Monday, April 25, 2005

The fallen British public

Melanie Phillips puts the British AUT vote to boycott two Israeli Universities into its place in the larger framework of British, and Blairite, anti-Semitism:

The willed destruction of the Jewish state is the poison running through the bloodstream of the British intelligentsia. It’s no use saying that the last time Jews were boycotted in the universities was in 1930s Germany, as the British Israel-haters will merely reply that the Jews have turned into the new Nazis. It’s no use saying that their views are anti-Jewish, since they contend that seeking the destruction of Israel is not anti-Jewish. But of course it is, profoundly and viscerally through its selectivity, double standards, moral inversion, obsessional malice and employment of ancient stereotypes.

The AUT motion cannot be dismissed as the ravings of a tiny minority of far-left academics in a marginal union. It may be that other academics, appalled by what has occurred, will resign from that union or protest in other ways. But this development is merely the latest in an apparently unstoppable stream of comments and incidents of an anti-Jewish nature. And the crucial thing is the absence of outrage in the wider community — indeed, on occasion, it provides its endorsement. The AUT motion came at the end of a week which saw the award of the MBE [Member of the British Empire -- an honor from the Queen] to Orla Guerin, the BBC reporter whose venomous dispatches from Israel have come to epitomise the virulent anti-Israel hatred at the BBC. For her to be given this award, presented by Baroness Symons, the junior Foreign Office minister, is a calculated kick in the teeth by the Labour government towards the Jewish community in Britain, where feeling about Guerin’s reporting runs very high as the government well knows.

The Jewish community in Britain is under siege.

Here's an excerpt from the JPost report on Guerin's award:

Last year, in response to one of Guerin's dispatches about Israel's capture of a mentally challenged 16-year-old would-be suicide bomber, Sharansky wrote the BBC that it employs a "gross double standard to the Jewish state" that smacks of anti-Semitism.

Sharansky protested that Guerin, in her report, portrayed the event as "Israel's cynical manipulation of a Palestinian youngster for propaganda purposes." He said this "reveals a deep-seated bias against Israel. Only a total identification with the goals and methods of the Palestinian terror groups would drive a reporter to paint Israel in such an unflattering light instead of placing the focus on the bomber and the organization that recruited him."

The report, he said, "has not only set a new standard for biased journalism, it has also raised concerns that it was tainted by anti-Semitism."

In his letter, Sharansky quoted Guerin as describing to viewers how the IDF "paraded the child in front of the international media," then "produced" the child for reporters, "posed" him a second time for the cameras, and then "rushed him back into a jeep."

Likewise, the Evening Standard, which interviewed Guerin in 2003, wrote that she "questioned Israel's claim to be a democracy, compared its press freedom with Zimbabwe's and accused its officials of paranoia."

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