Thursday, April 29, 2010

UK Muslims systematically supporting anti-Israel candidates in British election campaign


by  Robin Shepherd


With the British general elections less than 10 days away, a fascinating piece in today's Guardian emphasises the growing importance of Muslim voters in shifting the terms of debate in Britain further against the State of Israel. The writer, Anas Altikriti — a prominent British Muslim academic — proudly talks of the "pivotal importance" of foreign policy for Muslim voters with Palestine (and Afghanistan) taking pride of place.

"On the basis of these concerns," says Altikriti, "lists of recommended candidates include names from most parties, major and small (Lib Dems, Labour, Tory and Green candidates)."


One list drawn up by the British Muslim Initiative recommends and endorses candidates in 52 constituencies. Most are well known for their virulent hostility to Israel. Almost all are Labour or Liberal Democrat though there is a smattering of Conservatives as well as members of the Respect Party which is headed by the Israel-hating far-Left politician/activist George Galloway.


Altikriti is quite open in stressing the significance of the Palestinian issue in voter motivation among British Muslims:


"Mirroring the national trend, the Muslim community seems to be moving in favour of a greater share of the vote for the Liberal Democrats within a hung parliament scenario. The overall view is that the Lib Dems have made the better pronouncements when it comes to Palestine and Iraq, albeit to a lesser extent on Afghanistan (in direct opposition to the pro-Israel lobby). This was echoed by the pro-Palestinian London based Middle East Monitor (Link) which is a main reference point for British Muslims on the Palestinian issue."


One of those "better pronouncements when it comes to Palestine" was of course made recently by Liberal Democrat peer Jenny Tonge who argued that Israel should investigate claims that its medical teams in Haiti were extracting human organs from dead Haitians to sell on the international black market. Tonge was reprimanded for her remarks but not expelled from the party. Many members of the Liberal Democrat Party have leaped to her defence over her remarks. The Liberal Democrats are possibly the most anti-Israeli of all the three main parties and will probably emerge as kingmakers after the votes are counted.


Muslims make up around five percent of the UK population, though higher than average birth rates and continued immigration mean that that figure is likely to surge in the coming years and decades. But Muslim influence is a reality in the here and now. As the author himself says:


"Whatever the outcome of the election… Muslims around the country are likely to play a significant role in influencing the outcome of dozens of seats." Very much the shape of things to come in modern Europe. Watch this space…



Robin Shepherd

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.




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