Melanie Phillips

6 December 2012

Jewish students running gauntlet of hate: welcome to 21st century Britain

Published in: Melanie's blog

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The delegitimisation campaign against Israel, comprising the obsessional lies and blood libels promulgated by the media and intelligentsia week in, week out, has produced this result: Jewish students in Britain are being forced to abandon their university courses out of fear. On the Jewish Chronicle blog, Marcus Dysch reports:

‘Attacks have created a “toxic atmosphere” in which Jewish students no longer feel comfortable, a delegation of community representatives told senior Edinburgh University officials.

‘Among those who felt the need to leave was a former Edinburgh Jewish Society chair who dropped out of his course to study abroad, partly because of the fall-out from an incident in which Ishmael Khaldi, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s most senior Muslim diplomat, was mobbed as he spoke at the university in February last year.

‘That incident also allegedly affected a Jewish postgraduate student so severely that she was forced to seek an extension for her dissertation before cancelling an option to continue studying in Scotland. She also left for a different course elsewhere in Europe.

‘In the most recent incident at Edinburgh, in October, an address by Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub was disrupted by chanting students waving Palestinian flags.

‘... Members of Scottish Jewish Student Chaplaincy and the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities told the university bosses that Jewish students had felt it necessary to “hide their Jewish identity due to the hostile atmosphere at Edinburgh” and were now seeking “secure and safe” space on campus’ [my emphasis].

So this is what it has come to. In the 21st century, British Jews are being forced to hide their Jewish identity out of fear for their personal safety -- because they support the state of Israel in its struggle to defend itself against genocidal attack.

This disgusting and surreal state of affairs has arisen from what can only be described as the madness that has all but consumed the British intelligentsia and media, which portray Israel – the target and victim of Jew-hating extermination – in the deranged propaganda terms set out by its Arab and Muslim attackers. The result is rampant Israel-hatred, Judeophobia and Jew-baiting which is either tolerated or actively promulgated by a so-called educated class – including broadcasters and many mainstream politicians -- which on this issue is in fact totally impervious to evidence or reason.

A case in point was one of the incidents described above, when Ishmael Khaldi was forced to abandon his invited address at Edinburgh University.  He was called a Nazi and accused of representing an ‘apartheid state’ by a baying mob who unfurled Palestinian flags and screamed that the university’s Jewish society was a ‘religious club that supports violence and unjust behaviour’ before security officials hustled him away. The JC reported:

‘At one stage the mic was ripped from his lectern and a demonstrator shouted: “We don't discuss with the Ku Klux Klan, why should we discuss with this thug?”’

But Ishmael Khaldi is an Israeli Arab, a Bedouin from the Galilee who is an advisor to Israel’s Foreign Minister. He is thus living proof that Israel cannot possibly be an ‘apartheid state’. His treatment at the hands of the screaming Edinburgh University mob was therefore not merely an unconscionable outbreak of thuggery but defied reason itself. As does the whole way in which Israel is presented in British public debate.

This appalling Judeophobic violence on campus is also the direct result of the cavalier indifference of many university authorities to the Islamic radicalisation and intimidation taking place right under their noses.  Scotland may be particularly virulent – hardly surprising, since the Scot Nats routinely trash both Israel and the truth, as well as sanitising Islamic extremism – but this bigotry has also taken root in many other universities, where the authorities have simply ignored the recruitment to Islamic extremism taking place on campus, the routine eruptions of Israel-phobic bigotry and violence and the intimidation of Jewish students.

The silence of our political class in the face of what is taking place, not just on campus but in the incitement to racial hatred that now passes for mainstream discussion of Israel in the media and public debate, is a disgrace. But that, alas, is because so much of the British body politic has itself succumbed to this madness.

This is not a good time to be a Jew in Britain. To put it mildly. Sixty-seven years ago, when the true horror of the genocide of the Jews was finally laid bare, who would have thought that Judeophobic bigotry – tragically embedded in Britain’s ancient history -- would take hold of the country once again?

For those concerned not just with upholding elementary decency, truth and justice but with the defence of the west against barbarism, there is simply no more urgent and crucial issue than this. The battle for Israel is also the battle for Britain and the west. In turning against Israel – the forward salient of the titanic struggle to defend civilisation --Britain and the west are turning against themselves.

About Melanie

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her controversial column about political and social issues which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain's educational and moral crisis, which provoked the fury of educationists and the delight and relief of parents.

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Books

  • The World Turned Upside Down
  • Londonistan
  • The Ascent of Woman
  • America's Social Revolution

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Melanie Phillips
Daily Mail
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Contact Melanie