AFTER the Islamist violence in Paris and Copenhagen, Europe’s political leaders need to stop hiding behind a rationale that anyone explaining the anti-Jewish agenda of jihadists is guilty of “Islamophobia”, according to Melanie Phillips.
The outspoken British columnist was speaking in Australia last week in support of the United Israel Appeal campaign.
In Sydney, she took part in two events on behalf of the UIA Women’s Division, both held at the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay. The evening function saw Phillips appear with award-winning film director and multimedia journalist Rowan Dean, and young entrepreneur Jonathan Barouch – founder and CEO at start-up Local Measure.
Topics discussed ranged from the Lindt cafe siege, to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, to Israel’s success as a high-tech start-up nation.
Meanwhile, the morning function saw Phillips speak alongside media personality Miranda Devine and Jewish author Suzy Zail. At both functions, Yonat Daskal spoke about her IDF service, during which time she worked as a paramedic. After completing her service, she returned from travelling in Central America to assist in the most recent Gaza War. Combined, the functions drew approximately 700 people, and were hailed a success.
Addressing an event in Melbourne, Phillips said European leaders have made combating “Islamophobia” a priority “and nobody could talk about anti-Semitism in the Muslim world”.
She said despite concerns among politicians “that Europe is once again failing to protect its Jews”, acknowledging Muslim anti-Semitism would create further domestic unrest in their countries, so they ignore “Nazi-style demonising” of Jews.
The West’s leadership has assumed “everyone in the world is governed by reason” and can be negotiated with, and fails to see that jihadis “believe they are God’s warriors” who think “the great threat to Islam was modernity”, with Jews “as the creators of modernity”.
For Europeans, still grappling with Holocaust guilt, “it’s very convenient that Palestinians point to Jews as Nazis,” she said. “The left-wing intelligentsia in Britain and Europe has bought wholesale into the Palestinian rewriting of history,” and media outlets such as BBC and Sky News UK followed a “Hamas script” during last year’s Gaza War, which in turn has incited “Muslim hysteria”.
Phillips insisted European Jewry’s situation is not comparable to the dawn of the Shoah. “It’s not 1933,” she said, when anti-Semitism was state-backed, and comparing today’s Europe to that era “does a terrible disservice” to the memory of Shoah victims.
PHOEBE ROTH AND PETER KOHN
Melanie Phillips speaking in Melbourne. Photo: Peter Haskin