This is a guest post by Bratanchik
We have witnessed a dramatic realignment of ideologies in recent years as parts of the the far-left have used antisemitic rhetoric more at home on the Far-right, due to a shameful alliance between the likes of the SWP and RESPECT and fascist Islamist parties such as Jamaat-e-Islami, Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the Muslim Brotherhood. However it seems that the British National Party is trying a new strategy in the run up to European Elections by trying to support Israel and win sympathy from those who are often also concerned about the high profile of Islamist movements in the UK, whilst attempting to blur the vast differences between Islamists who seek the destruction of the West, and law-abiding immigrants, Muslims, and black and Asian Britons.
Surprising many people, BNP party leader Nick Griffin came out in support of Israel during the recent Gaza conflict in an article posted the BNP web site. One comment on the web site captures the heart of this phenomenon “any enemy of Islam is a friend of mine”, attempting to use the Israel-Hamas political conflict as part of the BNP’s battle against Islam. It is not so much that the BNP is now philosemitic or pro-Israel and no longer antisemitic, they have seen an opportunity to gain credibility amongst conservative Christians, even claiming that Jesus would vote BNP! We witnessed this phenomenon with a letter in the last issue of the British Church Newspaper from the BNP’s Rev West of the Christian Council of Britain, which, according to Ekklesia, is a BNP front organisation. In 2006 the Cartoon Blog showed that the CCOB web site domain was registered by the BNP webmaster.
The BNP, it seems, as much as it tries, can’t get away from its antisemitic ethos and still hosts a campaign to ban Kosher butchery in the UK (link to BNP site). In 2006 Ekklesia noted that the BNP placed online a video of a speech by West. West, who is against “race-mixing”, commended two conservative Christian newspapers to his BNP audience: the British Church Newspaper and the English Churchman. In February this year the general synod of the Church of England voted to ban its clergy from being members of the BNP. The BNP have now been trying the doors into an FIEC member church where BNP councillor Ian Meller is a member, and others of the surname ‘Meller’ are also apparently linked with the church. Little surprise then that BNP candidate Rev Robert West was invited to preach there in March this year. Rev West, who was suspended from the Conservative Party in 2006, addressed a larger than usual congregation, augmented by BNP supporters, in the Baptist Chapel in Barton in the Beans, Leicestershire. Rev West is also a BNP candidate for the upcoming East Midlands MEP elections.
The FIEC is a broad umbrella group of evangelical churches that includes Christians from many different cultures, and many FIEC members would no doubt be horrified by the BNP attempting to use its churches as a platform to promote its message of hate. Recently, the BNP has denied that black and Asian Britons exist, whilst BNP vice-president Simon Darby has accused the Ugandan-born Archbishop of York John Sentamu of being an ‘ambitious African’ from a nation of spear throwers. The BNP clearly poses an existential threat to many FIEC members. British Messianic Jews had expressed grave anxiety over the FIEC’s slow response, first blogged by Bartholomew, to the BNP priest’s meeting at an FIEC church. However one concerned Messianic Jew was told that the “FIEC is entirely opposed to any BNP spokesman or representative being used to forward their cause in our churches.” Messianic Jews would say of BNP support of Israel, with friends like these who needs enemies!