Melanie Phillips is the author of Londonistan and most recently The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power.
She was awarded the Orwell Prize in 1996 and writes a column on political and social issues for the London Daily Mail. Isi Leibler is a former communal leader of Australian Jewry and writes a column in the Jerusalem Post. He is the author of Is The Dream Ending? and The Israel-Diaspora Identity Crisis: A Looming Disaster. Professor Robert Wistrich is the Director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and author of several books, including The Lethal Obsession.
The recent surge in antisemitism in the United Kingdom is a particularly frightening portent in the hate-filled atmosphere of Europe today. Britain, with its august universities; its theatre, writers, publishing houses, media outlets and intellectual elites, has united against Israel, often overlapping into Jew hatred itself.
Britain’s manifestation of antisemitism is more alarming than in other European countries because of their mastery of the English language, which they use as a weapon against Israel. Although no longer a world power, Britain’s influence through the BBC, its magazines, newspapers and scholars who have relentlessly demonized Israel, Zionism, and by innuendo Judaism itself, has provided a respectable platform for antisemitism in Europe and in the rest of the English speaking world.
Britain is also the home of the most virulent Radical Islamic movement in Europe. This recent development shows that Britain has lost belief in itself as a nation, substituting multiculturalism for its history and traditions. Filling this void is a country in denial with the “barbarians inside its gates,” as evidenced by the recent riots in Britain. Melanie Phillips describes the descent of Britain into a Muslim-friendly state, with Jew-baiters such as the former mayor of London, Ken Livingston, and the primate of the Anglican Church, Rowan Williams, endorsing Sharia Law.
Professor Robert Wistrich describes the changes that he has seen from his childhood in London to scenes from today, such as the celebration at the Finsbury Mosque of 9/11 in 2002, where London Police protected the celebrants, and weekly protests by Muslim crowds at the Israeli embassy, where they vent their hatred by chanting brazen slogans such as “Europe, you will pay, extermination is on the way,” and “Europe is the cancer, Islam is the answer.” As Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has said, Jews have become the pariahs in Britain.