From Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion.
Of all the press distortions surrounding Israel’s ongoing fight with the terrorist group Hamas, the most galling to me has been the depiction of the assault on the Israeli Ambassador’s residence in London as some kind of popular insurgency.
Despite the best efforts of the BBC to portray otherwise, these protests were not the result of anti-Israeli sentiment by impartial, sympathetic observers but rather the result of a co-ordinated campaign by a variety of Islamist groups with perfectly open, long-standing views on their objection to Israel’s right to exist.
The London embassy of one of Britain’s foremost allies has been under siege thanks largely to the British Muslim Initiative, who detailed on their website the time and location of the demonstration. The Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK- whose spokesman Asghar Bukhari was recently revealed by the Centre for Social Cohesion to believe that “any Muslim who fights against Israel and dies is a martyr and will be granted paradise”- also sought to give greater exposure to the planned demonstration.
It doesn’t seem unreasonable to say that BMI are perhaps not honest brokers here. Their current president is Mohammed Sawalha - revealed by Panorama to have “master minded much of Hamas’ political and military strategy” and “alleged to have directed funds, both for Hamas’ armed wing, and for spreading its missionary dawah”. Also closely associated with BMI is Hamas supporter Azzam Tamimi- who has expressed his desire to be ‘martyred’, that is, to kill Israelis - and Anas Altakriti. In addition to their links with BMI, Tamimi and Altikriti are closely associated with the Muslim Association of Britain who, like Hamas, are an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. It should perhaps come as little surprise that MAB, along with a variety of other unsavoury groups, are also listed supporters of the demonstration.
Further protests outside the embassy are planned. I hope that when the next unrest occurs on the streets of London, national and international readers are not again misled into thinking that this is ‘the voice of Britain’ or even ‘the voice of the Palestinian people’ or their supporters. Next time it should be made plain that these events are being perfectly openly organised and supported by groups who deny Israel’s right to exist, and individuals who justify the deaths of innocent Israeli civilians.
If there were pro-Israeli groups who called for the targeting of innocent Palestinians I would hope and expect that the British media would describe such an imaginary extremist group accurately. Why this cannot be done with supporters not of the Palestinian peoples, but of Hamas, is perhaps the first mystery of 2009.