Our World: The weakest link

While UK journalists voted to boycott Israeli goods, Palestinian journalists called a boycott of the PA.

glick long hair 88 (photo credit: )
glick long hair 88
(photo credit: )
The British people could be forgiven if they feel bewildered by the poor treatment they have been receiving at the hands of the Muslims of late. Iran places Britain in the category of Satan, along with the US and Israel, and eagerly kidnapped its servicemen and humiliated Her Majesty's Admiralty and Government. But for all of Iran's anti-British rantings, the fact of the matter is that Britain is the mullahs' most effective defender. By working with France and Germany to fecklessly negotiate with the ayatollahs regarding their nuclear weapons program, the British were more responsible than anyone for giving the mullahs three years to work freely on developing their nuclear weapons. If the French and Germans had engaged Iran without the British at their side, the Bush administration would have condemned the talks for the stalling tactic they were and set out to shape a coherent, effective policy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear bombs. When, last summer, it became impossible to ignore the fact that the Europeans' jaw-jaw had failed, it was once again Britain who curbed Washington by convincing President George W. Bush to empower the UN Security Council to deal with Iran's nuclear program. Without Britain pressing the UN route, it is difficult to imagine Bush agreeing to subordinate US national security to a body more or less dedicated to demonizing, isolating and eviscerating America. THE IGNOMINY Britain suffered at the hands of Iran occurred a week after BBC Gaza reporter Alan Johnston was abducted by Palestinian terrorists. After a month of silence, Sunday his kidnappers announced that they had executed Johnston. Monday morning, the kidnapers had yet to produce their promised execution film, and so Johnston's status was still unknown. But with or without a body bag, the British could be excused for feeling even more confused by their reporter's plight than by their servicemen's kidnapping in Iraqi coastal waters. After all, since the 1920s, the Palestinian Arabs have had no friend more stalwart than the British. Until Israel declared independence 59 years ago the British did everything possible to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state. They even enabled the Holocaust by blocking the doomed Jews of Europe from escaping to the Land of Israel. Since Israel declared independence, the British have been unrelenting detractors of the Jewish state and champions of the Arabs. In recent years, British support for the Palestinians against Israel has been one of the rallying cries not only of the Foreign Office but of British society as a whole. In a sharp departure from both British and EU official policy, Britain's consul-general in Jerusalem Richard Makepeace held open talks with Hamas terror commander and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on April 5 in a bid to secure Johnston's release. Last week, after declaring a "day of action" on Johnston's behalf, BBC Chairman Mark Thompson went to Ramallah, where he met with Fatah terror chief and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. After the meeting Thompson praised Abbas and announced that Abbas claimed to have "credible evidence that Johnston was safe and well." POOR JOHNSTON was so biased in favor of the Palestinians that he could have been forgiven for believing he would be safe from Palestinian terror. As the BBC's Middle East Bureau chief Simon Wilson put it, Johnston "is regarded as a Gaza journalist foremost and a foreign journalist second." The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate said that Johnston is "famous for his opinions which are supportive of the Palestinians." Of course, there is nothing extraordinary about Johnston's anti-Israel positions. The day before his execution was announced his colleagues in Britain went out of their way to prove their anti-Israel animus. By a vote of 66-55, Friday the British National Union of Journalists voted to boycott Israeli goods. It will be interesting to see how they manage to implement their boycott and work as reporters at the same time. Since Israeli engineers developed their cell phones, their Pentium chip computers, their voicemail and their instant messenger software, boycotting Israel will involve giving up their ability to quickly amass their anti-Israel propaganda, vomit it out on their computers and send it off to their Israel-bashing editors. But then, even if they figure out a way to work without technology, one can still only wonder at their decision. After all, their Palestinian colleagues don't seem too concerned with Israel these days. They have real tyrants to contend with. In response to Johnston's disappearance and in protest against the utter lack of press freedom in the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate called a boycott not of Israel, but of the PA. THE SAD truth is that British journalists are far from the worst Israel-bashers in Britain. Anti-Semitism has increasingly become the defining characteristic of British society. First there are the non-governmental organizations. Last week, Oxfam, one of Britain's largest charities, chastised Blair, claiming that both his decision to participate in the US-led campaign in Iraq and his refusal to side with Hizbullah against Israel in last summer's war have damaged Britain's international clout. Oxfam is calling for the UK and the EU to resume their transfer payments to the Hamas-controlled PA. Yet Oxfam, which claims to "support Israel's right to exist alongside a viable and independent Palestinian state," could be mistaken as an Israel advocacy group compared to those tasked with educating British students. Last year, the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE), the largest university and college trade union in the UK, and the Association of University Teachers (AUT), agreed to institute a "silent boycott" of Israeli universities, students and professors. NATFHE urged its members to consider "the appropriateness of a boycott of those [Israelis] that do not publicly dissociate themselves [from Israel]." The organization also castigated the British media and government for their response to Hamas's victory in the January 2006 Palestinian elections. NATFHE decried the "hysterical reporting of the [election] result by most of the British news media and the outrageous bias shown by UK government statements against the outcome of a democratic process." BRITAIN TODAY is in the throes of a noxious blend of virulent anti-Semitism and indifference. An example is the willingness of school teachers to abandon their professional duties in a bid to appease their Muslim students. Rather than confront the Muslims' rabid anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, their teachers have opted to stop teaching about the genocide of European Jews. According to a study just released by Tel Aviv University's Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism, another product of this mix has been a steep rise in anti-Jewish violence in Britain. In one of the 136 "major violent attacks" against Jews last year in Britain, last August, while riding a London bus, Jasmine Kranat was brutally beaten by a gang of Muslims. The attackers refused to believe her when she denied being Jewish. They beat her unconscious, then continued to stomp on her chest and head, breaking the orbital bone in her eye. Not one of the bus passengers or the bus driver came to her defense. It is true that the Blair government is criticized by the British people for not following them in labeling Israel the greatest threat to global security, and the US as the second-greatest threat to global security. But the fact is that the Blair government has been responsible for turning the Bush administration into a loud proponent of Palestinian statehood. And it was Blair who brought the White House on board with both the so-called road map peace plan and the Saudi peace plan. Were either of the plans to be implemented, Israel would lose its ability to defend itself or to survive as a sovereign Jewish state. YES, IT is more than understandable for the British to wonder why they are being targeted by the likes of the Iranians and Palestinians, whose interests they have done so much to advance. But to answer the question they need to look in the mirror. In their relentless campaign to advance the interests of the Palestinians and Iranians who daily call for their destruction, the British have made themselves the most attractive targets for attack. They are the weakest link in the alliance of so-called Satans. And as members of the alliance, the British are in the best position to pressure the US and Israel. Iran, the Palestinians and their allies understand and exploit this fact. The British will continue to be targeted for as long as they champion the cause of their enemies and then react to attacks against them by redoubling their pressure on the US and Israel to join them in appeasing those sworn to our collective destruction. If it wished, the Bush administration could try using the bully pulpit to at least stem Britain's societal dementia. For its part, aside from warning British Jewry to leave before it is too late, the Jewish state can do nothing to influence England. THE MOST urgent change that must be made in Israel's policy toward Britain is to cease viewing it as an ally. As with France, it is possible for Israel to cooperate with Britain on certain levels, but impossible to trust British support on any level. Although they share the same enemies and interests as Israel, the British, blinded by their bigotry, are incapable of understanding this basic reality. Until they do, Israel must keep its distance and watch its back when the British come a-calling.