by Avi Davis 8/13/14
Spare a kind thought for those sensitive souls in the editorial department at the Times of London. On Aug. 5 the newspaper rejected a full-page ad from author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel decrying Hamas’ reversion to child sacrifice in its war with Israel.
Any why? Because they believed that their readers could not handle the strongly worded message of condemnation of what has essentially descended into child sacrifice amongst the Palestinians.
The advertisement, whose wording can be read here, was placed by the New York-based Values Network, and featured a plea by the Nobel Peace Laureate to the world to recognize and condemn the use of children as human shields while lambasting the cynical manipulation of their deaths as propaganda for the Hamas cause.
The ad had already appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal, all of which had seemed to have no problem collecting the much needed advertising revenue, even if only one of those papers (the Wall Street Journal) could bring itself to write an equally scathing editorial about the outrageous war crime.
But in full appreciation of their readers’ finely attuned sensitivities, the editors of the Times responded to the Value Network’s ad agency with these words: “In brief, [the Times] [feels] that the opinion being expressed is too strong and too forcefully made and will cause concern amongst a significant number of Times readers.”
The shock, of course, is that the Times is a conservative newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp, which is also owner of the Wall Street Journal and is traditionally a supporter of Israel with a supposed fervent commitment to the values the advertisement pronounced.
Ironically, the ad was picked up by the left-wing Guardian and printed in England anyway. But the failure of a conservative newspaper to print such an ad is a telling sign of the seismic shift in British public opinion as the desire to appease a growing and restive Muslim community has become a central ambition of the conservative as well as the progressive agenda.
The willingness amongst some British conservatives to side with the Hamas view of the conflict was actually set on full display this week as the former chairwoman of the Conservative Party and the minister for faith and communities, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, submitted her resignation to Prime Minister David Cameron. She could no longer stomach her government’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – which, she said, had been “morally indefensible” and not “in Britain’s national interest.”
Warsi, a Muslim, has been a prominent Conservative for years, even introducing Cameron’s candidacy for leadership of the Conservative Party to the Conservative Party Conference in 2005. Sadly, her “principled stand” was supported by several fellow Conservatives, including Justice Minister Simon Hughes, the former party chairman Lord Deben, former Conservative Cabinet member Andrew Mitchell and most of the leaders of the Liberal Democrats ( the Conservatives’ political partners), including its party head Nicholas Clegg, Sir Menzies Campbell, Lord Ashdown and foreign affairs spokeswoman Baroness Falkner.
But it doesn’t end there. The text of Warsi’s resignation letter to Cameron included the following paragraph:
“Particularly as the Minister with responsibility for the United Nations, The International Criminal Court and Human Rights, I believe our approach in relation to the current conflict is neither consistent with British values, specifically our commitment to the rule of law and our long history of support for International Justice.”
One has to wonder whether Hamas’ use of human shields, which included firing missiles from heavily populated areas or using schools, hospitals, cemeteries and mosques as arms depots, or simply intimidating ordinary Palestinians to remain in their homes while the Israelis gave wide advanced notice of a potential attack, would have qualified as “consistent with British values” to the good baroness or any of her claque.
I must also hazard what these same conscience-ridden MPs, so committed to human rights principles and international justice, would have to say about the urban warfare manual, produced by Hamas and discovered by the IDF in Gaza, which provides specific guidance on how to use civilians and civilian housing as shields.
Hamas, despite the millions of dollars in aid it was provided by the international community to rebuild infrastructure, constructed no bomb shelters nor any other form of civilian protection for a conflict they knew they would one day provoke, but instead invested 70 percent of the funding in tunnels to be used to invade Israeli territory. Now that it has been revealed that Hamas officials in 2012 admitted that at least 160 children – and perhaps many more – had died in the construction of those tunnels, a discovery that did not occasion even a whisper of protest from Parliament or from any member of the British press, we might say that the complete inversion of so-called British morality is nearing completion.
When David Cameron’s Conservative Party was elected to office in 2010 and then turned immediately to the progressive Liberal Democrats as coalition partners, an English friend bemoaned to me that true conservatives (or lets say British traditionalists) had completely lost their representation in Parliament. While at the time I considered that assessment somewhat premature, the drift of Conservatives into moral and cultural relativism at the expense of traditional British values – which of course once included a commitment to fairness and balance – may be proving him right and is an alarming portent of what is to come.
Moreover, the willingness of key European leaders and journalists to view barbarism as legitimate acts of war, their increasing tendency to view Israeli victims of terror as arch villains, and the ease with which they are wittingly or unwittingly swept into the virulent anti-Semitic campaigns launched by Muslims in their own countries is a better signal than any that we live, as the British journalist Melanie Phillips has warned us, in a world turned upside down.
Any attempt to right our capsized ship, such as Elie Wiesel’s brave and powerful advertisements, are to be applauded. But isn’t a pity that we have to pay to produce evidence of the truth while those who represent us and bring us our news casually ignore it?
(This article originally appeared in WND.)
Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance in Los Angeles, an organization which defends Western values and identifies threats to the future of Western civilization. • (1648 views)