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)

Friday 26 August 2011

British Minister Alan Duncan In Whitehall Row Following His Absurd Remarks About Israel

Britain's Minister for International Development Alan Duncan has an unfortunate habit of attracting controversy.  During the MPs' expenses scandal his name figured prominently.  More recently, during a visit to the Palestinian Authority, he pompously made outrageous, ignorant claims about Israel in a video posted on his Department's website (apparently in defiance of the Foreign Office).

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:  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: 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.



  1. No one remembers the half-retraction.

  2. Daphne, I have a copy of the video on my website, unforunately I cannot give you an embed code (I don't think it is possible the) but if you want the video file itself you are welcome to it.

    The video can be veiwed from here:

  3. Jacob, thanks - I didnt realise you have a website,
    It's great to know that the Duncan nonsense is preserved after all!
    I'll add your link to the blogpost.


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