To British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond: I read what you wrote when you learned that “Jihadist John,” who decapitated American journalist James Foley, is London-born Majd Abed el-Bary, a British citizen.
According to you, Mr. Foreign Secretary, “sooner or later they will try to attack us on our own land” and you accused that same jihadist of “an utter betrayal of everything the British people stand for.” You added: “It is horrifying to think that the perpetrator of this heinous act could have been brought up in Britain.”
Tell me, Mr. Foreign Secretary, do you live in Britain? And if you do, are you deaf, blind and dumb? Because if you are not, I have to ask myself, what is it that so amazes and horrifies you? If you are indeed familiar with the UK, and take the occasional walk in London and try to walk through the neighborhoods and boroughs that Islamists have occupied in recent years, and try to understand what they are preaching to their congregations in those same mosques that are springing up like mushrooms after the rain, you really shouldn’t be surprised. Incidentally, Mr. Hammond, try doing it dressed like an Orthodox Jew.
I wonder if you’ll survive, and in what condition.
I don’t mean to mock you, Mr. Foreign Secretary, or the UK. Here in Israel we have enormous respect for Britain; because its leadership still knows how to discern between good and bad and I am sure that, in an anonymous poll, both Prime Minister David Cameron and yourself would vote for Israel in its war against Hamas. It would have to be anonymous because otherwise you are liable to pay too heavy a political price in your constituencies.
We can all count and we all know the number of Muslim citizens there are in the UK these days and how influential they are. Here in Israel there are quite a few staunch supporters of Britain; me included. We consider you to be among the more enlightened nations in the world. Not only were you a military and political empire, but you are also responsible for most of the cultural treasures, music, theater, art, innovation, humor and creativity known to man.
Only two months ago the Rolling Stones performed in Tel Aviv (it seems as if it was 20 years ago) and, despite the exorbitant price of tickets, they managed to draw an audience of 50,000 excited fans to Yarkon Park.
But, Mr. Foreign Secretary, the UK has not only cultural heroes, but a surplus of ordinary heroes.
We shall never forget that Britain was the first and only country to step up and look Hitler in the eye and not turn away; to fight Hitler against all odds and to beat him.
Then you had Winston Churchill, a highly admired leader to this day, even among the best of our own leaders. Britain has known strength, determination and survivability.
I wonder if you still have those traits, Mr. Hammond? I refer mainly to survivability. I am not sure.
Medically, there are still signs of life. What then are your chances of surviving the Islamic tsunami and preserving your culture, your character, your personality? I don’t know.
Your spirit lives, still, here and there. For example, a few weeks ago Hamas rockets threatened our international airport and caused panic that resulted in many airlines (led by the US, oddly enough) to cancel flights to and from Israel. It lasted a day-and-ahalf, until everyone realized that Ben-Gurion Airport is the safest in the world.
But in that time, British Airways proved that it is made of the same stern stuff as before and continued flying, did not delay or cancel a single flight, and rightly so. We salute them.
We visit London frequently, Mr. Hammond. Nothing beats British football, nothing like British music, theater, art, humor or the British spirit.
But these visits are becoming increasingly hard. Your streets have changed. You don’t need to be much of a researcher to know how dangerous the penetration of radical Islam is to Europe’s capitals; how overbearing Islam can be; how alien it is to tolerance, to acceptance of the other, to integrate into the existing culture.
Thirty minutes of surfing the Internet, Mr. Foreign Secretary, will reveal to you the horrifying worlds that are flourishing in your backyard.
You’ll see religious preachers, seeped in hatred for everything Western, for everything Jewish, for everything Christian, for everything that does not identify with them.
You’ll see fury in the streets, violence toward everyone who comes to demand the freedom to live as they wish. I especially recommend a video of an ostensibly moderate Muslim preaching his creed to a congregation of seemingly moderate Muslims and, after they have all finished defining themselves “moderate Muslims” he asks all those who support the Islamic laws of punishment – in which women are stoned to death for adultery, for example – to raise their arms. All the hundreds of men present raise their arms as one. And these are moderates.
For decades, we have been told that Islamic terror is the result of ignorance and poverty. Give them welfare, education, comfortable lives and you’ll dry the bog of hatred. Well, that’s not quite true. The al-Qaida terrorists who attacked America 13 years ago were immigrants who enjoyed very comfortable lives in the American democracy. Your own British citizen, Mr. Hammond, who beheaded the American journalist, came from an elegant Maida Vale home and a life of comfort.
It is hate, Philip, and nothing else; education to hate, to hate the other, to intolerance, to a thirst for blood and murder. And here we come to our mutual interests, Mr. Foreign Secretary.
Soon you will understand, for good or for bad, that Israel is not a burden on the West. Israel is not stuck here like a bone in a Muslim throat. Getting rid of Israel will solve nothing. I think you may have already understood that. All you need do is listen to radical Islam. It talks; sometimes in English. It is exact; it is accurate.
It declares and reiterates its real objective – to annihilate the West. To annihilate the infidels.
Not only in Syria, or Iraq, or the Middle East, but everywhere.
There is no need to chart the map of extremism and distinguish between Hamas and Islamic State, for example. They are arms of the same octopus. For 14 years, Hamas has been shooting rockets on women and children, even after Israel withdrew unilaterally from every last inch of the Gaza Strip. Why? Because they want to drive us out of here. How do I know this? They say so every day, explicitly, repeatedly.
So why is the world silent? Good question, Mr. Hammond.
You know that one day your own jihadists will come back home, don’t you? And it’s time to start doing something, isn’t it? To say something. Maybe, next time an incited mob demonstrates in the streets of London and calls for “Murder to Israel,” some brave British politician will stand up and tell these people the truth, in his voice, in his language.
Or, alternatively, imagine, Mr. Hammond, what would have happened if the next generation of Hitler’s murder machine had grown up in your own country, in your London?Translated by Ora Cummings.