…from Stuart Littlewood, Britain

First published June 10, 2021

An online petition was recently sent to the British Government demanding sanctions against Israel. It said: “The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms. Its disproportionate treatment of Palestinians and settlements that are regarded by the international community as illegal are an affront to civilised society.” 385,225 signed.

The Government promises a debate on the petition on 14 June. But its response includes this statement from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office issued yesterday (my comments in italics):

The UK is firmly opposed to boycotts or sanctions against Israel. Our close and varied relationship means we are able to express clearly when we disagree.

HM Government has made its position on sanctions clear. While we do not hesitate to express disagreement with Israel whenever we feel it necessary, we are firmly opposed to boycotts or sanctions. We believe that open and honest discussions, rather than the imposition of sanctions or supporting anti-Israeli boycotts, best supports our efforts to help progress the peace process and achieve a negotiated solution.

Open and honest discussion with Israel has never worked. You happily slap other nations with sanctions.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework. We continue to monitor the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard.

Clearly your risk assessments aren’t strict enough.

The UK welcomed the recent announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on 20 May, which is an important step to ending the cycle of violence and loss of civilian life.

During the Foreign Secretary’s visit to the region on 26 May he reiterated the UK’s firm commitment to the two-state solution as the best way to permanently end the occupation, deliver Palestinian self-determination and preserve Israel’s security and democratic identity. The UK will continue our intensive diplomatic efforts in the region, focussed on creating the conditions for a sustainable peace.

The cycle of violence and loss of civilian life didn’t end after previous ceasefires. Israel continued ‘mowing the lawn’. Why are you committed to the two-state solution when you’ve allowed Israel to establish facts on the ground that make a viable Palestinian state impossible? What do you think a Palestinian state will look like when you eventually get around to recognising one?

Haven’t you yet understood that Israel doesn’t want peace until it has annexed the whole of Palestine and that your stance simply aids the Zionists’ criminal ambition? Haven’t you heard Israeli leaders repeated say they will never allow a Palestinian state? And by the way Israel has no “democratic identity”, it’s a deeply unpleasant ethnocracy.

Israel is an important strategic partner for the UK and we collaborate on issues of defence and security. Our commitment to Israel’s security is unwavering. The UK unequivocally condemns the firing of rockets at Jerusalem and locations within Israel.

We strongly condemn these acts of terrorism by Hamas and other terrorist groups, who must permanently end their incitement and rocket fire against Israel. We are also concerned by reports that Hamas is again using civilian infrastructure and populations as cover for its military operations.

As long as we are a strategic partner of Israel we will never be trusted in the Middle East. We have no enemies in the region, not even Iran, so why provoke hostility? And given Israel’s track record how can anyone feel comfortable swopping defence and security secrets? You persistently accuse Hamas of incitement when it is the Palestinians who are under illegal military occupation and blockade.

You complain about Hamas firing garden-shed rockets but never condemn the Israelis for bombarding tightly-lacked Gaza with devastating state of the art ordnance deliberately mis-aimed to cause horrendous slaughter of civilians. Also check the definition of terrorist and consider whether it fits the Israeli regime better than Hamas.

We are clear that all countries, including Israel, have a legitimate right to self-defence, and the right to defend their citizens from attack. In doing so, it is vital that all actions are proportionate, in line with International Humanitarian Law, and are calibrated to avoid civilian casualties.

Israel has no comprehension of “proportionate” and no right of self defence against the people it illegally occupies, murders and dispossesses. It has never complied with international Humanitarian Law, whereas the Palestinians have every right under international law to mount an armed resistance, makeshift though it is, against the occupier.

The UK is strongly opposed to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel, just as we oppose any calls for boycotts which divide people and reduce understanding.

It is nonsense to claim the UK as a whole is opposed to sanctions against Israel. Only self-serving supporters of the apartheid regime oppose sanctions.

The UK position on evictions, demolitions, and settlements is longstanding and clear. We oppose these activities. We urge the Government of Israel to cease its policies related to settlement expansion immediately, and instead work towards a two state solution. Settlements are illegal under international law, and present an obstacle to peace.

We want to see a contiguous West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as part of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, based on 1967 borders. Our position was reflected in our support for UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and we continue to urge Israel at the highest level to halt settlement expansion immediately.

You may well oppose these things but that’s not enough. Haven’t you noticed – the Israelis don’t give a damn? What HM Government wants to see doesn’t matter to them. Their expansion programme is unstoppable except by applying firm and effective consequences. UNSCR 2334 was adopted four and a half years ago. It says Israel’s settlement activity constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law and has “no legal validity”.

It demands that Israel stop such activity and fulfill its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Is Israel biting its nails thinking the sky is about to fall in on them? No, it laughs in the UN’s face. What has the British government and other members of the Security Council done in that time to concentrate Israel’s mind and ensure compliance?

We advise British businesses to bear in mind the British Government’s view on the illegality of settlements under international law when considering their investments and activities in the region. Ultimately, it will be the decision of an individual or company whether to operate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, but the British Government would neither encourage nor offer support to such activity.

Nevertheless you continually reward Israel for its crimes against humanity with favoured trading deals and special collaboration agreements.

We have also made clear our concerns about the increasing rate of demolitions and evictions of Palestinians. The UK is focused on preventing demolitions and evictions from happening in the first place through our legal aid programme, which supports Palestinians facing demolition or home eviction.

The demolitions and evictions have been going on for 73 years. You haven’t in the least been focused on preventing them. And using UK taxpayers’ money to sustain Israel’s criminal policy is utterly gross.

As a strong friend of Israel, and one which has stood up for Israel when it faces bias and unreasonable criticism, we are continuing to urge Israel to not take steps such as these, which move us away from our shared goals of peace and security.

Why are you “a strong friend” of this apartheid entity in the first place? You shame us all. Israel’s idea of peace and security is far removed from anyone else’s. It’s shocking to hear that you (implying we) “share” their goals.

The occupation will not end and peace will not be achieved by symbolic measures, but by real movement towards renewed peace negotiations which create a viable Palestinian state, living in peace and security side-by-side with Israel.

We will continue to press Israel and the Palestinians strongly on the need to refrain from taking actions, which make peace more difficult. And will continue to encourage further confidence building steps towards meaningful bilateral peace negotiations between the parties.

What, more lopsided ‘negotiations’ overseen by the most dishonest broker on the planet? Are you SERIOUS? The occupation will end and peace will be achieved only when justice is done and seen to be done. International law has spoken. Now deliver it, please, instead of endless shaming us with your dangerous delusions.

The entire British Government would do well to recall George Washington’s wise words: “The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave… a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.”

Yes, “slave” fits Israel’s stooges at Westminster admirably.

Stuart Littlewood
9 June 2021

Author Details
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. With a lifelong passion for photography he has produced two photo-documentary books, one of which can be read online at www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk.
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6 COMMENTS

  1. It is more comparable to the sometimes toxic situation that rises when a child has reached the teens. Britain is the parent, and has continuously acted like one and grafted the US into this by way of religious necessity. We in the US do not abide religion in our laws, yet here we see, it continuously invades as if the spoiled teenager has learned the parents bark has no bite.
    Deflect deflect deflect, and always point the finger at another, and avoid the issue at all costs by appealing to the emotions and dedication of the parent. This is what I see. And it is costing lives and creating generational trauma, whereas a normal teenager may wreck the car at worst or perhaps need picking up at the police station or hospital, or those nasty visits to the school to explain. Enough is enough. Put the foot down, and hold it. Gently but firmly.

  2. Well Stuart, you definitely had the appropriate last word. You know as well as most of VT’s readers that the Zionists have both England and America by the balls, and all our so-called leaders are Israeli puppets.
    “Israel is an important strategic partner for the UK and we collaborate on issues of defense and security. Our commitment to Israel’s security is unwavering.” Yes being lord and master is certainly a strategic advantage for Israel, but for Britain, they could only dream of being in any real “partnership” with their Zionist masters.

  3. There is very little chance that the UK government will ever sanction Israel, even less chance that the the USA will. ReTrumplicans in Congress would never allow it. 50 million US Christian Zionists, all of whom voted for Trump, think Israel can do no wrong. In the last “war” in Gaza, Pastor John Hagee told his faithful flock that an IDF spokesman had assured him during a briefing that all deaths in Gaza were the result of Hamas rocket misfires – “It’s the terrorists that are killing their own people!” It’s because of them that Trump was almost reelected. It’s because of them that Israel will never be held to account for its crimes.

    • You never mention the MIC and its use of religion or Wall Street fundings to advance its goals.
      Once you do put that in the equation you’ll cease to see the “crimes of Israel” as crimes instead of what they really are which is to advance the goals of the offense industry by profiting from endless wars.

      Another Miss Concepción (she’s cute!) is that Brits are behind the US in war profiteering. They are very clever when it comes to keeping their heads low. They have always used the US and its soldiers and taxpayers to maintain perpetual war fronts that benefits their 1%. Their MPs are far more assertive in dealing with the defense industry than the US senators. While George W Bush is biking somewhere right now or Dick Cheney fishing up north, Tony Blair is pushing contacts for Saudi and Chinese 1%er.

    • I leave it to you, Newt, to cover the MIC/Wall Street angle. The reason I bring up the US religious thing so much is that ReTrumplicans always seem to think that Trump is about MAGA when in fact he’s all about MIGA, Make Israel Greater Again. Also, I don’t think the Brits have anything like Christian Zionism driving their Tories like we have here in the USA. They’re an apocalyptic death cult that has a collective hard-on for Armageddon and nothing short of WWIII will get them off. No other nation on the planet is even remotely like this, except for Israel of course.