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A Kingdom Caught With Its Pants Down

Shaul Zadka (07/04/2017)

The British acted as if an entire army attacked the parliament, not a primitive jihadist with a car and two kitchen knives. The panic was embarrassing... You will not read this criticism in the English press.

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Armed police following the attack outside of the House of Commons (source: Andy Rain/EPA)

Shaul Zadka is the chief political commentator at Alondon

The British acted as if an entire army attacked the parliament, not a primitive jihadist with a car and two kitchen knives. The panic was embarrassing. The chief of police ran away. Teresa May was smuggled like a rabbit. Members of Parliament imprisoned themselves for seven hours and the city center was closed for two days. You will not read this criticism in the English press.

As you may have noticed- four were killed in the attack in Westminster. The same number of people killed in the Jerusalem bomb attack in January. But the mayor of London did not bother to cover City Hall in blue and white. When I inquired, they told me that it was not the mayor’s decision, even though the Tri-Colors covered the capsules of the London Eye after the massacres in Paris. Even though the authorities in Tel Aviv did not wait for protocol to decorate Rabin Square with the Jack. Does British blood not run red like Israeli blood?

Actually, let me begin this article a little differently.

On Thursday, the day after the attack, I “plucked up my courage” and set off for the “Front Line.” I walked down Whitehall to Downing Street where I was stopped by police.

The government lockdown sounded like Jerusalem on Yom Kippur. Public transportation was forbidden, there was no exiting or entering the area. In the distance I could see a dozen officers in blue scrubs in the Parliament Square searching for nothing. I told several officers who were clustered in the area with automatic rifles in the “ready” position that overreaction was not the proper way to fight terrorism. One of them stuck walkie-talkie antenna into my chest and blurted out, “We lost a colleague yesterday. You must show respect!” before turning away to restrain himself. I knew then that there was really no one to talk to. The English are prisoners of their own dogmas.

In their arrogance the authorities also could not stop patting themselves on the back. Theresa declared that she had the best police force in the world. In Israel they would not last long. The reactions of politicians and commentators were pathetic. There were those who mentioned the victory over the Luftwafa. Some quoted Churchill. For a moment they all forgot the simple fact: Khaled Mas’ud (who had previously served two years in prison for a stabbing someone in the face) committed low-tech terrorism. And he did so without the aid of any organization.

The facts need not be hidden. Two weeks before the incident, special forces were engaged in dealing with a similar attack in a much more dangerous situation, but the Jihadiist who entered the parliament compound without interruption and stabbed to death an unarmed policeman on his way to the building. Only by chance did the bodyguards of the defense minister sit and kill him immediately. When this drama took place the gate was completely free of officers. The best thing to illustrate this problem is to imagine a bike messenger passing through the gates without being stopped and delivering a package.

Craig MacKey, the acting chief of police, was present at the time of attack. He was an eyewitness to the stabbing of PC Palmer, but instead of commanding the operation he preferred to flee the scene! He claimed this was under the command of his subordinates. Get it? Commanders advised him to disappear and he obeyed them. Not far behind was the prime minister.

Emergency services at the scene outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after a policeman was stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament (source: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Instead of keeping her inside the building, May was pushed into a car in a state of panic and sped away to safety, without a thought of turning back.

There was also a tremendous panic in the House Of Commons. Members of the parliament were under curfew for seven hours, despite there being no threat to their lives, and despite that it was clear that the terrorist had acted alone.

MP Tobias Ellwood tried in vain to revive Officer Keith Palmer. He did everything that any person would, but was praised as a hero- earning a special elevation of his status from the Queen. The entire parliament was isolated from the outside world for two days. During the day, the head of the counterterrorism branch updated the press and could not utter the words "Muslim terrorism." He was satisfied with "international terrorism."

Daesh, which was not involved in the incident, was given the spotlight after the attack. It roared with laughter and posed an obvious question to the Internet: Imagine what would happen if ... if it were "some of our fighters." The terrorists received a few days of satisfaction at the expense of the Mickey Mouse state, which has presented its full nakedness and yet is still proud of it.


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