Anglo-Jewry should either be relieved at Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent paean of praise for Jewry and Israel when he addressed the Community Security Trust recently in London, or be confused. I subscribe to the latter opinion.
With me you have a prime minister whose belief in Israel is indestructible. And you have a prime minister who wants to build a strong and productive relationship with Israel….
I will always be a strong defender of the Jewish people. I will always be an advocate for the State of Israel
An advocate ofr the State of Israel is he?
This is the same Mr Cameron who, as I reported last year, said the following to a receptive Turkish audience:
“Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza can not and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp,” he said.
By characterising Gaza as a prison camp Cameron was not being an ‘advocate for the State of Israel’; in fact, quite the opposite because he was using the very same language that Israel’s vilifiers and demonisers use.
By misrepresenting the situation and accusing Israel of stopping humanitarian goods entering the Gaza Strip, not only was he sucking up to the Turkish regime that approved of the infamous IHH-led Mavi Marmara, he was also maligning Israel in an international forum and appeasing a dangerous Islamising state at the heart of NATO. A state which wants to join the EU even though it has an appalling human rights record in Kurdistan and Northern Iraq and an alliance with Iran.
This same Mr Cameron, when leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition was not an ‘advocate for the State of Israel’ when he said:
“The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable,”
Instead of depicting Turkey as a heroic modernising Islamic state, which it certainly no longer is, and laying the groundwork for its entry into the EU, he should have been chastising them for their role in the Gaza flotilla and their subsequent lies about what happened. Cameron should have been asking them why they were imperilling an important friendship with Israel.
Yet, at the very same CST conference he had this to say:
…[Israel is] within its rights to search vessels bringing cargo into Gaza…
But, does he realise that to search ships they have to be persuaded to stop first.
During the investigations into the alleged use of British passports by Mossad he called for Israel’s ambassador to the UK to be asked “some pretty tough questions”.
The then Shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague “later said Israel should issue a ‘robust statement’ ensuring its government would not sanction the cloning of British passports”.
Yet, yesterday it was revealed that these same two politicians, now in power, saw fit to issue SAS and MI6 agents with fake passports.
Melanie Phillips remarks:
Today we learn that the six SAS soldiers detained (and now released) in Libya
were held after going to an agricultural compound when Libyan security guards found they were carrying arms, ammunition, explosives, maps and passports from at least four different nationalities (MP’s emphasis).
We trust most earnestly that none of those was an Israeli one.
And she also notes a previous ‘hostility’ towards Israel.
Like just about everyone else, Cameron and Hague have been pushing at the open door of Israel and demanding concessions and the easing of the blockade whilst not even fumbling at the firmly locked gate of Palestinian rejectionism.
So, as Melanie also asks, has there been “A Change of Direction”
I don’t think so. It’s platitudinous claptrap.
Unless, when Cameron has the clear evidence before his eyes of what real war crimes are and he sees Middle East democratisation stalled, just maybe he suddenly can see Israel in a new light.
Oh yes, HMG has a right to criticise, but it also has an obligation to treat its ‘friends’ as just that.
Maybe the new political realities of the Middle East have shown him where Britain’s interests really lie and the true nature of the threat that Arab revolts might pose to the West.
Don’t hold your breath.
… allegedly. Well now the Daily Mail reports:
One of the women accused of being a Russian spy in the U.S. travelled on a British passport, according to the FBI.
Tracey Lee Ann Foley, who was posing as a naturalised U.S. citizen born in Canada, is believed to have been given forged British documents by her Russian handlers.
“.. we cannot permit the cloning of, interference with or misuse of British passports by another state.”
So when does the Russian diplomat go home then, Mr Hague?
If they do take the same action as they did against Israel, fair enough; but if not, why?
You know the story by now? Hamas terrorist arms dealer found dead in a Dubai hotel room. A few days later Dubai declares that more than 20 people with forged UK and other national passports (using names of passport holders living in Israel) were a hit squad and that Mossad, the Israeli secret service, is behind it – or so everyone assumes.
UK government summons the Israeli ambassador. Two months later UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband announces that the top Mossad man in London has been asked to leave. He gives a severe dressing down to Israel and issues a warning to UK citizens travelling to Israel that they should look after their passports and be wary of identity theft.
Israel supporters in the press here and many Israeli newspapers have stated that this is an overreaction, that the UK government is now openly hostile to Israel and this is some sort of conspiracy with the United States to destabilise the Netanyahu government. They tell us how hypocritical the UK is, some Israeli members of the Knesset have even referred to UK politicians as dogs who are pandering to an anti-semitic agenda.
I too am a strong supporter of Israel but I don’t go along with this paranoia. I also happen to be a British Jew but I am determined that when Israel is wrong I should say so; to do otherwise is dishonest.
No-one has owned up to the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. So why did Miliband say he has ‘compelling’ intelligence that it was Mossad? Do these who are so keen to shout foul really think that a British Foreign Secretary would make such a statement if he had not be shown evidence by MI6? Israel may even have ‘fessed up’.
Let’s look at the real issue the UK has with Israel here: several UK nationals have been recklessly put at risk by the action of Mossad (let’s assume this is now fact). These are individuals who have put their trust in the State of Israel. Some are Jews who have settled or wish to settle there, some are not, apparently. And their recompense for this trust is to risk becoming international criminals. They were not asked if they want to contribute to the assassination of a Hamas arms dealer, they were abused by the state and Israel was found out.
Now I know what you are going to say: countries do it all the time and the UK is hypocritical. No matter. If you are found out you pay the consequences. I do not see that the UK could do otherwise. It cannot be seen as an honest broker in the Middle East if it gives Israel a free pass.
Many commentators say that this is a blow to the War on Terror, and why should anyone cry over the elimination of a terrorist murderer? Not the point. It’s the method, the abuse of British sovereignty by forging its passports and getting caught doing so that is the issue. Let’s just turn it around. If the British had forged Israeli passports in their war on the IRA and used them to assassinate an IRA arms dealer and had been found out, would Israel not be equally aggrieved? Would the UK not have considerable criticism heaped on them from Israel?
If supporters of Israel see this as part of some plot, some evidence that the UK is about to abandon Israel and stand shoulder to shoulder with the US as they throw Israel to the wolves, they are wrong.
What we are seeing is a new approach to the Middle East, an approach in which see the resolution of the problem only being possible if the US and its allies can demonstrate that Israel does not get a free pass.
This is the wrong approach because the real problem is that for 60 years and more the Palestinians have not accepted the right of Israel and the Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland. That’s the real problem and everything stems from that fact.
It is that which hardens Israeli policies, it is that which leads to conflict.
I seem to have overlooked the strong stance Andy Roddick took when he boycotted the Dubai Tennis Championship after Shahar Pe’er had been denied a visa.
What’s more, he was the defending champion.
His decision is brave and ethical.
Andy Roddick is a mensch.
As previously noted Dubai seems to have recanted its policy of banning Israeli tennis players by allowing Andy Ram to play having caused an almighty row over its original decision to ban Shahar Peer.
Now the WTP has fined the Dubai Championship $300,000 and compensated Ms Pe’er for $44,250.
Whilst I applaud the WTP’s stance I still believe that tournaments should not be held in country which does not recognise the nationality of WTP members.
Israel has been a country by vote in the UN sinc 1948. The UAE is also a member of the UN and it’s about time this nonense of not recognising Israel’s existence were ended. I don’t expect the Arab and Muslim states to like Israel but there is no foundation to any failure to recognise.
In a reversal of its policy which saw Shahar Pe’er banned earlier this week, the UAE has allowed Andy Ram to take part in the WTP tournament in Dubai.
Clearly international pressure and the refusal of a US network to screen the tournament has led to a rethink.
Some sanity restored then. I’m a little disappointed that Israeli nationals still want to take part in tournaments in countries which do not recognise their country and that their fellow professionals do not lobby the WTP to cut all ties with such states however many millions of dollars they want to throw at the sport.
Dubai has refused entry to Shahar Pe’er, an Israeli tennis player who is one of the best players in the women’s game.
Dubai does not recognise Israel, so anyone trying to get into Dubai on an Israeli passport will not be able to do so. This, apparently, is nothing to do with sport.
Question is, what the hell is the WTP doing holding a tournament in a country that refuses entry on the grounds that it does not recognise the passport from a country that was legally created by a vote in the United Nations in 1948 and a member state since 1949. Qatar has previously allowed Ms Peer into the country.
Dubai’s failure to recognise Israel is part of an ongoing agenda to deligitmise the State of Israel. 36 countries have no diplomatic relations with Israel and 26 refuse to recognise it at all. Israel is the only country in the world that is in such a position. Most of these countries are Muslim countries and many have appaling Human Rights records. Here is a full list of countries that do not recognise Israel at all:
- Western Sahara
ASIA (outside Middle East)
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
Countries who do not have full diplomatic relations:
In addition to this, anyone who has an Israeli stamp on their passport is not allowed entry into any Arab and many Muslim states other than Egypt or Jordan.
It could be argued that many Muslim countries who may otherwise wish to recognise or have diplomatic relations with Israel feel that such a move would risk their own people turning against them and also the realtions they enjoy with other Muslim countries.
It doesn’t take too much analysis of this list to determine that Muslims do not like Israel and they are joined by a very strong supporter of the PLO, namely, Cuba.
The WTP should seriously reconsider prostituting itself by holding tournaments in countries who do not recognise the nationality of any of its members for whatever reason. Yes, the UAE tournaments bring a lot of money into the game but does anyone remember the D’Oliveira affair when the England cricket team called of a tour to South Africa in the days of Apartheid because they would not allow a ‘Cape Coloured’ to play with white people? Is this case any different?
Only Israel and Israelis are subject to this sort of harrassment as part of a global attack on Israel for daring to exist and defend itself. And most of the countries who are so appalled by the very existence of Israel are undemocratic, tyrannies, human rights abusers and worse.