At the end of May of this year, British Foreign Minister William Hague made a statement that "Europe is losing its patience." There are quite a few reasons for Secretary Hague to have made such a statement:
- In Britain a soldier was beheaded in the street, and in France a soldier was murdered. Both attacks seem to be hate crimes of Muslims against Christians.
- 60,000 British women were genitally mutilated due to a ritual practiced by Muslims, and 20,000 more are in immediate danger of being forced to undergo this procedure.
- In Egypt, the original inhabitants of the country, Christian Copts, are been hunted down by the Muslims.
- In Syria, the level of atrocities has reached a new high as chemical weapons have been deployed. The death toll in the civil war is approaching 100,000.
- In Saudi Arabia, women are discriminated against and a culture of women as sex slaves is flourishing.
- An important Palestinian Authority figure, Jibril Rajoub, has just said that Palestinians, if they could, would nuke Israel. No condemnation or rebuff of his statements was heard from any Palestinian politician.
- Mauritania still has slaves; Indonesia still canes people; Iran hangs homosexuals from cranes; Turkey has more journalists in prison than any other country, including Iran and North Korea; Saudi Arabia denies women freedom of movement; does not allow Bibles into the country; and there is no equal justice under law, property rights, free speech, free press, or free worship.
- In Britain and across Europe, Israeli and Jewish speakers, Jewish students or just plain Jews are routinely attacked by what can be described as the new "Brown Shirts" of Europe (and occasionally also in and American and Canadian Universities).
Secretary Hague's comments, however were directed at Israel and the settlements. Hague presumably by accident failed to recall that to most Arabs -- in both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas Charters, and all maps of Palestine currently in use by them -- the entire State of Israel is one big "settlement." Hague made these comments during his visit to Israel at the end of May. What Secretary Hague apparently condemns is the Jewish people's settlement into its historic home -- the creation of which the British Empire tried to prevent, despite its commitments in the 1917 Balfour declaration to establish a national home for the Jewish people, and despite the 1920 San Remo Agreement (an international meeting attended by Britain France Italy and Japan, which, among other things, adopted the Balfour declaration). The British Mandate for Palestine was based on San Remo decisions, in order to establish a Jewish home in Palestine.
So seemingly it is not hate crimes around the Muslim world, in Arab countries or in Sharia's enclaves in Britain, or even in London that anger Secretary Hague.
The latest hate crime, the beheading of an British soldier in London, propelled one of the most supportive "politically correct" advocates of our time, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, finally to say what no one else dares to say: that there is a "problem within Islam."
In a move reminiscent of Nazi Germany, Britain, led by Mr. Cameron and Mr. Hague, is part of a growing effort in the European Union to label Israeli products exported from beyond the 1949 armistice lines -- where the shooting stopped after Israel survived the invasion in 1948, on the eve of its birth, by five Arab armies. Also known as "'67 borders," after the date of the Six Day War, these boundaries were called by the late, left-wing Foreign Minister of Israel, Abba Eban, "Auschwitz borders" for having, among other vulnerabilities, the width of a mere 14 km, not even nine miles, less than the length of the island of Manhattan. This "waist" now makes up the center of Israel, and is its most populated part.
Notably, the EU does not propose similarly labeling goods from any other territories deemed "occupied." Further, while condemning Israel for what they call "the Territories," the British still "occupy" the Falkland Islands, disputed by Argentina as their Malvinas, on the other side of the Atlantic, nowhere near Britain.
Mr. Cameron and Mr. Hague added their names to list of people who advocated labeling Jewish goods or businesses. At a time when both the State of Israel and Jews are being so violently attacked in so many international forums -- not because of the so-called territories but simply for existing -- this foreign minister is aligning himself with an unholy tradition of British politicians since the days of the British Mandate in Israel, from the end of World War I until 1947. This unseemly policy seems to blind the British bureaucracy and many of Britain's elite to other policies and other times, and is presumably a campaign waged against the legitimacy of Israel and its right to exist in its 3,000 year-old historic home.
According to The Bible and the Sword, a comprehensive study of the historical relationship between the English people and the Jews, and their connection through the centuries to the land known as Israel or Palestine, by the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Barbara Tuchman, it was one of the greatest figures in British history, Richard the Lionheart, who sacrificed so many Christians for a chance to conquer Jerusalem. William Marshal, described as The Greatest Knight, also fought for the Holy Land. For Richard the Lionheart and William Marshal, there was no armistice treaty of 1949, "'67 borders," "occupation," or "settlements." Deferring to the Bible, they attributed to a higher authority their excuse for fighting for the land of Israel -- the Promised Land.
Jerusalem is in the heart of the country as it was the hearts of so many Christians who died trying to liberate it from Muslim occupation. In the centuries when the Muslims controlled Jerusalem, it was never a capital. It is nowhere even mentioned in the Quran, not once. Yet it has been mentioned for more than two millennia on the lips of every Jew in their daily prayers, on their high holy days and at every marriage, and it was, and still is, the heart and soul of the Jewish people. Five times a day every observant Muslim turns his back on Jerusalem to pray to Mecca.
William Hague is losing his patience with a connection of more than three millennia between the Jewish people and a tiny strip of land -- a connection that was also so critical for generations of British leaders. Tuchman, in the preface of her book, states that, "The British betrayal of their own impulse in establishing the national home, the white paper policy, the collusion with the Arabs, the ramming of the Exodus and the detention of Jewish refugees from Hitler in new concentration camps in Cyprus, and finally, the encouragement of the Arab offensive on the heels of the British departure was all impossible to relate without outrage."
Those, however, were not the last betrayals by British politicians of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Within a span of eight years, the British proved that Israel and its survival were of no interest to the British "elite." It was in June 1967 that for three weeks the armies of Jordan, Syria and Egypt threatened to obliterate the State of Israel -- which then had no "territories." Not England, not France and not even the United States came to Israel's aid.
A little more than seven years later, in 1973, during the darkest hours of the Yom Kippur War, when the Americans wanted to send an airlift operation to assist the surprised Israelis, they could not find a single Western democracy that would allow the airplanes to land and refuel. Not even England, America's strategic and cultural partner, which was saved by the Americans in two world wars. Not only did the Western countries decline to come to the aid of the remaining few who survived the Holocaust; they even declined to help fuel American aircraft, or allow them to traverse their airspace. The American pilots who saved Europe with their blood had to risk their lives flying a precise route between Europe and the Arab countries bordering the Mediterranean, in order not to violate the air space of European countries. It was only the dictatorship of Portugal that allowed the airplanes to land and refuel in the Azores.
A few years earlier, on December 7, 1970, West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, had dropped to his knees before the monument to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943. Many in Poland and Germany were deeply moved by this famous gesture of repentance and apology. As the Chancellor later said, "under the weight of recent history, I did what people do when words fail them. In this way, I commemorated millions of murdered people." That gesture, however, did not prevent Chancellor Brandt from betraying his own words in 1973 by also refusing to allow American airplanes to refuel in Germany. He refused to help the refugees of the Holocaust and their descendents, the very people from whom, on his knees and in tears, he had begged forgiveness.
Great Britain, so quick to condemn Israel and be impatient with it, then virtually embargoed Israel by revoking arms export licenses to Israel after Operation Cast Lead in 2009. Operation Cast Lead was carried out by the then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert after thousands of missiles had been fired by Hamas into Israeli towns, targeting civilians, for years. The embargo of 2009 was not an isolated incident: In 2002, the British government also refused to sell ejector seats for F4 Phantom jet planes used by the Israel Air Force. The same Ehud Olmert in 2008 proposed the most far-reaching peace offer to Palestinian Authority President Mohammad Abbas, who rejected it, just as Yasser Arafat rejected Prime Minister Ehud Barak's offer at Camp David in 2000, and as the Arab League rejected Israel's offer to negotiate for the return of the "territories", in its Khartoum resolution a few months after the Six Day War in 1967 -- every rejection without even a counter-offer.
British policy is, as usual, two-faced and hypocritical. Britain condemns Israel at every possible turn, then seeks Israel's assistance and good will. This year the birthday of her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II was celebrated in Israel at the world-renowned Weizmann Institute. Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel and a world-class scientist, made major contributions in assisting the war effort of the Allies in WW I; it is this scientific and technological collaboration that the British government cherishes -- so much so that Prime Minister David Cameron is taking a personal interest in it. Britain has created a technological hub placed in the British embassy in Tel-Aviv -- a first of its kind. The purpose of the hub is to encourage, among other things, Israeli businesses to make their home in Britain. While visiting Israel in November 2010, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague called UK-Israel science and business ties "one of the cornerstones of the relationship between Britain and Israel." It is almost as if history is repeating itself. Trying to accelerate its economy, England is seeking Jewish assistance -- an invitation that resembles Oliver Cromwell, in 1657, lifting the 350-year ban on Jews in England.
Perhaps Secretary Hague and Prime Minister Cameron might become concerned about the lawlessness and infringements of human rights, especially of women, in their own country, Britain -- the direct result of caving into Muslim demands for Sharia law there. This policy of submission should pose a serious concern to the West. The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that England can no longer send its own men in uniform out into the streets; British soldiers are not targets in Israel but in London. If Mr. Cameron and Mr. Hague are still concerned about human rights, perhaps they might start by speaking to officials in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, where there is plenty to lose their patience about: The Wahhabis and Muslim Brotherhood rulers systematically trample human rights, women's rights, children's rights, property rights, equal justice under law, rule of law, free speech, free press, and freedom of religion, among other distasteful practices. There is persecution of Christians and anyone else considered "not Muslim enough."
Picking on Jews is relatively easy; there are no real consequences except for revealing the true color of one's own character. Perhaps William Hague need not be concerned with the policy his government promotes regarding Palestine: future generations of Britons might continue their claim to Jerusalem, but from a religious foundation other than Anglican. By that time, the British might find the question of "occupied territories" closer to home, as it already is in Spain, where Muslims are staking claims to "occupied" Andalusia. The Europe of Mr. Hague is not losing its patience; it is losing its nerve, its character, its values, its home.