…by Stuart Littlewood, Britain
– First published … July 07, 2020 –
Writing in the Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth today – the very day Netanyahu threatened to commence extending Israeli sovereignty to illegal Jewish squatter communities and the Jordan Valley in a blatant bid to thieve more Palestinian land – UK prime minister Boris Johnson makes this disgraceful claim:
“I am a passionate defender of Israel…. a life-long friend, admirer and supporter.” On other occasions he has declared himself “a passionate Zionist”, an equally tasteless thing to be.
“Few causes are closer to my heart than ensuring its people are protected from the menace of terrorism and anti-Semitic incitement. The UK has always stood by Israel and its right to live as any nation should be able to, in peace and security. Our commitment to Israel’s security will be unshakable while I am Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.“
The trouble, dear Boris, is that the Israelis, who are violent intruders, won’t let their neighbours live in peace and security and cry blue murder whenever they put up resistance which they have every right to do. Your brilliant solution to the Holy Land problem is to force the Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table and never mind implementing international law and scores of UN resolutions. Will you never learn?
Yesterday, at Westminster, the scene was Questions to the Foreign Secretary, the subject ‘Planned Annexation of the West Bank’.
– Tonia Antoniazzi: What recent representations he has made to the Israeli Government on their planned annexation of parts of the west bank.
– Julie Elliott: What assessment he has made of the effect of Israel’s plan to annex parts of the west bank on human rights in that region.
– James Cleverly (Minister of State for Middle East & North Africa): The UK’s position is clear: we oppose any unilateral annexation. It would be a breach of international law and risk undermining peace efforts. The Prime Minister has conveyed our position to Prime Minister Netanyahu on multiple occasions, including in a phone call in February and a letter last month. The UK’s position remains the same: we support a negotiated two-state solution based on 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as a shared capital and a pragmatic, agreed settlement for refugees.
– Tonia Antoniazzi: Current sanctions are clearly not working as a deterrent for Israel’s plan to annex the west bank illegally. Strong words at this point are a betrayal of the Palestinian people—they need actions. Can the Minister outline what action the Government will take against annexation?
– James Cleverly: The Government have maintained a dialogue with Israel. We are attempting to dissuade it from taking this course of action, which we believe to be not in its national interest and not compliant with international law.
– Julie Elliott: In 1980, the UN Security Council condemned Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem and, in ’81, its illegal annexation of the Golan Heights. What lesson does the Minister think the Israeli Government took from the failure to see those Security Council resolutions adhered to? Are the UK Government abandoning the Palestinian people, as suggested in a recent open letter by UK charities?
– James Cleverly: The UK Government remain a friend of Israel and also a friend of the Palestinian people. We have continued to have dialogue both with the leaders of the Palestinian Authority and with the Government of Israel, and we encourage them to work together to come towards an agreed settlement that will see a safe, secure state of Israel alongside a safe, secure and viable Palestinian state. There is still the opportunity for that negotiated settlement to be the outcome, and we will continue working with both the Israelis and the Palestinians to facilitate that.
– Lisa Nandy: World leaders are warning of consequences should annexation go ahead, but the silence from this Government has been deafening, so much so that the Israeli newspaper Haaretz says that France is now the world’s “last, best hope” to stop annexation. This really is shameful. I raised my concerns with the US ambassador—has the Minister? Will he commit to a ban on settlement imports and recognise Palestine, as this House voted to do? Forgive me, I may have missed it. If he will not do those things, can he tell us what exactly he is proposing to do?
– James Cleverly: The UK remains a friend and ally to the state of Israel and a good friend to the Palestinian people. It is tempting—and I am sure it will placate certain voices on the left of the political spectrum—to stamp our feet and bang the table, but we will continue to dissuade a friend and ally in the state of Israel from taking a course of action that we believe will be against its own interests, and we will do so through the most effective means available.
– Alyn Smith: I listened carefully to the previous exchange, and I have much respect for the Minister, but I am not asking him to stamp his feet or bang the table—I am asking him to match the sensible position that he has outlined today on the illegal annexation of the already illegally claimed settlements with some actual action. No amount of warm words and sympathy are going to cut it in this discussion. My party, likewise, is a friend of the two-state solution. We are a friend of the Israeli state, and we are a friend of the Palestinians as well. We want to see a viable solution, but there is a lively debate that we can influence right now within Israel, and we need to put action on the table, not warm words and sympathy. Settlement goods should at the very least be labelled as illegal, and targeted sanctions need to be put on the table to focus the minds of the coalition. I urge him to act, not just talk.
– James Cleverly: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has spoken with his opposite number and other members of the Israeli Government, as have I and indeed our Prime Minister. We are working to dissuade Israel from taking this course of action. There will always be voices in British politics that would jump at any opportunity to bring in sanctions and disinvestment. We do not agree with those voices, and we will continue to work towards a negotiated two-state solution, using the diplomatic means we have at our disposal.
– Alyn Smith: I appreciate that answer, and I would urge more. When Russia illegally occupied Crimea, the UK Government, with our support, implemented sanctions with the international community. We need that sort of action now, and I would urge the Minister to greater efforts than we have heard today.
– James Cleverly: I reiterated the UK’s position at the UN Security Council on 24 June. I made it clear that annexation would not go unanswered. However, I will not stand at this Dispatch Box in order, as I say, to placate some of the traditional voices in criticism of Israel when the best way forward is to negotiate and speak with a friend and ally, in the Government of Israel, to dissuade them from taking a course of action that we believe is not in their own best interests.
Well, you get the picture…… a bizarre piece of parliamentary theatre in which a British minister of the Crown plays chief pimp for a foreign racist entity. What a pathetic performance by Mr Cleverly. He mouths the same tired and obsolete excuses for inaction as his predecessors and cannot bring himself to show principle or backbone. Perhaps that’s because Her Majesty’s Government simply hasn’t any.
So here is a question of my own. Why would anyone want to be “a friend and ally to the state of Israel”, as Government ministers like to describe themselves, when outside the Westminster bubble of Zionist stooges the racist regime has no friends? And for the simple reason that being a Friend of Israel means embracing the terror on which the state of Israel was built, approving the dispossession of the innocent and oppression of the powerless and applauding the discriminatory laws against indigenous non-Jews who inconveniently remain in their homeland.
It means aligning oneself with the horrific mindset that abducts civilians — including children — and imprisons and tortures them without trial, imposes hundreds of military checkpoints, severely restricts the movement of people and goods, and interferes with Palestinian life at every level.
And never mind the shooting up by Israeli gunboats of Palestinian fishermen in their own territorial waters, the strangulation of the West Bank’s economy, the cruel 14-year blockade on Gaza and the bloodbaths inflicted on the tiny enclave’s packed population. And don’t let’s even think about the religious war that humiliates the Holy Land’s Muslims and Christians and prevents them visiting their holy places.
If, after all that, you are still Israel’s special friend, where is your self-respect?
Will annexation happen? As I write this the news agencies remain silent and the world holds its breath. If Israel goes ahead it will be another step in the fulfilment of Plan Dalet, the Zionists’ dirty ploy to take over the Palestinian homeland as a prelude to declaring Israeli statehood. Its intention was, and still is, to gain control of all areas of Jewish presence and strategic and economic importance and keep expanding Israel’s (deliberately fluid) borders in order to satisfy their insatiable greed.
Don’t you think Netanyahu and his loathsome crew make superb recruiting sergeants for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement? I now expect BDS to expand dramatically and hit the rogue state where it hurts if it doesn’t get civilised.
An obvious response from even the most retarded Western politicians would be to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement and the new UK-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement. To enjoy the Association’s privileges Israel promised the EU to show “respect for human rights and democratic principles” as set out in Article 2, an essential and enforceable element of the Agreement. But Israel, as usual, shows contempt for these principles and its membership ought to have been terminated long ago.
To its shame the go-it-alone UK Government remains committed to rewarding its evil creature’s most obscene crimes, having announced that it is “working closely with the Israeli government to implement the UK-Israel trade and partnership agreement.… and to host a bilateral trade and investment summit in London.” This suggests that the provisions of Article 2 were not carried over from the EU to the new UK-Israel Agreement. However, exactly a year ago Lisa Nandy put this question:
“To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if he will seek the inclusion of a binding human rights clause in a future free trade agreement with Israel to establish that the (a) relations between the parties and (b) provisions of the agreement shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles as is provided for in Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.”
The answer from the Minister of State for Trade Policy was: “The UK-Israel Agreement incorporates human rights provisions of the EU-Israel Trade Agreements, without modification.”
Let’s see if they really mean it and suit action to their words.
After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics, he served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. An Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, he has produced two photo-documentary books which can be read online at Radiofreepalestine.org.uk and Paperturn-view.com