Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Not Fit To Lick Melanie's Boots: The British Board of Deputies Carries On Regardless

O, what a b[r]ummer!

British economics writer Alex Brummer, who is currently City Editor of the Daily Mail, also has a regular column in the Jewish Chronicle.  Mr Brummer, whose columns usually exude good sense, has erred badly in his latest contribution to the latter newspaper, with a most unworthy, myopic attack on one of the few public intellectuals in Britain, Jewish or non-Jewish, possessing the perspicacity and courage to say what needs to be said regarding the threat to the West and to Israel posed by militant Islam and indeed by the creeping islamicisation of non-Islamic societies.

Namely, that truly wonderful woman, Melanie Phillips.


Regular readers of my blog will recall that Ms Phillips recently made a well-justified condemnation of the Board of Deputies' ill-conceived release of a joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain (see the latter's stance on Gaza here).

My blog quoted the comment on Facebook that Ms Phillips made about the statement.

She subsequently wrote:
'The Board of Deputies last week crossed a line. It stopped being a community embarrassment and became instead a positive menace.
It proudly announced an "unprecedented" joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain. This said the Middle East conflict should not poison community relations. But it also condemned the "targeting of civilians". The omission of who had supposedly done this targeting implied the Board blamed Israel along with Hamas.
No, protested the Board, this obviously could only relate to Hamas since Israel never targeted civilians. The crucial point, it said, was that the MCB had condemned Hamas.
Oh dear; where to start? The MCB, closely associated with Jamaat-e-Islami extremists and whose affiliated groups often support the Muslim Brotherhood, would never single out Hamas for blame.
UK's Jewish leadership has strengthened its enemies
The Board had enabled it to crow falsely but plausibly – that the Jews had condemned Israel for war crimes. And the MCB could tell its own people it had not blamed Hamas, since the Palestinians were only civilians while all Israelis were military targets.
Worse still, the Board was boasting of its deal with a body which is a front for Islamic extremism and hatred of Israel and the Jews. Its past leaders have described Israel as "the Zionist terrorist state" and claimed that Hamas "stands for freedom".
It reveres Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who has supported suicide bombings outside Britain and claimed the Torah permits Jews to spill others' blood and seize their money and land.
In 2009, its then deputy secretary general, Daud Abdullah, signed the Istanbul Declaration, which threatened violence against Israel supporters and British troops.
Because the government views it with suspicion, the MCB is now careful to sanitise its language. Even so, its current secretary-general, Shuja Shafi, found it impossible to say on the Today programme that scrawling "Free Gaza" on a synagogue was antisemitic.
Notwithstanding, the Board claims "it gets you nowhere if you only make peace with your friends". Really? Can we expect a historic Board rapprochement with Hamas? Or al Qaeda? Or Iran?
A clue to the Board's idiocy lies elsewhere in the joint statement, which condemns both antisemitism and "Islamophobia" as if these were equal forms of bigotry.
This is a terrible error. While antisemitism is a true prejudice for which there can never be a shred of rational justification, "Islamophobia" is a catch-all phrase used to demonise anyone who makes a legitimate criticism of Islam or Muslims.
So while there may be some who unreasonably hate all Muslims, those who warn about the Islamic jihad or condemn Muslim attacks on women and girls or freedom of speech are condemned as "Islamophobic" to silence such criticism.
Those who point out the virulent antisemitism in Muslim societies are similarly branded. And because the Jewish leadership is desperate to appease Muslims, it is - astoundingly - silent about Muslim antisemitism. Instead, it, too, demonises those who warn against Islamic extremism as "right-wingers" or "Islamophobes".
The Board's spokesman has ludicrously insisted it is right to oppose "Islamophobia" because "racism is racism". It would appear that the Board doesn't even understand that Islam is not a race but a religion.
The Jewish leadership has now invested legitimate criticism of Islam with a status equivalent to the most hateful prejudice in the world. It has thus helped silence criticism of threatening Islamic behaviour and made all in Britain more vulnerable to attack.
Similarly, by awarding a kitemark of respectability to the MCB, it has undermined all who struggle to defend Britain against Islamic extremism. A Muslim academic, Mohammed al Husseini, has expressed his sense of betrayal at the Board's "collaboration" with the MCB.
All decent people, Jews and non-Jews - including truly anti-jihadi Muslims - need to stand shoulder to shoulder against Islamic extremism. Instead, the UK's Jewish leadership has breached the defences and strengthened the foe.'  [Emphasis added]
Particularly odious is Brummer's contention that
 "We are all capable of scouring the worldwide web in search of adverse material that supports our case. Phillips is expert at this and her fondness for conspiracy theories on a range of issues including events in the Middle East are legion"
As one very prominent Anglo-Jewish Zionist who is also a member (yes, there are still members who have not caught the dhimmitude bug) of the Board of Deputies remarks on Facebook:
"Alex Brummer – In defending the indefensible you have resorted to a baseless ad hominem attack on Melanie Phillips...
Resorting to playing the [wo]man rather than the ball simply reveals to all how impossible you find it to defend your case. I really thought you were above such libellous smear tactics. Shame.
 Melanie Phillips is a thorough and principled journalist and possibly the best asset we have in advocating for Israel and fighting antisemitism...
MCB supports BDS but no boycott of the goods of any other country. So how can its condemnation of antisemitism carry any credibility??"
That admirable Deputy also writes:
'Next Sunday there is a motion at Bd Deps: "That the Board supports the Executive in its approval of a joint statement by the Board and the Muslim Council of Britain condemning anti-Semitism"
There are several reasons to oppose the motion.
1. MCB still has as members groups aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and sympathetic to Hamas. The Board should be allying with moderates like Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini who has roundly criticised the joint statement.
2. The MCB supports a boycott of Israeli goods. How can a condemnation of antisemitism by an organisation that has an antisemitic policy in place have any credibility whatsoever? And why did the President not see that?
3. The Board should not be giving the MCB credibility – it undermines the government’s strategy of bypassing the MCB as far as tackling extremism is concerned.
4. The MCB’s condemnation of antisemitism is meaningless without its confirmation that it accepts the same definition of antisemitism as the Board’s – namely, the EUMC Definition. I have asked it to confirm – no response.
5. Dr [Shuja] Shafi heads MCB. On the [BBC] “Today” programme he refused three times to accept that daubing “Gaza” on a synagogue wall is antisemitic. [Dr Shafi evidently thought better of this image-breaker when he left the studio; see tweet. Did a panicky Board of Deputies contact him, perchance? If so, he still fell short.  D.A.]
6. One part of the statement was very badly written. It said "The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions". The phrase "against our religious traditions" is in the plural. It therefore includes both Judaism and Islam. It therefore conveys the impression that the Board believes that the IDF targeted civilians, otherwise why the reference to Judaism? (To argue that Hamas' targeting of civilians is against Jewish religious traditions is nonsensical). Of course the Board does not think that the IDF targeted civilians …. but when writing about such a sensitive subject, perception is all important.
7. I am a member of the Board’s Defence Division and one of our responsibilities is interfaith work. Such a potentially controversial statement should have been shown to me and the other members of the Division for comment before it was released. It wasn’t. Yet another example – like the infamous Oxfam project – of the members of a supposedly democratic body being presented with a fait accompli.
If you too oppose the motion please lobby your Deputy to speak and vote against it.' [Emphasis added.]

6 comments:

  1. Alex Brummer is a decent man but, like most leftists/liberals, he simply cannot grasp the enormity of the threat we face from the Islamists. So his reaction (like that of the other BoD leaders) is to try to convince themselves that the threat does not really exist or is exaggerated. Hence they feel they have to silence and deligitimize those who speak out about the threat. That is why they helped ban Geller and Spencer from the UK. Nevertheless I did not think Brummer would stoop so low as to target Melanie Phillips in this way. Disgraceful.

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  2. Thank you, Edgar. As you know, I greatly respect your insights.

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  3. Disgusting and shameful smear by Alex Brummer. I really thought better of him. It shows how barren his case is for defending the MCB/BOD statement.

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  4. OK so Melanie is big enough to look after herself ... but how dare Alex Brummer write such libellous rubbish about her.

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  5. Melanie Phillips is a treasure and we are blessed to have her speaking on behalf of Jews. Thank you Daphne for your good words. I just hope other people come to their sense and stop appeasing terrorists and start acknowledging the truth about radical islamists and their agenda

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  6. I have come online to check what I have missed, and sorry to have missed an opportunity to add my name to the plaudits which are due to Melanie Phillips, who indeed is a champion of the just cause of supporting Israel, She does not need my admiration to add to the above, which I heartily endorse, she truly is an inspiration and a blessing to those of us who sometimes feel at a loss to counter the idiocy which passes for a public relations spokesperson for Israel in this country, Thank God we have her here, and we all know there is a dearth of truth concerning Israel elsewhere. Still, the lies continue to go halfway round the world before the truth has time to put its boots on, but it takes a pithy and well placed word, such as the ones from Melanie to squash them!

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