Jew-Hatred Is All Too Real in the West

On February 21, 130 delegates from 40 countries took part in a British government-backed conference of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA). On February 22 this coalition, also known as the London Conference on Combating Antisemitism, convened by a group whose majority was non-Jewish, issued a statement acknowledging that the scourge was at its highest level in recent memory.

Amongst the provisions of the declaration issued by the conference are the following:

We note the dramatic increase in recorded anti-Semitic hate crimes and attacks targeting Jewish persons and property, and Jewish religious, educational, and communal institutions.

We are alarmed at the resurrection of the old language of prejudice and its modern manifestations -- in rhetoric and political action -- against Jews, Jewish belief and practice, and the state of Israel.

Solutions offered are manifold, but those that stand out are these:

Governments should take appropriate and necessary action to prevent the broadcast of anti-Semitic programs on satellite television channels, and to apply pressure on the host broadcast nation to take action to prevent the transmission of anti-Semitic programs.

(It is believed this refers to Press TV, the London-based cable station sanctioned by the Iranian government and on whose programs I have appeared, locking horns with Lauren Booth, Peter Jay, and Ghayth Armanazi.)

Governments should train police, prosecutors, and judges comprehensively. The training is essential if perpetrators of anti-Semitic hate crime are to be successfully apprehended, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced.

In this regard it is notable that the Community Security Trust of Great Britain reports that anti-Jewish incidents were at their highest levels in recent memory during the month of January 2009, and that anti-Muslim/Islamophobic incidents were fewer despite there being over two million Muslims and only 260,000 Jews in the United Kingdom.

In recent weeks my pork-eating, shellfish-fressing, Shabbas-violating self has begun to feel very, very angry about the obsession the world has developed about those nasty Jews occupying the land of the Palestinians. My fellow journalist Nick Cohen, of Anglo-Jewish ancestry but raised a Christian, says the vilification of Israel in the past few months has made him start to feel Jewish. Putting aside the horrible Bernie Madoff, the current level of Jew-hatred is getting out of proportion.

This much is fact: Israel's military launched a formidable attack on Gaza that resulted in many fatalities. This was tragic and anyone who does not feel saddened by these events has a heart of stone. The BBC's Panorama footage of English-language graffiti supposedly scrawled by Israeli soldiers on the walls of houses in Gaza made one wonder if the Beeb was trying to stir up unprecedented levels of anti-Israel sentiment in Britain, but the Operation Cast Lead campaign was no doubt a bloody one. But when Zimbabwe, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan have days of blood and gore, why is the world not calling for their censure? If the columnist Richard Ingrams thinks Israel is bound for extinction, what about the grotesque Robert Mugabe regime?