Recent anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks


by Rumbold
8th February, 2011 at 9:37 am    

The Community Security Trust, a group which monitors anti-Semitic attacks on Jews in Britain, has reported a 31% drop in attacks in 2010, compared to 2009. Nevertheless, this good news is tempered by the fact that the number of attacks, 639, is still the second highest number since the Community Security Trust (CST) began reporting (and the 2009 figure was distorted by the war in Gaza). Part of the rise in the last two years (compared to historical averages), is no doubt in part down to a widening of the reporting net, with the CST now monitoring the internet as well. Even so, there was still plenty of physical assaults and verbal abuse too. The CST’s remit is quite narrow, as they deliberately exclude anti-Israeli attacks, and focus on incidents where it can be shown that an individual’s religion was the cause of the incident. This avoids the disingenuous argument that these attacks mostly occur because people dislike Israel’s policies, with the implication that if Israel behaved Jews would be safe.

Peter Oborne, in the wake of Baroness Warsi’s speech on Islamophobia, asked where the Muslim equivalent of the CST is. He then went on to list a number of recent attacks on Muslims he managed to find in just a few hours, including:

Police arrest four more men following attack on Mosque: Police have arrested four more man following last month’s attack on Kingston Mosque. The men were arrested yesterday on suspicion of involvement in the disorder and damage at the mosque in Park Road on Sunday, November 21. Elderly worshippers were terrified when a group of men tried to smash windows and threw beer and bacon at the building. (Kingston Guardian, 8 December 2010.)

Why have I written on both anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks? It is not to downplay the importance of either, or create a ‘league table’ of attacks. Rather it is because these attacks highlight the similarities of the abuse that ordinary Muslim and Jewish victims suffer: the broken windows of a religious house; the crude religious component to attacks; the hateful language; and the self-righteous justification of a number of attackers.


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Recent anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks http://bit.ly/eAm6Oy


  2. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Recent anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks http://bit.ly/eAm6Oy


  3. paulstpancras

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Recent anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks http://bit.ly/eAm6Oy


  4. paulstpancras

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Recent anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks http://bit.ly/eAm6Oy


  5. Beatrice Berwing

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Recent anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks http://bit.ly/eAm6Oy


  6. links for 2011-02-13 « Embololalia

    [...] Recent anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks Why have I written on both anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks? It is not to downplay the importance of either, or create a ‘league table’ of attacks. Rather it is because these attacks highlight the similarities of the abuse that ordinary Muslim and Jewish victims suffer: the broken windows of a religious house; the crude religious component to attacks; the hateful language; and the self-righteous justification of a number of attackers. (tags: islamophobia anti-semitism uk crime) [...]




  1. Richard Seymour — on 8th February, 2011 at 11:58 am  

    “Peter Oborne, in the wake of Baroness Warsi’s speech on Islamophobia, asked where is the Muslim equivilent of the CST is”

    Maybe that’s not what is needed. The CST is not necessarily a reputable organisation. It has been known to engage in intelligence-gathering at pro-Palestinian protests, and has prevented left-wing Jewish activists from attending, or even leafleting outside, public meetings. It constantly attacks legitimate criticism of Zionism and Israel, which it seeks to depict as antisemitic. Among recent targets was a best-selling book by the Israeli author Shlomo Sand, which was only antisemitic if you assume that anything which is critical of the ideology of Jewish nationalism is antisemitic. CST has a political agenda of support for Israel which compromises its anti-racist remit. Its advocacy role was noted by BICOM in 2006, when it announced plans to channel millions through the CST (and other pro-Israel advocacy groups) as a PR effort to win British hearts and minds. This is something you gloss over, when you say:

    “The CST’s remit is quite narrow, as they deliberately exclude anti-Israeli attacks, and focus on incidents were it can be shown that an individual’s religion was the cause of the incident. This avoids the disingenuous argument that these attacks mostly occur because people dislike Israel’s policies, with the implication that if Israel behaved Jews would be safe.”

    The CST’s remit isn’t quite as narrow as you suggest. Their reports have always specifically included allegations of attacks and verbal abuse which were supposedly motivated by anti-Zionist attitudes. The latest report is not different in that respect. What you perhaps mean is that they do not include attacks motivated by Israel-Palestine which do not use antisemitic language, or imagery, or target Jews or Jewish institutions per se. Such is their claim, and their global credibility (they are cited in scholarly studies of racism and antisemitism everywhere, and have good relations with police and politicians) rather depends on it.

    But there’s a complicating ideological background here. The CST adopts the ‘new antisemitism’ thesis. Mark Gardner, the CST’s spokesperson, has written publicly and extensively on this issue. And if you look at their report on ‘Antisemitic Discourse’ in 2007, which asserts that there is a continuity between anti-Zionist politics and antisemitism, its stated position is that antisemitism in the sense of targeting Jews on the basis of religion or ethnicity “is extremely rare in British society, media and politics”. The burden of their argument is that most antisemitism is chiefly expressed as criticism of Israel and its supporters. They allege that antisemitic incidents have doubled since the 1990s, and that “there is a distinct global pattern whereby overseas events (primarily, but not exclusively, involving Israel) trigger sudden escalations in local antisemitic incident levels”. The claim is that many of these incidents are driven by hostility to Israel as a Jewish state. They do not see a clear division between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism but rather a continuity. The waters are, if not exactly muddied, downright murky. Given this, I’m not convinced that their reporting is completely unbiased by their view of Israel and of the wider politics of anti-Zionism. Not only that, but I’m not sure how anyone else can be.

    (http://www.thecst.org.uk/docs/Antisemitic%20Discourse%20Report%202007_web.pdf)

    But to return to the basic point, imagine if there was a Muslim CST, which behaved in much the same observable way. If progressive Muslims were barred from entry to a public meeting by such an organisation, there would be an outcry. If their members were seen taking pictures of demonstrations they disapproved of, the headlines would be shocking. As for any statistics on racism that it produced – well, can’t you just picture all the attacks based on the argument that these so-called spokespeople actually represented no one, were community ‘gatekeepers’ upholding a tribal insularity? How seriously would the newspapers or the police or the academia take their claims? Wouldn’t it be a laughing stock? I’m not saying that the responses would be proportionate or entirely just, simply that they would be negative enough to undermine any good work it could do.

    No, I don’t think Muslims need a CST. What we all need, perhaps, is an interfaith, multiracial, multicultural body that has genuine roots in all the communities, which is single-mindedly devoted to the task of monitoring, exposing and opposing racism, and which is not compromised by any ulterior agenda.

  2. David T — on 8th February, 2011 at 1:55 pm  

    Given that the Socialist Workers party has a history of promoting radical antisemites, including Islamist parties, and Gilad Atzmon, I think Jews won’t be taking their advice from you, Richard.

  3. David T — on 8th February, 2011 at 3:34 pm  

    Thanks Sunny/Rumbold. I appreciate that.

  4. Rumbold — on 8th February, 2011 at 3:38 pm  

    Richard Seymour:

    As David T says, the SWP has a recent history of backing anti-Semites, and you take your moniker from a totalitarian despot, but I will try and address your points anyway.

    [The CST] has prevented left-wing Jewish activists from attending, or even leafleting outside, public meetings

    I hadn’t heard this, but am willing to examine any evidence for this you present.

    On the CST’s methodology with regards to anti-Semitic attacks, please can you point to the flaws in their methodology? As they themselves note, excluding anti-Israeli/Zionist attacks pushed the totals down. I am less interested in the CST’s broader views: I only really mention them when they produce their annual survey. I very much doubt I agree with everything they do/say, but that doesn’t invalidate their methodology.

    I think that a Muslim CST could face some of the problems you highlight, as theRE research would have to be credible. I would also like to see more recording of hate attacks by the authorities. That would solve some of the issues you (and others raise) with regards the CST.

  5. Rumbold — on 8th February, 2011 at 3:39 pm  

    No problem David T (for others: a libellous comment was deleted).

  6. Dave Rich — on 8th February, 2011 at 4:28 pm  

    I can’t believe I’m going to rise to the bait but anyway, it’s not a surprise that the SWP doesn’t like CST. In a decade of rising antisemitic hate crimes in this country, which we report on every year, I don’t think Socialist Worker has once published a news article telling its reader(s) that hate crimes against Jews are rising. Yet when a Parliamentary inquiry was held into antisemitism, with 14 MPs from 4 different parties none of whom were Jewish and most of whom had little or no track record on the subject, and that inquiry produced a report which found that, as our statistics show, hate crimes against British Jews are indeed rising, Socialist Worker published an article which described their report as “an important document to confront”. Yes, that’s right: for the ‘anti-racist’ SWP a report demonstrating rising antisemitism should be “confronted”. That’s the SWP’s attitude to antisemitism.

    For the record, we do not prevent left wing Jewish activists (or anyone else) from attending meetings or leafleting outside them. There have been a couple of occasions when we have removed people from meetings at the request of the organisers because they were being disruptive. People with similar views who were not disrupting the meetings were not removed, because the organisers did not ask us to. The people who were removed go to lots of Jewish community events that are secured by CST, with no problems, because they are not disruptive at those events. It’s got nothing to do with their views, simply whether they allow the meetings to proceed. I know the people who were removed have a different version of events, as you might expect. That’s life.

    And yes, we do think – because we have data that shows it – that sometimes, some people hate Israel so much that they attack Jews. For example, the FCO civil servant Rowan Laxton who was watching a news report about Gaza and shouted out “fucking Jews!” Unfortunately for him he was in a public gym at the time and everyone heard it. I’m sure if you asked him in a calm moment if he hates Jews he would adamantly and sincerely deny it; but on that occasion, he shouted antisemitic abuse because he was angry about Israel. You can argue about his motivation and who is to blame for his confusion as much as you want, but shouting “fucking Jews” is antisemitic however you cut it.

    All our reports on antisemitic incidents and antisemitic discourse are on our website at http://www.thecst.org.uk. One point to remember if you read them is that we do not count the things in the antisemitic discourse report as antisemitic incidents. They report on different phenomena, although there is a well-accepted model whereby discourse provides the ‘mood music’ for hate crimes to take place. Think of all the anti-Muslim reporting in some of the mainstream press, and how that is used by the EDL and others.

    Most of CST’s work is spent helping victims of hate crime or helping Jewish organisations to prevent hate crime through good communal security. This is a real problem: people have their quality of life ruined in some cases. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that hate crimes against Muslims are also increasing, and intuitively you would probably expect this to be the case, but there is no firm data to demonstrate it. Without proper reporting of hate crimes it is difficult to do anything about the problem. We sometimes advise mosques and other Muslim groups about how to do this, but we don’t have the resources to help all of them. So personally I do think that British Muslims need a community organisation like CST to record hate crime and help victims. When the SWP and their fellow travellers talk about Islamophobia they are only interested in bashing Western governments and international issues, but Islamophobia is really about the quality of life for people who can’t leave their house for getting eggs thrown at them or worrying if their mosque is going to get burned down. It’s mundane work and doesn’t justify a snazzy big meeting in Friends House but someone ought to do it.

  7. jamal — on 8th February, 2011 at 4:47 pm  

    dave rich

    “some people hate Israel so much that they attack Jews. For example, the FCO civil servant Rowan Laxton who was watching a news report about Gaza and shouted out “fucking Jews!”

    I would agree a lot of people some of them ignorant others who see something on the news mix up their anger at israeli polices against palestinians with everything jewish.

  8. Dave Rich — on 8th February, 2011 at 4:52 pm  

    I would add, this is very different from Seymour’s claim that we think ” most antisemitism is chiefly expressed as criticism of Israel and its supporters.” We don’t say that at all. Antisemitism is expressed as antisemitism. What we do say is that when it occurs, it is sometimes (or even often) in the context of arguments or strong feelings about Israel.

  9. Richard Seymour — on 8th February, 2011 at 5:47 pm  

    Rumbold – given the seriousness with which I made my argument, I’m sorry you’ve allowed the level of discussion to sink to this level. It’s all the more unfortunate since I basically agree with what you’re trying to do, namely to argue for solidarity between Muslims and Jews on the basis of a shared interest in resisting racism.

    I’ll say two things about the SWP, for clarification. 1) A number of party members spent ages trying to win Atzmon away from his antisemitic politics. I was present at this process on a couple of occasions and spoke to a number of members about it. At a series of open meetings, SWP members publicly argued with Atzmon and denounced his antisemitic statements. The significance of the SWP hosting Gilad Atzmon, therefore, not what you have apparently assumed. It is not that the SWP was promoting antisemitism, but that the SWP was attempting to stop antisemitism. 2) The SWP’s attitude to Islamist parties is not uncritical, either with reference to the antisemitism of some of them (Hamas’ charter, for example), or their wider politics. The reason why the issue arises at all is because, eg, Hamas and Hezbollah have both played very important roles in resisting Israeli aggression. Their ability to do so has been inhibited to the extent that they have indulged antisemitic rhetoric – a point Gilbert Achcar makes with great force in his recent book, The Arabs and the Holocaust. But since Lebanon would be occupied even now if Hezbollah had not successfully defeat them, and since Hamas has been the major Palestinian force opposed to Israeli aggression (the extent of Fatah obeisance and complicity has been disclosed in the Palestine Papers), it’s not reasonable to simply denounce them and all their works. Yet the SWP’s opposition to antisemitism has always been clear and unambiguous. What is more, the SWP has done a bit more than most to put its anti-racist politics into action. Unite Against Fascism, one of the SWP’s key initiatives, is notable for uniting anti-racists from Jewish, Muslim, Christian, socialist, trade unionist and other backgrounds. It would behoove people accusing us of ‘promoting’ antisemitism to acknowledge the work we’ve done to overcome divisions and resist all forms of racism.

    You also mention my nom de plume on the internet. I don’t intend to persuade you that ‘totalitarianism’ is a useless concept, and that Lenin belongs in the ranks of radical democrats. You might try reading Lars Lih’s detailed account if you’re interested in that sort of thing. The tag is intentionally provocative, and thus I don’t particularly mind if people who disdain Lenin’s record and legacy take the hump. But it is ludicrous to raise this as if it undermines my broader argument.

    On the issue of CST blocking left-wing activists, I would direct you to the account of Deborah Fink and Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, well-known activists in Jews for Justice for Palestine, who attempted to enter a meeting on Gaza hosted by ‘Liberal Judaism’. The CST men present, they say, blocked their entry.

    Regarding their annual reports on the rate of antisemitic incidents, what I said was that their wider agenda and their tendency to run anti-semitism and anti-Zionism together – I cited one egregious example of this, but I could cite more – would be grounds for being sceptical of their figures. You say “excluding anti-Israeli/Zionist attacks pushed the totals down”. They don’t actually exclude all anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist incidents, by their own account. If you mean that they exclude incidents of such a character that *they don’t consider antisemitic*, then you’re correct. But this is just to say that excluding non-antisemitic incidents from the count of antisemitic incidents reduces the total, which is a bit of a tautology. My suggestion is that there’s no way of knowing whether they are robust in their methods, or whether the incident figures are inflated by the inclusion of incidents where antisemitism is inferred as a motive but would not be clear to anyone else. Since they are a self-appointed ‘security’ apparatus which strongly supports Israel, and which has a habit of issuing unfounded accusations of antisemitism, it would be prudent to take any figures they offer with a pinch of salt. All the more so since hardly a year passes when they don’t declare that some ‘record’ figure has been reached in the level of anti-Jewish hatred. You say: “I am less interested in the CST’s broader views”. But I fail to see how their broader views, and more particularly their action around those views, can be disaggregated from their regular assertions that criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism in particular, is feeding a wave of antisemitic hatred.

    Even with all that said, and discounting for any possible bias, it seems undeniable that there’s an unacceptably high level of antisemitism and that it has to be taken seriously. I would expect that the backlash against multiculturalism and Muslims in particular to add to this. Which makes the fight against racism all the more urgent.

    On your last point, I think it would be possible to have an interfaith, multiracial body tasked with recording hate speech and crimes, with all due care. I would personally prefer to see something rooted in each of the communities, than something run by the ‘authorities’.

  10. Refresh — on 8th February, 2011 at 5:48 pm  

    ‘They report on different phenomena, although there is a well-accepted model whereby discourse provides the ‘mood music’ for hate crimes to take place. Think of all the anti-Muslim reporting in some of the mainstream press, and how that is used by the EDL and others.’

    DavidT,

    you are an accomplished conductor in your own right, wouldn’t you say?

  11. Richard Seymour — on 8th February, 2011 at 5:50 pm  

    “Yet when a Parliamentary inquiry was held into antisemitism, with 14 MPs from 4 different parties none of whom were Jewish and most of whom had little or no track record on the subject, and that inquiry produced a report which found that, as our statistics show, hate crimes against British Jews are indeed rising, Socialist Worker published an article which described their report as “an important document to confront”.”

    That’s because it was a really disgraceful, slanderous document which – I might add – does exactly what I’ve accused the CST of doing, namely conflating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism. In fact, the sheer intellectual dug in the document is such that on one page it can bemoan the conflation of Israel with Jews as such, then on another practise exactly that conflation. It’s a disgrace, an absolute disservice to the real right against antisemitism. I am not remotely surprised that Dave Rich and the CST would champion such a preposterous, absurd, politically self-serving tissue composed largely by apologists for Israel.

  12. Sarah AB — on 8th February, 2011 at 6:24 pm  

    I agree that a Muslim CST equivalent would be a good thing. I also agree that the ‘league table’ phenomenon Rumbold refers to is unhelpful – and on a related note it was useful when the CST (I can’t find a reference so correct me if I’ve got this wrong) explained why an apparent strong correlation between Muslims and antisemitic attacks was greatly weakened once you started to drill down into the data/demographics.

  13. John — on 8th February, 2011 at 6:30 pm  

    Don’t know what Islamophobia you are talking about when in Indonesia they are doing this;

    Another Man Stoned to Death in Indonesia
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-KRHXssauI

    ..and enjoying it too.

    I don’t’ know what they are saying but it appears many of them are middle class sort of people and seems to be enjoying photographing the act instead of trying to help.

  14. Dave Rich — on 8th February, 2011 at 8:24 pm  

    There is something amusing about being called preposterous, absurd and politically self-serving by the SWP. What is “disgraceful” is that the SWP called for people to “confront” a really important and well-researched report on antisemitism, which showed a rise in incidents against Jews, because they didn’t like a couple of pages in it which argued there is a relationship between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. For the SWP, this overshadowed the majority of the report which had nothing to do with Israel. This is the SWP’s problem, their hatred of Israel means they don’t take mainstream Jewish concerns about antisemitism seriously.

    Our website has a leaflet explaining how we define and classify antisemitic incidents. Our last two annual incident reports give examples of anti-Israel activity which we did not consider antisemitic, and others that we did, with explanations of how we decide which is which. You can disagree with our criteria but the methodology is all there for everyone to see. Each year we reject about a third of the potential incidents reported to us as not antisemitic, hardly the behaviour of an organisation looking to inflate the figures. But then Seymour introduces every caveat he can think of to discredit our reports, before grudgingly accepting that they are right! Bizarre.

  15. LibertyPhile — on 8th February, 2011 at 9:24 pm  

    I think there is a lot to be said for bringing together the different interests who want to know what is really happening by way of hate crime.

    What “causes” it, is another matter. A very good example of how not to investigate the issue is:

    “Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK case studies 2010 – An introduction to a ten year Europe-wide research project”

    By Robert Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer. Published by European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC), University of Exeter.

    See full review here: http://libertyphilewhy.blogspot.com/2011/01/review-islamophobia-and-anti-muslim.html

  16. Scooby — on 8th February, 2011 at 9:40 pm  

    Look, you can’t make a shibboleth of anti-semitism. Right, Richard?

  17. Salman — on 8th February, 2011 at 11:52 pm  

    Refresh
    “DavidT
    you are an accomplished conductor in your own right, wouldn’t you say?”

    LOL

  18. Cauldron — on 9th February, 2011 at 5:48 am  

    Phenomenal piece in today’s WSJ. One hopes that some of the lefties who hounded Ray Honeyford in the 1980s have since apologised. He was a decent man making a point that now seems obvious. His critics provided the intellectual foundations for 7/7.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704364004576131940794840176.html

  19. Cauldron — on 9th February, 2011 at 7:01 am  

    @19. Thank you for your insightful contribution.

  20. Sarah AB — on 9th February, 2011 at 7:44 am  

    Actually Cauldron I’d been hoping that PP would run a story on the Cameron speech because I’d find it interesting to know what commenters here thought about it. (not dfdd though)

  21. Cauldron — on 9th February, 2011 at 8:20 am  

    @21 I was wondering why PP isn’t running with this story either. Maybe the story is so in that’s it’s out, if you catch my drift.

    Or maybe there just isn’t anything interesting left to be said on the topic. The most thoughtful and nuanced piece I’ve come across was in the Yorkshire Post. Although the author is too harshly critical of Cameron, I was struck by his overall thesis that (1) the whole multi-culti thing has been passe for a while; (2) identity politics is divisive and politically unrewarding and (3) the high water mark of community tensions seems to have passed. (On the last point, the author might have added that community tensions usually subside upon the expiration of Labour governments – without leftists thrusting identity politics down everyone’s throats people go back to becoming people again).

    http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/debate/columnists/andrew_mycock_clumsy_cameron_gets_it_wrong_in_the_quest_to_create_a_new_social_cohesion_1_3056548

  22. Rumbold — on 9th February, 2011 at 9:58 am  

    Richard Seymour:

    I mentioned your party and nom de plume, then went on to discuss your arguments, just as I would if an EDL member calling themselves ‘Mussolini’ turned up.

    I’ll say two things about the SWP, for clarification. 1) A number of party members spent ages trying to win Atzmon away from his antisemitic politics. I was present at this process on a couple of occasions and spoke to a number of members about it.

    That is good. There was also the SWP’s alliance with Respect, but I am happy to put that, and Lenin aside for nw, and focus on your latest arguments.

    On the issue of CST blocking left-wing activists, I would direct you to the account of Deborah Fink and Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, well-known activists in Jews for Justice for Palestine, who attempted to enter a meeting on Gaza hosted by ‘Liberal Judaism’. The CST men present, they say, blocked their entry.

    Possibly. But the problem with accounts like these is that side A says one thing and side B says another, so how do I, as a non eyewitness, assess their relative claims?

    Regarding their annual reports on the rate of antisemitic incidents, what I said was that their wider agenda and their tendency to run anti-semitism and anti-Zionism together – I cited one egregious example of this, but I could cite more – would be grounds for being sceptical of their figures. You say “excluding anti-Israeli/Zionist attacks pushed the totals down”. They don’t actually exclude all anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist incidents, by their own account. If you mean that they exclude incidents of such a character that *they don’t consider antisemitic*, then you’re correct.

    The problem is of course that the CST relies on people reporting such incidents. You say later on in your comments that you would like to see a body rooted in the communities, but wouldn’t such a body suffer from the same issues you raise?

    All the more so since hardly a year passes when they don’t declare that some ‘record’ figure has been reached in the level of anti-Jewish hatred.

    Well, they said that this years figure is lower than last year’s. They also pointed out that they have been adding new areas to monitor (such as the internet), which adds to the total. Given they state this publically, it isn’t really meant to be sensationalist. I agree that is this case we cannot compare like for like, as their methodology has changed.

    Even with all that said, and discounting for any possible bias, it seems undeniable that there’s an unacceptably high level of antisemitism and that it has to be taken seriously.

    I wholeheartedly agree, and I hope you continue to push such a stance in the SWP themselves.

  23. cjcjc — on 9th February, 2011 at 10:41 am  

    I wonder what proportion of attacks on Jews are made by Muslims, and vice-versa?

  24. damon — on 9th February, 2011 at 2:43 pm  

    cjcjc, don’t be provocative. It’s doubtful that many attacks on Muslims are carried out by Jews. And it’s probable from reading about this, that a large percentage of anti-semitic attacks are carried out by Muslims.

    Although, I heard on a BBC London radio phone in programme last year, parents of children at a north London Jewish school, complaining that their children were getting abuse in the streets and on buses, from other young people.
    The parents thought that their uniforms showing they came from the (middle class) Jewish school, marked them out as different, and black kids were often the culprits.

    Anyway, I posted this link to a BBC radio doc on PP before, about how they delt with this issue in Amsterdam when some Jews were getting abused by Muslims.
    It’s very good I thought, and does show some way of getting around these difficulties.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/documentary_archive/6563371.stm

  25. Salman — on 9th February, 2011 at 3:39 pm  

    cjcjc and damon you ignore the numerous Jewish media commentators who attack and demonise Muslims

  26. AbuF — on 9th February, 2011 at 4:09 pm  

    Salman

    Your comment is unhelpful, stupid and untrue.

    Unhelpful because such whataboutery does not excuse or explain the evidenced cases where Jewish people have been attacked, abused and intimidated by Muslims.

    Stupid because some morons writing unpleasant things about Muslims is qualitatively a distinct matter from the sort of physical and personal verbal abuse to which Jews are subjected or the violence, up to an including destruction, of Jewish sites.

    Untrue – that is unless you can or care to provide any examples of Jewish people commenting *as Jews* in a manner that can be taken to be demonising or attacking Jews. Please evidence cases of commentators writing something like: “I think all Muslims are terrorists and I think this because I am a Jew.” Unfortunately, I *can* evidence a large number of cases of Muslims arguing that their faith induces them to be hostile to Jews.

  27. Don — on 9th February, 2011 at 5:02 pm  

    Salman,

    Who do you have in mind?

  28. skidmarx — on 9th February, 2011 at 5:09 pm  

    Don -is your question a genuine enquiry, or is it an attempt to enable you to claim that Salman is having a go at Jews? Ingenuous question, would this count as an anti-semitic attack on the internet according to the CST criteria?

  29. damon — on 9th February, 2011 at 5:36 pm  

    Salman, I didn’t overlook attacks in the media or online … where everyone is at it.
    I just thought this was about things that happened directly to people in public. The media would be another equally important category. Just different.

  30. cjcjc — on 9th February, 2011 at 5:58 pm  

    Are they “numerous”? Who are they?

    Of course for that matter nor am I including the preachers of anti-Jewish hate and publishers/purveyors of anti-Jewish hate literature.

  31. Don — on 9th February, 2011 at 6:03 pm  

    skidmarx,

    Seeking clarification before I form an opinion. Why would that be problematic?

  32. KB Player — on 9th February, 2011 at 6:48 pm  

    cjcjc and damon you ignore the numerous Jewish media commentators who attack and demonise Muslim

    Yeah, I’d like to know who as well. I can only think of Melanie Phillips.

  33. Refresh — on 9th February, 2011 at 7:28 pm  

    You might want to add Pamela Geller to the list.

    I must admit I am quite keen to know who in Israel is providing the EDL with anti-Islamic material, as covered in Newsnight’s ‘A night in with the EDL’.

  34. Don — on 9th February, 2011 at 9:02 pm  

    Is every blogger a ‘media commentator’? I guess, in a sense. But if the definition is so wide it becomes meaningless.

  35. Refresh — on 10th February, 2011 at 2:09 am  

    ‘But if the definition is so wide it becomes meaningless.’

    I am not so sure. If it wasn’t for the bloggers and the tweeters we would not see the rapid changes we are seeing around the globe. Tunisia and Egypt being the obvious examples.

    In the context of this thread, its quite clear to me that the ‘mood music’ is being generated through blogs in conjunction with ministerial voices and the right-wing press. Most of it nowadays is fearmongering and prior to that it was warmongering.

    I would welcome a body which is able to stand up against the aforementioned, but what is scary is there are no governmental level voices from muslim countries challenging this most dangerous trend. I don’t doubt for a minute that the CST has at least the ear of the Israeli government, and is able to make representations to Cameron and Hague.

    That alone raises questions of the leaders of muslim countries and their priorities. It may well be they too play a double-game, agitating their populations. So between them and western countries, its quite feasible that they have it all mapped out, agitated and fearful populations may well be the order of the day – just so they can stay in power and their people remain distracted from the real issues of bread over there and massive cuts to services over here.

    It was most upsetting that quite a few interviewees in Tahrir square, Cairo were keen to tell foreign media that they were not terrorists. For me this summed it all up, their own government seemed have spent decades stressing how they were protecting the west from the Egyptian population who were potential terrorists.

    How can we expect the EDL and assorted bigots not to take advantage of that false premise when their own governments are keen to play this disgraceful self-serving game with foreign powers?

    It is a truly dangerous time. Egyptian people extend their hand in peace and friendship and all they will get in return is rejection. The status quo with a new face backed up by speeches of rejection from David Cameron and Angela Merkel hand in glove with the EDL and the German equivalent respectively.

    The great news, as always, is the hand of the Egyptian people and fellow-muslims, like all peoples, will remain extended for as long as it takes, something Rabi Michael Lerner made a point of stating. But we really do have to ask: What will be left of our own society by the time we elect sanity back into government?

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