April 17, 2002
TWO days after September 11 The Sun ran a leader headlined: Islam is not an
As we said then, the men who attacked America seek to foster hatred. They
thrive on it. It simply cannot be the case that all Muslims hate the West and
desire its destruction. All Muslims have a right to practise their religion. British
Muslims are part of the fabric of this country – not an enemy.
The media has a vital role in not demonising any faith or any racial group –
history has surely taught us that great dangers follow from such primitive
In the light of yet another suicide bomber attacking Israel on Friday, and looking
at the terrifying rise of anti-Jewish feeling – anti-Semitism – around the world
we would like to offer an equally important thought:
Judaism – the Jewish faith – is not an evil religion.
Imagine, for a minute, that you are Jewish. Go further. Imagine you are an
Israeli – living in a country bedevilled with suicide bombers.
How would you feel as your family was threatened day after day by bombings
in shops and restaurants?
Very frightened. That’s what.
But because of your Jewish faith you would feel something else, too.
You would feel alone, unloved – and hated around the world.
To be Jewish is to know what can happen when hatred comes your way.
To be Jewish is to understand that anti-Semitism can turn very quickly
into something chilling.
To be Jewish is to have family ties – recent ties within one or two
generations – to what happened here in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s: the
Nazi Germany together with far too many accomplices – some Ukrainian, some
Italian, some French, ALL now in denial – set about murdering the entire Jewish
population. In all, six million died. Many non-Jews too.
This was the most systematic RACIST act in the recent history of the
If you were Jewish chances are you would have treasured family
pictures of family members who were lost in the camps.
Think about that. Think about the effect on the psyche. Think about the
pressure Israeli voters therefore put on their leaders to defend them.
After the war a guilty world allowed the Jews their own state: Israel.
There are two fundamental untruths about Israel that, far too often, go
They are that the Israelis will not share their land with the Palestinians
and that the rise of Jewish power, wealth and influence is all down to some
“plot” or “conspiracy”. Both need to be dealt with.
Firstly the land. We will return to the accusation of “conspiracy” later.
The fact is that Israel HAS offered the Palestinians huge concessions.
Ehud Barak, the Israeli Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001, did just that in
a peace deal negotiated by President Clinton – and Palestinian leader Yasser
Sadly, Arafat turned down the offer. When the crunch came, he would
not sign. In his heart of hearts, he prefers the way of terror.
As President Bush said two weeks ago Arafat’s leadership of his people has
He has led them into darkness; not the light.
Arafat and his allies have encouraged the suicide bombers instead of
campaigning against them.
Every bomber who dies worships Arafat. His allies even compensate the
terrorists’ families for their loss.
The Western media loves to use the term cycle of violence. This is, indeed,
what is happening.
But to use that term equates the region’s only elected democracy (Israel)
with the terrorists.
The bombing of Coventry and Dresden was a cycle of violence; so was
Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, Hiroshima and Nagasaki; so was the Occupation of
Europe and the Battle of Britain.
But one side was in the right and one was in the wrong.
Fundamentally, Israel has a RIGHT to exist. Once you accept that there can be
no justification for the suicide bombers.
Israel has not acted perfectly. There have been excesses – as admitted
by President Bush.
But the Israelis are not the aggressors here. They HAVE offered land to
their enemies. They do not WANT war.
Ariel Sharon, the ex-general who the Israelis elected as prime minister, is
charged with the responsibility of defending his people.
No nation has any right to tell him he cannot do so. Not Britain. Not the United
We must make an effort to understand the isolated Israeli people. We must
understand, like them, that it is POSSIBLE for an enemy to wish the END of
your entire faith, people and nation.
This is what Hitler tried to do.
This is what the terrorists, including Osama bin Laden, ultimately wish.
They do not seek to negotiate. AT ALL.
This is not some turf war that can be settled by Eurotroops in United Nations
blue berets. This is a declared war by men of terror on a people who know the
meaning of annihilation.
At the same time the Jews see a rise in anti-Semitism around the world.
Especially in mainland Europe.
Consequently, Israelis are scared to death.
They have never truly trusted Britain – and with some of the people we employ
in the Foreign Office why the hell should they? Now they see even America
joining the bashing of Sharon. Israeli people are reasonable people. Most of
them. The media there is liberal and divided. In the United States the Jewish
vote shifts to the Left not the Right.
Which brings us to the issue of “conspiracy” – the too-often stated assumption
that Jews, especially in America, dominate power and “run the world”.
It is true that Jewish individuals have risen to much power and wealth in
the United States. But this has been done within a few generations; it is down
to HARD WORK not a “conspiracy”.
Many of the Jews running America’s real estate, media and financial empires
started out in the ghettos of New York.
Calvin Klein, to take just one example, has built one of the world’s
biggest fashion brands. He was a poor Jewish boy from the Bronx.
New York is full of these incredible success stories; so is Hollywood; so
is Britain – for example Amstrad’s Sir Alan Sugar, Dixons’ Sir Stanley Kalms and
These people made something of themselves by themselves. There is no
We would be wise to follow the Jewish example, not allow their success
to fuel our worst prejudices.
If you were Jewish you would understand all this. Indeed, it would be written
on your heart.
The rest of us would do well to try to understand the Jews.
They are not an evil people.
They are, frankly, just very scared people.
And history has shown they have good reason to be scared.