Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Palestinian Refugees – a Reality Test



by Yoram Ettinger



The Palestinian refugee issue has been dramatically misrepresented, distorting circumstances and numbers, in order to de-legitimize the Jewish state.


The Root Cause Then and Now

According to the German Middle East expert, Fritz Grobba (Men and Powers in the Orient, pp. 194-7, 207-8, Berlin, 1957), the 1948 Palestinian leadership, headed by the Grand Mufti, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, wanted to apply Nazi methods to massacre Jews throughout the Middle East. In1941,the Mufti drafted a proposal requesting that Germany and Italy acknowledge the Arab right to settle "the Jewish problem” in Palestine and the Arab countries in accordance with national and racial Arab interests, similar to the practice employed to solve "the Jewish problem” in Germany and Italy. On Nov. 24, 1947, Acting Chairman of the (Palestinian) Arab Higher Committee, Jamal Al-Husseini, threatened: "Palestine shall be consumed with fire and blood," if the Jews get any part of it.  On April 16, 1948 Jamal Husseini told the UN Security Council: "The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight.”

On January 9, 2013, Mahmoud Abbas pledged allegiance to the Grand Mufti, who collaborated intimately with the Nazi leadership, especially with Himmler, Hitler's most ruthless right hand man: "On the anniversary of Fatah, we renew the pledge to our fortunate martyrs…. We pledge to continue on the path of the martyrs…. Here we must remember the pioneers – the Grand Mufti of Palestine, Haj Amin Al-Husseini….”

Who Is Responsible?

The Chairman of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, admitted that in 1948, "Arab armies forced Palestinians to leave their homes (the PLO's weekly, Filastin A-Thawra, March 1976).”  On May 13, 2008, Al Ayyam, the second largest pro-Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian daily, claimed: "[In 1948] the Arab Liberation Army (ALA) told Palestinians to leave their houses and villages, and return a few days later, so the ALA can fulfill its mission.”  

The Head of Britain's Middle East Cairo Office, John Troutbeck, reported in June 1949:  "Arab refugees speak with utmost bitterness of Egypt and other Arab states.  They know who their enemies are. Their Arab brothers persuaded them unnecessarily to leave their homes.”  Sir Alan Cunningham, the last British High Commissioner in Palestine, wrote on April 28, 1948 that the total evacuation was urged on the Haifa Arabs from higher Arab quarters. The US Consul General in Haifa telegraphed on April 25, 1948 that "Reportedly, Arab Higher Committee is ordering all Arabs to leave."

The Secretary General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha told the Lebanese daily, Al Hoda, on June 8, 1951:  "In 1948, we were assured that Palestine's occupation would be a military promenade…. Brotherly advice to Arabs in Palestine was to leave their homes temporarily.”  The London Economist wrote on October 2, 1948: "The most potent of the factors [triggering the Arab flight] were the announcements by the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit…. It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades….” Syria's Prime Minister, Khaled al-Azam, admitted, in his 1973 memoirs, that "We brought destruction upon the refugees, by calling on them to leave their homes.” 

According to the first US Ambassador to Israel, James G. McDonald (My Mission In Israel, Simon and Schuster, NY, 1951, pp.174-6):  "These Arabs… fled from Palestine as the result of mass panic when the wealthy Arabs, almost to a man, began running away in Nov. 1947…. The flight was provoked by lurid tales of Jewish sadism issued by the Mufti and his followers… Superstitious and uneducated, the Arab masses succumbed to the panic and fled… The refugees were on [Arab leaders'] hands as the result of a war, which they had begun and lost….”

How Many Refugees? The Regional Context

While the actual number of the 1948/9 Palestinian refugees was 320,000,  Dr. Yoel Guzansky writes that about one third of Syria's 23 million population have recently lost their homes, and over two million (and growing ) have found refuge in neighboring Arab countries. 1.2 million refugees are in Jordan, intensifying domestic instability; 800,000  (Sunni Muslims) fled to Lebanon, aggravating Shite-Sunni sectarian terrorism and constituting an existential threat; 700,000 are in Turkey, 250,000 in Iraq and 125,000 in Egypt. One million Libyans have fled their country, which has become increasingly violent and unstable since the 2011 toppling and assassination of Kaddafi. Half a million refugees from Ethiopia, Somali, Djibouti and the Sudan have reached Yemen, which is burdened by a similar number of Yemenites, who lost their home due to tribal, religion, ideological and geographic domestic strife.  

According to the British Survey of Palestine, Volume I – cited by Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine, Samuel Katz, Bantam Books, 1973, pp. 22-23) - in 1947, there were 561,000 Arabs in the area which became Israel. At the end of the war, 140,000 Arabs were in Israel; thus, there could not have been more than 420,000 displaced Arabs. "At the end of May 1948, Faris el Khoury, Syria's representative on the UN Security Council, estimated their number at 250,000…. Emil Ghoury, Secretary of the Arab Higher Committee - the leadership of the Arabs in British Mandate Palestine - announced on September 6, 1948, that by the middle of June, the number of Arabs who had fled was 200,000, and by July 17 their number had risen to 300,000…. Count Bernadotte, the UN Special Representative in Palestine, estimated the number of Arab refugees at 360,000, including 50,000 in Israeli territory…”  The Chicago Tribune's  E.R. Noderer reported on May 10, 1948, that 150,000 Arabs were estimated to have left the areas of Palestine assigned to the Jews in the partition plan.”

Misinformation and disinformation have dominated the diplomatic discourse on the Palestinian issue, misleading Western policy-makers and public opinion molders, thus radicalizing Arab expectations and demands, fueling terrorism and minimizing the prospects of peace.


Yoram Ettinger

Source: http://bit.ly/1h67mML

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

The Left and Holocaust Denial



by Jonathan F. Keiler


The so-called anti-Zionist Left long ago descended into outright anti-Semitism. So it is only matter of time before that debasement becomes complete and Left goes all in on the most pernicious modern anti-Semitic trope of all -- Holocaust denial. 

There have long been Left-wing Holocaust deniers, willing to make common cause with their fellow nut-jobs on the extreme Right. It's no great insight to realize the extremes of either political wing are not far apart. Indeed, Nazism itself is the virtual embodiment of mixed Left-Right extremism. 

But until to now, Holocaust denial has been a facet of the most extreme Leftists, denizens of the wackiest web forums and outliers among their fellow travelers -- which is not to say that they have been chastised by the Left. Extreme leftists might not be deniers themselves, but will associate with deniers who are also, of course, unremitting anti-Zionists. But in general, even loopy older malcontents like Ward Churchill don't question the Holocaust and are willing to attack the deniers. In the past at least, left-wing academics have disputed that you can be a leftist and a Holocaust denier at the same time. Not for long.

Israel remains an obsession for the modern Left, and 21st-century Leftists will let nothing stand in the way of delegitimizing the Jewish state, which stands for everything they oppose -- individual freedom, religious rights, free markets, economic success, military excellence, and most of all, Westernization. In the effort to delegitimize Israel, the Left has had some successes, some failures, and some efforts that remain uncertain, such as the BDS movement, which engenders (discouraging for the Left) pushbacks with each "achievement."

Perhaps the most notable success of the effort to delegitimize Israel is the widespread acceptance of the Leftist narrative that Israel was a creation of the Holocaust. No less an authority than President Obama declaimed this idea, centering Israeli legitimacy on the Holocaust as well as equating the plight of Palestinian Arabs with those of Jews during the Holocaust. In making this odious comparison in his famous Cairo address, Obama also staked out the standard position of the Left, asserting that denying the "fact" of the Holocaust is "baseless," "ignorant" and "hateful." But Obama's rejection of Holocaust denial was pro-forma -- necessary to counterbalance to his rhetorical (and morally and historically offensive) equivalency between the Holocaust and the so-called Palestinian nakba

Today if you ask an average American whether Israel was founded as a result of the Holocaust, they would most likely say yes. I know my own Advanced Placement World History classes, students almost always posit the Holocaust as the founding basis of Israel, because this is what they have been told by teachers for ten years. 

The problem for the Left is that despite the widespread acceptance of this false narrative, it does nothing to change the average American's mostly positive view of the Jewish state. Americans also learn in school, and through popular culture, about the singularly evil nature of the Holocaust. If as a result of this catastrophe a refuge for the Jews was founded in their biblical homeland, carved out of about 2% of the Arab-Muslim Middle East -- well, so what? And that feeling is likely reinforced every day Americans watch Arabs slaughter each other in places like Aleppo, Cairo, and Baghdad. 

But what if even the Holocaust "narrative" is false? What if the narrative of the Holocaust as the very basis for the Jewish state is itself a scam, perpetrated by evil Zionists in order to drive poor indigenous Palestinian Arabs from their homes? Then even your average decent, even-keeled, right-minded American might come to see Israel as the evil transgressor.

Perhaps the first notable step has now been taken in that direction by Haaretz, a mainstream Leftist newspaper, (in Israel no less) with the recent publication of an article by somebody called Eli Gat, described as a Holocaust survivor, that calls the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 a myth. Discussing Gat's article in Commentary, Eugene Kontorovich sees it as an attempt to drive a wedge into perhaps the last remaining Jewish consensus -- that the Holocaust produced Jewish victims and heroes -- as a way to undermine what's left of Jewish unity when it comes to Israel. No argument there, but it is likely only a first step what will be a continuing efforts to delegitimize the Holocaust itself, as a way to destroy Israel. 

The Commentary piece, while decrying the article's intent (and Haaretz's by publishing it) gives the article's factual assertions far too much credit, disputing the interpretation of actions in the ghetto, rather than the factual basis of the author's claims. This is precisely the kind of opening that will be exploited by future Leftist deniers of the Holocaust. 

In the Haaretz piece, Gat implies that the small groups of starving, ill-armed fighters that led the uprising condemned the remaining 50,000 people in the ghetto to death, because the Germans, in reaction to the uprising, razed the ghetto. Incredibly, he claims that there was "something of a change in the German policy toward the Jews" in the beginning of 1943, and appears to believe that Jews who worked in ghetto factories for the German arms industry would have continued to do so but for the uprising. The contingencies of history are alive with possibilities, but these are the fodder of novelists, not historians. Gat's claim is simply untrue.

In January 1942, three months before the actual uprising in April, the Germans attempted to deport 10,000 of the 50,000 remaining Jews in the ghetto, but were met with scattered resistance. After that, the SS agreed to transport some number of Jewish factory workers and their families to the Lublin district, where they supposedly would be spared in exchange for their labor. However, the workers by and large refused to go, having learned by then that the Lublin district, administered by the notorious mass murderer SS General Otto Globocnik, housed the death factories of Sobibor, Treblinka, and Belzec. The workers rightly figured that even if the Nazis spared them for a few months, they, and certainly their families, would eventually be gassed. Indeed, there is no evidence that the few foremen and workers who took the Nazis up on this offer survived. 

A couple months later in the spring of 1943, Heinrich Himmler tasked SS General Jurgen Stroop with annihilating the ghetto. There was no "option" to keep the factories running. The SS planned to remove some workers if possible, but Stroop was happy to kill every Jew in place if he could. The uprising occurred only after the Germans entered the ghetto, the fate of the Jews there already sealed. Those who fought did not decide the fate of those who merely hid -- which was the main form of resistance. The Nazis intended to kill or deport every Jew in the ghetto, with or without an uprising.

Gat also tries to lessen the importance and heroism of the ghetto fighters by setting up and destroying straw men, claiming for instance that early accounts of the uprising told of hundreds of German dead or widespread fighting that lasted weeks. But outside the commonly heated recollections of combat veterans, or of movie or television treatments that sometimes show the fighting as more "conventional" than it was, this claim is also untrue. And besides, so what if the heroism of a few poorly armed fighters standing against impossible odds is sometimes exaggerated by participants -- when is it not? World War II combat pilots, the fittest, best fed and best rested of combatants, routinely overestimated enemy losses and their own accomplishments. Did this turn their achievements into myths? In the case of the ghetto, where the best fighter was hungry, untrained, and armed with a decrepit pistol, a few bullets and a homemade grenade, killing or wounding even a single SS man was a significant feat. Besides, even by SS General Stroop's own account, resistance in the ghetto lasted for nearly four weeks, and the Germans were still employing heavy artillery and tanks against ghetto fighters more than a week into the conflict. 

This attack on the veracity of Jewish fighting accounts will only be the beginning. Ultimately, the accounts of Jewish victims, including those of more than a million Jewish children, will come under attack as well. By the Left's own twisted account of Zionist triumphs, eliminating the Holocaust is ultimately the only way to finally and firmly undermine and destroy Israel's legitimacy. This is likely only the start of that effort.


Jonathan Keiler's Israeli commando adventure novel Upfall is available at Amazon and other internet retailers.

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/the_left_and_holocaust_denial.html

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

The American Hypocrisy



by Dr. Reuven Berko


Whenever you try discussing the release of Jonathan Pollard with the Americans, you get unequivocal answers declaring that it is an internal American issue and that a U.S. citizen who spies for another country should be punished to the full extent of the law. They claim it was a mistake to have an operative whose actions compromised the image of the entire Jewish community, and that keeping Pollard in jail aims to deter other Jews who are employed by the establishment from doing the same. 

For Israelis today, Pollard's release is a matter of principle akin to the ancient Jewish tradition of the redemption of captives ("pidyon shvuyim"). Once he is released, Pollard will be embraced as the victim of an error to which we have openly confessed to. The Americans brutally ignore this pain, knowing that Pollard's sin was not endangering the U.S. but helping Israel -- an ally with which the U.S. shares its greatest secrets and that is its most trusted partner in the war on terror. Therefore, Pollard will serve his sentence in full and will not be released so much as one minute earlier. 

On the other hand, the Americans are willing to interfere in Israel's own internal matters and see it release the Palestinian terrorists it had imprisoned. Once released, they are sure to become role models for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other terror operatives.

Sadly, since Pollard was imprisoned the U.S. has released several spies who had harmed its national security. The same U.S. that claims that such things are "internal matters" now demands that Israel release terrorists who have killed Israeli citizens, as part of some delusional peace plan. 

Clearly, the Americans know that this is a devastating step that greatly infringes on Israel's internal affairs; that it encourages Palestinian and Islamic terror, and that it demoralizes the Israeli public.

Meanwhile, the plot thickened with the assistance of National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who proved that it was the Americans, who are so concerned about their "internal affairs," that were rummaging through our internal affairs, and that their intelligence agencies had been busy observing Israeli leaders and other security and social interests using a network of agents and electronic surveillance. If anyone is surprised by this hypocrisy, please stand up. 

The U.S.'s increased motivation regarding the "Palestinian problem" is especially strange given its overall weakness on other core Middle East issues and its disintegrating relationships with its Arab allies. The "Arab winter" has made it perfectly clear, to the Americans as well, that the "Palestinian problem" is of no interest to our bleeding region, where millions of real refugees are in mortal danger. 

The mysterious interests pushing the Americans and Europeans to pressure Israel against settlement construction in areas already meant to remain under Israeli sovereignty in any peace deal, while demanding Israel compromise fundamental security interests by releasing terrorists -- all for the sake of this imaginary "vision of peace" -- is both baffling and suspicious.

Washington's support of Abbas' request to include Israeli Arabs in the prisoners' release has set new records for duplicity. The Palestinian leader, as everyone knows, refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state due to the "Arab minority" living in it. He claims his refusal represents this minority. The American interference in this purely internal Israeli matter is the bastard father of hypocrisy and self-righteousness. Let the Israeli Arab security prisoners pledge, in writing, that Abbas is their leader, and may they be released as proud Palestinians and be sent back to their country.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry comes and goes while the Christian communities in the Middle East are slowly eradicated, their churches burned to the ground. Pollard the Jew is tormented under the imperial Roman Aquila -- the eagle adopted by the U.S. as the symbol of its Great Seal. If the West's "wise" policies cause the situation in the Middle East to deteriorate further, Pope Francis stands to be the last Christian to visit the region. Maybe then we will be able to better focus on the Jews.


Dr. Reuven Berko

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=6845

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

The Islamization of Britain in 2013



by Soeren Kern

In May, new census data published by the British government showed that Islam is set to become the dominant religion in Britain within the next generation.
On being informed that the girl did not want to get married, Mohammed Shahid Akhtar, Imam of Birmingham's Central Jamia Masjid Ghamkol Sharif Mosque, said, "She's 14. By Sharia, grace of Allah, she's legal to get married."

The Muslim population of Britain topped 3.3 million by the end of 2013 to become around 5.2% of the overall population of 63 million, according to figures extrapolated from a recent study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe.

At the same time, opinion surveys consistently show that voters in Britain view Islam and the question of Muslim immigration as a top-ranked public concern. The British public, it seems, is increasingly worried about the establishment of a parallel Muslim society there.

But government efforts to push back against the Islamization of Britain have been halting and half-hearted.

What follows is a chronological review of some of the main stories involving the rise of Islam in Britain during 2013.

In January, Muslim gangs were filmed loitering on streets in London and demanding that passersby conform to Islamic Sharia law. In a series of videos, the self-proclaimed vigilantes—who call themselves Muslim London Patrol—are seen abusing non-Muslim pedestrians and repeatedly shouting "this is a Muslim area."

One video records the men shouting: "Allah is the greatest! Islam is here, whether you like it or not. We are here! We are here! What we need is Islam! What we need is Sharia!"

The video continues: "We are the Muslim Patrol. We are in north London, we are in south London, in east London and west London. We command good and forbid evil. Islam is here in London. [Prime Minister] David Cameron, Mr. Police Officer, whether you like it or not, we will command good and forbid evil. You will never get us. You can go to hell! This is not a Christian country. To hell with Christianity. Isa [Jesus] was a messenger of Allah. Muslim Patrol will never die. Allah is great! Allah is great! We are coming!"

In a January 23 interview with the online newspaper International Business Times, Anjem Choudary, a radical preacher who has long called for Sharia law to be implemented in Britain and other European countries, defended the gang, saying: "This is a wake-up call for society to ask, 'where are we headed?' There is a clash between Islam and liberal democracy in hotspot areas of London."

Choudary has previously led a campaign, known as the Islamic Emirates Project, to turn twelve British cities—including what he calls "Londonistan"—into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves, ruled by Sharia law and governed entirely outside British jurisprudence.

In February, Choudary was filmed urging his followers to quit their jobs and claim unemployment benefits so they have more time to plan holy war against non-Muslims.

Excerpts of the speech, published by the London-based newspaper The Sun on February 17, drew renewed attention to the growing problem of Muslims in Britain and elsewhere who are exploiting European welfare systems.

In the video, Choudary is recorded as saying that Muslims are justified in taking money from non-Muslims, whom he mocks for working in nine-to-five jobs their whole lives. He says: "You find people are busy working the whole of their life. They wake up at 7 o'clock. They go to work at 9 o'clock. They work for eight, nine hours a day. They come home at 7 o'clock, watch EastEnders [a British soap opera], sleep, and they do that for 40 years of their life. That is called slavery. ... What kind of life is that? That is the life of the kuffar [a non-Muslim]."

Choudary urges fellow Muslims to learn from revered figures in Islamic history who only worked one or two days a year. "The rest of the year they were busy with jihad [holy war] and things like that," he says. "People will say, 'Ah, but you are not working.' But the normal situation is for you to take money from the kuffar. So we take Jihad Seeker's Allowance."

Also in February, a judge in London acquitted two brothers from Pakistan who swapped houses in an effort to defraud British taxpayers out of £315,000 ($520,000). The Pakistani couples, who have 11 children between them, submitted bogus tenancy agreements for 16 years so that the women could pretend to be tenants and claim housing benefits.

Judge Neil Sanders ruled: "The two men dishonestly represented through their wives to the London Borough of Redbridge that this was a genuine rental arrangement." Nevertheless, Sanders allowed the men to walk free. "You have both worked hard in terms of making a life for yourselves and in many ways the greatest punishment is the loss of your good name," Sanders said.

In March, the London-based newspaper The Independent reported that at least 100 British Muslims are currently active as jihadists fighting in Syria, which has replaced Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia as the main destination for militant Islamists seeking to obtain immediate combat experience with little or no official scrutiny.

Also in March, St. John's Episcopal Church in Aberdeen, Scotland, became the first church in the United Kingdom to share its premises with Muslim worshippers. Church officials now welcome hundreds of Muslims praying five times a day in their building because the nearby mosque is filled to overcapacity and Muslim worshippers are forced to pray outside.

According to the rector of St. John's, Isaac Poobalan, "Praying is never wrong. My job is to encourage people to pray. The mosque was so full at times, there would be people outside in the wind and rain praying. I knew I couldn't just let this happen, because I would be abandoning what the Bible teaches us about how we should treat our neighbors."

The bishop of Aberdeen, Robert Gillies, says that by handing over sections of the church to the mosque, the church has accomplished "something of global significance on a local scale."

In April, a documentary secretly filmed inside several of the 85 Islamic Sharia Law courts operating in Britain exposed the systematic discrimination that many women are suffering at the hands of Muslim jurists.

The documentary, Secrets of Britain's Sharia Courts, was filmed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and was first aired on BBC Panorama, a long-running current affairs program, on April 8.

The undercover investigation proves what has long been suspected: namely, that Sharia courts, which operate in mosques and houses across Britain, routinely issue rulings on domestic and marital issues according to Islamic Sharia law that are at odds with British law. Although Sharia rulings are not legally binding, those subject to the rulings often feel obliged to obey them as a matter of religious belief, or because of pressure from family and community members to do so.

The documentary contends that the Sharia courts, run by Muslim judges known as qadi, are putting women at risk of violence from abusive husbands by pressuring them to stay in abusive marriages.

The documentary was partially filmed at the Leyton Sharia Council, which openly states on its website that it is preparing for the full recognition of Islamic Sharia law in Britain.

Also in April, British authorities promised to redouble their fight against the spiraling problem of female genital mutilation (FGM) after a weekly primetime television show broadcast by the BBC forced the previously "taboo" subject into mainstream debate.

BBC One's Casualty, a popular emergency medical drama series, became the first mainstream drama on British television to feature a story about FGM. Scriptwriters on the series worked with FGM pressure groups and young girls to produce the two-part drama, which aired on April 6 and 13.

Britain has the highest levels of FGM in Europe. According to a government-funded study published in 2007, at least 66,000 women and girls in Britain have had the procedure performed on them, and more than 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are currently at risk.

These figures, however, may be only the tip of the iceberg. A 2011 Department of Health policy paper warns that "it is possible that, due to population growth and immigration from practicing countries…FGM is significantly more prevalent than these figures suggest."

On April 29, Scotland Yard [London Police] appealed for information to identify the perpetrators of FGM amid growing indications that girls in the capital are being "cut."

But the government's commitment to fighting FGM remains to be seen. A major reason for Britain's dismal record at bringing perpetrators to justice is tolerance of FGM due to political correctness and concerns over "cultural sensitivity," according to many analysts.

Although the mainstream media in Britain and elsewhere routinely take pains to avoid any insinuation that FGM has anything to do with Islam, doctrinally, historically, geographically and juridically, the practice is intrinsically linked to Islam. Critics of FGM say there is a reluctance to tackle the problem because doing so is perceived as attacking Islam.

In May, new census data published by the British government showed that Islam is set to become the dominant religion in Britain within the next generation.

The report, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on May 16, shows that although Christianity is still the main religion in Britain—over 50% of the population describe themselves as such—nearly half of all Christians in Britain are over the age of 50, and, for the first time ever, fewer than half under the age of 25 describe themselves as Christian.

By contrast, the number of people under 25 who describe themselves as Muslim has doubled over the past ten years: one in ten under the age of 25 are Muslim, up from one in 20 in 2001.

If current trends continue—a Muslim population boom, combined with an aging Christian demographic and the increasing secularization of British natives—Islam is set to overtake Christianity in Britain within the next 20 years, according to demographers.

Also in May, a BBC documentary called "Married for a Minute" reported that an increasing number of Muslims in Britain are reviving the Islamic practice of temporary marriage.

Temporary marriage—a euphemism for religiously sanctioned prostitution—is an Islamic custom that unites a man and an unmarried woman as "husband and wife" for a limited period of time (sometimes for less than half an hour).

The proliferation of temporary marriages—combined with the spike in polygamous marriages— shows how Muslims in Britain are using Islamic Sharia law with impunity to establish parallel forms of "marriage" that are otherwise illegal for non-Muslims in the country.

Because of the informal nature of temporary marriage, there are no official statistics to show how many of these unions there are in Britain. But Islamic scholars interviewed by the BBC say the practice is widespread, and anecdotal evidence suggests it is especially popular among the younger generation of Muslims in England and Wales.

In June, the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales (aka the Old Bailey) sentenced seven members of a Muslim child grooming gang based in Oxford to at least 95 years in prison for raping, torturing and trafficking British girls as young as 11.

The high-profile trial, which ended on June 27, was the latest in a rapidly growing list of grooming cases that are forcing politically correct Britons to confront the previously taboo subject of endemic sexual abuse of children by predatory Muslim paedophile gangs.

The 18-week trial drew unwelcome attention to the sordid reality that police, social workers, teachers, neighbors, politicians and the media have for decades downplayed the severity of the crimes perpetrated against British children because they were afraid of being accused of "Islamophobia" or racism.

According to government estimates that are believed to be "just the tip of the iceberg," at least 2,500 British children have so far been confirmed to be victims of grooming gangs, and another 20,000 children are at risk of sexual exploitation. At least 27 police forces are currently investigating 54 alleged child grooming gangs across England and Wales.

Also in June, a Muslim cab driver named Mohamed Hacene-Chaouch was jailed for seven years and three months after being found guilty of raping a female passenger in his unlicensed taxi. Hacene-Chaouch—an Algerian married father of five—assaulted the woman after she got lost in Soho, central London.

The case drew public attention to a wave of sex crimes involving predatory Muslim taxi drivers who are raping female passengers. The number of so-called taxi rapes is snowballing to such an extent that a British judge has issued a warning that no woman can expect to be safe while traveling in a cab.

Reliable statistics on taxi rapes nationwide are difficult to obtain, and Freedom of Information requests seeking accurate data on cab-related sexual assaults are routinely denied (here and here).

However, a much acclaimed report produced by the London Metropolitan Police Service estimates that on average there are a total of 1,125 sexual assaults, including rapes, each year involving taxi drivers just in London; this works out to approximately 22 sexual assaults against women by taxi drivers each week in the capital city of England alone.

Meanwhile, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller—two well-known counter-jihad activists who are opposed to the spread of Sharia law in the West—were banned from Britain under the so-called Unacceptable Behavior policy, following a personal intervention from Home Secretary Theresa May.

In a letter posted on the Internet, May writes: "The Home Secretary will seek to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good. We condemn all those whose behaviors and views run counter to our shared values and will not stand for extremism in any form."

It later emerged that the main reason why Spencer and Geller were banned from Britain was because of their strong support for Israel.

At the same time, the British government had no problems with allowing the Saudi Sheikh Adel al-Kalbani—who says all Jews and Christians should be removed from the Arabian Peninsula—to embark upon a speaking tour of Britain.

Britain also allowed into the country another Saudi hate preacher, Mohammed al-Arefe, who has said: "Devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer. Allah said that if a man fights the infidels, the infidels will be unable to prepare to fight."

In July, a House of Commons research report entitled "Prison Population Statistics" showed that the number of Muslim inmates in England and Wales jumped to 11,248 in 2012, up from 3,681 in 1997. It was the first time that the number of Muslim convicts in British prisons has surpassed the 11,000 mark. Stated another way, the number of Muslims in British prisons has jumped by more than 200% over the past 15 years.

The rate of increase of Muslim inmates in British prisons is eight times faster than that of the overall prison population, and the numbers show a clear overrepresentation of Muslim convicts: Muslims, who make up roughly 5% of the British population as a whole, now make up 13% of the British prison population (compared to just 6% in 1997).

The growth in the number of Muslim inmates has fueled fears that British prisons are becoming hotbeds for Islamic radicalization.

Although most of the Muslims in British prisons are immigrants from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, an increasing number of Muslim inmates are converts to Islam.

Writing in the July 2013 issue of the prisoner's magazine, Inside Time, a "long serving prisoner" at the Long Lartin Prison in Worcestershire has this to say: "We are able to cook our own food here but if we attempt to cook pork in the communal kitchen it is deemed dangerous, even a threat to your life. The kitchen is usually occupied by 90% Muslims and we have been told if we cook pork we will be stabbed. There have been incidents here where people have been targeted and pressured and bullied into converting to Islam."

He adds: "I am writing to inform people of these radical extremists views in this prison where I see no official steps being taken to combat them. Young Muslim men are being radicalized in here and one day they may commit acts of terrorism in this country. There seems to be nothing being done here to stop it and people are scared to speak out. I hope we get some feedback from this; it needs to be sorted out."

In August, an Islamic television channel based in Birmingham was hit with a hefty fine after a Muslim hate preacher told viewers—live on air—that it was the duty of all Muslims to murder anyone who shows disrespect for the Prophet Mohammed.

Noor TV, a Satellite Television Channel that broadcasts programs about Islam throughout Europe, was fined £85,000 ($115,000) by the British broadcasting regulator known as Ofcom for inciting people to commit murder.

Ofcom said the fine imposed on August 21 was so large due to "the serious nature of the breaches of the Broadcasting Code." It said young Muslims watching Noor TV could become "radicalized" and take "violent and criminal action as a result of watching videos of Muslims with extreme views."

In a separate case, Ofcom ordered DM Digital Television to pay a fine of £85,000 ($115,000) after it broadcast a speech by an Islamic scholar who said Muslims had "a duty to kill" anyone who insulted the Prophet Mohammed.

The Manchester-based channel—which claims it has a worldwide audience of 30 million—describes itself as bringing "Asian and English cultures closer" by integrating its people, the cultural diversity, communities and the economy.

In its ruling, Ofcom cited a program called Rehmatul Lil Alameen [Mercy unto the Worlds] which featured a live lecture it said was "likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder."

Ofcom stated that some of the comments on the program could be seen as "a generic call to all Muslims encouraging or inciting them to criminal action or disorder, by unambiguously stating that they had a duty to kill anyone who criticizes or insults the Prophet Mohammed and apostates."

In September, the Birmingham Metropolitan College reversed a ban on Islamic veils after furious Muslim students complained of discrimination, and launched an online petition drive that gathered more than 8,000 signatures in just two days.

The college backed away from its ban on September 12, just hours before a mass demonstration by hundreds of Muslim students threatened to disrupt the normal functioning of the college.

Local high school students visit the engineering department of Birmingham Metropolitan College.

The controversy began on September 9, the first day of the autumn term, when the college announced that students and employees would be ordered to remove any face coverings so that individuals are "easily identifiable at all times."

The college's ban on face-covering niqabs or the body-covering burqas—as well as caps, hoodies and other types of head covering—was billed as a security measure.

Tory MP for Kettering Philip Hollobone told the British newspaper The Independent that the college's reversal was a shameful disgrace and argued for the urgent need for legislation to ban the niqab in all public spaces.

"People are frightened of standing up and speaking out in this discussion because of political correctness and the intolerant reaction from Muslim groups who jump up and down with fury whenever anyone says that it makes sense for people to go around with their faces perfectly visible to everyone else, which is the way human beings were created in the first place," Hollobone said.

Hollobone presented a bill in the British Parliament on September 6 that would make it illegal to wear clothing obscuring the face in public; the bill will be considered on February 28, 2014.

In a live debate entitled "Should Britain Ban the Veil?" and aired on BBC Radio 5 on September 6, Hollobone said, "Society can't function if people go around with facial coverings. If we all covered our faces the world would be a very different place. Imagine Parliament where everyone had their face covered. It makes it very difficult for the police to identify troublemakers. I am sad that legislation may be necessary to address this problem. It's basic common sense to most people. It would ultimately lead to the breakdown of our society."

Hollobone denied that his proposal amounted to an attack on Islam: "We have to be quite clear—the burka isn't religious clothing. It's a choice."

Also in September, a taxpayer-funded Muslim school in England inflamed public anger after it emerged that the institution was operating according to Islamic Sharia law.

Islamic fundamentalists running the Al-Madinah School in Derby, an industrial city in central England, had ordered all female teachers—including those who are not Muslim—to cover their heads and shoulders with a hijab, an Islamic scarf.

In addition to the strict dress code, pupils were banned from singing songs, playing musical instruments, or reading fairy tales, activities deemed to be "un-Islamic," according to non-Muslim staff members at the school.

Critics say the school—which originally marketed itself as an "inter-faith" school in order to qualify for taxpayer monies—promised that at least 50% of its students would be non-Muslim. But after it obtained £1.4 million (€1.7 million; $2.25 million) in government financing, the administrators of Al-Madinah were accused of switching gears by operating the school according to Islamic law, apparently to ensure that the school will eventually be 100% Muslim.

Also in September, the British Department of Education revealed that it is recruiting former agents of the British secret service (MI5) to investigate the alleged infiltration of British schools by Islamic extremists.

The agents will form part of a new counter-extremism unit, established to investigate schools in which radical activity has been suspected. Speaking to the Sunday Times on September 29, Education Secretary Michael Gove said some schools are being "taken over" by Muslim hardliners in the hope of radicalizing pupils and staff. He also said he was determined to "weed out" schools whose practices do not conform to British values.

A survey published by the BBC on September 25 revealed that more than a quarter of young British people distrust Muslims and feel Britain would be better off if there were fewer of them in the country. Of the 1,000 young people questioned in the survey conducted by ComRes, a leading market research agency, 27% of 18-to-24-year-olds said they did not trust Muslims, while 28% said Britain would be better off with fewer Muslims. It also emerged that 60% thought the British public had a negative image of Muslims, and 44% said Muslims do not have the same values as the rest of the population.

A separate survey published by Lord Ashcroft Polls on September 1, showed that six in ten Britons thought immigration had produced more disadvantages than advantages for their country; only 17% thought the pros outweighed the cons. The biggest concerns were about migrants claiming benefits or using public services without having contributed in return.

In London, a judge on September 16 ordered a Muslim defendant to take off her full-face veil to give evidence in court. But—in a case that made legal history—he said the woman could retain the veil for all other parts of her trial.

Judge Peter Murphy said the court should recognize "freedom of religious expression," but that allowing her to retain the niqab during her evidence, as she wanted, would "drive a coach and horses through justice administered in England and Wales for centuries." Murphy said he hoped that "Parliament or a higher court will provide a definite answer to the issue soon" to avoid "judicial anarchy."

Also in September, the British Ministry of Justice confirmed that a total of 186 Muslim inmates at three different prisons are suing the British government, claiming their human rights were violated after tests confirmed that halal food being served to them contained pork meat.

The legal cases are being brought by the prisoners under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which affords the right to the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

In October, more than a dozen Muslim clerics at some of the biggest mosques in Britain were caught on camera agreeing to marry off girls as young as 14.

Undercover reporters filming a documentary about the prevalence of forced and underage marriage in Britain for the television program ITV Exposure secretly recorded 18 Muslim imams agreeing to perform an Islamic marriage, known as a nikah, between a 14-year-old girl and an older man.

Although the legal age for marriage in Britain is 16, according to Sharia law girls can marry once they reach puberty. The imams who agreed to marry the girl openly mocked the legitimacy of British law, reflecting the rise of a parallel Islamic legal system in Britain.

One of the Muslim clerics who agreed to perform the underage marriage is Mohammed Shahid Akhtar, the imam of the Central Jamia Masjid Ghamkol Sharif Mosque in Birmingham, the second-largest mosque in Britain with a capacity of more than 5,000 worshippers.

On being informed that the girl did not want to get married, Akhtar replied: "She's 14. By Sharia, grace of Allah, she's legal to get married. Obviously Islam has made it easy for us. There is nothing against that. We're doing it because it's okay through Islam."

The documentary also shows Akhtar expressing his contempt for British marriage laws: "You've got the kuffars [non-believers], the law, the English people that ... you know, you can't get married twice but, by the grace of Allah, we can get married four times."

Meanwhile, British taxpayers were left to pay a legal bill of £350,000 (€410,000; $566,000) after Muslim parents went to court to win the right to shave the pubic hair of their disabled daughter.

The mother and father of the young woman, who is referred to as "ED" in court documents, said their daughter's pubic hair should be removed according to Islamic tradition. But their local council, which has cared for the disabled woman since 2008, questioned whether she had the mental capacity to consent to her hair being removed.

After more than two years of legal fights, the Muslim couple abruptly dropped the case on October 22, after a "cultural expert" concluded that "whilst there was a duty to remove pubic hair, both for religious and cultural reasons, there is an exemption for those incapacitated such as ED."

The local authority involved had incurred costs of £138,000, the couple of £82,000 and the official attorney, appearing for ED, of £130,000, with taxpayers footing the entire bill.

"This is an astonishing sum of money," a judge at London's High Court, Justice Roderic Wood, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper. "I thus remain utterly baffled by the course this litigation has taken, and perplexed by this lack of clarity in their case. Obtaining a 10-day slot of a High Court Judge's time is not easy, for there are many competing cases of equal if not greater urgency than this one."

In lead up a final hearing, which had been scheduled for late October, "a great morass" of evidence was prepared, including 740 pages of witness statements, 300 pages of expert evidence as well as other documents, the judge said.

Also in October, the London Stock Exchange said it would be launching a new Islamic bond index in an effort to establish the City of London as one of the world's leading centers of Islamic finance.

Britain also plans to become the first non-Muslim country to issue sovereign Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, beginning as early as 2014.

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the plans during a keynote speech at the ninth World Islamic Economic Forum, which was held in London from October 29-31, the first time the event has ever been held outside the Muslim world.

"Already London is the biggest center for Islamic finance outside the Islamic world," Cameron told the audience of more than 1,800 international political and business leaders from over 115 countries.

"And today our ambition is to go further still. Because I don't just want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance in the Western world, I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world."

The plans are all part of the British government's strategy to acquire as big a slice as possible of the fast-growing global market of Islamic finance, which operates according to Islamic Sharia law and is growing 50% faster than the conventional banking sector.

In Scotland, meanwhile, the largest-ever immunization program was halted on October 2 after Muslim parents complained that the so-called Fluenz vaccine contained pork gelatin. The roll-out of the flu vaccine in Glasgow was postponed after parents at Glendale Primary in Pollokshields—which has a large number of Muslim pupils who cannot consume pig products for religious reasons—became aware of the ingredients and complained.

The National Health Service of Greater Glasgow and Clyde, an area that contains the overwhelming majority of the Muslims in Scotland, said that 100 Islamic scholars had agreed that pork gelatin was permissible within a vaccine, but it had postponed the vaccinations anyway "following concerns raised by a small number of parents."

A similar vaccination program in Leicestershire, England, was halted in September after the same flu vaccine was deemed to be "insensitive" to Muslims.

In November it emerged that Choukri Ellekhlifi, a British man who was killed fighting alongside al Qaeda-linked extremists in Syria, funded his trip by mugging people in an affluent area of London.

Ellekhlifi threatened victims with a Taser-style high-voltage stun gun and forced them to hand over valuables including designer watches and mobile phones.

He lived in London until a year ago when he skipped bail and travelled to Syria to join a group of Islamic extremists waging war on the Assad regime. He was one of three British men killed as their group attacked pro-government forces near the city of Aleppo on August 11. The trio were part of a group of ten British jihadists who joined up with 20 other Britons to fight with the Al-Nusra Front, allied to Al-Qaeda.

Separately, Ifthekar Jaman, a 23-year-old jihadist from Southsea, Hampshire, told Richard Watson—the host of the BBC's flagship daily news and current affairs program called Newsnight—that he traveled to Syria to fight with the Al-Qaida-linked ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). Jaman said he supported the principle of jihad before he left Britain. He told the BBC:
I was already a jihadi [while in the UK] I understood I was on the jihadi path. Where it all began? It began from the book [the Koran]. And I read this and in there you see what jihad is about. I used to be scared of the word jihad. I once went to my sister when I was young I said to her, I saw it in the book and it said fighting. And my sister said to me jihad means what you have in your heart, what you did in your heart. This is what I was taught. It wasn't taught to me that Islam is peace and there's no fighting. It is peace but it requires fighting. The duty of a Muslim is to love jihad. One of the sayings of the prophet peace be upon him whoever does not go jihad or doesn't even talk about it dies with the characteristic of hypocrisy. I am actually a Muslim following the way I should be.
Also in November, the head of MI5 (British domestic intelligence), Andrew Parker, told the British Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee that there are thousands of people living in Britain today who support al Qaida; and the head of MI6 (British foreign intelligence), Sir John Sawers, warned that the threat of terrorist attacks against Britain is increasing. Parker said that British intelligence had foiled 34 terrorist plots since the July 7 London bombings in 2005.

In December, two Islamists, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, were found guilty of the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby outside the Woolwich Barracks in southeast London on May 22, 2013. The crime shocked the country and has drawn nationwide attention to the rise of radical Islam in Britain.

Adebolajo, 28, and Adebowale, 22, were each accused of attacking the 25-year-old Rigby by running him over from behind with a car and then attempting to decapitate his motionless body with a meat cleaver and kitchen knives.

Both men were born in Britain and raised as Christians before converting to Islam as teenagers.

During the trial, Adebolajo said there was an ongoing "war between the Muslims and the British people" and that he was a "soldier of Allah."

Assistant London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, the most senior counter-terrorism officer in Britain, told the newspaper The Telegraph that British soldiers are at risk from "thousands" of lone-wolf terrorists who hold to a "perverted ideology" like the home-grown fanatics who murdered Rigby. She said the threat could never be eliminated.

Meanwhile, three Muslim men were sentenced at the Old Bailey on December 6 for confronting and abusing non-Muslims in London in January 2013. The three—who called themselves the Muslim Patrol—confronted, physically assaulted, and verbally abused members of the public whose behavior was in violation of Sharia law. They then posted the videos of their actions on YouTube.

Also in December, Marks & Spencer, the biggest clothing retailer in Britain, backed down after facing a boycott from thousands of angry customers who were furious at the store's decision to allow Muslim staff to refuse to serve customers buying alcohol or pork products during the Christmas shopping season.

The policy was revealed after customers trying to buy pork or alcohol from a Muslim cashier at an M&S store in central London were told that because of her religion, they would have to use another checkout lane.

Critics of M&S's policy of accommodation said it was just another example of how British law and practice is giving way to Islamic Sharia law and practice.


Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4112/islamization-britain

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

Dr. Denis MacEoin’s Letter to St. James Church



by Maurice Ostroff

Thanks to Sefton Bergson for calling this article to my attention.

St. James’s Church in Piccadilly, London is hosting a Christmas festival with a giant replica of the separation barrier in Israel, which it incorrectly claims surrounds Bethlehem. (While portion of the barrier is close to Bethlehem it is misleading to claim that it even approximately surrounds Bethlehem).

Dr. Denis MacEoin is a scholar and editor of the Middle East Quarterly, a journal dealing with politics, religion, and society in the region. A former lecturer in Islamic studies, his academic specializations are Shi‘ism, Shaykhism, Bábism, and the Bahá’í Faith, on all of which he has written extensively. 

Below is the cogent letter he wrote to three priests serving at St. James Church. 

Dear Revs. Meader, Winkett and Valentine,

The last time I was in your beautiful church was for a memorial service for my dear friend Patricia Parkin, a leading literary editor and my own editor for a great many years. The service was a thing of great beauty, with some wonderful music, as one might expect from your church. My attention was drawn by the magnificent Grinling Gibbons carvings on the font and reredos. Having recently read David Esterly’s lyrical account of his restoration of Gibbon’s carvings, my appreciation of the quality of your specimens has much increased. You are very welcome to visit my parish church, St. George’s in Jesmond, which is widely thought to be the most beautiful church in the North of England.

The welcomes you extend to LGBT people, the homeless, refugees, and innovative approaches to the liturgy and beyond (as in your Zen group) have always interested. My own background is in Persian, Arabic and Islamic Studies (especially Shi’ite Islam), on all of which I have written extensively. The bulk of my academic work has centered on the Baha’i religion and its precursors. I am very conscious of the plight of the Baha’is still living in Iran, where they have been and are being persecuted with great severity. I don’t know if you include them in your prayers, but perhaps I can ask you to.

Compassion for those who suffer is necessarily an automatic response of Christians, given the emphasis Christ placed on love for one’s fellow man.

For myself, my earliest encounter with true suffering came through a teacher at my drama school in Belfast, Helen Lewis (née Katz). I had heard that she had been imprisoned in a concentration camp, but it wasn’t till one day when she rolled her sleeve up and I saw numbers tattooed on her arm that her plight came home to me. She had spent a long time in Theresianstadt (Terezin), where she saved her life because she was a professional ballet dancer: the Nazis used Terezin as a Potemkin village with dancers, musicians, actors, painters and writers to impress the Red Cross and others with their kindly treatment of inmates (while thousands died behind the scenes). Helen’s husband died in Auschwitz.

Helen’s legacy to me, an Irish teenager baptized in the Church of Ireland, was a growing concern for the Jewish people and, from that, a deep love for the state of Israel and the enormous good it has done and does in the world. In all the Middle East and far beyond, no other country but Israel gives refuge to the Baha’is. They have built a famous world centre there, with gardens and shrines and white marble buildings for their administrative needs.

Throughout the Middle East, Christians are dwindling rapidly in numbers, mainly because extremist Islamic groups drive them out. Israel is the only country in the region where Christian numbers have been growing steadily since 1948. It goes without saying that Israel is the only country across the Islamic world where Jews can live safely, after almost a million were killed or driven out of Arab lands in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Those few Jews who live in Iran live on a knife-edge.

Why do I mention all this? Because your church has constructed a mendacious wall on its premises in order to make an ignominious political point, something I would not have believed your church capable of. It is mendacious because it pretends the entire separation is a wall, when the wall covers about 1%. It is mendacious because it does not mention the 30 or so security walls and fences that have been built by other countries, many much longer than Israel’s.

It is mendacious because it carries no message to explain why it is there, when it is explicitly there to deter violent attacks from the West Bank into Israel. It is mendacious because it carries no statement alerting onlookers to the fact that the barrier has already saved thousands of live. Or does saving lives really not matter to Christians. Or are Jewish lives not as important as the lives of suicide bombers and other terrorists? If you seek fairness ­ and I suspect you do in a muddled way ­why did you not contact the Israeli embassy, who could have loaned you something apposite: a bus, on board which passengers died when a suicide bomber detonated himself?

From the moment Israel was established, the Palestinians and their neighbours tried again and again to fight wars and to inflict wounds on Israeli civilians. The Palestinians were offered a state of their own but rejected it and turned to 65 years of violence. Why is this not made clear?

Sadly, large numbers of people on the far political left, aided and abetted by a surprising and disappointing force of Christians, have become fiercely one-sided. I have attended a Christian conference where much of the discourse verged on anti-Semitism. These people will not engage in open debate, they stamp their feet and shout, to drown out pro-Israel speakers, they lumber into a controversy about which they know little or nothing.

An Anglican priest, Stephen Sizer, who was responsible for your wall, is a fanatic whom all Jews I know consider to be an anti-Semite, bringing back to modern churches a theology that we thought had been discarded. Supercessionism is just another way of saying that Christians are superior to Jews, that Jews have denied God and are destined to go to Hell. It is not a pleasant doctrine, and it shocks me that you make room for it.

In an age when anti-Semitism is growing daily, when Jews are fleeing European countries, when calls to exterminate the Jews are easily found on the Internet, what on earth are you thinking, to dice so freely with the very forces you might otherwise despise. Why do terrorists win your sympathy more readily than Jewish children murdered in their beds? The Palestinians still freely quote the words of the 1967 Khartoum Declaration, ‘No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel (as a Jewish state)’. Doesn’t that tell you how hard it has been for Israel to make a peace agreement? Why don’t you publicize that? It is Palestinian refusal that has blocked peace, not Israeli aggression. Why don’t you say so? Surely you believe in the truth and the virtue of speaking the truth. Why should well-meaning Christians let themselves be guided by hardline communists and anti-Semites? It seems altogether confused to me.

When I recognized Helen Lewis’s suffering and saw how she had survived a terrible ordeal through great inner strength, and when I saw how well she used her talents to teach and to create her own modern dance troupe in Northern Ireland, I also understood that when it came to a real choice, then I would opt for the Jews and I would lend what little help I could to Israel. I have never been disappointed in it. There have been mistakes, but no more than for any other country I know, and a great deal less than many other nations. Why on earth do you criticize the building of a fence to keep out terrorists when you make no tableau of Syria or Egypt or South Sudan or Iran or Saudi Arabia or North Korea, all places that make Israel stand out as a cloister for human rights, decency, and tolerance?

The wall your church so wantonly displays is often called an ‘apartheid wall’. This resonates with the frequent accusation that Israel is an ‘apartheid state’. It has become commonplace to demonize the state of Israel and the seven and a half million people who llve there. But the slightest investigation will show that Israel is one of the least apartheid states in the world. It is simply a lie to say so, and it is a lie to speak of the wall as an apartheid walls. It is a security barrier, just like dozens of others round the world, none of which is ever called an ‘apartheid wall’. I should have thought that you would have carried out some kind of inquiry into this before constructing a fake wall that is so frequently characterized as apartheid-based. A short trip to Israel might have helped, a long trip even more.

We know very well that the wall and fence have saved countless lives, lives of Israeli Jews, lives of Israeli Arabs. Its purpose is to keep out terrorists, but the long barrier is not designed to keep out all Palestinians. At frequent intervals along its route, the fence has controlled openings through which Palestinians working in Israel may pass.

Let me illustrate the importance of the fence with a single example. In 2005, a young Palestinian woman called Wafa al-Biss was badly burned in a domestic fire, taken to Israel’s SorokaHospital, and treated there for months. When discharged, she was given a permit to return as an out-patient. Some time later she headed for the hospital wearing a suicide belt with the aim of exploding  it among the doctors and nurses who had treated her, as well as however many children she could find. She was caught at a checkpoint and imprisoned. Earlier this year she was released as part of a prisoner release agreement. Within hours she was speaking to Palestinian children, urging them to put on suicide vests and kill as many Jews as possible. And some people wonder why the Israelis need a security barrier.
It is simply wrong, I believe ­ and, I am sure, all Christians believe ­ to flaunt one people’s suffering as righteous while condemning another people for simply seeking to secure themselves and their children from vicious attack. Wafa al-Biss was not a mentally disturbed lone killer manquée, but someone who had every reason to be grateful to the men and women who had saved her life. She was part of a killing system, a system that has taken the lives of thousands of Israel down the years.

The Palestinians have made hatred their raison d’être. It defines their radio and television broadcasts, the lessons they are taught in school, their mosque sermons, their political speeches, their publications, their newspapers, and the actions of terrorist outfits who truly do not care whom they kill, not even if their victims are four-month old babies in their cots. I repine against all this hatred and unnecessary death, and I wish there were no need for a barrier of any kind. I have just re-read a letter from a Palestinian doctor from Gaza, who speaks emotionally about the evil Wafa al-Biss came close to doing. Men like him and the Israelis at Soroka and other hospitals where Palestinians receive the most advanced treatment in the world offer a way forward. It might have been the Christian thing to invite men and women without hatred to speak at St. James’s. But to build a wall and use it to condemn the one side that has made the most efforts for peace and partnership is a dereliction of your Christian duty. I wish I could see something positive, but I can’t.

I do think I understand your motivation, and with that I have no argument. Like so many, you have bought the narrative that portrays Palestinians as suffering victims and Israelis as people without conscience, aggressors, bloated by pride and prejudice. My conscience pricks me to say that my experience has been quite the opposite. It would take too long to explain that, though I’d be happy to try if any of you were willing to enter into correspondence on the subject. In lieu of that, there are some very fine books that could take you a long way into a better understanding of the wider situation.  I’d be happy to recommend some of those if it would help.

I hope my criticisms have not seemed excessive. This is a field where emotions do run fast. And it is also a debate on which human lives may depend. The final outcome of the Israel/Palestine issue brings with it a bright or dark future for the region, for the rest of the world, and for the continuity or destruction of the Jewish people. It is my fear that your ‘wall’ may contribute to that destruction, that I write to you so forcefully. I hope you understand that.

 Dr. Denis MacEoin
 Newcastle upon Tyne


Maurice Ostroff

Source: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/dr-denis-maceoins-letter-to-st-james-church/

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