Nick Clegg just can’t bring himself to support Israeli defensive action against Iran.

The UK’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg attended a Q&A session at Hasmonean School in north-west London last night. The event was staged by the Jewish News and chaired by ITV correspondent Tom Bradby

While Israel was under concerted rocket fire from Hamas in 2009 Clegg wrote “We must stop arming Israel”. In 2010 he acknowledged that there had not always been an equal voice for Israel within the Liberal Democrats and in 2011 he said he craved a time when the Community Service Trust, which protects Britain’s small Jewish community, wasn’t needed.

He did finally force Jenny Tonge to resign from the Lib Dems. when she said that Israel won’t be here forever, but it was also back to business as usual this year when he called Israel’s settlements “deliberate vandalism”.

Clegg doesn’t get that it’s precisely this hostility to Israel which is one of the main reasons the CST continues to be needed. Whenever he and his ilk criticize Israel’s defensive actions or the settlements in such an unbalanced manner synagogues and Jewish schools have to tighten their security and it gives encouragement to those seeking to harass Israeli-owned shops and disrupt Israeli productions visiting these shores.

Surprisingly, there were very few questions about Israel and the Middle East last night considering that Israel is still under constant fire from Hamas rockets, David Cameron is currently in the Middle East selling arms to Saudi Arabia and the so-called Arab Spring is descending into mass murder and oppression.

However, my colleague Jeremy Havardi was given the opportunity to ask the following on Iran:

“I gather you support the policy of sanctions against Iran, which is great. Will you support an Israeli strike on Iran if it was an absolute last resort in stopping its illegal nuclear weapons programme?”

Notice the words “absolute last resort”. A simple question, but Clegg spent the next 6 minutes obfuscating even when pushed twice to answer Havardi’s question by Bradby. Here is some of how Clegg didn’t answer the question:

“I would counsel against the idea that there is a simple military solution.”

“Most experts say that if you took military action you’d probably delay a nuclear programme, but you wouldn’t eliminate it.”

“What we are doing is, if it works, more effective….squeezing harder and harder with tougher sanctions, which are having a real effect…”

“To risk all the dangers of a unilateral military strike, which might not provide a permanent solution… is unwise.”

Clegg continued in the same vein even when Bradby asked whether Clegg would expect military action once Iran had loaded nuclear weapon technology into a missile and, finally, if Israel’s intelligence showed that they couldn’t sit and tolerate the situation anymore.

Yet still Clegg could not bring himself to support Israeli defensive action, even against such an existential threat as an all-out nuclear attack.

Luckily, my colleague Clive wasn’t given the opportunity to ask “What’s the capital of Israel?” Just imagine how long it would have taken Clegg to answer.

Here is Clegg’s full answer from last night:

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45 responses to “Nick Clegg just can’t bring himself to support Israeli defensive action against Iran.

  1. I can answer for Clegg about the capital of Israel ! ;)

    Fortunately, Clegg can rely on this fantastic tool, invented a long time ago: a dictionary! There, he will see the definition of “capital” that is of our concern here: “the seat of the government of a country”. Considering that even the BBC (during the Olympics), acknowledges that Jerusalem is the “seat of the Israeli government”, it is easy for anyone with a brain to conclude that Jerusalem must be the capital of Israel.

  2. Delay is good …

    • Delay is absolutely enough because we can repeat delaying it again and again.

      • Does M.A.D. have the same deterrent effect on apocalyptic12th Mahdi Islamist types as it did with rational Americans and Soviets?

        Lets ask the bomb belt wearing jihadis or the comrades of the 7/7/05 London transport bombers.

        It’s worth pointing out that Mecca is even smaller than Israel.

      • Churchill famously described the Soviet Union – these days everybody seems to be convinced that M.A.D. was the accepted wisdom during the cold war. I, however, remember it as one theory amongst others. That it is the one that was proved right by the end of it all says nothing about how probable it actually was at the time. Things might have happened that made the outcome different. Therefore it is no proven fact on which to base anything that way or another.

        “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”

        http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/31000.html

  3. I went to the previous Clegg JN event. Funny guy!

  4. jonnygould@facebook.com

    Richard, as always congratulations on your determined and consistent journalism. You succinctly exposed Clegg’s pious ignorance into a few simple paragraphs.

  5. Don’t worry, there won’t be any war. And if there will be the need to small military strikes (much less than a war), the NATO countries should do it, together with Israel if Israel wants to join. It is a shame that everybody expects Israel to do the dirty work when in reality even Russia and Turkey and Saudi Arabia are worried about a nuclear armed Iran.
    Read my full memo to Barack Obama on how to deal with Iran: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/obama-re-election-what-is-next-for-iran/

    • Excellent article Andreas

      • Although the Iranian stance “If the interest of the regime requires it, we are prepared to negotiate with the devil in the pits of hell.” should read “We will send the Iranian people to die in hell to achieve our insane dreams of Middle East domination. Negotiation is just a way for us to buy some time from gullible Westerners.”
        Iran is dominated by a Nazi regime. It has to be removed from there. It could lead to WW III, indeed, but that wouldn’t be the kind of war we know. Iran could for example spread some nuclear “dirty bombs” with all the uranium and plutonium they can get. Obama’s re-election, followed by Israeli elections in January, plus the Iranian final rush to nukes are likely to make the case for targeted strikes.

  6. It would give Irans Proxies Hezbulah and Hamas a nuclear shield

  7. since Richard seems to have closed the other thread I just want to get rid of what James’ latest reminded me.

    It is only very few decades ago that women who had gotten raped were told they had brought it unto themselves.

    It seems like these antisemites copy all their arguments from what stone age men were saying about women.

    • Exactly, Silke, getting near the rapist is unforgiveable. Those who let their daughter wander in cities where rapists exists are also guilty. Most dangerous cities in the world for women are New York, Washington, Paris, London. Please women, evacuate those cities. Don’t ethnically cleanse the rapists by your untolerable presence!

      Said like this, it looks like a psycho, doesn’t it, “Griffin” aka whatever?

  8. “Griffin” aka whatever cannot answer. He is presently celebrating Kristallnacht with all his pro-’Palestinian’ friends.

    • richardmillett

      Why encourage him to answer and then complain about it to me when he does? You know what you’re going to get back as a response!

      • I don’t think he needs any encouragement to ‘answer’ (“attack” is the proper word). I don’t complain about him, mind you. He is a psycho and all he needs is medical attention. I’m complaining about you, when you let that psycho loose, not the same thing.
        I know his ‘response’ because it is always the same: hatemongering. Now, you know it too. The difference between us is that I am doing something about it.

      • now Jose – doint something about “it” is exactly what Richard does and with great consistency and expenditure of time he’d surely have better uses for.

        You are entitled to your convictions about but that doesn’t entitle you to declaring yourself to be better than Richard.

        Commenting in blogs no matter how is extensive is far far far form Richard’s accomplishments. To even hint at giving both equal value is hubris.

      • I’m not speaking of the other things Mr. Millet does. I’m speaking about his lack of handling of the psycho. Please don’t express your prejudices about what you don’t know about me.

      • then respect Richard the way he certainly deserves it

      • I criticise Mr. MIllet for what he does (and in this case does not do) and I know, not what I don’t know about him. Please do the same to me.

      • I know enough about Richard to be sure that I can trust him for having good reasons for what he does.

        You I only know as a proclaiming to know-all promoter and over-simplifier of non-appeasement taking Nazi-Germany as a model and I judge you by what I know aka the same standards I apply to Richard.

        http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/11/09/covert-war-with-iran-knows-no-boundaries/

        Covert War with Iran Knows No Boundaries

        PS: As in other matters also in this I trust Israel and her people to know best when to “appease” and when to “attack”. And besides that since they are the ones who’ll have to live with the consequences they don’t need push and/or shove in one direction or the other.

      • PS:
        hubris is wrong it should have been megalomania

        and what was it that put me into moderation?

        I don’t mind as long as Richard himself reads it

  9. Obviously, you know nothing about what I do. So why do you think my accomplishments are lower (or superior) to any other person’s?

  10. Now, now….
    Why not turn over a new leaf, as Richard suggests, and we all ignore him. But what if he persists, as he no doubt will; one can only take so much in the way of personal insult, I think then Richard ought to step in and deal with it.

  11. Jose,

    Yup, I’m beginning to like you less and less. You may think that you’re on our side, but you then go on to imply that Israel is somehow indirectly responsible for the Fogel family being butchered:

    “… remember that, like you Daniel, the Israelis disregarded the Al Dura affair, a modern blood-libel on video that made prime-time new on the France 2 TV channel (kind of French BBC).
    Because of that disregard, terrorist justified (sic) the beheading of Daniel Pearl to the Muslim masses. Of course, we know they would have found another reason but we are not supposed to help them find one, are we? Because of that disregard, Merah killed two Jewish children in Toulouse, France. Because of that disregard, three children and their parents were assassinated in Itamar. Aren’t you tired (sic) to help this propaganda to spread?”

    So James explains the murder of innocent children as a result of my poisoning imaginary Palestinian wells and you explain as the consequence of my “disregard of the Al Dura affair” What exactly makes you better than scum like him? You both end up blaming the victim.

    Both of you have failed to comprehend that Jew-hating terrorists are driven to murder children neither by “poisoned wells” nor by lack of effective Israeli PR –not in Europe and not in the Middle East.

    Israel’s PR is not as good as it might be and I too regret the fact that it mainly focuses its efforts on the US, where we have been extraordinarily successful:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/153092/americans-continue-tilt-pro-israel.aspx

    It would be nice if we had infinite resources to persuade the people of Bridlington and Brighton too, of the righteousness of our cause, but we don’t.

    There are many Jews and non-Jews that I know – both here and in the Diaspora – who work tirelessly, usually on a wholly voluntary basis, to help spread light and banish darkness the world over. In my own modest way I take a tiny part in this struggle too. Naturally, we don’t win every battle, but neither do we ever throw in the towel. We are always ready to receive well-meaning advice and suggestions, but that is hardly the same as being second guessed by some near-illiterate who writes the kind of trash that you do.

    • Daniel

      I disagree on what you say about PR –

      maybe this explains why

      When witch hunting and burning was all the rage some of the accused were extremely well connected and their relatives stood by them with all they could muster calling in all favours that were owed them trying to influence the public, everything you can think of – to very little avail – this is a name I remember. “Unfortunately” not very suitable to support my argument as it is one of the cases which ended not too badly – after all what is 14 months imprisonment and having been shown the torture instruments and all that despite her famous and well connected son.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharina_Kepler

    • Poor Daniel, your lack of understanding is showing that you are the illiterate, here. Israel has a notoriously bad PR and pointing that out doesn’t make it responsible for anything more. Sometimes negligence is criminal. Yours is about the same. You are searching a unique “cause” for the murder of Jewish children? I know that one: hate. Everything that allows that hate to spread, including negligence of PR, letting psychos express it on a blog, etc., is a factor that helps.
      I have no sympathy to waste on you. You are not ‘literate’ as you believe, keep pointing out my English mistakes while you are probably unable to speak my language, even in an approximate way. You are ridiculous.

      • what a perfect case of Blame the Victim aka with friends like these

        Israel PR is far from “notoriously bad” it is so only in the estimate of “friends like these”.

      • Poor Silke, the fact that Israel has a notoriously bad PR is not invention of enemies of Israel, but Israelis themselves. Probably you have little input from them. The victim here is not Israel but the Jews in general. Therefore, I did not blame the victim. Learn to read, even if it is only English.

  12. Was Katharina accused of poisoning wells too? I believe that there were still quite a few wells around in the Stuttgart of 1615.

    • Daniel

      as best I know witches specialised in other stuff than poisoning wells

      It probably was an early case of division of labour, maybe due to a union agreement?
      ;-)

    • Israeli PR compared to a natural disaster? LOL! That’s what I would call being short on arguments!

      • Soory, didn’t see Silke’s link…
        Witch hunting indeed used blood libels, the kind Jews were accused of.
        Blood libels are a good way to get rid of someone you hate. Christians used them, ‘Palestinians’ and their supporters use them too. Never dismiss efficient tools.
        But witch hunting was never used as an excuse for genocide. In the case of Jews, it is an ideology (racism) that was used as an excuse to the genocidal hate. Today, it is Islam that has become the main excuse.
        The leftie useless idiots recycled the Christian blood libels, since they wouldn’t use a religious excuse, would they? So, instead of matzot, they accuse Israel of killing children because of Jews being ultra-religious nuts.
        Of course, they don’t see Hamas, Hezbollah, the Nazi Iranian regime and other friends of theirs as ultra-religious nuts.

      • witch hunters had their own set of arguments starting from unproven assumptions like “notoriously bad PR” and lots of “blame the victim”.

        My point I was trying to make (in favour of Israel’s PR), as Daniel obviously understood very well and Jose didn’t, that if hunters are on the prowl even the best PR can prove to be impotent or can even backfire. If that weren’t so why then would campaigners for office in the US always start out by professing that they wouldn’t go negative and then at the least provocation start to outdo their opponent.

        All in all I am a firm believer in the law of unintended consequences

      • “Notoriously bad” is not really unproven. It’s admitted fact. Denial of facts is delusion. Not good! No opportunity for improvement left. I remind you that it is the opinion of a very large majority of Israelis who should know better than you.

      • Illiteracy proven

      • Let’s speak a little French or Spanish and see your literacy in these languages. I’ll correct only half of your mistakes. LOL!

  13. Israel cannot win the PR war, no matter what, at least not in this country, except by caving in to Arab demands. The christian world has always liked their Jews to be willing victims then they earn plenty of sympathy. The BBC and the biased media have adopted the Palestinian cause and prefer to rely on, and treat news stories from their sources as gospel. That’s why the boycotts are more successful here than in Europe. If Israel was helpless it would get a friendly press but little else. I think it was Golda Meir who said something to the effect that she would rather see a critical article than an obituary.

    • I think you are right Rubin, Israel cannot win the PR war… Alone. Not while the Arab lobby has all that oil money.
      But Israel cannot escape fighting that PR war. Otherwise, you will get those crowds of psychos ear every shop owned by a Jew, near every Jewish school. And once in a while, it will be a psycho with a weapon.
      So even if the war cannot be won, it has to be fought. This will buy some time. Then the oil-money will stop coming in or it will also play in Israel’s favour.
      Then, the BBC or the French France 2 will examine carefully their antisemitic biased stories before they publish it.

  14. Here’s another quote for you:

    “One of the chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all.” – Abba Eban

    • Well, Israel should have followed that wise advice! There is an excellent step in the right direction with the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism. I didn’t see Israeli PR make much use of it.
      [sarc on] What’s the use anyway, when “God is on your side”? Do Israelis need any more help? [sarc off]

  15. I don’t quote that psycho often, but considering the arguments exposed here by Daniel, I get a (faint) echo of his’:
    “And it is only when the Jew stands alone against a world unified in hatred against him, that the Almighty will turn, in His anger and wrath, against the nations that knew Him not, and His powerful arm that will bring salvation to the Jew will be the awesome proof to the nations that the Lord, G-d of Israel, is indeed One – the only One.” Meir Kahane.

    What’s the use of good PR, indeed!