In this week’s Spectator, Melanie Phillips argued that supposedly anti-Israel protests over the Gaza war have convulsed Europe in the worst scenes of open Jew-hatred since the 1930s. Even more appalling is the silence in the face of all this of the political class. Here’s her suggestion for what David Cameron should say if he really cared about the rise of anti-semitism in Britain:
‘I am utterly appalled by the attacks on the Jewish people on the streets of Britain and in our public discourse. This hatred and bigotry is being fuelled by warped and distorted reporting about the Gaza war.
‘Newspapers and broadcasters are uncritically treating Hamas propaganda as fact. Indeed, since Hamas uses its people as human shields to paint Israel as child-killers, the media have effectively turned themselves into accessories to murder and incitement to hatred.
‘Frankly, in Iraq and Afghanistan we showed nothing like the care Israel is taking to avoid killing civilians wherever possible, even sacrificing its own soldiers to do so.
‘I have become aware that this Jew-hatred is fuelled by falsehoods about Israel’s historic and legal rights. Accordingly, Philip Hammond will ensure that the Foreign Office corrects its untrue claims about the ‘occupation’ and ‘illegal settlements’.
‘I have also realised that Muslim anti-Semitism is the principal driver of the Islamic war against both Israel and the West. Accordingly, the government will suspend its support for Mahmoud Abbas until the Palestinian Authority stops glorifying terrorism, promulgating blood libels and instructing its children that their highest ideal is to destroy Israel and murder Jews.
‘To combat anti-Semitism in Britain, I will also ensure that all schools teach the history of the Jewish people and its eternal connection to the land of Israel. I acknowledge that colonial Britain’s betrayal of its legal obligation to settle the Jews in their historic homeland and its appeasement of their Arab persecutors lie at the core of the Middle East conflict and stoked the Jew-hatred we now see erupting again. As Prime Minister, I feel under a moral obligation to try to put this right.’
Melanie Phillips is a columnist for the Times.
This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated 2 August 2014