dangerous to be Jewish or pro-Israel in the UK. That atmosphere extends all the way up to its highest bodies.
“Just as Lord Ashcroft owns one part of the Conservative Party, right-wing Jewish millionaires own the other part,” a Labour MP told the Friends of Al-Aqsa, basking in the cheers of his appreciative audience. Another Labour MP suggested that ambassadors to Israel should not be Jewish so that they “can't be accused of having Jewish loyalty."
Accusation of Jews having their “tentacles” and “financial grip” on the Western world are not just the sort of thing you read about in old articles on the politics of the 1930s; they are a recurring theme in the parliamentary proceedings of the present day. That is what makes the courage of those members of parliament who retain the integrity to stand by the truth despite the torrent of hate that much more noteworthy.
Lord Janner, who had stood at mass graves, participated in the War Crimes Investigation Unit working with survivors at the Bergen Belsen concentration camp and headed up the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Anti-Semitism, was physically assaulted when he protested against Lord Bramall’s attacks on Israel. Lord Bramall was not charged. But Lord Bramall pales next to Lord Nazir Ahmed, who has promoted anti-Semitism, supported Islamic terrorism and announced a bounty for the capture of George W. Bush.
Lord Ahmed invited a speaker who stated that “in the Middle East we have just one reason for wars, terror and trouble – and that is Jewish supremacy drive” and Ahmed himself suggested that British volunteers in Israel should be prosecuted for war crimes.
Whatever line there is between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is swiftly being blurred away to nothing. While it might be tempting to dismiss a few email threats as the work of cranks, there is no denying the reality that views and actions that might have once been relegated to the margins, are now mainstream. In the UK of “Seven Jewish Children” and accusations of a “Jewish cabal” running Downing Street there is no longer any standard of decency or line that should not be crossed in the left’s bloody war against the Jewish State.
On the street, the revival of Nazi-era assaults on Jewish stores, in particular Ahava, frequently go unpunished. Judge George Bathurst-Norman set free the vandals who had attacked a factory because he asserted that their animus toward the Jewish state justified their actions and even made them heroes. The escalation of hostility into violence has become routine and vandalism, theft and assault have become the hardly remarked upon tools of anti-Israel protesters.
Fusing together the worst of the red-green alliance between the Marxist left and Islam is the Respect Party, whose leading member is George Galloway. Galloway has just clambered back into parliament after campaigning on his “quasi-Islamic values” and boasting that he was a better Pakistani than the Labour Muslim candidate he was running against because he avoids pubs.
Galloway had celebrated his return to parliament with a cry of “All Praise to Allah” and by lending his name to the Global March on Jerusalem. A month earlier Carole Swords, the chairwoman of the Respect Party in Tower Hamlets, had been convicted of assaulting a Jewish man who had blocked her from destroying Israeli products.
Pro-Israel MPs have come under organized attack from MPACUK, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, whose website asks, “Is your MP a Zionist?” Asghar Bukhari, a founding member and head of the organization, has written that, “Any Muslim who fights against Israel and dies is a martyr and will be granted paradise.”
This month the flames spread to the offices of the Harrow East Conservative Association and Bob Blackman, the conservative MP. The attack was similar to the one that had been carried out by Muslim activists against the publisher of the Jewel of Medina. It was, as MP Blackman said, a reminder that “There are people who will pursue threats."
But much of the landscape of the war on the Jewish State in the UK, from the boycotts to the vandalism and the assaults, are already a reminder of that. After the Toulouse massacre of Jewish children by a Muslin gunman, MP Mann wrote, “For the last five years the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-semitism has warned that such an attack was depressingly predictable.”
The threats against Jewish or pro-Israel MPs have already accomplished their intended purpose by marginalizing them and diminishing their ability to connect to their constituents. This has always been the strategy of the other side: to isolate a group and then isolate its members, drive them out of their positions, while continually maintaining a campaign of hatred against them. That is the practice and the endgame of the red-green alliance. These are the tactics that the National Socialists employed against the Jews, and they are the tactics that the Socialist Unity Network and their Muslim allies are employing against Jews in the UK now. It is important to know them and vital to resist them.
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