Fear of confrontation with Britain's ever expanding militant Islamist movement is indirectly "undermining the Western defense against the jihad," the invaluable Melanie Phillips writes in this column in the European edition of the Wall Street Journal.
She summarizes a series of violent demonstrations preotesting Israel's war against Hamas and the capitulation by Britain's political leadership against Hamas-instigated violence in the name of a rapid cease fire.
"More serious still, Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell cited as fact the Hamas claim that 300 children had been killed in Gaza, even though Israel has given a much lower figure, and said the Israeli action was ‘disproportionate' and the bombing was ‘indefensible and unacceptable.'
Similarly, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, commenting after this weekend's cease-fire that ‘too many innocent people' had been killed, made no mention of Israel's strenuous attempts to minimize civilian casualties, nor Hamas's responsibility for holding Gaza's civilians hostage.
In fact, the British government has effectively taken the view that Israel should not be allowed to defend itself by military means against the Hamas rockets that ministers have taken care to condemn."
Police did little to quell the demonstrations, which featured frequent attempts to storm the Israeli embassy and attacks on Jewish-owned businesses. Pro-Israel demonstrators were told to stow their Israeli flag, though, because they were "inflammatory." These are ripples in the broader issue of tamping down global jihad, Phillips writes, because jihadists throughout the globe share the same ideological motivation.
As a result, "ministers are intent on appeasing Muslim extremism and intimidation both at home and abroad."