Unbelievable (?) UK hypocrisy on Israel, again...

The British Foreign Secretary's recent remarks critical of Israel beggar belief

by Robin Shepherd, Owner / Publisher on 2 December 2012 18:13

The statements (below) today from the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, are so gratuitous it beggars belief. The US has also condemned Israel for announcing a relatively tiny number of new settlement apartments in existing blocks, though not new settlements as such.

It's all in response to the Palestinians' "successful" move last week to upgrade their status as a quasi state at the United Nations.

Britain was initially opposed to the move; then was about to vote in favour; then took the coward's way out and abstained. Here's William Hague on the building plans:

"If implemented, these plans would alter the situation on the ground on a scale that makes the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as a shared capital, increasingly difficult to achieve."

Absurdly, he added:

"Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and undermine trust between the parties,"

Oh, come off it Mr. Hague. The Palestinian move fundamentally undermines the Oslo Accords, the legal basis on which the two-state solution is based. All objective observers can see that. (Equally, as the Al Jazeera leaks showed, even the Palestinians accept that 95 percent of "settlements" would become part of Israel under any peace agreement anyway. Talk about a red herring issue.)

Real world observers can also see that Israel would have had no choice but to respond. So please, an end to all this fake indignation.

The Obama administration's condemnation is, essentially, rhetorical. The US voted against the Palestinian bid and tried hard to get others to do likewise. They don't come out of their latest statements smelling of roses either.

But Britain's condemnation is just gratuitous. You can't be serious about a two state solution and then reverse a policy position in five minutes flat, in full knowledge that it woud undermine the prospects for peace, and then start slamming Israel for a response that was totally predictable.

It's just the same old silly game of placating anti-Israel countries in the Middle East.

This is a quick blog post. But before the UN vote on Thursday, I wrote the following about Britain and how it should be playing the "responsible adult in the room" on this issue.

William Hague and the FCO are dragging this country down by this behaviour.

As a parting shot, I won't be surprised if the Israelis eventually kick the UK, France, the EU, Russia and its representatives out of the Quartet -- formed between the EU, Russia, the UN and the US to help move Oslo forward -- for this. Truly, UK and EU policy is utterly reckless, and could have profound negative consequences.

In sum, it is anti-Israeli opportunism of the worst kind, and Hague and company should be ashamed.

But plus ca change...

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