You may have noticed that that there is a “Boycott Israel” campaign sweeping through the British trade union movement like wildfire.
On one level I should be pleased. After all, it is now so blatantly and unequivocally clear that this movement is motivated by the irrational hatred of a small, if vocal, minority. There is no call to boycott Robert Mugabe, who terrorizes millions of his own and allows thousands to be killed. There is no call to boycott Sudan, which organizes massacres of hundreds of thousands of its own, or of China for annexing Tibet, or India over Kashmir, or Russia for its horrific war in Chechnya, or of slavery or female mutilation in Arab States. It is now so obvious that picking on Israel, alone, is a concerted campaign of unscrupulous, hypocritical villains that the moral high ground has swung back. No, that is not what worries me.
Neither is it the practical threat because, thank goodness, Britain, very much against the will of its population, signed up to the EU and its Bill of Human Rights which will be used to protect Jews just as much as Muslims. There is no danger of the Nuremburg Laws being introduced in a modern European State, no matter who takes control. So comparisons with Germany before the Second World War are fatuous.
Nor am I afraid of the trade union movement. Their power has diminished since Arthur Scargill took on Margaret Thatcher and lost, thankfully. (I never thought I’d be grateful to Margaret Thatcher for anything!) Since Kinnock and Smith began, and Tony Blair finalized the detachment of the TUC tumor from the Labor Party, they have become in essence a nuisance fringe.
The Left in Britain is a spent force, reduced to cobbling together the disaffected and the rejected into an Amen Chorus for anything “against Them”! The same tired old radicals, the has-beens, the wannabes, the secondary actors and politicos. You see them at every “anti” event. You can recognize the old Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament vicars and hippies needing some way to revive their flagging energies rally round the anti-Israel banners of the fundamentalists and fanatics, marching with the hijabs and kefiyahs.
The days of the great struggle for Communism, which provided all those English upper class spies who believed that Stalin was better than Churchill, are over. Now that their god has truly failed in every respect, they desperately look for other false gods to support. There are voices of reason, of course, and Gordon Brown is one of them. But then why does he not step up and ban Hizb Ut Tahrir, that fanatical organization that continues to poison the universities with its fundamentalist hatred and anti-Semitism?
No, I don’t give a fig for any of them. What really upsets me is the clear and sad specter of Anglo-Jewry. What a pathetic disaster area. And to think I once devoted every sinew in my body and cell in my brain to trying to breathe new life into it.
On the positive side, there is an effective Community Security Trust (CST), which only came into being because a few rich individuals decided something had to be done. It does raise millions to track anti-Semitism, to advise on security, and to train willing young Jews to get off the couch or away from their video screens and walk around with walky-talkies together to act as a second line police force for the Jewish community. Despite my cynicism about a lot of the so-called security experts and callow youths looking self-important, it is something. It is better than nothing. It is more than anyone else was doing.
But everyone knows fences and walls and walky-talkies are defensive measures. You have to win hearts and minds. You need to work hard at educating people, at combating lies and propaganda. You need an Anti-Defamation League type of organization that shouts and makes a fuss and holds seminars and briefings and kicks up a stink. We need to be on the attack as well on the defensive. And are we? Fuggedaboudit.
Oh, no, we don’t do things that way in Britain. Oh, no, we trundle out some Jewish MP or Lord who makes moderating reassuring noises and assures us it is all being handled behind the scenes and we suckers don’t want to make a fuss. So we accept this meekly and slink back to our gin and tonics.
The response is so pathetic it is unbelievable. Most of the anti-boycott campaign in Britain has been organized either by non Jews or out of Bar Ilan in Israel! Instead of swamping British society with well written information, instead of flooding city centers and the media with well orchestrated campaigns that would indeed cost millions, we find every excuse not to. And we are happy when someone like Richard Littlejohn makes his own documentary for Channel 4 on the real state of anti-Jewish sentiment in England today.
In our world perception is everything. The medium is the message, as “Saint” McLuhan once said. The internet is crucial not just for terror but for justifying and spreading it. You might have read about the jihadist, Irhabi007, just convicted and jailed. He was living in London (of course) and orchestrating a worldwide network of Muslim anti-Western terror recruitment. The Economist last week quotes Zawahari, number 2 in Al Qaeda, as saying that more than half the battle is taking place over the media. Indeed. And what are the institutions of Anglo-Jewry doing about it? No, don’t laugh; it’s sad.
Why, the most corrupt politician and the most pathetic of “personalities” hire the very best publicists, public relations and media consultants to turn their excreta into sweet-smelling ambrosia. It’s all about money. In our sick society money speaks, however filthy it sounds. But The Jewish Chronicle, itself, reports that there is hardly any funding to fight back, to try to change perceptions and opinions. There is a lot of money in Anglo-Jewry. But it’s certainly not going to help defend ourselves. The few hardy and worthy campaigners online get precious little support. Why not?
Anglo-Jewry has a long and ignoble history of failing to support its institutions financially. Most Jewish magnates prefer to give money to buy knighthoods and to other causes they think will wash the dirt off their reputations. To be fair, some do give. But many who really could help have fallen for the lie that throwing their money around outside the Jewish community will make them more loved and appreciated.
You might argue that it’s Israel’s fault, not ours. You might even argue that Zionism has won for us and lost for us. But the fact is that if we, as a people, are attacked in one place, we end up being attacked in another. It happened two thousand years ago in the Persian Empire and in the Roman. After the campaigns in Judea, Jewish communities all around the Roman Empire were attacked by the local enemies. The fast of the Ninth of Av reminds us! If the wall is breached here it will be breached there. Israel should be doing more about it, but they can’t get their act together on most things, certainly not public relations. They are brilliant at getting out of messes but lousy at not falling into them in the first place!
Anyway, there is a big difference between criticizing or defending Israel and allowing our enemies to spread lies. Mud sticks. And if the Neturei Karta apologists in black hats and beards who spend Shabbat walking to Trafalgar Square think that by supporting the enemies of Israel, they will be saved if walls are breached, then they are living in the same cloud-cuckoo land as Anglo-Jewry. It had better start putting its money now into the internet, public relations and serious pro-activity before it is too late.
If Anglo Jewry doesn’t wake up, they’ll be slaughtered in their beds—metaphorically, I hope.