A Question for Melanie Phillips

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a lecture in Jerusalem by British journalist Melanie Phillips. In a world turned upside down where right is wrong and wrong is right, it was a pleasure to listen to this courageous and intelligent woman. Despite the intense pressure against her in England, she refuses to buckle under and continues to speak the truth and defend Israel against those who try indefatigably to delegitimize the Jewish State.

Amongst her many gems was a comment she made on the proliferation of moral relativism and the difficulty it places on anyone trying to fight the blatant lies and fabrications which are constantly used in the war against Israel. Rather astutely she stated that if according to moral relativism there are no absolute truths then logically it follows that there are no absolute lies. This insightful comment alone made the whole night worthwhile.

Of particular significance, she said that the only answer is for more and more people to publicly speak the truth. Of course the problem with this, as she mentioned, is that after years of repeated lies and propaganda by the Arabs and their supporters, many people including lots of Jews simply do not know the truth. Worst of all, as she correctly pointed out, is that even in Israel itself most of the leaders, ever fearful of rocking the boat, publicly refrain from speaking the truth. Unfortunately such complacent behavior in the face of outright lies and fabrications only lends a sense of legitimacy to the spurious claims that are hurled at Israel on a daily basis.

Overall, it was truly an interesting evening. The one drawback however, outside of the fact that there was no air-conditioning in the stuffy packed house, was the fact that there were no questions following her lecture. This was a real shame because I had a serious question to something she commented upon not once but twice.

At two separate points she stopped in mid-sentence to clarify that despite what she was saying she didn’t want anyone to infer from her words that she supports Israel having full sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria and that in the future some land might need to be given away as part of a negotiated settlement.

My unanswered question is how can someone as brave and intelligent as Melanie Phillips even entertain such thoughts?

I have no doubt that on every angle she knows that justice and truth are in Israel’s corner. I’m sure she knows of the Jewish people’s connection to the Land of Israel from the historic/religious perspective. At the same time, I have no doubt that she is intimately aware of the “Palestinian narrative” that has been cleverly weaved over the last few decades. From the legal side, I’m sure that the Mandate for Palestine and the San Remo Conference are household terms and that British duplicity during the whole period is common knowledge to her. The same I’m sure can be said regarding UNRWA and its role in perpetuating a decades-long humanitarian crisis for the Arabs who fled in 1948, some voluntarily and some by force, and how this issue is hypocritically exploited against Israel, especially given the fact that roughly the same amount of Jews were thrown out of their homes in Arab countries after 1948 and then were, like all other refugees in the world, resettled in another country.

Moreover, nearly one hundred years of incessant Arab violence against the Jews and the repeated refusal for any compromise that will allow for the existence of a Jewish state of any size, are surely not the type of facts that are overlooked by such an intelligent and honest woman.

For all of the above reasons plus a whole lot more, I simply cannot understand how she could even consider the creation of an Arab state in Judea and Samaria since such an entity will certainly bring more instability to an already unstable region and will undoubtedly pose a threat to the continued existence of a reduced and vulnerable State of Israel.

I don’t mean to besmirch the woman since she is a tremendous asset, not only to the Jewish people but also for the larger cause of truth and justice. I just wish I could have posed my question to her.

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11 Responses to A Question for Melanie Phillips

  1. Terry, Eilat - Israel says:

    Thanks for adding me to your mailing list.
    This time I agree with you. I can’t explain why Melanie Phillips supports a two-state solution, it’s not realistic. It just shows you how entrenched this lousy idea is.


  3. Canadian Otter says:

    It’s a good idea to ask Melanie Phillips for clarification. She’s influential and well respected.

    But what is really disturbing, Yoel, is how the Israeli government itself is getting away with so much because nationalists don’t want to rock the boat.

    The most right wing Likud MKs are held in high regard by the settlers. But whenever MKs say something wishy-washy or, most likely, whenever they remain silent at the repeated government outrages against Jews, settlers don’t denounce them.

    Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein: “The question of annexation of security areas of so-called ‘population blocs’ in Judea and Samaria hasn’t been discussed in the government. Some ministers, including myself, have said that this should probably be a step taken by the government if the Palestinians go too far unilaterally.”

    The “population blocks”.




    When coalition MKs voted en masse against the National Union bill for annexation last February there was not even a ripple among nationalists.

    When the government makes it official policy to destroy Jewish homes but not Arab squatter houses, fake right wing MKs wring their hands but say little. Some of them just notice the roughness of police. If only they were more gentle when they expel Jews …. (!!!)

    And settlers don’t denounce them.


    Migron is the latest victim to the “right wing government” policy of vicious expulsion of Jews and demolition of their homes. There will be more.

    You’d think right wing MKs would be in an uproar. You’d think the settlers would be in an uproar. But nothing happens.

    Migron residents protested – all alone. No MKs and no other settlers were there to lend them support.

    So if those who are directly involved with the settlements are reluctant to speak out and work towards full sovereignty for Judea and Samaria and an immediate stop to anti-Jewish government policies, how can we expect anyone else to take up that banner?

    And it’s the PM, his ministers and his MKs who have a lot to answer for.

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Canadian Otter,

      I agree that if internally, especially on the “right”, we act the way we do, how can we expect others to act differently. I also don’t like the stand promoted by some on the right that if the Palestinians declare a state then perhaps will consider declaring sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria. This should not be a reaction but rather a position to be promoted regardless of what others do. This is a big problem.


  4. R Harris says:

    You make the mistake that many rightists make – of believing that Ms Philips is courageous and intelligent simply because she takes a maximalist position which accords with your own views. In the UK she is generally seen as a turn-coat – having started off her journalist career on the left, something made her move to the Puritan right. Her absurd and hateful racist theories (qv Londonistan) are not accepted by a huge majority of people, and her Islamophobia is something of a joke. Her positions on everything from single mothers to drug use are those of a vaguely intelligent Tea Party member – which is simply to say that just as Ms Palin is correctly derided in the UK, so are Ms Philip’s absurd opinions.

    It’s so nice to read that she was preaching to a converted audience. Her logic, though, bears some similarity to that of the Syrian ambassador, Sami Khiyami – i.e. standing up and defending the indefensible.

    Highly unfortunate that the short-sighted Islamophobes and Arabophobes in power in Israel have oppressed the inhabitants of the West Bank and the Golan for the last forty years – because sometime soon they’ll have to undo all the evil they have wrought and work out a way to give back the land and resources that they have so happily plundered with the justification that the title deeds are in the bible.

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      R Harris,

      Would you like to provide some facts to back up your ridiculous claims regarding Israel?


      • R Harris says:

        Can’t really be bothered listing what thousands of newspapers and news organisations speak about every day and what I have seen with my own eyes. Just go and pick up a book not written by some twisted right wing freak or read a little of the history of 1948 and the expropriations, the policy of ne’edarim nokhakhim, the razing of villages etc etc ad nauseam.

        I can understand a person of Zionist persuasion stating that the expulsion of the original inhabitants was called for and that the clearing of villages and expropriation of assets was necessary as a sort of Lebensraum policy, but to ignore history and state that it did happen and is not happening, is the outlook of an unlettered fool.

        • Yoel Meltzer says:

          I understand history quite well. I also understand in depth what is going on in this part of the world and it’s usually quite different than the blatant lies and distortions of many newspapers and organizations.

          • R Harris says:

            That’s a most pathetic answer. The blatant lies and distortions of many newspapers? Is it one big plot to invent the existence of four to five million Palestinian refugees? Did they really come from nowhere? Did they just spring out of the desert? Were they all just “squatters in the land of Israel?”

            Do not a great majority of the refugees have proof of the ownership of their houses and land – issued by the Ottoman and British mandatory authorities? Did the Israeli government after 1948 not make every effort to invalidate any non-Jewish legal claims to the land under its control?

            Come on Mr Meltzer! You can obfuscate all you like and use your own prejudices to believe that the whole world has created a web of distortions and lies regarding Israel – but the mere fact that you, a born US citizen can “return” to somewhere and claim rights to it while the original inhabitants have been grotesquely dispossessed, excluded and marginalised, is a story that will not be suppressed.

            I am so happy that people with your beliefs are a tiny (although obnoxiously vocal) minority. We all look forward to seeing a two-state solution with respect for all minorities, ethnicities and religions, as opposed to the theocratic pretend democracy that exists at the moment.

          • Yoel Meltzer says:

            Four to five million refugees? Do you know where this number comes from? Do you know anything about UNRWA as opposed to UNHCR? Do you know anything about other refugees from that same period (1940s) including Jewish refugees from Arab countries?

            Regarding respect for minorities, do you know what happened when Jordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria? Do you know what they did to synagogues? Please don’t lecture me about respect for minorities. The only nation in the middle east that has any respect for minorities is Israel.

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