by Brian of London
The Jewish Chronicle published my letter (a little edited but that’s normal). Here’s the full text I sent.
Note this detail: I used the phrase "west bank of the Jordan river". I didn't say West Bank. I'm subversive that way.
Dear Jewish Chronicle.
Marcus Dysch, writing on November 24th made carried on your paper’s traditional prejudice against the founder and former leader of the EDL, Tommy Robinson. You also, without naming me, cast my own judgment in a negative light for facilitating Tommy’s trip to Israel.
I never marched with EDL but had a strong affinity for their entirely non-racist message about Islam. I found the Tommy Robinson I spoke with to be very far from the bigot you and the rest of the far left media tried to portray him as.
Tommy toured Israel from the coast to the Judean Desert, to the Golan Heights and the length and breadth of the west bank of the Jordan river. We met proud Jews everywhere as well as Arabs, Beduins and all of Israel’s wide diversity. Tommy played football with Arab kids in an UNRWA refugee camp in Bethlehem and had Arabic coffee with an Aramaean Christian priest.
Israel is poorly understood in the UK. Tommy has been fighting against Islamisation in the UK for so long and he always found hatred of Israel, which almost always includes hatred of Jews, was a basic feature of the Islamic ideology he opposes in Britain. Anti-Israel demonstrations, including expressions of support for terrorist organisations that deliberately target Israel’s Jewish citizens, are too common on British streets. Expressions of support for Palestinians seem, more often than not, to be outright denials of Jewish Israel’s right to exist.
Tommy’s time in Israel confirmed to him that by standing alongside a strong, proud, Jewish Israel which values its heritage and culture puts him on the right side of a fight that will define Europe. Jews have a strong identity in Israel, rooted in our indigenous lands: he understands that now probably better than many Jews in the UK.
Hosting him was a privilege and tremendous fun.
Brian Thomas, Tel Aviv, Israel (aka @BrianOfLondon)