The Jewish Chronicle reports:
The deputy leader of Israel’s Likud party, Moshe Feiglin, has been excluded from Britain by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith using powers invoked after the July 2005 London bombings — even though he had no plans to visit.
In a two-page letter sent to Mr Feiglin’s office in Ginot Shomron, an unnamed Border and Immigration Agency official, writing on Ms Smith’s behalf, cited articles written by Mr Feiglin and said she had “personally directed” that he be banned.
The letter said: “It is considered that you are seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
“In light of these factors, the Home Secretary is satisfied you should be excluded from the UK on the grounds that your exclusion is conducive to the public good.” There is no right of appeal.
The Home Office would say nothing more about why or how the decision was made, other than to say that Ms Smith can exclude people whether or not they have applied to come to Britain. But it does take into account relevant information supplied by other government departments and agencies.
“This is all very strange because I have no plans to visit Britain either in the short or long term. I have never been banned from anywhere else. In fact I am giving a lecture in Canada at the end of this month,” he said.
I do not know very much about Feiglin, but from all accounts, he is a racist bigot, with theocratic tendencies, who has proposed the ethnic cleansing of Israel, and with a conviction for sedition under his belt. He is not in power, but if he were, he would be a Mugabwe.
I would, of course, like to know more about the manner in which the “provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK” test is applied. The evidence and reasoning process are proper matters of public discussion. A ban works not only at the physical level. It is also a stigmatising act. Furthermore, it is an essential part of the rule of law, that we should know, precisely, what conduct will merit such a ban. It is therefore a pity that this news comes to us, not as the result of an official Governmental announcement, but through the pages of a community newspaper. The ban should have been officially published, with the reasons for the ban made clear.
In particular, I would like to know what process precipitates the making of a ban. How did Feiglin come to be considered as a candidate for banning. If it wasn’t imminent travel plans to the United Kingdom, had Feiglin said or done anything recently that meant that the making of a ban was an urgent matter?
Also, in what way was did Feiglin fail the “provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK” test? Others with a better understanding of the various subcultures in the British Jewish community may be able to tell me whether there is an organised movement of those who are likely to engage in crime, or who are propagating inter-community violence, who might look to Feiglin as their inspiration. Or possibly, the thought is that Feiglin is seeking to provoke, by his very presence in the United Kingdom, a criminal reaction, leading to inter-community violence. This would be interesting to know.
I am a supporter of banning those who are likely “provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK”. The readiness of the Government to exclude those who are likely to destroy the Queen’s Peace is a development which is long overdue. I think that Harry’s Place readers could come up with a list of public figures who should be unwelcome in this country.
There are, I am sure, some who will take the view that it is wrong to single out one particularly obnoxious Israeli politician, and will wonder whether the ban was applied as a cosmetic, to “balance” the ban on Sheikh Al Qaradawi, who supports the creation of a theocracy, the sucide murder of innocent civilians, the serious genital mutilation of women, and death for homosexuals and apostates. Others will ask why the Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim Mousawi – who has been touring the United Kingdom this month – was not banned. These are all legitimate questions. But they are not, in themselves, reasons to oppose to banning of this man.
I would also to see a full list of those who have been banned. There may have been many more politicians who have received such a letter from the Home Office, but have decided to keep their shame to themselves. We know that the list does not include Mousawi, but who else is included?
With any luck, this story – which has not hit the national news, the Israeli news or even the blogosphere yet – will develop over the next few weeks, and all these questions will be answered.
The Jewish Chronicle has published the full text of the letter here.
These are the statements, and the reasoning, which led to Mr Feiglin’s banning:
The Home Secretary notes that you have made the following statements:
“In order to declare that we are right, we have to declare war. War now! It’s not the Arabs who are murdering mothers, but those merciful people who gave weapons to the murderers. It’s not the Arabs who are burning babies, but the peaceniks that recognised the justice of the Arabs cause. It’s not the cruel people who are bombing us, but the merciful people who showed them mercy. War now! A holy war, now”
– “War Now” article by you, quoted on Channel 7 Israel National website
“The Christian world is faced with two options: it can fight against terror, which means fighting against Islam, or it can surrender and be gradually overcome by the waves of the modern Moslem Jihad… Arabs are not sons of the desert but its father. They created the desert — everywhere they come vegetation stops and the wind blows everything away”
— Extract from an article by you quoted on the “Israel Science and Technology Homepage”
“The basis of Islam is not the quality of mercy but of justice. If Christianity bridges the gap between sin and morals by automatic benevolence and absolution (that over long periods were sold by clergy), Islam does this in a far simpler way — it abolishes both benevolence and morals… Their holy Muhammed is strong, cruel and deceitful.”
In expressing such views, it is considered that you are seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
The Home Secretary considers that should you be allowed to enter the UK, you would continue to espouse such views, which would not be conducive to the public good in the UK.
There are a good many people who have expressed views of this character.
This evidence, in association with the other tests set out in the letter, appears to me to be an extremely good basis for excluding a wide range of obnoxious people from this country.