Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Lib Dem Lords a-Leaping to Kick Israel

The British Liberal Party, which was on the wane and in the political wilderness during the mid-twentieth century, having been eclipsed by Labour, had a friendly (indeed, sometimes very friendly) attitude towards Israel until 1976, when the pro-Arab David Steel became leader.

And today, in its current reincarnation as the Liberal Democrats, the party, a catch-all for radical lefties of various stripes, possesses numerous obsessed Israel-bashers, not only at “grassroots” level but also at Westminster.

On 22 February our old friend (pictured) Baron Phillips of Sudbury – the Lib Dem life peer who declared not so long ago that “America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish lobby” – chaired a panel discussion at the Senate House, London University, on the theme “The Palestine Papers: Under the Spotlight”. It was organised by Middle East Monitor, and featured a cast of speakers mainly reflecting in various degrees that body’s anti-Israel stance. Thanks to the indefatigable blogger Richard Millett (remember when he was thrown out of the Palace of Westminster by PC Plod? http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2010/07/its-unfair-cop-guv-mr-plod-shows-some.html) there is a reliable record of the event, although two heavies tried to relieve Mr Millett of his recorder and his camera!

One speaker, Tim Llewellyn – a former BBC Middle East correspondent (just fancy that!) – declared his support for boycotting Israel, whose “government is uncivilised and Israelis who support it take part in that uncivilisation. Israel is a rogue state in the Middle East.”

Another, former CIA political analyst Kathleen Christison, author of Palestine in Pieces, opined that “the only just solution” is the dismantling of the “exclusivist Jewish state” with its “Jewish exclusivist government” in favour of a single binational state. She stated that “The Palestine Papers laid bare the Israel-America relationship in all its obscenity” and observed that it was difficult to raise that subject in the United States for fear of being labelled “antisemitic”.

The latter remark struck a chord with the noble lord, who drew an analogy with McCarthyism and – presumably recalling the storm he had unleashed on that earlier occasion – lamented “We have a bit of that starting here, I’m afraid.”

Summing up, he said:
“Everything I hear from the platform speakers makes me think that the world we are now moving into has been turned upside down and that, er, the Jews aren’t lacking in intelligence, they may be deeply prejudiced, many of them, but they are going to be saying the same sort of thing as you on the panel are saying. It seems to me that it is not at all safe to rely on the past to interpret the future and that American, indeed American Jewry, quite apart from the progressive elements within Israel, who have been overshadowed in recent years, all of this could change quickly and rapidly in the face of a Middle East that suddenly becomes hostile.” See http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/lord-andrew-phillips-of-sudbury-many-jews-may-be-deeply-prejudiced/
Another Lib Dem life peer, Baron Dykes of Harrow Weald (pictured), a former leftwing Conservative MP, is now his present party’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs in the House of Lords. Dykes, like Baroness Tonge and several other high profile members of his party, has a long history of vilifying Israel. He speaks as if Arab rejectionism had never led to the 1967 War and even compares Israel to apartheid South Africa, praises the Goldstone Report, and does not discount the possibility of sanctions. The abhorrent BBC, ever ready to give a helping hand to Israel’s detractors, has a video of him on its website inveighing ponderously against Israel during a Lords debate on 6 April last year(http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_lords/.../8599435.stm)


In that video he trots out his usual mantra of hate against the Jewish State (which he professes to love!) and singles out the odious Sir Gerald Kaufman (a Jewish parliamentarian who regularly defames Israel, comparing it to Nazi Germany – see some of his nonsense and a photo of him with Arafat here http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ma.rathfelder/kaufman.htm) for special praise.

In the above debate, Dykes claimed that “Israel has so much and the Palestinians so little.” Oh yeah? Does he think all Jews are rich? Does he believe that there is no poverty among Jewish Israelis? I rather suspect he does. Whatever the case, he should have a look at this video:


But I digress. On 28 February, at the instigation of Lord Dykes, the House of Lords held a short debate on the issue “To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will work with the Government of the United States to ensure that Israel complies with United Nations resolutions and international law.”

That’s the same United Nations that’s in thraldom to Israel’s hypocritical foes from the Arab bloc, and which has seen countries with human rights abuses and denials of women’s rights appointed to various UN bodies specialising in those very areas!

Dykes opened the debate thus:
“Over the weekend it was good to see for once – unusually, and I suppose sadly – the unanimous decisions of the UN Security Council calling on Colonel Gaddafi to account for the abominable behaviour that he is wreaking on his own people. In contrast, how depressing it was to see ... the previous weekend's United Nations Security Council session being ruined, even recklessly sabotaged, by another US veto concerning the Israel/Palestine issue....
Once again the Arab street sees the double standards of the US. Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and was quite rightly expelled after a year. The UN, quite rightly, did not hesitate then. Israel invaded the West Bank 44 years ago, but it is still there. I warmly congratulate the UK Government as well as the EU on their much more decisive stand in contrast to the still lingering, miserable and self-inflicted humiliation which is further eroding America's already tattered so-called leadership of the western world.”
You can read the full debate here http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/110228-0002.htm#11022845000189 but perhaps the finest riposte to the Israel-bashers came from the (Jewish) Labour life peer (and former MP) Baron Janner of Braunstone (with whom, he being on the opposite side of politics, I don’t always agree):

“My Lords, does this House recognise that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East? Democracies, like Israel or this country, do not always elect the Governments whom we would vote for. However, in my view, Israel continues to play an important role in the international community. It represents a bridge between Europe and the Middle East. It represents democracy, liberty and freedom in a region that has long been filled with tyrannies and dictatorships. We have all seen the people's aspirations, which have long been suppressed, now released in recent revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and now Libya, which we should welcome.
We should recognise the fact that the only democracy in that area is the country that Members of this House have been attacking so readily this evening. The instability of the region has always been a major problem for Israel. However, the current revolutions in the Middle East present an opportunity for Israel and the world.
The primary role of a nation state is to defend its borders and citizens from attack. Israel faces a tough task. Its duty is to defend its citizens. Hamas is not a Government and Gaza is not a nation state. Hamas has been praised. However, Hamas is a terrorist group, which rains terrors on civilians in Israel. These terrorists ignore international law and they, not Israel, should be the key focus of this debate. Let me make it clear to this House: Israel does not target citizens, unlike Hamas and Hezbollah, which target citizens in many parts of Israel. Mistakes occur in warfare, just as mistakes have occurred in Afghanistan and Iraq. When these mistakes happen, investigations are launched and, where possible, justice is delivered.
I would have been interested to hear how the noble Lord who triggered this debate would himself have responded if we in this nation suffered from attacks from terrorist entities, which is the position that Israel has to face. Many of these terrorists were funded and armed by an Iranian regime dedicated to the destruction of Israel and to attacks on Jewish people around the world. The true question for this House is who the real abusers of international law are: Israel, which defends its citizens, or the terrorists who target them.”
Lord Janner’s speech, however, greatly displeased the most virulently anti-Israel Lib Dem peer of them all, one who has on occasion sailed very close to – correction, into – the wind of antisemitism, another old friend of ours, Baroness Tonge. “I have somewhat had my breath blown away by the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Janner,” she stated.

“The international community is outraged by the behavior of Colonel Gaddafi towards his people in Libya and has rightly condemned his actions, which have violated human rights and international law. The reaction from our leaders has been swift and decisive. Sanctions are being imposed and bank accounts frozen-quite right too. Any Government who behave in this way should receive the same response. Why, then, has the Government of Israel, who defy all international law, never been called to account by the international community and, why, just last week-as we have heard from other noble peers – did the USA veto the UN resolution on settlements after calling for a freeze on those settlements just a few months ago? Why has this happened when the behaviour of Israel towards the Palestinians lies at the very root of the problems in the Arab-Muslim world?”
Clearly, where Jews and Israel are concerned, Lady Tonge is incorrigible. See also http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2010/11/its-time-for-nick-clegg-to-scrape-this.html and http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2010/11/down-and-dirty-at-westminster-with.html

9 comments:

  1. David Steel; pro-abortion and anti-israeli. Is there a connection? Yes. It's called 'Killing the Messiah'.Two precedents: Moses in Egypt and Jesus in Bethlehem.

    You think this is ludricrous? How many pro-death(abortion) Zionists do you know? How many pro-life Christian Zionists do you know?

    At least one, Me!

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  2. Hmmm... an interesting way of looking at things, Ian.

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  3. This may interest you Daphne.

    Roger Waters of the Pink Floyd has joined the BDS movement against Israel. It is painful to behold the absurd comments he makes in this report, revealing his abject historical ignorance. Unfortuntely, his politics will influence many young people.

    http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=210986

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  4. Thanks, Roger - I had a look at that link. Really depressing. These people are so ignorant of the true facts.

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  5. It all went wrong for Israel and the Jews of the U.K. when Joe Grimmond left the scene ( a true friend ) he whipped the arse of a nasty Christopher Meyhew in a post 6 day war debate on the BBC.
    It would be nice to see more Jewish M.P's and Lords taking a stand like Lord Janner, Louise Ellman does us proud as well as none Jewish M.P's John Mann, Jim Murphy and Dennis Macshane.
    My local M.P. who is Jewish ( when it suites him ) is very quiet on the subject, I suspect he also wants the Muslim votes aswell.
    Thank you for the photograph of Tonge, it put me right off my tea.

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  6. Hi, Steve! John Mann (I like that no-nonsense, honest Yorkshire voice of his) and Denis McShane are wonderful!

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  7. My gosh, that Jihad Jane IS ugly, that kind of ugliness that comes from the inside! Make her watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YayYuXVJR9w&feature=channel

    and this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=j5EiltrBWY0

    Am I right in thinking that UN-watch is a Jewish/Israeli initiative?

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  8. Thanks, Rita - I'll check out those videos when I get a chance.
    UN Watch is run from Geneva by Hillel Neuer.

    Incidentally, I recently made a "Daphne Anson blog" Facebook page - there's a video re antisemitism on there that would not load onto this actual blog for some strange reason; it's quite interesting.

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  9. There's a lot more to the Lib Dems and Israel than you suggest; check out: http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/

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