HomeAPRIL 2024Lessons From the United Kingdom

Lessons From the United Kingdom

Democratic Reps Rashida Tlaib and Cori Bush watch the State of the Union wearing the symbols of Hamas terrorism. Missing is fellow antisemite Summer Lee who had been seated next to Tlaib.

The new, dangerous, British invasion.

Normally, when Americans refer to our similarities with the British, we are referring to the shared cultural and historical heritage of our two nations.
     The more relevant comparisons for us today are the critical lessons we must learn from the daily experiences of our Jewish brothers and sisters across the Atlantic.
    I believe that what is happening there is not only largely unknown to most American Jews but we ignore it at our own risk.
    On Wednesday, February 21, in Britain’s parliament the Scottish National Party introduced a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. According to Parliament’s rules, that means a vote by the House of Commons. But instead of voting, the House speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, a member of the “Labour” party, contravened the rules to allow Labour to change the language of the resolution.
    Why? He was intimidated by Hamas-supporting thugs. He said afterward “I never want to go through a situation where I find a friend from any side has been murdered, I also don’t want another attack on this House,” adding that he has seen evidence of “absolutely frightening” threats made to MPs because of their stance on the war in Gaza. Then referencing a 2017 Islamic attack on parliament Hoyle said “I also don’t want another attack on this House. I was in the chair on that day. I have seen, I have witnessed.”
    In other words the speaker of the most famous parliament in the West changed long standing rules because he was afraid. He is a coward.
    Speaking the next day, Jewish Member of Parliament Tory Andrew Percy, provided some common sense and moral clarity:
    “And what do we expect? For months I’ve been standing up here talking about the people on our streets demanding death to Jews, demanding jihad, demanding intifadas as the police stand by and allow that to happen.”
    Then he referred to an event that took place the night before, as Parliament was voting on the ceasefire resolution. Chillingly, like something out of a nightmarish novel, the genocidal slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” was projected1  onto the most famous symbol of Great Britan, Parliament ‘s “Elizabeth Tower,” also known as Big Ben. It was no coincidence that it was projected as the House of Commons was voting.
    It was, without doubt, an act of intimidation – it was a threat.
    He continued “This is going to continue happening, because we’re not dealing with it, so if we have a rerun of this, can the leader explain to me what will be any different, and how will members vote with their hearts and their consciences? Because too many will not, at the moment, because of the threats we’re receiving—threats like telling us to leave this country, in some of our cases, and telling us that they want us or our families to be subjected to pain and to death.”
    It is so bad that several Members of Parliament, friendly to Israel and the Jewish community, but facing threats to their offices, homes and families by Islamist mobs, have been forced to increase security, stop announcing public events, and even, as in the case of Mike Freer, end their political careers. Before announcing that he was leaving Parliament, Freer stated2 that he felt “lucky to be alive” after escaping a confrontation with Ali Harbi Ali, an Islamist who went on to murder Conservative MP David Amess.
    It’s not tea, crumpets, and The Beatles anymore.
    In addition to the political manifestations of antisemitism, there has been a dramatic spike in antisemitic attacks in the UK since 10/7.
    In one example in February, a domestic terrorist with a knife entered a kosher market and demanded to know where the store’s staff stood on “‘Israel and Palestine.”
    The attack was only prevented because of the truly heroic actions of 18-year-old Yosef Chaim Reitman who (like something out of an Israeli movie) used Krav Maga3 to stop the assailant (a skill he learned at the Lubavitch Boys’ Primary School). Proving once again that the most reliable people to protect us, are ourselves, he said “As Jews, we get a lot of hate. My teacher taught us we always have to be prepared.”  In fact, it was the Shomrim4 (a group of volunteers who patrol Jewish neighborhoods), and not the police, who subdued the suspect before he was eventually arrested.
    Somewhat ironically, the platform where I read about the incident was the “Jewish Chronicle,” which is Great Britain’s oldest Jewish publication. Its editor, Jake Wallis Simons, said recently5 that he “he looks over his shoulder” when entering the newspaper’s lobby.
    That despite the location of their offices being kept secret because of already rising antisemitism when they moved to their current location two years ago.
    A few weeks before that, three Israelis were attacked in London’s Leicester Square by Muslim Arabs who had heard them speaking Hebrew. Two of them suffered head injuries.
    On March 9 students at Exeter University, south of London, were forced to flee “fearing for their safety,” after being attacked6 by pro-Hamas students.
    On March 10, a Jewish counter-protestors was arrested in London for carrying a sign that said “Hamas is a terrorist organization.” Not a single person among the massive pro-Hamas crowd was arrested.7
    Most ominously, Robin Simcox, Britain’s counter-extremism commissioner declared8 London a “no go zone” for Jews on weekends due to the climate of antisemitism created by the relentless pro-Hamas crowds.
    I only have so much room and can’t even start to document every serious attack on Britian’s Jewish community. For a more detailed overview on recent attacks, you can go here,9 here,10 and here.11
    The increase in British antisemitism has been dramatic. In 2023, there were 4,103 attacks on Jews across the UK, more than twice the figure in 2022. Two thirds of those attacks took place after 10/7. In fact, those numbers alone exceed all previous annual totals of attacks on Britain’s Jewish community.
    The obvious result of all of this is that large numbers of Britain’s Jews want to leave London. Clearly, leaving Britain entirely will follow. According12 to the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the number of Jews wanting to leave is “increasing daily… a majority of Jewish people in this country are afraid to show their Jewishness in public. This is not the tolerant Britain that we cherish—it is a Britain succumbing to a racist mob.”
    I’d like to say that they should keep a stiff upper lip – but that’s hard to do when you’re living in the midst of Islamic mobs who want to murder you. When the threat is domestic, and your country ignores that threat, you don’t have a lot of options.
    Keep in mind that this is a nation in which “anti-Zionism” was ruled13 a “philosophical belief” in early February, giving antisemites protected status. You read that right, in Great Britain hating Jews is now treated as some kind of pseudo-religion, protected as such by law.
    And no, anti-Zionism is not different, in any way, from antisemitism. If you are attacking Jews because you have political differences with the Jewish state – you hate Jews. End of story.
    In America, the trends are similar. I watched in horror last Thursday as three democrat members of Congress attended the State of the Union wearing kefiyehs, a symbol no less anti-Jewish14 than the swastika. Most of America yawned and claimed that the number of democrats showing that level of hostility to Jews is a small minority. I will point out that the number of Nazis in the German Reichstag began as a small minority.
    We keep saying “never again is now.” Do we mean it? Because the overwhelming lesson of the period before the Shoah is that the people who could stop it did absolutely nothing because they couldn’t comprehend the threat or didn’t care. We now know what the threat is. This time around, what is happening to Jews in Europe can easily come to Jews in America.
    The time to act is now.
    Never give in. Never give up.
    Am Yisrael Chai. 

References
1.https://substackcdn.com/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fsubstack-post-media.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2Fa36640c2-c74a-4f19-b09a-f48b79eadb36_1920x1080.jpeg

2. https://www.thejc.com/news/uk/mike-freer-quits-politics-over-death-threats-for-supporting-israel-pk3dy0hf

3. https://www.thejc.com/news/uk/im-very-strong-and-i-believe-in-god-says-hero-teen-who-fought-off-golders-green-knifeman-ksm0ypr8

4. http://www.shomrimlondon.org/about-us.html

5. https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/jewish-chronicle-offices-jews-hidden-fear-attacks-antisemitism-b1142090.html

6. https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/article-791074

7. https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/hamas-is-terrorist-london-police-arrest-release-iranian-activist-at-pro-palestinian-rally/

8. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2024/03/07/pro-palestinian-protests-london-no-go-zone-jews/

9. https://www.spiked-online.com/2024/02/01/britains-jews-are-being-terrorised/

10. https://www.jns.org/the-antisemitism-crisis-is-out-of-control/

11. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2024/feb/15/huge-rise-in-antisemitic-abuse-in-uk-since-hamas-attack-says-charity

12. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/jewish-londoners-antisemitism-rise-hate-crime-b1143257.html

13. https://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2024/02/antisemitism-is-now-philosophical.html?m=1

14.  https://benjaminkerstein.substack.com/p/wrath-of-the-keffiyeh-nazis

Joshua Namm is a longtime Jewish community pro, passionate Israel advocate, and co-founder/co-CEO of Moptu, a unique social platform designed specifically for article sharing and dedicated to the principle of free speech.

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