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A Jubilee Year

“Believe it or not, despite having made aliya in 1972, I didn’t have a very clear picture of the terrible history of Britain and the Jews of Palestine.”

With the Queen of England celebrating her Jubilee Year, and this week’s worshipful MP visit to hate-preacher Abu Hamza in a high-security prison, I think the time has come for a few words about what is going on in Britain.

To be quite honest, I started life as an Anglophile.

My bedtime story was David Copperfield. As I suffered and ultimately triumphed with that poor, handsome orphan lad, I was infused with a sense of longing for the streets of London, waiting for the magic moment when my feet would wander where my imagination had long roamed.

My opportunity came many years later in 1981, after I had finished a master’s thesis on D.H. Lawrence. My dear friend and fellow classmate Shoshana and I hurried to take advantage of our husbands’ offer to babysit for a week, allowing us a much-needed break.

Before they came to their senses, we booked two tickets to London.

I’ll never forget that trip.

Everything from the pubs to the accents, to the little parks, and especially the theater, thrilled me with their unique charm. It was all so civilized, I thought.

People were so polite. The streets so clean. The plays were so well performed. It was dazzling.

Believe it or not, despite having made aliya in 1972, I didn’t have a very clear picture of the terrible history of Britain and the Jews of Palestine. The last book I read before leaving the US was While Six Million Died, which detailed the terrible history of America’s passive complicity in the destruction of European Jewry during the Holocaust.

But then came the intifada.

I couldn’t believe my ears as I listened to BBC broadcasters.

The bias and hatred toward Israel were so ugly and so blatant that even slow-boil Israeli government spokesmen were finally moved to protest, accusing the BBC’s Middle East correspondent Orla Guerin of anti-Semitism and “total identification with the goals and methods of the Palestinian terror groups.” After numerous Palestinian terror attacks on Israeli civilians, the BBC decided to air a documentary focusing on… the 1982 massacres in Sabra and Shatilla, dusting off the tired old complaints against Ariel Sharon. The following year I cringed as BBC reporters openly worried whether the PLO terrorists who had invaded the Church of the Nativity – defiling the sanctuary, beating up priests and worshipers and taking them hostage – were hungry, and if they had had a chance during the week to put down their machine guns to take a shower.

“You are not doing harm to the Jewish people. But you are doing harm to yourselves and to civilized norms that history shows will wind up destroying all that is precious to you as well,” I wrote in an open letter to the BBC.

Not long after, a British Jew decided to sing anti- Israel Christmas carols. She was someone I had the misfortune to meet when I attended the London Jewish Book Fair.

By that trip, the streets of London were decidedly less magical than I remembered, the streets dirty, and the people basically Third Worlders. The politeness and charm were gone, along with the thrill of being in a place of superior intellectual and moral appreciation.

It was a sad return.

British reality TV programs brought to Israel revealed the ongoing nature of this process. Tiny Tearaways showed dysfunctional families coping with out-of-control two-year-olds, while Brat Camp showcased these same two-year-olds reaching puberty, drinking, taking drugs and beating up their parents, who then bought them a one-way ticket to the Utah desert. Both programs revealed something that was obvious to all: No one was bringing up British children. In the no-father, single, non-coping parent environment that had replaced normal family life in Britain, the children were certainly no worse than their loutish parent( s). Recent British riots should have come as no surprise to anyone, least of all British authorities.

The sad and precipitous decline in British character and morals from their heights during the London Blitz seems to parallel the decline in British-Jewish relations. Anti-Semitic hate crimes, including physical attacks on Jews in London, are all too commonplace nowadays. The concomitant blindness of the average Brit to Muslim excesses within their own borders is frightening.

Take this week’s report from the Islington Tribune by Pavan Amara that “an alarming number of underage girls – some as young as nine – are being forced into marriage in Islington” according to the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organization, and that “hundreds of Islington girls could be suffering sexual, emotional and physical scars as a result of the child marriages every year.”

The powerlessness of British authorities to control what goes on in their country, a result of the radical left-wing poison that has invaded and destroyed common sense in those fair British isles, was also glaringly apparent last year when our own Raed Salah, a Hamas hate preacher who had been banned by the British home secretary, strolled through Heathrow Airport in June, on his way to calmly deliver a lecture organized by Islamist radicals to a large crowd in Leicester and again at Westminster at the invitation of left-wing Labor MPs.

This week, on February 6, members of the Home Affairs Select Committee headed by Labor MP Keith Vaz went to high-security Belmarsh prison to interview Abu Hamza – the cleric who was jailed after telling his followers that the murder of non-Muslims was justified “even if there is no reason” – and then published an uncritical summary of Hamza’s comments.

Also this week, British authorities admitted their helplessness in keeping terrorist Abu Qatada in prison, announcing his imminent release. A Jordanian who had entered the United Kingdom on a forged passport in 1993, Qatada preached to British Muslims (including Mohammed Atta, the leader of the September 11 hijackers) to kill non-believers, and supported worldwide terror groups and bloody attacks in Jordan.

Because of their distorted laws, the British are about to let him go scot-free, despite recognizing the serious danger he poses to national security.

Is part of the British support for terror simply the inability of the ruling elite to get over its hatred of Jews and of Israel, pushing them into a senseless pattern of behavior that has no peaceful future? If so, perhaps it is time for the Queen to stop this downward spiral by putting her first visit to Israel on her Jubilee agenda.

This conciliatory gesture and recognition of the crimes committed against our people under the British Mandate – including murdering passengers and crew on the Exodus 1947 before sending survivors back to Germany, re-interring concentration camp victims attempting to start life anew in their homeland, and aiding and abetting the Arab terror aligned against the fledgling Jewish state – would be a good way to start the next 60 years, for Britain as well as for Israel.

This article was first published in the Jerusalem Post on 10 February, 2012.

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26 comments on “A Jubilee Year”

  1. Jeffrey

    Why feel hopeless in the face of England’s anti Semitism? Take action: it may seem odd but a pretty healthy lawsuit can be taken before the International Court of Justice in the Hague concerning England’s blatantly illegal abuse and misuse of the British Mandate for Palestine granted to them at the Great Powers Conference in San Remo,Italy on April 24, 1920 and the subsequent ratification by the League of Nations in 1925. You see, the British Mandate was to implement the law as defined by the Great Powers at San Remo, based on the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Well surprise, surprise if it wasn’t Winston Churchill himself who, representing the British government, who led the charge to blatantly violate the international law by arbitrarily and illegally wresting over 73% of the land which had been given to the Jewish people as their reconstituted historic homeland. It is interesting to note the reference to the Jewish people includes all the Jews of the Diaspora! What a Class Action suit this could make; worse case it would be a great movie filled with villains, pirates and plain old arrogant Englishmen. Perhaps there are other laws the Brits violated as they destroyed India, numerous African peoples and a large part of Asia. Read Howard Grief’s brilliant book THE LEGAL FOUNDATION AND BORDERS OF ISRAEL UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW. Thank you Ms. Ragen for your tireless support of Israel and the Jewish people and bless all those who bless Israel and curse those who do not.

    • Rabbi Fleishig

      Is such a lawsuit a real possibility, given the extreme anti-Israel and anti-Semitic prejudice of every organization whose name begins with the word “International”?

  2. Liz Levitt

    I could cry forever as to what has and is still being done to our people. Your articles will help and maybe even force some of us to realize how the world really feels. You are a blessing.

    • Pravin

      snowonpine : I live near dearborn , Mi, and you are tollaty underestimating the pro-Hezb,ollah population, when you quote the figure of 7000. There are about 150,000 Lebanese immigrants in and and around Dearborn, of which, probably 100,00 are Shia. The rest of the Lebanese are either Maronite Christians or Druze. And most of the others Arabs are Iraqi Chaldean Christians, and a lot of Palestinians, mostly Sunnis.yes, a lot of the Lebanese Shia, especially the recent immigrants are up to no good, but, I fear the worst, becasue, most reporters, or for that matter law-enforcement agencies are woefully short of officers and agents who speak the language, or understand the culture. And I wonder – whydoes the US Govt even allow immigrationfrom countries which are known to be nests of anti-Americanism, and from countries that are know to grow Islamic terrorists like oranges growing in the orchardsof Florida?

  3. Anon613-London

    Whilst there is certainly an anti-semitic undercurrent in British history and public life, as well as the fact that British actions during the 1917 to 1947 Mandate Period did it no credit, your posting suggests perhaps unrealistic expectations of the United Kingdom and its government.
    The British sense of fair play is still part of the national psyche, while the United Kingdom may be the only coutry outside Israel in which a large number of Jewish schools benefit from substantial state funding, approximately 75% of the cost per pupil. This reflects consistent UK government support for faith schools, including those for Jewish children.
    At the same time, life is becoming less easy for Jews in Britain, but it is still perhaps the safest European country to be a Jew. Its certainly a mixed bag, but unfortunately your assessment has focussed on the negative without recognising the full picture.

    • Bado

      …it appears that any Muslim, no matetr how apparently westernized, can decide at any moment that he has to act out the hatred for jews and infidels that his religion preaches and sanctifies.This is like saying that any gun owner is a potential mass-murderer. The gun owner who murders is highly atypical of all gun owners, just as the American Muslim terrorist is highly atypical of all American Muslims. In both cases a way to identify potentially dangerous individuals might be to look for people who have multiple characteristics in common with other violent members of their group rather than merely with the group as a whole. In the case of Muslims this might mean association with a jihadi imam, mosque or madrassa, open espousal of jihadi views, and probably some demographic cues. I am not saying I know the formula, but rather that a lot of the dangerous people probably have multiple common characteristics that distinguish them from the majority of American Muslims who are not threats (and whose cooperation in tracking down actual jihadis should be avidly sought).

  4. Dena

    I happen to be of British descent. I, too, adore Dickens, especially BLEAK HOUSE. However, I am appalled at the way in which England and America failed my Jewish brothers and sisters during WW I, II and now. It is in my estimation a blatant defiance of G-d’s Word and ways. G-d the King of the Universe adores His people. In my opinion any and all abuse or neglect of Jewish sensibilities, needs, trials or any and all failure to support Israel, basically, reflects a tragic moral and spiritual decline which will seep into every aspect of British life. I, too, believe it would be wonderful for the Queen to visit Israel; and yet it would be far better if she would come to the defense of Jewish people in Britain, champion Israel’s cause and support Israel on a daily basis within her realm of influence!

  5. Hector

    The discovery of the true nature of the English (empire) should serve the purpose of guiding a further search on the American one. A good start would be to visit and read his book “Confessions of An Economic Hitman”.
    Wherever the English entered they did attempt to establish “Divide et impera” or Divide to conquer. Hong Kong/China, Pakistan/India, so-called Palestine/Israel are just examples of a policy of spoilage and advantage-taking that render profits till today, …. all done with those famous charm and phlegm that mesmerized Naomi. Their days are numbered, when the Islamic beast copes and “conquers” the Island they will eventually cease to exist as we know them.

  6. Gary

    Reading all of the previous posts, reconfirms my belief that the killing of 6,000,000 Jews will replace Europe with 60,000,000 Muslims. Peaceful, integrating, hard working tax payers, NOT

  7. Suzan

    Yes. All true. Pls do not forget that after WWII
    instead of prosecuting the Muslim Nazis – the British Introduced the separate Muslim terror factions TO EACH OTHER. Then then trained and armed them. They financed them to wipe out
    the state of Israel. That was their purpose.
    May the Brits rot in the hell THEY created.
    I feel nothing for the bastards. The only thing I feel is sick and sad for an innocent people. Break out the weapons because they are about to kill us all now.

  8. John Ladd

    The british are not alone in their stupidity the Americans are following the same path. This world is rapidly going downhill and one day soon the only people still free will be the people of Israel. We here in America are under the leadership of a usurper who is not even constitutionaly eligible to hold the office he occupies yet our people are so dumbed down to not even be aware of what their own constitution says. As the bible says in Genesis 12:3 those nations who curse Israel will be cursed and as an American I can see it coming as we have turned so far away from His word that our nation is doomed.

  9. Janet Clifford

    I live in the UK where my parents landed with their parents refugees from Poland and Dvinsk in the 1900’s. T’was ever thus! As a child in school I was told to go back to my own country when there was no chance of ever doing that. Now my grandchildren attend Jewish Schools and need protection to do so. Nobody turns a hair that we the British Jews need security to attend shuls, schools, kindergartens, wedding or Bar Mitzva venues. It is particularly galling that the Leaders of British Jewry are inept and unwilling to stand up to be counted or fund the rebuttal of B.D.S. movements that have taken such a hold in this country.

    • Bruria from Kiriat Chaim

      janet, stand up. get the family and make aliya. you won’t need this security you wrote about in israel, come!

      • Fame

        With Israel being led by Netanyahu,Peres and Ehud Barak, their security is questionable.
        This would be a big negative to my ever making Aliyah.The left in Israel(led by the High Court ) are as much a poison as the article describes in Britain at present

  10. Val B.

    I support exactly what Mary has said. I feel ashamed that our country should have sunk so low, that children have so little good guidance and that our BBC should constantly voice the bias that it shows. As Mary says ‘There is a remnant here who pray for Israel and who grieve over what we see happening’. Our country does not deserve to be blessed and I am sure we will not be, all the time anti-semitism is continually demonstrated.

  11. Mal

    From the royals right down to the gutter trash, Britain is one of the most rabidly anti Semitic societies in Europe period. Growing up in South Africa we saw and learned from very early that although there were a lot of “Afrikaner” that were outspokenly hostile to the Jews, it was the secretive despise from the English dependency that were the far more treacherous to the Jews than any of the other groups that were upfront in their opinions.

    Britain from its central core out is virulently anti Semitic and for that fact alone will always hate the state of Israel, it is the very reason why no royal will ever set foot on Jewish soil.

    Personally I feel that this is a good thing as anything and everything that any “representative” of those despicable isles could ever offer the Jewish people will have an ulterior motive that will be as anti Jewish as can be.

    The day an imam is instilled in Buckingham Palace will be a great day in England’s and world history, as it will be the day that elitist left leaning deranged Jews might finally understand that like it or not, there leftist non Jewish counterparts hate them to their very core, although they may just be to intellectually challenged to actually get it, much like the Obama Jews who will return him to the White house in November for another round of Jewish Israel bashing.

    • Joel

      I agree with everything Mal said. It is a sad truism that Leftist Jews (the large majority of US Jews) not only give enormously in treasure to the Western antisemitic elite, they actually represent much of the leadership. This gives “moral cover” to Leftist antisemitism, which is growing enormously. The OWS demonstrations had their antisemitic ranters, but they were completely covered by the Leftist media. Speaking of the OWS movement in 2012, it will be a disasterous plague on American cities this Summer.

    • Mohammad

      This is merely the last in a whole seeirs of such shootings and attacks by Muslims against Israelis, Jews and other Infidels in the U.S. over the last few years, all by people who are very conveniently labeled as “crazy.” As someone posted today, if this latest shooter were white and a KKK member, this shooting would be reported as a hate crime as well as terrorism in a heartbeat; Muslims get a pass. Sorry, but I think that the very liberal Seattle mindset cannot, will not, deal with the reality of Islam, the jihadi’s mentality and the increasingly bloody prospects if we don’t deal harshly with these Muslim fanatics. This is illustrated in how Seattle newpapers and TV have characterized this shooting and by statements of Seattle officials regarding this attack. Offensive as it is to the political correctness now infesting our nation, it appears that any Muslim, no matter how apparently westernized, can decide at any moment that he has to act out the hatred for jews and infidels that his religion preaches and sanctifies. There are 140 Saudi financed, largely Wahabi run Islamic religious centers and mosques in the U.S. which, according to newspaper accounts and translations of their textbooks, teach this hatred daily. These Islamic institutions also produce the chaplains for Muslims in our armed forces and the chaplains for our prison system, which contains many tens of thousands of muslims and increasing numbers of muslim-convert inmates. I think it inevitable that other such attacks in the U.S. are coming until we, as a nation, wise-up.

  12. Lou VanDelman

    I cannot wonder why you were surprised at the anti-Semitism in England when you visited. Do you not remember that before Israel became a state, the British army made sure that the Arabs living in Israel would be fully armed while at the same time, they made sure that all guns that were in the hands of the Kibutniks were seized and left defenceless. All this was going on with the backing of the British Government. It kept on going until the Jews under the leadership of Menachem Begin decided that they were not going to count on anybody else for survival. They slowly built up stock piles of guns and ammunition and started to fight back. It really became serious when the Jews blew up part of the Kind David Hotel and killed some 80 british officers and the jews also hung a british soldier in response to a Jew that was hung. The Jews pushed the British out of Palestine and to this day, I guess they remember how they were evicted.
    What bothers me most is that the newly formed Government of Israel accepted a gift from the British Government, a Menora that today stands in front of the Knesset.
    I guess that you cannot change the spots on a leopard.
    With all the help and backing of the British army, the arabs still were not able to overcome the Jewish need for a homeland in their ancestral country.
    Am Yisroel Chai.

    • chava

      Just to mention — Before the Jews blew up part of the King David Hotel, they phoned a warning to leave the hotel. The British refused to take “orders” from the Jews, and the result was as you stated.

  13. Gilie grant

    I was born in UK but left in 1991. I believe that Britain lost the empire because of her treatment of the Jewish people during the British Mandate!! G-d had given them a chance to bless Israel and instead they chose to curse!!! Now I live in Israel and see the excesses of the Islamic religion up close. You are so right Naomi, great article thanks.

  14. Rabbi Fleishig

    Britain is not alone in its transformation from a liberal Western democracy to an Islamic theocracy in the making. Most of the Western European countries are heading down the same path. The Scandinavian countries are being emptied of their Jews ( It seems that the more “enlightened” a society becomes, the less willing and able it becomes to defend itself from the increasingly assertive and demanding demographic jihad. I hope that, for their own sakes, Europeans wake up while there’s still time (if there’s still time).

  15. Mary

    I burned with shame for my country as I read your comments. I work in a school and see the effect of dysfunctional families on a daily basis also observing the blindness of many people to the terrible decline of our society here in England. However, please remember that there is a remnant here who pray for Israel and who grieve over what we see happening. We know that we cannot trust the BBC to report fairly about Israel and we try to direct others to alternative news outlets. Please do not think we are all blind and anti-semitic over here!

      • Sukry

        is happening there as the truth, but trnlsnatioas by Arabic speakers reveal what is really being said in the speeches.In contrast to this I see no anti-terrorist, “Moderate Muslim” activities, demonstrations and almost no statements. These few statements apparently condemning terrorism or attacks by Muslims against civilians you can find, if analyzed carefully–in the tradition of what “is” is, will prove to be a non-condemnation. Typical are statements that Islam is against the killing of”innocent” people. However, terrorist ideology holds no Infidel to be truly innocent, so killing Infidels is not killing the “innocent.” Similar Koran and Hadith-based rationals can be found justifying all terrorist activities from a conservative Muslim perspective.It would be nice to see a “Moderate” version of Islamic doctrine and interpretations, if such really exist, which could be put up against the ultra-conservative Wahabi interpretations that, backed by Saudi Arabian money and taught in, for instance, the 140 Saudi funded Islamic religious institutions in the U.S. and tens of thousands of madrasses around the word, seem to prevail today. However, to my knowledge, there is no such body of doctrines and interpretations and I am sure that those who occupy the key civil and religious posts in Muslim countries are usually very vigilant to stamp out any such development, usually by stamping out those who would avocate it.

  16. Yacov

    It is indeed a sad story. I experienced the same when I first visited London in 1968 and again in the 1990’s. Britain is going fast down the drain and queen Elizabeth is the last monarch. After her, Buckingham palace will be the place of resisdence of the Imam of England. By that time Wales and Scotland will separate to escape the a Islamic destiney. We are not supposed to rejoice at the fall of our enemy, and in a way the fall of England will not have positive consequences for Israel, but I must admit it is by far the best I can wish for the people who have destroyed so many civilizations around the world!

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