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.
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/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.”
“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