Petronella Wyatt says:
A few days ago I discovered that West Dunbartonshire council in Scotland had taken the astonishing decision to ban all books produced and printed in Israel from its libraries.
The council says its ban is a protest against the killing of Palestinian civilians by Israel.
I am not accusing West Dunbartonshire council of anti-Semitism. But its boycott is a gift to the growing pro-Arab, anti-Israel element in this country.
I used to argue with an American friend who claimed the British are anti-Semitic. I have come across the odd old buffer who has made some ‘jest’ about someone being Jewish, but in those days, anyone in their right mind would have greeted such a comment with a look that would have frozen a burning bush.
A few months ago, Tory co-chairman Baroness Warsi claimed Islamophobia had ‘passed the dinner-table test’ meaning it had become a common, middle-class practice.
Let me ask her this: are there any councils in Britain that have banned all books published in Muslim states?
I can imagine the justifiable uproar at Westminster and in the Press if West Dunbartonshire had taken this course.
If any prejudice is passing the dinner-table test it is one that is worryingly close to open anti-Semitism.
Too frequently I hear remarks, at otherwise jolly social gatherings, that the Jews are to blame for everything. Recently, a member of Gaza’s Fatah-Hamas government, Yunis Al-Astal, said: ‘The Jews were brought to Palestine for the Great Massacre…’
It is, chillingly, not such a different sentiment than the one expressed to me not long ago by a life peer.
As we basked in the sunshine on the House of Lords’ terrace, he said: ‘The Jews have been asking for it, and because of the atrocious way Israel behaves, we can finally say what we think.’
This remark is not one I ever expected to hear in this country.
That is a very good illustration of the relationship of antisemitism to anti-Israel activism.
Via the CST blog