By Derek Taylor
I don’t suppose there are that many of us left who were under rocket attack in London in 1944.
The trouble with rockets, as against the Blitz, was that there could be no air raid siren to enable you to get into a shelter.
There was just an enormous explosion out of nowhere. More than 9,000 people, mostly Londoners, were killed.
One blew up two streets away from me; another rocket completely destroyed the large Whitefield Memorial Church in Tottenham Court Road, thankfully an hour after we had all left the local cinema.
The onslaught only stopped when the launching pads and the factories manufacturing the rockets were flattened by Bomber Command. More than 20,000 died in that retaliatory action, a large number of them forced labour civilians from occupied countries all over Europe.
What would have happened if Herbert Morrison, the Labour Leader who ran London had announced that Bomber Command could not be used to stop the rockets because this would have been a disproportionate response? Ed Milliband might ponder the answer, which would have been one of outraged ridicule.
What would Winston Churchill have told Boris Johnson about being disproportionate? We killed 100,000 civilians in Dresden in one night. We mounted 1,000 bomber raids. If the 9,000 victims had been Muslims, what would Baroness Warsi have said about continuing to allow the rockets to be launched?
To argue Israel is wrong to defend its citizens unless you can avoid civilian casualties is Orwellian double-think. There isn’t a country in the world that would adopt such an attitude. Hamas has decided it is at war with Israel; there are, very sadly, inevitable consequences.
Are the Labour and Liberal parties anti- Semitic? Of course not. They just want to win the election in 2015, and there are more Muslim votes up for grabs than Jewish ones.
When I wrote some weeks ago that there was very little anti-Semitism in Britain, I was warned by the Community Security Trust to be on my guard. We now know that reports of anti-Semitic incidents have gone up considerably in the first six months of 2014 and will, undoubtedly, go higher.
There are 270,000 Jews in the country, and only 269,000 will not experience an anti-Semitic incident. Frankly, I can live with that. The vast majority of the reports will be of insulting comments and graffiti.
Unpleasant, but not like Christians being massacred by the Islamic State in Mosul. The only country in the Middle East where numbers of Christians are on the rise is Israel.
What about the torrent of anti-Israel tirades on Facebook and Twitter? Why isn’t there the same amount of invective about the slaughter of Christians in Iraq, the tit-for-tat murders of Sunnis and Shias in Syria, Iraq and Libya, and the mass condemnations to death in Egypt?
While many people use double standards, Governments can, however, distinguish rants from arguments for sensible policies.
It is very different being in Government than in being in opposition. Britain needs Israel as a democratic ally.
The Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Foreign Secretary know this and have all declared that Israel has a right to defend itself. Should you be concerned about a possible outbreak of anti-Semitism in Britain? Absolutely not.
Muslims are the ones really under threat because their co-religionists killed Fusilier Lee Rigby.
About 15 mosques were attacked after that. Schools in Muslim areas have been singled out for investigation of alleged racialist teaching.
The press is pointing to possible suicide attacks by returning jihadists.
The public image of the Muslim community is as unfair as the critics of those of us who support Israel. The London bombings in July 2005 were also carried out by Muslim fanatics.
It’s a great shame millions of peace-loving Muslims in Britain should be tarred with the same jihadist brush, but they, too, can be reassured. There were never demonstrations against the Irish in Britain during The Troubles, in which thousands died over the years until the Good Friday agreement.
We will all have to wait for things to settle down. Hamas is condemned as a terrorist organisation and while Christians are appallingly treated and the Middle East continues to implode, the government isn’t going to change course in any meaningful way. We still live in the right country.