With cavalier disregard for essential facts, Duncan pontificated:
"The wall [Israel's security barrier] is a land grab. It hasn't just gone along the lines of the proper Israel boundary. It's taken in open land which actually belongs to Palestine.
Israeli settlers can build what they want and then immediately get the infrastructure so that takes the water deliberately away from Palestinians here."I posted the offending clip at the time: http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/08/david-camerons-man-slams-israels-land.html You can still read my description there, but you can no longer see the video. It's been taken off by the Department, following a furious response from the Israeli Embassy in London as well as communal leaders.
[Update: you should still be able to view it here: http://jacobklamer.com/pages/videos/israel/vid-israel-palestine-alan_duncan.html Good work, Jacob!]
To quote the Israeli Embassy:
"The reality on the streets of Israel was one where Palestinian suicide attacks scattered the limbs of hundreds of innocent civilians across buses and restaurants.
Claiming that the security barrier, which has prevented the deaths of thousands more Israelis, is not for security purposes, shows a disrespect for Israeli life, and we are therefore convinced that this could not be the official British government position."The President of the British Board of Deputies, Vivian Wineman, protested:
"Mr Duncan's apparent disregard for Israel's legitimate security concerns is of great concern."Both Foreign Secretary William Hague and Duncan's superior minister at his department were drawn into the row.
In removing the video the Department claimed that Duncan had been "misinterpreted" but refused to comment further.