Anti-Semitic attacks increase in the UK
Up until the end of June, there had been 609 recorded anti-Semitic incidents ranging from verbal abuse to extreme violence, compared with 276 in the same period last year. Alarmingly, 77 have been classified as ‘extreme violence’ – an attack which could cause loss of life or grievous bodily harm. Most incidents took place in London and Manchester, the two biggest Jewish communities in Britain.
The Community Security Trust (CST), which advises Britain's estimated 300,000 Jews on safety issues, said it was the highest number it had recorded since it began collating figures in 1984.
The response of the political parties to this sinister development is that of unqualified condemnation, except in the case of Shahid Malik, the Communities and Local Government minister responsible for cohesion. He said: "This rise in anti-Semitism is not just concerning for the British Jewish communities but for all those who see themselves as decent human beings. The fight against anti-Semitism is a fight that should engage us all. This country will not tolerate those who seek to direct hatred towards any part of our community.”
He then adds: "Of course it may be legitimate for individuals to criticise or be angry at the actions of the Israeli Government but we must never allow this anger to be used to justify anti-Semitism."
It is a nuanced distinction, for how many can be bothered to reason that the Israeli Government does not speak for global Jewry? Or that the Zionists are not all Jews? Or that not all Jews are Zionists?
If it is legitimate for individuals to be angry at Israel's Gaza offensive against Hamas militants, where are the government guidelines on how this anger may be legitimately expressed? Of course it is illegal to assault the nearest convenient Jew, set fire to a synagogue or desecrate a Jewish grave with a swastika. These are universal laws for the protection of person and property. But the violent marches and threatening protests we have witnessed on the streets of London have been permitted and tolerated despite them being manifest expressions of anti-Semitism, against which the police opted to do nothing.
Is it 'legitimate' to burn the Star of David on London's steeets? Is it 'legitimate' to carry placards denigrating Jews or insulting Judaism?
Can you imagine the furore and immediate police response if anyone ever dared to burn a rainbow flag or carry a placard saying 'Down with Gays!' in an expression of 'gay hatred'?
If these marches had been against homosexuality, the authorities would have stamped out the protest and arrested people for ‘homophobia’. No government minister would have said, “It may be legitimate for individuals to criticise or be angry at the actions of the homosexuals.” If these marches had been against Islam, the authorities would have stamped out the protest and arrested people for ‘Islamophobia’. No government minister would have said, “It may be legitimate for individuals to criticise or be angry at the actions of Muslims.”
But Israel and Jews?
There is no recognised ‘phobia’ to incite the police to intervene, especially when the hatred is manifest by a swarm of masked, extremist Muslims baying for Israeli-Jewish blood. Anti-Semitism has such a long heritage across so many continents that its endurability and ubiquity have almost become excuses for acquiescence and toleration. Especially with a Leftist anti-Semitic media which perpetuates the narrative that ‘they brought it on themselves’.
It is time for anti-Semitism to be elevated in the national consciousness to the status of homophobia and Islamophobia: that is, zero tolerance; summary arrest and detention at the merest whiff of it. If police stations are so keen to promote ‘diversity training’ that they fly the rainbow flag to remind them of their equality obligations, let them from time to time also fly the Star of David.
Or are ‘legitimate’ manifestations of anti-Semitism to be ‘understood’ each time Israel tries to defend herself?