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What They Are Saying: Life According to the Brits: Favor the Arabs, Tolerate the Jews
Scholar Michael Ledeen writes in National Review (www.nationalreview.com) on July 13 that some reactions to the London bombings betrayed a virulent strain of Jew-hatred:
"It was widely noted that when Tony Blair reminded the House of Commons that many countries had been scourged by the terrorists in recent years, he omitted Iraq from the list. His speechwriters had Iraq in a different part of their database; Iraqis weren't victims of terrorism in the same way as Brits, Americans, Kenyans and Indonesians. One's instinct is to let it go as an oversight, but there was another country missing from the list: Israel.
"A component of British blindness on the subject of the Middle East is one we are not supposed to talk about in good company: the Jews. Yet I don't know any country this side of the Levant in which there has been so much anti-Semitism, so many complaints that 'Zionists,' 'Likudniks,' 'Jewish hawks' and - the single epithet that sums up all of the above - 'neocons' had manipulated America and its poodle Blair into the ghastly blunder of Iraq.
"The BBC has devoted hours of radio and television to slanderous misrepresentations of … such Jewish luminaries as Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, William Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz. Sometimes, it seemed one was reading translations from the Saudi or Egyptian or Iranian press, so total was the hatred of the Jews.
"This fit nicely with the desire of the British establishment to carry on their special relationship with some Arab leaders, and many British elites often seemed a micro-step away from saying that the world would be a better place if only Israel weren't there. The Middle East would be so much easier, you know. And when London was bombed, you can be sure - indeed, you can read it - many of these people blamed Israel and the Jews.
"Indeed, within minutes of the attack, a story appeared according to which the Israelis had advance notice, and had instructed Finance Minister Netanyahu to stay put, instead of going to give a speech. The story was as false as the one according to which Israelis had stayed away from the World Trade Center on 9/11, but they both reflected a state of mind. An anti-Semitic mind.
"All too many Brits would prefer to devote their national energies to the elimination or 'taming' of Israel, and, as they see it, the silencing of their own Jews, rather than fighting Islamic terrorism. Combined with the desire to keep Arab money in London, and special access for British businessmen and diplomats and scholars in the Arab world, it explains why Her Majesty's Government gave sanctuary and benevolent assistance to the jihadis in their midst.
"This sickness is certainly not limited to Great Britain. But in America, by and large, such venom is relegated to the margins, probably because American Jews are a lot feistier than their British co-religionaries. We do, however, run a risk similar to the British: We, too, are unconscionably passive in the face of radical Muslim religious indoctrination that is designed to produce a new wave of terrorists.
"The absolutist interpretation of the First Amendment - free speech extends even to license - stops us from taking proper steps to shut down the terror factories. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes taught us that the Constitution is not a suicide pact, and that no one has the right to scream 'fire' in a crowded theater. London taught us that these principles require vigorous application."
However You Slice It, Europe's Becoming the Next Islamic Battlefield
Columnist Mark Steyn writes on www.JewishWorld Review.com on July 13 about the "Israelification" of Europe:
"To be honest, it was something of a relief, a few hours after the London bombs, to leave the United States for Britain. American expressions of solidarity with plucky Britannia tended to the Churchillian, not to say Shakespearean: We shall fight them on the beaches, dear friend. On the radio, some talk-show hosts played bursts of Elgar and 'Rule Britannia.' On arrival in London, by contrast, I found the local reaction to the terrorists, as expressed by the lads down the pub, to be rather more to the point: 'Sod off, tossers.'
"Indeed. The sodding off of the terrorist tossers is devoutly to be wished.
"But what if they don't? If one wanted to fight them on the beaches, to which beaches would one go? Despite the urge among Britain's friends across the Atlantic to present 7/7 as 'London's 9/11,' the label doesn't quite fit. Within 24 hours after Sept. 11, it was clear that, somewhere, some sovereign state was going to get invaded. America simply could not afford not to respond. There's no sense of that in Britain.
"Some readers may disagree, of course. The dust had barely settled on Thursday's bombings before one Derrick Green sent me a congratulatory e-mail: 'I bet you Jewish supremacists think it is Christmas come early, don't you? Incredibly, you are now going to get your own way even more than you did before, and the British people are going to be dragged into more wars for Israel.'
"Ah, the Jew is so infinitely cunning, isn't he? The Muslim world has spent decades assiduously peddling the notion that the reason a vast, oil-rich region stretching thousands of miles is mired in political deformity and other grim psychoses is all because of a tiny strip of land barely wider than my New Hampshire township. But Mr. Green is evidence of the theory's rampant post-9/11 expansion to wilder shores yet: It seems a thin sliver of sinister Zionists is now destabilizing the whole of Europe, if not the entire world.
"Whatever the attractions of anti-Semitism, it tends not to work out too well for those who over-invest in it - see the Third Reich, and the loopier parts of the Arab world today. And even among my own correspondents, suspicion of the dread Jew seems to be blinding them to what last week's events may more plausibly portend: the Israelification of European life.
"What do I mean by Israelification? The jihadists understand that Europe is up for grabs in a way that America isn't. Mandatory Palestine was, in the old joke, the twice-promised land - hence, a Western democracy and a disaffected Muslim population exist in (for the most part) two solitudes but claim the same piece of real estate.
"As it happens, that's also how more and more Muslims see Europe. And as their numbers grow, it seems likely that wily Islamic leaders in the Middle East will embrace the cause of the rights of European Muslims in the same way that they claim solidarity with the Palestinians.
"Few European leaders have a clue what to do about this, but, as that French headscarf law and Britain's Incitement to Racial Hatred bill and Dutch responses to the murder of Theo van Gogh all underline, mediation between what Tony Blair called 'our way of life' and Muslim values has already become a central dynamic of European political culture - a remarkable achievement for a minority few Europeans were more than vaguely conscious of pre-9/11.
"Meanwhile, across the borders pour not primarily suicide bombers or suitcase nukes, though they will come in the end, but ideology - fierce, glamorous and implacable.
"That's the final irony of the Israelification of Europe: Distressing as it may be to Continental anti-Semites, in this scenario, they're the Jews."