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– Twenty-First Century Crusades?
An increase in anti-Semitism.
An attack against us
all (anti-Semitism in Europe)
The barbaric terrorist attacks on Thursday morning in London made us all
feel like Englishmen.
Sitting in Jerusalem and watching the scenes on the television screen of
emergency workers evacuating wounded from the burned out bus and of
survivors, faces blackened from the underground blasts, describing the
frightful events, bend one's heart toward Britain in its hour of pain.
|In 2004, anti-Semitic
attacks against Jews in Britain increased 42 percent over 2003.
As we Israelis think of England, it is hard to help from wondering if
perhaps, in the hearts of some of the British, the sentiment arose that
on July 7, 2005 they became Israelis.
It will take a long time to sort out how the attacks were organized and
perpetrated. But one thing is clear enough. Britain was attacked by
jihad. In attacking London's financial center, as in the attacks on the
World Trade Center, the object of the terrorists was not merely to kill
people, but to harm a way of life, built on freedom and free trade – the
way of life of Western civilization.
The reason that it is hard not to wonder if, at their moment of shock,
the British people felt a kinship with the Israeli people is because for
the past five years, since the Palestinians began their jihad against
Israel, Britain has been playing a lead role in distinguishing between
jihad directed against Israel and jihad directed against the rest of the
In Britain itself, which for the past two decades has hosted some of the
ideological leaders of global jihad, the jihadists have made no attempt
to hide that their goals are not limited to the Jewish state, or as the
common parlance has it, "the occupation," but rather span the globe.
In the weeks ahead of the British elections this past May, Muslim
activists stormed mosque meetings and denounced democracy demanding that
British Muslims boycott the elections. Even as radically anti-Israel
politicians like George Galloway and Oona King tried to outdo one
another with their anti-Israel diatribes to win a seat in Parliament,
both were attacked by Muslims on campaign stops.
In 2004, anti-Semitic attacks against Jews in Britain increased 42
percent over 2003. Yet, lip service aside, the steady rise of violent
anti-Semitism has been greeted with complicity by the government. The
Labor Party's election campaign was marked with anti-Semitic imagery. In
one campaign poster, Tory leader Michael Howard was depicted as a
hooked-nose Fagin – the anti-Semitic archetype from Oliver Twist. Rather
than apologize for the slur, Prime Minister Tony Blair's adviser
Alistair Campbell laughed off the storm, saying that the publicity the
poster had generated was worth millions of pounds of free advertising.
In an article published on his website, www.elaph.com, and quoted by
MEMRI this past spring, Dr. Ahmad Abu Matar, a Palestinian living in
Oslo, discussed the Islamic Liberation Party, active in Britain, which,
"announces from London its political platform – to establish the Islamic
caliphate over all corners of the earth – and declares that the party
will suggest to the Queen of England that she convert to Islam, and thus
will not have to pay the Islamic poll tax on non-Muslims." MEMRI
reported that in the same article Matar cited the activities of Abu
Hamza Al-Masri, the imam of Finsbury Park Mosque in London, who called
for jihad and suicide bombings in Israel, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Last summer, London Mayor Ken Livingstone received Yusuf al-Qaradawi,
the main religious authority of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has
spawned such movements as al-Qaida and Hamas, to his City Hall,
referring to him as "an Islamic scholar of great respect." This
"scholar" to whom Livingstone gushed, "You are truly, truly welcome," is
a bit of a liberal in Islamist circles. He believes that both men and
women should strive to become suicide bombers in the name of jihad.
Just months before, the senior imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca, Abdul
Rahman al-Sudayyis, visited London as well. Sudayyis was welcomed by a
minister from Blair's government as an honored guest of Britain even
though he has referred to Jews as "the scum of the human race, the rats
of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of
the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs."
Writing in May of the prospect of suicide bombings in Britain in the
Saudi daily Al-Yawm, also published by MEMRI, Sawsan Al-Sha'er noted,
"After we read about three English youths of Asian background breaking
into one of the mosques in London to prevent the worshipers from voting
in the [recent] elections, on the grounds that [Muslims] should not vote
in these elections, expect the English 'Islamist' version of exploding
suicide bombers soon."
Rather than accept that the jihadists who live in and visit Britain
themselves make no distinction between their anti-British rhetoric and
their anti-Semitic rhetoric, the British societal elite, on both the
Left and the Right, have been intent on ignoring that in the minds of
those who seek their destruction, there is no distinction between the
war against the Jews and the war against the Christian West. The vilely
anti-Semitic decision by the Anglican Church last week to divest from
Israel and companies doing business with Israel is a case in point. The
Anglican Church, which has wholeheartedly adopted the anti-Semitic
"replacement" theology which asserts that Christianity replaced the
Jewish covenant with God, is no doubt so blinded by its anti-Semitism
that it is incapable of understanding that it shares the same enemies as
the despised Jews.
Responding to the increasing anti-Semitism in his own country, Tony
Blair has worked to undermine Israel's strategic partnership with the
United States. Since the September 11 attacks, Blair has been studiously
insisting that Arab and Palestinian terrorism against Israel and Jews
and concomitant anti-Semitic ideology is wholly distinct from terrorism
and jihadist ideology against non-Jews. Over the weekend, on his way to
Singapore, Blair made a brief visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown
Prince Abdullah and reportedly discussed with him the need for the
establishment of a Palestinian state. During his campaign for
reelection, Blair paid a visit to the Board of Jewish Deputies and told
them, in the midst of the violent anti-Semitism that wracked the
campaign, that achieving "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians
through the establishment of a Palestinian state was the most urgent
foreign policy issue on his agenda. Even as the battles were still
raging in the immediate aftermath of the American-British invasion of
Iraq, in April 2003, Blair pushed US President George W. Bush to
pressure Israel to accept the so-called road map for peace despite
Israel's objections. Blair has offered to train the terror-tainted
Palestinian militias and Alistair Crooke, the British EU security
coordinator with the Palestinians, has been carrying on a dialogue with
Hamas and Hizbullah for years.
The thing of it is, through all of this, the overwhelming majority of
Israelis have had great respect for Blair as a leader because of his
willingness to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Americans in Iraq
despite the toll it has taken both on his standing in his own political
camp in Britain and on Britain's relations with France and Germany. His
insistence on remaining true to the Anglo-American alliance even as
levels of anti-American sentiment have risen precipitously throughout
Europe and in Britain itself in recent years has been honorable and
courageous. Israelis see a reason for hope in Blair's stubborn defense
of that partnership. Just as he stands by America, we would like to
believe that he will also stand by Israel when at last he accepts the
truth that the Palestinian war against Israel is part and parcel of the
same jihad that turned Salman Rushdie into a hunted man in Britain and
has now turned Britain's underground system and its buses into scenes
from a Tel Aviv cafe.
This past May in a sermon televised on PA television, PA employee Sheik
Ibrahim Mudeiris said, "We [Muslims] have ruled the world before, and by
Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again. The
day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will
rule Britain and the entire world – except for the Jews. The Jews will
not enjoy a life of tranquility under our rule, because they are
treacherous by nature, as they have been throughout history. The day
will come when everything will be relieved of the Jews."
When Israelis hear this we understand two things.
We understand that our enemies truly do seek to annihilate us. And we
also understand that the rest of the civilized world, which is being
attacked by the same forces, must stand up to them just as we must stand
up to them if any of us is to prevail.
It is not polite to criticize a nation when it is under attack. But
doing so is not motivated by anger or bitterness, but rather by an
understanding of the difficulty of mustering the will to fight. Reacting
to the attack on his country and his people, Blair said, "It is
important that those engaged in terrorism realize that our determination
to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their
determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a
desire to impose extremism on the world. Whatever they do, it is our
determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold
dear in this country and in other civilized nations throughout the
Just so. And again, as it is true that Israel stands with Britain in the
aftermath of the murderous attacks on its citizens, it is also true that
for the civilized nations of the world to win the war against jihad, it
is necessary for all to understand that the forces who fight us are the
same ones. An attack against any of us – including Israel – is an attack
against all of us.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for
Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The
Jerusalem Post where this article first appeared.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for
Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of
The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.