The U.K. Border Agency is prohibiting fundamentalist Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, co-author of the controversial book “The King’s Torah” (“Torat Hamelech” ), from entering Britain, the Jewish Voice website reported on Wednesday.
Elitzur received a letter last month from the U.K. Border Agency, signed by the home secretary, informing him that he could not enter Britain for the next three years.
The first question I’d like to know the answer to is: did an organisation in the United Kingdom invite him? If so, I would like to know which one thought him a suitable guest.
The next question I have is: was Elitzur planning to visit the United Kingdom? If not, was his banning, in a sense, a foil or a shield against criticism over Raed Salah’s own haphazard semi-exclusion?
If so, it would seem a little … manufactured.
However, let’s assume that Elitzur was about to come to the United Kingdom. In that case, should he have been excluded?
The main argument for Elitzur’s exclusion is that he was the co-author of the King’s Torah. Now, I am well aware that there is an argument that this work is a matter of abstruse theological exegesis, that is has been misinterpreted as advocating killing when its intention is to limit, and so on. These are precisely the same arguments which are deployed by the many Islamist hate preachers whose exclusion we applaud. They cut no ice.
His authorship deserves exclusion.
Elitzur was also arrested on suspicion of incitement to violence last year, although whether he was charged, I do not know.
The exclusion letter also sets out the following quote, which is contained in a longer screed from Elitzur (see below):
“If the Jews don’t have quiet, the Arabs won’t have quiet. If the Arabs win because of violence against the Jews, the Jews will win by violence against the Arabs.”
Turn it around, as one must do:
“If the Arabs don’t have quiet, the Jews won’t have quiet. If the Jews win because of violence against the Arabs, the Arabs will win by violence against the Jews.”
If a leader of a militant Palestinian faction said something like that, I’d read it as a threat of an intifada. In the mouth of either a Jew or an Arab, it is an apocalyptic vision. The thing is, were that the basis for banning alone, it would set the bar pretty low – there are an awful lot of people in the Middle East given to saying things like this. In any case, it is a little superflous.
There is also the issue of the source of the quote.
The letter cites an outfit called The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs – which is the increasingly wacky base for Washington Arabists. You can read a little bit about them on Wikipedia. See what I mean? Some sensible names, some nutters!
Same goes for the WRMEA website.
Here’s a good illustration – an article on their site praising the Hamas fundraising operation, Viva Palestina and George Galloway:
British MP George Galloway spoke out strongly in support of the cause of a free Palestine at a June 28 fund-raiser at American University in Washington, DC entitled, “Viva Palestina: A Lifeline from the U.S. to Gaza.” He sharply criticized Israel’s military siege of Gaza, along with its ongoing blockade, which continues to put 1.5 million of its residents at grave risk to their health and safety. The people of Gaza “are locked up,” Galloway said. He proceeded to trace the history of Palestine, the role of the British Empire, and the massive wrong of colonialism. He referred to Israel as “an apartheid state.”
The Viva Palestina fund-raiser raised donations for a special U.S. convoy which traveled from New York City to Egypt, before making its way across the Rafah border into Gaza on July 15 to deliver over $1 million of humanitarian aid. Galloway, who is also a columnist for the Daily Record, is in the finest tradition of another legendary British MP and champion of justice, liberty and humanity—John Wilkes.
There’s more to say about this organisation – perhaps best saved for a later post.
However, here are two parting thoughts.
1. Do you remember the huge fuss that Nick Clegg made, when it was disclosed that one of a number of links in a Policy Exchange briefing document on hate preachers at the Global Peace and Unity conference, led to a pretty nasty Right wing website, which also carried articles backing a “criminalise Sharia” initiative? The fuss we made about Jenna Delich and the various other muppets on the UCU mailing list who kept posting links to nutty sites? Getting your sources right really does matter.
I don’t know where the WRMEA got the quote from. It may well be genuine. It is the sort of thing that people like this say. However, the only reports of that precise phrase I have found appear to link to this news story, in its various guises.
On balance, were I the Home Office, I’ve have left that quote out of the dossier.
2. We’re very good indeed at Harry’s Place in tracking down credible, often primary sourced or mainstream news reported evidence of political extremism and hate preaching. If HM Government would like us to look into any other bearded types trying to get into the United Kingdom, they need only drop us a line!
unseen in the comments below helpfully provides the full quote, which in context is even worse:
Original hebrew article is here:http://www.scribd.com/doc/23748567/Hakol-Hayehudi-Issue-16-Dec04-09
Partial translation is here: here: http://coteret.com/2009/12/06/primary-document-settlers-prep-to-terrorize-west-bank/#more-646
“‘Mutual guarantee’ — acts of mutual guarantee coordinated between members of all the settlements take the air out of the government’s dreams. First of all we are all together and there is no “divide and conquer.” Second of all, we decide on the timing and don’t wait for a large police force and inspectors to bash us in the head and arrest and beat us. We have power too and we will use it at the time and place of our choice. Thirdly, we remember that the war is over Judaism, and the main enemies are the Gentiles in our country who are trying to conquer it and confusing the minds of crooked Jews who are far from the Torah. We do not discriminate: if the Jews don’t have quiet, the Arabs won’t have quiet. If the Arabs win because of violence against Jews, the Jews will win by violence against Arabs . Of course all of that leads to graceful activities with lots of joy: we can use the power of the women, children and older people to block a certain access road, and at the same time take firmer action against hostile elements further down the same road; we can carry out quiet and deep operations simultaneously with widespread acts of disorder in the sector, and so on.
Don’t forget that a multitude of such operations and warming up the public will put us in a state of high readiness. To this day administration inspectors have not managed to enter Yitzhar since the freeze decree. That is because the experience and the heat at Yitzhar make every entrance by hostile elements require large forces and end with much damage to IDF and police property, even more damage to Arab property and persons, and a sector burning on all sides for a few days . When in every settlement a police patrol car becomes an unwanted presence, and administration inspectors understand they have 10 minutes to run away before their tires are punctured, the government’s ability to enforce its decrees will drop sharply.
Meir points out that the ADL have also spoken out strongly against this man and his work.