by Melanie Phillips
Years of demonizing
Throughout the war,
Night after night,
Certainly, there have been anti-Israel protests around the world. But in
The police told pro-Israel demonstrators on at least one occasion to put away their
In general, the police have reacted passively to the violence. One recent video clip captured the astonishing spectacle of Muslims stampeding through London's West End hurling traffic cones and other missiles at the police, all the time shrieking 'Allahu akbar' and 'cowards.' The police ran and stumbled backward rather than standing their ground and stopping the rampage.
Not only has such violence barely been reported. There has also been no acknowledgment of the explicitly Islamist nature of these demonstrations. Keffiyeh-clad demonstrators prostrated themselves in prayer or shouted 'Allahu akbar' as they attacked Jewish-owned or -founded stores, such as Starbucks and Tesco, on numerous occasions.
Instead, the political class has simply regurgitated Hamas propaganda. In a debate in the House of Commons last week, one MP after another expressed horror at
More serious still, Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell cited as fact the Hamas claim that 300 children had been killed in Gaza, even though Israel has given a much lower figure, and said the Israeli action was 'disproportionate' and the bombing was 'indefensible and unacceptable.'
Similarly, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, commenting after this weekend's cease-fire that 'too many innocent people' had been killed, made no mention of Israel's strenuous attempts to minimize civilian casualties, nor Hamas's responsibility for holding Gaza's civilians hostage.
In fact, the British government has effectively taken the view that
From the second day of the war, Foreign Secretary David Miliband was calling for an immediate cease-fire by both sides. Since Hamas would take no notice, this in practice amounted to pressure upon
Certainly, neither Mr. Miliband nor Mr. Brown — a reputed supporter of Israel — can be unaware that it was Tony Blair's refusal to call for an immediate cease-fire by Israel in the 2006 Lebanon war that finally led his MPs, already enraged by his support for the war in Iraq, to force him prematurely out of office.
Last Thursday, Mr. Miliband wrote in the Guardian that there was no single, unified Islamist threat but merely a set of various local grievances, such as Kashmir or the
Such startling ignorance of the goals and ideological antecedents of the Islamic jihad, from Hamas to Hezbollah to
The government denies this fact because it does not want to face up to the unpalatable realities of fighting such a war. So although 'middle
Recently, prominent British Muslims who advise ministers against Islamist extremism wrote an open letter making the veiled threat that unless the government condemned
Ministers' openly stated fear that this will indeed happen as a result of the war in Gaza makes them anxious to show Britain's Muslims that they oppose Israel's actions. They don't understand that, by showing such weakness in the face of intimidation, they are not just betraying their Israeli ally but also undermining the Western defense against the jihad.
Across the spectrum,
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