THE OBSERVER WARNS AGAINST ACCEPTING JEWISH REFUGEES
[ 31 July 1938 ]
On 31 July 1938, the Observer newspaper warned that if a large number of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and Austria were accepted in Britain it was almost certain to lead to a rise in antisemitism.1 Following Hitler’s annexation of Austria in March, the Nuremberg laws, imposing harsh conditions and sanctions on Jewish communities, were to be extended to Austria from 1 August.2
BRITISH ARMOURED CARS SPRAY TEL AVIV’S STREETS WITH BULLETS KILLING FIVE.
[ 31 July 1947 ]
Today in 1947, “seven (British) armoured cars roared through the main street of the all-Jewish city of Tel-Aviv… with machine guns firing into shops and passing traffic,” killing at least five and wounding fifteen others.3
TRG BELATEDLY OPPOSES PRO-APARTHEID POLICIES, BUT FOR BUSINESS RATHER THAN ETHICAL REASONS
[ 31 July 1986 ]
On 31 July 1986, the Tory Reform Group issued a press release causing surprise and shock within the Conservative Party. For the first time several leading Conservative figures, including the Earl of Stockton (former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan) and Lord Carrington (previously Foreign Secretary) opposed the Conservative government’s refusal to impose any economic sanctions on South Africa.
Rather than highlighting ethical reasons for questioning the government’s position, the press release emphasized that, with the increasing international isolation of Britain, it was now becoming a business imperative to end our support for Apartheid. Otherwise, exporters would be likely to loose out in other African markets, and from retaliation by any future democratic government that might emerge in South Africa. ‘Britain’s economic, strategic and political interests,’ it explained, ‘all require us to impose substantial sanctions against South Africa.’4
The TRG appear to have considered the injustices of the Apartheid system as relatively irrelevant. In 1986, besides the lack of voting rights and police brutality, black South Africans had average earnings less than 25% of those of the average white South African, their children suffered a mortality rate five times higher than among whites and the Apartheid regime spent only one seventh the amount on their education as was spent for white South African children. The institutionalized racism ensured that whites, who amounted to only 15% of the country’s population, still owned 87% of the land.5
UK FORCES TURNING A BLIND EYE TO MURDER IN BASRA
[ 31 July 20015 ]
On 31 July 2005, Stephen Vincent, a journalist embedded with UK forces, wrote a damning article in the New York Times, entitled ‘Switched Off in Basra,’ alleging that the police in southern Iraq’s main city, were comprised mostly of bloodthirsty fundamentalist armed militias in uniform who were being uniformed and supported by the British.
GOVERNMENT ATTEMPT TO HIDE DENYING REFUGEE CHILDREN THEIR RIGHTS
[ 31 July 2018 ]
Today in 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled that the British government had ‘materially misled’ the high court over how it had denied refugee children refused entrance into the UK, their legal rights to know and challenge the reasons for their visa applications being turned down
FOREIGN OFFICE REPORT – BETTER TO ALLY WITH WAR CRIMINALS AND TERRORISTS.
[ 31 July 2018 ]
Imagine a Russian report suggesting that military interventions shouldn’t be focused on the idea of democracy promotion, but instead proclaiming Moscow’s willingness to ally itself with war criminals and to strike deals with powerful and ruthless regional elites and terror groups. There would be loud condemnation across the political spectrum here in Britain. However, there were was almost no reaction when a Foreign Office report, published on 31 July 2018, noted, after studying 21 cases of military intervention, that the best results for British interests are when we ally with war criminals and terror groups, rather than make any attempt to promote democracy, and that’s how we should conduct foreign policy in the future. Alastair Burt, a Foreign Office minister, who commissioned the report, explained that ‘there will be times when we have to hold our nose and support dialogue with those who oppose our values, or who may have committed war crimes.’6
- A.J. Sherman, Island Refuge: Britain and refugees from the Third Reich 1933-39, Paul Elek, London p. 124.
- ‘Nuremburg Laws: Application and Effect in Vienna,’ The Scotsman, 1 August 1938, p. 9 and ‘Anti-Semitic Laws in Austria,’ The Gloucestershire Echo, 1 August 1938, p. 1.
- ‘Jewish sources say five killed by troops in Tel Aviv,’ The Northern Whig, 1 August 1947, p. 1
- TRG Press Release quoted in Elizabeth M. Williams, The Politics of Race in Britain and South Africa: Black British Solidarity and the Anti-Apartheid Struggle, I.B. Tauris, 2015, London and New York, p. 74
- ‘The links between Apartheid and Poverty,’ Oxfam and Christian Aid statement in The Irish Independent, 22 July 1986, p. 3.
- Patrick Wintour, ‘UK must talk to ‘unpalatable’ groups – Foreign Office report,’ The Guardian, 1 August 2018, p. 2.
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