Why are the British so anti-Israel?


Britan becomes anti-Israel


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Farewell to Albion, or path to Eurabia

By Alexander Maistrovoy

We shouldn't be surprised at the present hatred orgy for Israel in foggy Albion, say the few supporters of the Jewish state in Great Britain. "Merry Old England" fell into oblivion.

You can hardly find more odious mass media in all the West Europe concerning their attitude to Israel, than in Great Britain. And Britons appear to be staunchly pro-Palestinian. Even before the last Lebanese war the polls showed that much more British people sympathized with the Palestinians than Israel. By comparison, in France, which traditionally and rightly is considered to be pro-Arabic, votes are divided equally.

After the beginning of the operation in Lebanon, the most of the British mass-media started the defamation campaign. Some of them were not ashamed of direct falsification. A Reuters photographer was exposed at moment of throwing about broken toys, which he had brought in his suitcase from the USA, in the ruins of Beirut. Some newspapers published cartoons resembling those of the Nazi Germany. The Guardian as usually was the leader in the anti-Israeli drive. In the beginning of the war it published a caricature: an Israeli fist with Hizbollah "stings" on it smites a bleeding Lebanese child. The Daily Telegraph followed suit. It published two "identical" photos with captions: "Warsaw, 1943" and "Tyre, 2006". Robert Fisk in the Independent claimed that Israel had no right to defend itself because Hezbollah hide among civilians.

Presenting information on BBC does not differ a bit from that of Lebanese TV. During the Hard Talk Show the presenter was approvingly listening and supporting the ex-prime-minister of Lebanon, who declared that the original cause of war was  "the continuing occupation of Lebanon".

    "The BBCWATCH reports demonstrate that the BBC consistently fails to adhere to its legal obligations to produce impartial and accurate reporting. Our systematic, objective and rigorous research points to the firm conclusion that the BBC frequently displays marked and consistent pro-Palestinian bias in their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute", BBCWATCH asserts.

British society is hysterical about everything, concerning Israel and its war on terror. There is practically full unanimity in attitude to Israel. Conservatives try to outstrip left liberals in their rhetoric. The best example of it is the comparison of IDF actions to "Nazi genocide in the Warsaw ghetto" by Tory deputy Peter Tapsell.

Why has Great Britain, who had friendly relations with Israel and the Jews, turned to anti-Israeli paranoia? Here are the answers of Britons themselves, those who haven't lost their dignity and common sense inherent to the nation.

I turned with the request to Scottish Friends of Israel (www.scottishfriendsofisrael.org) and during few days one of the organizers of this site Myer Green helped me to create virtual round-table discussion on this issue.

But first I would like to acknowledge with gratitude all the participants of this virtual discussion and above all Mr.Green, for their response, inestimable assistance and support of Israel in its very difficult time. Thank you from all people of Israel!

1. Scotland has been a bastion of pro-Jews sympathy and activity for a long time. How do the present Scotsmen see the conflict between Israel and Arabs, including the present war with Hizbollah?

Annette Shaw
Scotsmen and women have been the victims, as has the rest of the U.K., of Political Correctness.  We are also fed continual anti-Israeli propaganda by the media, particularly the BBC, and the press.  A group of pro-Palestinians regularly write to the press and are visible in Glasgow, Edinburgh etc. with propaganda leaflets and petitions and are kept busy by people ignorant of the situation in the Middle East, swallowing their lies. 

Alan Picker
I think I should explain that I'm not a Scot, but have lived here since 1974, so keep this in mind. I am by no means an expert on Scottish politics or culture. All I can offer is a few impressions.

In my opinion, Scotland is virulently anti-Israel with anti-Semitism bubbling just below the surface, ready to explode at anytime. Scotland is a socialist country with I think only one conservative representative in Parliament. It is staunchly, pro-Palestinian, pro-Lebanon, pro-Hezbollah and pro-Muslim. We have Scottish towns twinned with Palestinian towns, Mordechai Vanunu elected as Rector of Glasgow University, demonstrations outside community events and anti-Israel 'stop the war' rallies.

Mary Divine
Sadly many Scots today are being influenced by the media's bias.

Dr Rufus M Ross
From the correspondence in the Herald many Scots appear to be  pro-Palestinian and although against Hizbollah are being deeply affected by the images of bombed buildings and reports of Lebanese deaths. The reasons for the Israeli actions are not presented strongly enough.

2. How can you explain the negative attitude to Israel in Great Britain, including its mass media?

Annette Shaw
Sometimes fear of what the Muslims in this country will do and the problems they will cause with their extremism, (e.g. threaten to blow up the BBC) plus again, PC and our ridiculous Human Rights Laws which allow them to say whatever they like, and they use this to their own advantage) even advocating beheading for those who supported the cartoons of Mohammed being published.

Alan Picker
Anti-Israel sentiment is mainly found among the Intelligentsia, which is by and large on the Left of the political spectrum to one degree or another. This makes them hostile to the USA. As Israel has a close relationship with the Americans, this means that this is a good reason to oppose Israel automatically. Another factor is a knee-jerk anti-imperialism. Israel is perceived as a remnant of the old British Empire and the new American hegemony.

The Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular, are seen as victims of this emporium. This has extended itself to Islam in general, even though this is probably the most reactionary and retrograde force in the world today.

In my opinion it is anti-Semitism in all its forms. The left wing is anti-Israel and the right wing is anti-Semitic. Many journalists, belong to unions, which are pro-Palestinian, and this is obviously reflected in their reporting. In addition to this, the Left has teamed up with the Muslim community which introduces its own anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and anti-American agenda.

Mary Divine
Oil and the threat of terrorism.  If they say nice things about Islam then perhaps the terrorists will not be inclined to hate us - sad misconception.

Dr Rufus M Ross, Glasgow
Hizbollah is first to splash pictures across our TV screens and Israeli spokesmen are poor seconds and frequently inarticulate speakers with a lack of English.  The first images are the ones that are remembered and by the time that an Israel explanation is forthcoming, the damage is done.

3. Are many people in Great Britain well-informed about real causes of the present war and Iranian and Syrian roles in it?

Annette Shaw
Most are very badly informed and it shows in the comments in press etc.

I believe most people who are interested, know the role Iran and Syria play, but still see the Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East as victims of 'Imperialist, colonialist, neo-con, Zionist, capitalist' America.

Mary Divine
Most certainly NOT!  There is a definite bias towards the Palestinian and its 'worthy' cause.

Dr Rufus M Ross, Glasgow
Seems that the majority are not aware of the relationship of Hizbollah to Syria and Iran.

4. How can you explain the hostile policy of Protestant churches to Israel in the world, and Presbyterian church, in particular? How can you explain the absence of such strong movements like evangelical in Great Britain and other Protestant countries?

 Annette Shaw
Part of the problem is "Replacement theology" which says that Christians have replaced Jewish people as God's chosen.  Many within the churches do not agree with the church leaders and the evangelical wing of all Protestant churches are very pro-Israel.  I can vouch for that as I am one of them.  I would point out that there is also a mixture of opinions within the Roman Catholic churches.

There are not enough evangelicals to really make a big impression and anything they say would not be reported by the media.   A problem with many evangelicals is that they feel they should not get involved with political issues as these issues should be kept separate from faith. Quite frankly with issues of morality, etc, I feel some of them find it 'not nice to talk about' which is disgraceful but they have lived too sheltered a life in some cases. 

Alan Picker
Protestantism in Europe, as with Christianity in general, is undergoing a serious crisis. Its numbers and influence is diminishing. This seems to be especially true in the whole of Britain. In order to appear relevant so it can attract followers, churchmen have thrown in their lot with the secular intellectuals. They have adapted many of their positions, including anti-Israel ones.

I believe that these Christians have sided with the Middle East Christian Arabs, who identify more with the Arab world than the West.

Mary Divine
They see themselves as supporting a 'worthy' cause, not realizing the evil behind the 'worthy' cause. People see no need to have faith in God.  Christians are looked upon as 'over the top', racist and not politically correct.  The God-fearing nation of Great Britain has been replaced by a multicultural, secular, humanist society out to please the greater ME.

Dr Rufus M Ross, Glasgow
If evangelical is used in a religious sense, I am not aware of any strong movements here in Glasgow.

5. Do you see any forces, which could stand firmly against ideas of multiculturalism, globalization and political correctness in Great Britain and Europe as a whole?

Annette Shaw  
Not enough of them and some are considered to be extreme and can be ignored.  A lot of ordinary people are against these things but don't have much say in the matter.  The British public are far too complacent and do not demand change. 

Yes, The left wing/Muslim alliance

Mary Divine
The only people who stand for the TRUTH and who would truly support Israel and the Jewish people are Bible believing Christians who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and who do not accept that Allah is the 'one true creator god', as many so-called 'Christians' advocate today.

Dr Rufus M Ross, Glasgow
Demonstrations of several disparate groups have been in action in different countries. Pro-Palestinians latch on to these demonstrations.

6. Do you see only rational considerations behind negative attitude of the political and intellectual elite in West Europe to Israel (like dependence on oil and large Muslim communities in their home countries), or irrational ones (like some kind of anti-Semitic) as well?

Annette Shaw  
This is correct but I do not think their reasons are rational.  I would expel all suspected terrorists from the country with no chance of appeal and ensure that none were allowed to enter this country.  Many Muslims feel that they are not being represented properly by the more extreme factions (some are even Government Advisors) and some have formed their own groups to represent them as they do not want their children radicalised. 

The anti-war people are mainly left wing and others anti-Christian who are trying to eradicate Christianity from our everyday lives. In some cases I think Muslims are blamed for the PC brigade's demands that we cannot say 'Merry Christmas' on official Christmas Cards, or have to remove pig ornaments in case it offends the Muslims. (They never bothered in the past that Jewish people do not eat pig either).

Alan Picker
Another factor is traditional anti-Semitism, though this is hotly denied. If you substitute the words, The Jews for Israel it is easy to see old prejudices for what they are. These prejudices are built firmly in the culture. After the Holocaust such prejudices were frowned upon, but they lied dormant until recently. 

Both Oil and Anti-Semitism, and a fear of Islamist terror and regimes.

Mary Divine
Anti-Semitism has been taught by the church in Europe for centuries.  This is hard to break and only when one recognizes the history and faces up to it, will there be hope for the future. However, oil has an influence and perhaps when the need for oil is replaced by some other commodity, sadly Arabs will have that power over Europe (Eurabia, formed in 1973 to avoid another oil embargo)

Dr Rufus M Ross, Glasgow
Probably a mixture of both.

Alexander Maistrovoy is a journalist and political columnist for a Russian-language Israeli newspaper "Novosty Nedely".


from the September 2006 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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