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Sunday, September 07, 2003

"In Britain at present it is open season on both Israel and the Jews"

Hatred of the Jews now marches behind the banner of anti-racism and human rights
Excerpt from Melanie Phillips' "London: A Leftist Axis of Anti-Semitism":
My fellow panelists, including a Labor and a Conservative member of Parliament, deplored Israel’s brutality and the “terrorism on both sides.” The audience was even more hostile. When it was my turn, I said there was a double standard; I wondered why people were sympathetic when Israelis died, but not sympathetic when they tried to prevent themselves from dying; and said that the Palestinian Authority was a sponsor of terror and incited violence daily against Israelis and Jews across the world.

The audience responded by hissing at me. Even worse, when I said that Israel was a democracy, they laughed derisively. A fellow panelist then accused me of having “double loyalties” because I was a Jew.

For me, this was a defining moment. I realized this was not a rogue event but reflected a substantial swathe—maybe the majority—of British public opinion. Since then, my suspicions have been more than confirmed. It is not an exaggeration to say that in Britain at present it is open season on both Israel and the Jews.

Prior to this, I had felt quite comfortable as a British Jew. Although I was sympathetic to Israel as the Jewish homeland, I had not paid it any particular interest. Indeed, I had never visited the country until a month before the current intifada started. But everything has changed. I have now visited Israel on a number of occasions and despite the obvious dangers, have actually felt more comfortable there than I now do in Britain. This is a terrible shock. I no longer feel comfortable in my own country because of the poison that has welled up toward Israel and the Jews.
Read it all at Frontpage Magazine.

Melanie Phillips is a British social commentator and author and a columnist for the Daily Mail. Her articles can be found on her website, www.melaniephillips.com.