Tag Archives: david miliband

William Hague’s nasty Chatham House speech on Israel.

"Vague" Hague.

"Vague" Hague.

William Hague, Britain’s Foreign Minister, recently spoke at Chatham House about 60 years of diplomatic relations between Britain and Israel.

If you want a perfect example of how Britain’s foreign policy has waivered dangerously over the years towards Israel then this speech is a must read.

On the surface Hague’s speech seemed as fluffy and diplomatic as ever towards Israel.

He begins talking about Israel’s undisputed right to exist and to self-defence and Britain’s firm opposition to those who delegitimise and boycott Israel.

But near the end of the speech he states the following that seems to totally condradict this expression of support:

“The British Government has made very clear our concern about ongoing settlement expansion. We believe it is illegal, an obstacle to peace and a threat to a two state solution.”

Two sentences that say so much.

First, I take issue with the word “settlement”. They are actually towns or cities but, admittedly, one wouldn’t expect Hague to do away with such an in-vogue term.

Second, either something is legal or it is illegal. Murder is illegal. One cannot believe that murder is illegal. It is illegal because the law says so.

But there is no law that says the “settlements” are illegal. I suspect Hague knows this, which is why he says he “believes” their expansion is illegal. Very diplomatic.

Nevertheless, Britain voted for last month’s resolution that stated the settlements to be illegal. The resolution was vetoed by America.

But by stating that he “believes” that “settlement expansion” is “illegal” Hague plays straight into the hands of the delegitimiers and boycotters who target Israel because of this alleged “illegality” (see the Ahava boycott).

Hague’s loose talk is boosting the campaigns of those who wish to tear down the Jewish state. Why does he insist on doing this and what are the Conservative Friends of Israel doing on this matter?

Moreover, it was Britain in the first place, via the Balfour Declaration, that said that Jewish people should live where the “settlements” are now, so unless a law is enacted to the contrary how can something Britain once defined as legal suddenly be considered “illegal”? Hague’s position is illogical.

And what has Hague got against “settlement expansion” anyway? British towns expand as of necessity, so why not Israeli “settlements”?

As for Hague referring to “settlement expansion” as being “an obstacle to peace”, even the Palestinians have accepted the “settlements”. See Palileaks.  It is only Hamas they hinder because they block Hamas’ ultimate desire to destroy the Jewish state.

And as for Hague saying “settlement expansion” is “a threat to a two state solution”, well again this is just a load of baloney when the Palestinians will never sign a peace treaty with Israel in a million years even if the “settlements” were removed. We know what Hamas wants and Fatah are too scared of Hamas to ever sign a peace treaty with Israel.

In the same speech Hague gives an answer to the “settlement” conundrum when he talks of any peace deal involving “1967 borders with equivalent land swaps”. So why all this continued fuss over “settlement expansion”? The Palestinians will receive a 1:1 land swap in any eventual peace deal anyway.

Hague blathers on about the “settlement expansion”, but by doing so he is supporting the delegitimisation of Israel and of the settlers. And we have seen where delegitimisation of the settlers leads.

In his speech Hague did condemn the slaughter of the Fogel family in Itamar by two Palestinians. But he diluted the condemnation by referring to the loss of innocent life “on all sides”.

I don’t wish to see any innocent Palestinians killed but there is a huge difference between specifically targeting a three month old Israeli boy and slitting his throat and accidentally killing Palestinian civilians while in the process of trying to destroy Hamas positions to stop deadly rockets being launched into southern Israel.

If Hague really supports Israel’s right to self-defence then he should understand that the blame for the spilling of innocent Palestinian blood lies solely with Palestinian terrorists who fire rockets from civilian areas.

Israel does not target innocent civilians, but Hague’s attempt at moral equivalence infers that it does!

Honestly, has there ever been a Foreign Secretary as disingenuous as William Hague? Oh yes, David Miliband, his predecessor, who also spoke of Israel’s right to self-defence, but expelled an Israeli diplomat after Israel, probably, assassinated a Hamas terrorist in Dubai, and in circumstances in which not one civilian was killed or injured.

Miliband E.: A disaster for Britain, a disaster for Israel.

New Labour leader, Ed Miliband (middle).

New Labour leader, Ed Miliband (middle).

Ed Miliband’s (EM) election as leader of the Labour party while in opposition to the Conservative-Lib. Dem. coalition is a disaster on many fronts.

It wasn’t meant to be like this. His warmer, more charismatic brother, David (DM), was supposed to win.

The coalition is loving the result. It will be easy to paint the new leader as Red Ed and as in thrall to the unions who, in effect, made him leader.

EM does not have the support of either the majority of ordinary Labour members or of Labour MEPs and MPs under the arcane tripartite electoral system that Labour uses.

It was the three main trade unions; GMB, Unite and Unison, that won it for EM. Although it was a free vote the leaders of these three huge unions publicly backed EM and that was enough.

The trade unions favour the working class but their problem is that they would rather the country got poorer as long as everyone was more equal. They give no credence to capitalism whatsoever.

A form of communism-lite is still their preferred way forward. Being in government is not of great importance as long as they can go on strike and bring the country to its knees. Margaret Thatcher recognised the damage they can do. She smashed them but they are back with a vengeance.

Labour is also in financial trouble and multi-millionaire backers like Lord Sainsbury and Lord Alli could be set to lower their donations leaving Labour looking for even more support from the unions.

Labour has emasculated itself by voting for EM giving the governing coalition five years of an open goal with which to do as it pleases unchallenged. This is not good for us.

We will have to put up with five years of uncompetitive politics.

DM’s campaign must have suffered from complacency. But he showed his sharpness, warmth and humour yesterday when trying to evade a media scrum.

“Please ladies and gentleman, I am leaving,” he complained to which a reporter asked “Are you really leaving, Mr Miliband?”. DM turned around with the broadest of grins and replied: “I’m leaving the building”.

If DM does leave British politics for another job he will be missed. His brother is dull and uncharismatic by comparison.

More than that his brother has been an MP for just five years to DM’s nine and his only major brief was as Climate Change secretary. In contrast DM was Foreign Secretary and has striven the world stage gaining respect and experience. I doubt few overseas politicians would know EM.

And being in thrall to the unions does not bode well for Israel either. We know that many unions are ignorant of the true complexity of the Israeli-Palestinians conflict but their knee-jerk reaction is to be anti-Israel. Recently they voted to continue a boycott of Israeli settlement goods at the TUC conference.

This demonisation of the settlements and the settlers (both of which are perfectly legal) doesn’t help anyone. It entrenches the Palestinian position and leads to more dead settlers as we saw recently with the killing of four innocent Israelis near Hebron.

But thank goodness for small mercies as a full boycott of Israel was expected. Next year maybe.

In addition to communism-lite at home the Israeli-Palestinian conflict also gives the trade unions the chance to play Trotsky/Lenin abroad. Due to increasing cooperation with the Palestine Soldiarity Campaign a one state solution, where the Jewish state would disappear, is becoming the default position of many union members.

It is hard to see EM opposing any of this knee-jerk trade union anti-Israelism whereas DM, being a Blairite, would have been more open to persuasion and more independent.

None of this takes into account the background of the Milibands, whose late father, Ralph, was a Marxist academic and whose mother Marion Kozak is a leading member of the anti-Israel Jews for Justice for Palestinians (anti-Israel in the sense that they prefer that one-state solution).

With David “Gaza is a prison camp” Cameron, William “Israel acted dispoportionately” Hague and Nick “Ban arms sales to Israel” Clegg in the three most important positions of PM, Foreign Secretary and Deputy PM respectively and Ed Miliband as opposition leader and David Miliband, currently as shadow Foreign Secretary, things don’t bode well over the next five years for Israel.

It was DM who, while Foreign Secretary, took the decision to expel an Israeli diplomat from Britain over the assassination of a self-confessed Hamas terrorist in Dubai, without the allegation being proved, but he seems to be far more preferable to his brother for both Britain and Israel.

EM could surprise us and prove to that he isn’t in hock to the unions. We need a strong opposition. I hope to be proved wrong, but I am not hopeful.

And I hate to criticise a Leeds United supporter.

Miliband puts Israel on tourist warning list

The Foreign Office has just added this official warning on its site for visitors who wish to travel to Israel:

“UK passport holders should be aware of a recent Serious Organised Crime Agency investigation into the misuse of UK passports in the murder of Mahmud al-Mabhuh in Dubai on 19 January 2010. The SOCA investigation found circumstantial evidence of Israeli involvement in the fraudulent use of British passports. This has raised the possibility that your passport details could be captured for improper uses while your passport is out of your control. The risk applies in particular to passports without biometric security features. We recommend that you only hand your passport over to third parties including Israeli officials when absolutely necessary.”

David Miliband, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, made a statement that an Israeli diplomat will be expelled from the UK, eventhough this had been on the BBC website since this morning implying a Foreign Office leak to the BBC.

David Miliband, Britain's Foreign Secretary

But all such statements should first of all be made to us, the British public, via our elected MPs, and not to the unelected BBC.

Miliband would not name the Israel diplomat except to say that he or she had been picked by the Foreign Office which seems to imply that this person is directly responsible for the faking of the passports that allowed for the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

There was agreement with Miliband’s action by both William Hague (Cons. Shadow Foreign Secretray) and Ed Davey (LibDem. Shadow Foreign Secretary).

At no time was a specific allegation made by these three that Israel carried out the Dubai assassination.

Then we had the MPs who were there specifically, in a relatively empty House of Commons, to get their prime TV time at the expense of Israel:

Gerald Kaufman (Labour) spoke of Israel’s corrupt government and Israel’s corrupt Ben Gurion airport (although, hilariously, Julian Lewis (Cons.) said it was highly unlikely that Israel would clone Kaufman’s passport.)
Mark Durkan (SDLP) was unhappy with Miliband’s use of the term “alleged murder”.
Angus MacNeil (SNP) demanded that Israel apologises.
Ming Campbell (LibDem) spoke of the “killing” in Dubai.

Others also spoke and generally expressed the sentiment that this assassination was “murder” and should be tried accordingly as should the charge of fraud for cloning the passports.

It is a sad state of affairs that while our soldiers are attempting to kill terrorists in Afghanistan to try to make us safe on Britain’s streets Israel is condemned and punished for trying to do that for its own citizens.

But this is not about the killing or the passports, it is about the fact that British passports were used. Miliband said that of all the cloned passports used for the assassination the highest number were British. Hence the Foreign Office warning above.

Presumably, there would therefore have been no such outcry had none of the passports had been British.

But without such a cloning al-Mabhouh would still be alive today planning more atrocities against Israel’s civilians. And it is highly unlikely that Mossad, if it was Mossad, would clone British passports in the future after the current uproar.

In addition in the House today there was no criticism of al-Mabhouh or Dubai, which let al-Mabhouh come and go on many a false passport. In fact Miliband said he would continue to support Dubai in its investigation!

Not only has Israel lost a diplomat but tourism to Israel will now suffer due to this warning.

More than that, yet again, our Parliament has been demeaned by the sight of Israel-bashing MPs having an opportunity to paint a grotesque portrait of Israel while going unchallenged even by the likes of Miliband, Hague and Davey.