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, 21 October 2012

"With me, you have a Prime Minister Whose Belief In Israel Is Unbreakable ..."

During his recent visit to the United States David Cameron famously made a fool of himself by suggesting to television interviewer David Letterman that Rule Britannia was written by Edward Elgar.  He can be forgiven for not knowing the name of its composer, but he should have been aware that Rule Britannia was an eighteenth-century compostion and that it was one of the staple tunes that accompanied British men of war into action in those long-surrendered days when Britain really did rule the waves, so that it could not possibly have been written by Elgar!

Worse, Cameron did not know what every schoolboy and girl once knew (before traditional history lessons were banished from the British state school curriculum), that Magna Carta means "Great Charter".  An Old Etonian and Oxford First who could not translate that simple Latin?  Incredible!

But that was not the only television interview which Cameron gave, and in this one he was asked why Iran should not be allowed nuclear weapons when Israel has them:


Cameron, who in 2010 controversially described Gaza as a "prison camp" and who infamously resigned in 2011 as patron of the Jewish National Fund (allegedly owing to pressure from anti-Israel activists) avowed staunch support for Israel in a speech delivered last Monday.

He  told United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) bigwigs and fundraisers at a gala dinner in London:
"With me, you have a Prime Minister whose belief in Israel is unbreakable and whose commitment to Israel’s security is non-negotiable.
 I will always stand by the Jewish people. And it is humbling to be here tonight and to be called a friend.
Here in this room, we have many of the people who are determined to build the strongest possible relationship between Britain and Israel.
The business leaders who have taken our trade to well over $8 billion a year and made Britain the second biggest export market for Israel in the world.
The scientists who are taking forward an ambitious programme of joint research as part of the UK-Israel Life Sciences Council, which includes no less than four Nobel Prize winners.
The leading academics who are helping to forge new partnerships between Manchester and the Weizmann Institute, Oxford and Ben Gurion, Cambridge and Tel Aviv.
The hi-tech specialists who are making a reality of the UK/Israel Tech Hub – the first of its kind in the world....
I am a big admirer of what the UJIA does both here in Britain and in Israel. Let me explain why.
First, the Jewish community in Britain is a role model for successful integration because you understand that as well as being part of a community with a common faith you are also part of a wider community – that of our country....
Yes, you can love this country, take pride in its history, celebrate its Olympics, even cry with its football fans every other year. There is no contradiction between being a proud Jew, a committed Zionist and a loyal British citizen."
He continued:

"In the past, governments allowed a flawed state multiculturalism that said we should encourage different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.
I don’t subscribe to that. And neither do you. I believe we have to end the passive tolerance of segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.
Let’s be clear what that means. It means getting preachers of hate out of our country.
It means proscribing organisations that incite terrorism. And it means zero tolerance for any form of antisemitism, especially on our campuses.
And to those in Britain’s universities and trades unions who want to boycott Israel and consign it to an international ghetto, I say not only will this Government never allow you to shut down 60 years worth of vibrant exchange and partnership that does so much to make both our countries stronger but I also say this: we know what you are doing – trying to delegitimise the State of Israel - and we will not have it...."
Regarding Iran, Cameron said:
".... Let’s be clear about the facts. Iran is flouting six United Nations resolutions. The Regime’s claim that its nuclear programme is intended purely for civilian purposes is not remotely credible.
And it has shown its violent agenda by exporting terror and violence to Iraq, to Syria, to Gaza, to Lebanon and to many peace-loving countries across the world.
Iran is not just a threat to Israel. It is a threat to the world. Now there are some who say nothing will work – and that we have to learn to live with a nuclear armed Iran.
I say we don’t and we shouldn’t.
But at the same time I also refuse to give in to those who say that the current policy is fatally flawed, and that we have no choice but military action. A negotiated settlement remains within Iran’s grasp.
But until they change course, we have a strategy of ever tougher sanctions. Just today, Britain has secured a further round of new sanctions through the EU Foreign Affairs Council. And these relentless sanctions are having an impact no-one expected a year ago....
The Iranian regime is under unprecedented pressure and faces an acute dilemma. They are leading their people to global isolation and an economic collapse. And they know it.
They know too that there is a simple way to bring sanctions to an end. By giving the international community the confidence we need that they are not and will not develop a nuclear weapon.
I have said to Prime Minister Netanyahu that now is not the time for Israel to resort to military action. Beyond the unpredictable dangers inherent in any conflict, the other reason is this:
At the very moment when the Regime faces unprecedented pressure and the people are on the streets and when Iran’s only real ally in Syria is losing his grip on power a foreign military strike is exactly the chance the Regime would look for to unite his people against a foreign enemy.
We shouldn’t give them that chance. We need the courage to give these sanctions time to work.  But let me also say this. In the long term, if Iran makes the wrong choice, nothing is off the table. A nuclear armed Iran is a threat to Israel. And a threat to the world. And this country will work unwaveringly to prevent that from happening."
Before alluding to the issue of peace between Israel and the Palestinians he observed:
"... I understand how dark things were for Israel when surrounded by enemies on every border. And I understand how Israelis feel when gas masks are handed out to families; and car parks are converted into bomb shelters.
But I passionately believe that what we are seeing through the Arab Spring need not be a new threat to Israel’s security. Democracy and open societies are not the problem – they can be a big part of the solution.
Yes, there are those who believe that in a volatile region only an authoritarian strong man can maintain stability and security. But when brutal dictators suppress their people in the name of stability, the end result is a region is that more dangerous – not less....
But if the Islamists attempt to undermine the stability of other countries or encourage terrorism instead of peace and conflict instead of partnership then we must and will oppose them. And that is why we will not waver from our insistence that Hamas gives up violence and that the rockets from Gaza must stop. Hamas must not be allowed to dictate the way forwards for Israelis and Palestinians...."
And then he said:

"....We can’t advocate democracy and open societies in one breath and then cite the need for stability as an excuse for why the Palestinians shouldn’t renew their democracy too.
It’s now seven years since Palestinians voted for a President and six since parliamentary elections. The Palestinian leadership needs to refresh its mandate and show it has the consent of its people, starting with municipal elections later this month. And it needs to resolve the situation in Gaza and restore to Palestinians a unified, leadership able to deliver peaceful resolution of the conflict with Israel.
So Palestinian reconciliation and Palestinian elections are key points on the path to peace – because without consent there can never be credible negotiation.
It will require great strength and courage to take the hard choices needed to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians.
.... I know it takes two to negotiate. So let me tell President Abbas something very clearly there is no path to statehood except through talks with Israel.
So if the Palestinian plan is simply posturing with the UN rather than negotiating with Israel, Britain will never support it.
And let me say this to the Palestinians too. Britain will never support anyone who sponsors a football tournament named after a suicide bomber who killed 20 Israelis in a restaurant. We will not tolerate incitement to terrorism.
But in the search for peace both sides have to make hard choices. And just as President Abbas has followed through his commitment to non-violence with real progress on the West Bank so Israel needs a real drive to improve life for ordinary Palestinians.
That means more support for economic development in the West Bank, relaxing restrictions on Gaza, ending the demolition of Palestinian homes, and yes, it means meeting Israel’s obligations under the Roadmap and under international law to halt settlement building.
Britain’s position will not change. Settlements beyond the green line are illegal.
I know how hard the concessions needed for peace can be. But the truth is, time is running out for a two state solution – and with it Israel’s best chance to live in peace with its neighbours...."
Read the entire speech here

4 comments:

  1. How do you interpret this speech, Daphne? Is the tide turning?

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    1. I want to believe him! He is a slick slippery politician but a good deal better than his Lib Dem Coalition partners.

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  2. this is the definition of a spit take.

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    1. No idea what that means, Trudy, but I suspect it's a cynical take on Cameron's speech...

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