LETTER TO POLITICIANS AND THE MEDIA
to Britain or Israel?
Muslims do not support suicide bombing. However, recent
uproar over a visit by Shaikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has
confirmed fears that the Pro-Israel lobby e.g. Louise
Ellman (Labour), Michael Howard (Conservative) et
al and the Board of Deputies of British Jews are
prepared to put the interests of Israel above those
As it would appear, the British establishment has long
recognised the fact that Shaikh Qaradawi has advocated
and continues to argue that Muslims should integrate
and participate in British society, and that this is
good for Britain and her interests. Despite his position
on Israeli politics, the Shaikh has always been welcomed
in Britain because it is good for community relations
here. However, this logic remains beyond the grasp of
the Pro-Israel activists, who simply cannot bring themselves
to recognise the interests of Britain above those of
Israel. They fail to see the hypocrisy of ignoring the
fact that many Rabbis, who believe strongly in traditional
(halakhah) Jewish Law, also visit Britain
regularly. Many of these Rabbis believe that the Jewish
people have a God given right to plunder land in Palestine
and that the chyuv missa (death penalty)
should be applied to practising homosexuals. These Rabbis
and their followers idealise Maimonides ,
who says in the Mishneh Torah, that beating
a bad wife is an acceptable form of discipline.Should
we now call for a visa ban on all Rabbis and their followers
who accept Orthodox Jewish Law? Why restrict the focus
to Shaikh Qaradawi on these matters?
If the BBC wishes to re-establish its credibility as
an independent broadcaster that does not succumb to
pressure from the Pro-Israel lobby, I am sure you will
agree with me that it should conduct an inquiry into
the widespread problem of wife beating in Israel and
the influence of Jewish Law on this practice. The producers
of BBC 2's Newsnight need to stop targeting Muslims
for the benefit of the State of Israel and investigate
evidence that Jewish wife beating exists is strong
'One out of six' or 'one out of seven' Israeli women
is regularly beaten at home. The estimated minimum figure
is 100,000 battered women in Israel (of whom 40,000
end up hospitalised); the maximum number is 200,000
order to balance its coverage of Shaikh Qaradawi's visit,
the BBC should now send a team of reporters to interview
Rabbis and their followers in Israel who thank God for
not making them Gentiles every morning by praying, in
the 'eighteen blessings', with a special curse for Christians:
"And may the apostates have no hope, and all the
Christians perish instantly" .
They believe that 'indirect deception' in business is
allowed 'unless it is likely to cause hostility towards
Jews or insult to the Jewish religion'
and that, according to the Talmud, when a Jew passes
near an inhabited non-Jewish dwelling he must ask God
to destroy it, whereas if the building is in ruins he
must thank the Lord of Vengeance (Tractate Bearkhot
p.58b). Why should we not seek the opinion of each Rabbi
on the demolition of Palestinian homes if this is the
level of scrutiny that has become acceptable to the
The fact of the matter is that the Pro-Israel lobby
in Britain appears to care about one thing only - and
that is Israel. The events of the past week are just
another example in the on-going campaign to blackmail
all nations into the service of Israel's unjust policies.
I believe the media and politicians of this country
need to take heed before it is too late.
Riyad Nadwi M.A., Ph.D.
10th July 2004
Maimonides was the first person to write
a systematic code of all Jewish law and is considered
to be one of the most, if not the most, authoritative
sources on Jewish law.
Hilkhot Ishut, 15: halakhah 19.Mishneh Torah,
halakhah hovel u-mazik 4, 16. Ishut 21.10, In Halakhah
3 there is a list of required duties (rohetzet...mozeget).
See Halakhah 5 and 7 as well.
Naomi Gratez (1998) of Ben Gurion University
of the Negev. Judaism confronts wife-beating Women in
Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal. Volume 1 Number
Israel Shahak (1994) Jewish History, Jewish
Religion. Pluto Press. London. p.92.
Shahak (1994) p.89.