Britain and Israel

The Commentator (an underappreciated online presence) has an excellent (and restrained) article by Hadar Sela entitled ‘Another glimpse into delusional British attitudes to Israel‘ from which I quote the following:

Recently, The Commentator offered some insight into attitudes towards Israel within the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Further illumination was available this week when Matthew Gould, the British Ambassador to Israel, spoke at a sub-committee meeting in the Knesset in Jerusalem.

There is much in the Ambassador’s speech (which, obviously, reflects the attitudes of those he represents rather than his own opinions) to raise quizzical eyebrows, but insufficient space here to address all the points.

And some detail:

No less worrying was the following claim made by the Ambassador in the Knesset meeting:

“These people [anti-Israel activists in the UK] are a small minority. Their efforts do need to be addressed, but they also need to be set in context. The wider economic impact of what they do has been miniscule. Their impact is through the noise they make. And that noise has been magnified many times over all the attention they have been given by Israel’s friends.

That attention risks making them mainstream. I fear that for many friends of Israel, this destructive agenda by Israel’s enemies – and their desire to counter it – will come to define their connection with Israel. And perhaps, that is the most profound victory that the delegitimisers could achieve.”

In other words, this (apparently FCO-endorsed) approach cynically apportions the blame for the growth of the anti-Israel movements in the UK, and their infiltration into the mainstream, exclusively to supporters of Israel.

It implies that a better strategy would be to ignore the constant stream of lies, distortions and often downright anti-Semitic calumnies — whilst failing to acknowledge what kind of effect such unchecked intense and well-funded propaganda has on both mainstream opinion and decision-makers in the UK.

Chillingly, it also appears to promote the outdated concept of quiet, passive Jews keeping their heads down in the hope that the latest storm-cloud will pass. Fortunately, those days are long gone.

The article goes on to make the valid observation that ‘keep quiet, it will all go away’ was the British advice to Jewish communities under attack from Arab terrorism during the British Mandate. Some things never change? Food for thought.

Read the whole piece here; it is worth it.