Britain and Israel

I don’t agree with the title, but The Commentator‘s piece –  Israel’s irrationality is our fault –  about the diplomatic spat following the announcement of planning permission for new homes near Jerusalem, makes some excellent points. Read the whole thing. For those in a hurry, I offer the following extracts:

Calling Mahmoud Abbas, a man who presides over incitement, glorification of terrorism and deals with terrorists, a “courageous man of peace” is to move the goalposts distinctly away from Israel’s favour.

Beautifully understated.

Israel, though not perfect, has gone to great lengths to protect both its own citizens and the Palestinian people at the very same time. The knives come out very quickly against Israel, usually in the form of phrases like ‘apartheid wall’ and ‘prison camp’ – but remind yourselves that only five percent of Israel’s security fence is a ‘wall’, and that terror attacks from the West Bank have decreased by more than 90 percent. Unless you’re on the side that actively wishes for Israeli civilians to be killed (and sadly there are many) – doesn’t this statistic prove that it was a legitimate endeavour at a time when the Palestinian leadership showed no interest in furthering peace negotiations?


In Gaza, does Israel act as an ‘oppressor’ in limiting and searching goods that it actually helps filter through, or does it protect both the Gazan people from a terrorist outfit who created a de facto dictatorship in the area, and itself from further attacks across the border? All the while, Israel has increased the amount of traffic in goods to Gaza and reciprocally, many Gazans make the daily commute into Israel to do business. Despite what the anti-Israel lobby would have you think, I myself spoke to Palestinian businessmen in June this year who indicated their will to work with and inside Israel, if only Hamas would disappear.


Expanding and building settlements in areas that could and would be Palestinian areas is of course irrational and irresponsible, but the international community, Britain especially, has placed Israel in a position whereby it sees, from the world’s feelings and dealings on Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, that aggression seems to be consistently rewarded.

The bit about “would be Palestinian areas” is nonsense, but understandable. The criticism he makes, however, is right on the button. If anyone can point me to an Israeli concession that has been met with any Palestinian concession, I would like to hear about it.

The conclusion:

In now talking about ‘tough sanctions’ against Israel for its actions, Britain espouses yet another inconsistent response to bringing parties in the region to the table – and has landed itself a position of increasing irrelevance and opposition to its allies in Israel and the United States.

For Britain, Israel’s actions are unpalatable. For Israel, Britain’s reaction is unconscionable.

Calling Mr Cameron… Calling Mr Hague… It’s time to wake up and see what is truly happening.