OPINION: by Mark BrahamNews Weekly
What is behind the rise of European anti-Semitism?
, April 1, 2006
Surprisingly, it is often "white" academics rather than Muslim immigrants in the West who are behind much anti-Israel propaganda and misinformation, writes Mark Braham.My father's family almost certainly left Spain at the time of the Inquisition and Expulsion in 1492, proceeding to England a century or two later after a stay in Holland.
England treated them well; as small traders they prospered. My great-grandfather, Emmanuel Joseph, a bootmaker, was sufficiently prosperous to have raised 10 children and to own a terrace house in Bayswater, as well as his own carriage, a status symbol of some consequence in the 19th century.
We were grateful to England and never shirked our duty. In World War I, my father and four uncles served in the forces (three army, one navy). Another member of the family, Leonard Keysor, serving with the Anzacs, was awarded the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty at Lone Pine Trenches in the Gallipoli Peninsula" (August 7-8, 1915). I served with the British 8th Army and was twice wounded in action in Italy in World War II.Acts of violence
Last year it was reported that 532 acts of violence against Jews were recorded in England in 2004. Commenting on this phenomenon, veteran international Jewish leader Isi Leibler, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, wrote:
"While many Anglo-Jews insist that anti-Semitism is primarily a product of Muslim immigrants, the reality - as recently confirmed in a London police study - is that the core of anti-Semitism in England emanates from indigenous Britons.
"They are the ones demonising Israel in the media. They shamelessly create Nazi-style caricatures like the one published by The Independent
newspaper which portrayed [former Israeli Prime Minister] Ariel Sharon as an ogre physically devouring Palestinian children. That obscene cartoon was awarded first prize as the best political cartoon of the year.
"It is 'white' British academics, not Muslim immigrants, who promote anti-Israeli boycotts and divestment campaigns. And, needless to say, the BBC - which has evolved into one of the greatest global agents demonising Israel - is not run by Muslims." (The Jerusalem Post
, October 19, 2005).
Meanwhile, a Spanish journalist Sebastián Vivar Rodríguez, writing in a Spanish online magazine Gentiuno
(November 21, 2004), remarked:
"I was walking along the Rambla del Raval [a street in Barcelona with many immigrant Arabs and Muslims] when all of a sudden I understood that Europe died with Auschwitz.
"We murdered six million Jews, only to end up bringing in 20 million mostly fundamentalist Muslims!
"We burnt in Auschwitz culture, intelligence and the power to create. We burnt the people proclaimed to be God's chosen people - because it is these people who gave to humanity the epic figures, capable of changing the course of history ... and who represent the origin of progress and well-being.
"We must admit that Europe, by relaxing its borders and yielding to the values of cultural and moral relativism, and under the absurd pretext of tolerance, has opened its doors to 20 million Muslims, often illiterate and fanatics ... who, in the worst cases, are preparing attacks such as 9/11 and the Madrid bombings, and who are lodged in apartment blocks provided by social welfare.
"We have also exchanged culture for fanaticism, the capacity to create wealth for the desire to destroy it, intelligence for superstition. We have exchanged the instinct for improvement of the Jews - who never, even under the worst conditions imaginable, tired of hoping for a better, more peaceful world - for the suicide bomber. We have exchanged the pride of survival for the fanatical obsession to die, and perhaps to kill us and our children.
"What a grave mistake we made!"
- Mark Braham was a British Army officer during World War II, after which he migrated to Australia. He is author of Stronger than Fiction: Jews and Christians Are Natural Allies (London: Minerva Press, 1999).