One-stop blog on Jews from Arab and Muslim Countries and the Middle East's forgotten Jewish refugees, updated daily
Friday, February 13, 2015
A sheep in Woolf's clothing?
For a man who is married to Marguerite, an Iraqi Jew, British Jewish judge Lord Woolf shows a disappointingly feckless grasp of Islamic extremism. He of all people should not be buying into the myth of peaceful coexistence between Muslims, Christians and Jews, argues Douglas Murray in The Spectator, awarding him the Simon Hughes prize for supineness (with thanks: Lily):
In the midst of all this self-denigration and theological presumption the good Lord was kind enough to describe the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris as ‘horrendous’. For which we must be grateful. But according to the Times he also said:
‘The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and to manifest such beliefs was part of the Human Rights Act 1998 but such rights must be exercised ‘in a way which respects the sensitivities and needs of other individuals, groups or society as a whole.
‘In other words, they should be exercised reasonably and in a manner that does not impinge disproportionately on the rights of others.’
The Islamic Centre and Woolf Institute, of which he is patron, were both bodies that could help by making it clear that ‘such attacks are a betrayal of Islam and foreign to its true belief’.
I suppose it may come as a surprise to Lord Woolf to learn that they are no such thing. One might wish they were. An ignorant person might think they were. But Lord Woolf cannot possibly be such an ignorant man. And in any case why is he telling people what Islam is or isn’t? Isn’t it enough that we already have a Prime Minister and US President who think it part of their role to interpret Islam for the rest of us poor semi-literate mortals? If you thought it couldn’t get worse, it did, as Lord Woolf said that:
‘For over 1000 years, Jews and Christians lived safely in Arab countries contributing to the wellbeing of all.
‘Insha’Allah that with the support of all those of goodwill we see the same situation once again in the West as well as in the Middle East.’
Why not mention all those times when Jews and Christians didn’t live ‘safely in Arab countries’? Why not talk about the fact that Jews have had to flee most Arab countries and that Christians are in the process of doing so even as the good Lord witters on, completing a process of ethnic and religious cleansing which began in the days of Mohammed? And ‘Insha’Allah’. Really? Does Lord Woolf – a Jewish British judge – really need ‘Allah’ to will anything?
I had thought that the supine man after whom the Simon Hughes award is named (a gay or possibly bisexual Liberal Democrat Catholic) could never be beaten to his own prize. But Lord Woolf’s effort suggests that next year’s awards might have to be renamed. The Woolf in sheep’s clothing award?
In just 50 years, almost a million Jews, whose communities stretch back up to 3,000 years, have been 'ethnically cleansed' from 10 Arab countries. These refugees outnumber the Palestinian refugees two to one, but their narrative has all but been ignored. Unlike Palestinian refugees, they fled not war, but systematic persecution. Seen in this light, Israel, where some 50 percent of the Jewish population descend from these refugees and are now full citizens, is the legitimate expression of the self-determination of an oppressed indigenous, Middle Eastern people. This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, which can never return to what and where they once were - even if they wanted to. It will attempt to pass on the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution. Awareness of the injustice done to these Jews can only advance the cause of peace and reconciliation. (Iran: once an ally of Israel, the Islamic Republic of Iran is now an implacable enemy and numbers of Iranian Jews have fallen drastically from 80,000 to 20,000 since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Their plight - and that of all other communities threatened by Islamism - does therefore fall within the scope of this blog.)