Melanie Phillips has written another open letter, this time to David Cameron. The one she wrote earlier, to Jeremy Hunt about the BBC, must have got lost in the post, so it’s doubtful that she had high hopes of a response to this one by return of post, or indeed ever. It’s a great letter, even if it only reaches readers of the Spectator and the Commentator, and not Prime Minister Cameron himself.
When the Israeli PM visited London the other day, it seems David Cameron told him in no uncertain terms that in order to qualify for our unshakeable support Israel must engage meaningfully with the new Hama-tah /Fat-as coalition. Their refusal to come to the table unless Israel reinstates the settlement freeze is equally unshakeable, so presumably David Cameron thinks this is what Israel must do. This, Melanie points out, amounts to a kind of extortion not unlike a Mafia style protection racket. What a pity we can’t confront David Cameron with a similar ultimatum – unless he engages meaningfully with Melanie Phillips, we’ll withdraw our unshakeable support. But he knows that’s pretty shaky already.
The trouble stems, she feels, from Messrs Cameron and Hague’s lack of interest in the subject, and their consequential reliance upon Foreign Office briefings (think Rowan Laxton) for advice on foreign policy. As they seem to be largely making it up as they go along, they can’t be following it to the letter, although inserting “Britain is a good friend of Israel” into the text must either be a baffler or a double-bluff.
Melanie’s letter puts the case for Israel with eloquence, clarity and passion. She summarises Britain’s appalling historical record of the heartless betrayal of Jews, just in case Mr Cameron is not familiar with it. She makes a powerful comparison between the world’s unanimous condemnation of Islamic terrorism and the Arab world’s determination to annihilate Israel, and asks why the world condemns the former yet encourages the latter, when the motivation behind both is identical.
She implores the PM to understand that caving in so one-sidedly to Arab demands is tantamount to rewarding the aggressor and penalising the victim, and warns him, if nothing else, to think of his own legacy.
I think we all know that to hope the PM would acknowledge the letter, read it even, is fanciful. He will get away with ignoring it because our National Broadcaster has taken it upon itself to muffle the truth about Islam and to demonise Israel. Many people are therefore prepared to overlook what quite a few others are nevertheless beginning to feel uncomfortable about. Meanwhile the BBC is merrily and expensively setting the scene for a re-enactment of the 1930s, when the cavalier downplaying of the significance of what that silly German fellow with the moustache was up to led to the unimaginable events that took place under their very noses. “Peace in our time”, the prime minister is saying, but this time round, there’s no Churchill.