Tag Archives: settlements

The viciousness of Sir Vincent Fean, a retired British diplomat.

Last Tuesday I attended yet another anti-Israel event at the London Middle East Institute based at SOAS. The last LMEI event I attended beautified Hizbollah. And last Tuesday I had another anti-Jewish insult hurled at me, to add to the long list, for merely asking a question during a Q&A.

The guest speaker last Tuesday was retired British Diplomat Sir Vincent Fean, a man who has served as a diplomat in Paris, Brussels, Libya, Damascus, Baghdad and amongst the Palestinians.

Fean said he wanted to “speak about how peace could come about in the Holy Land” and he said that he believed in “the two state solution”.

However, after his 40 minute talk I realised that Fean did not believe in Israel’s safety or its existence at all. He wanted Israel emasculated and indefensible.

Fean demanded that the “settlements” be disbanded and called the “illegal settlement enterprise” the “single most significant threat to the two state solution”.

As proof of “illegality” he invoked the Geneva Convention claiming that Israel gives inducements for Israelis to move to the West Bank. That is hardly “transfer” but it is enough for the likes of Fean to conclude that Israel is committing a breach of international law.

Fean called for Israel to dismantle its security wall, for Israel’s forces to be withdrawn from “Palestinian soil” and for Egypt to open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

After all that he had the gall to say that Israel has the right to defend itself. He said Israel could rely for its security on the UN, USA, NATO, Egypt and Jordan and that Israel “will not find them wanting”. If Fean thinks the UN, let alone Egypt and Jordan, will defend Israel then he’s delusional.

Fean made only a passing reference to Palestinian “incitement to violence” so during the Q&A I  asked why he hadn’t mentioned Hamas’ firing of thousands of rockets into Israel and their Charter that calls for the murder of Jews everywhere which included those four Jewish men recently murdered at a kosher shop in Paris.

That was met by an audible collective moan from the LMEI audience after which a white British middle-aged man turned around and asked me “Are you a fifth columnist or something?”

Meanwhile, Fean only answered that he “was not here to recognise Hamas”.

But Fean left the most vicious part of his rhetoric for the finale.

Fean has been very-well fed on Arab hospitality and very well remunerated by the British taxpayer. However, when he addressed the upcoming British general election he told the LMEI audience to confront their MPs about recognition of “Palestine” as a state and “tell them that your vote depends on it”.

So for Fean struggling British taxpayers who have paid his salary and now fund his pension are of no consequence. He’s more concerned about events thousands of miles away from home.

Fean has been knighted, which is an indictment of the British honours system.

Why the “Sir”? He has been a diplomat in Paris and Brussels where Jews are now regular targets for the bullets and knives of Islamist terrorists. And in Libya, Baghdad and Damascus he has left behind bloodshed on a monumental scale.

And he now thinks people should trust his views on how to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian peace?

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Yachad’s continued support for calls to boycott Israeli settlements is dangerous.

Hannah Weisfeld, the director of Yachad, has written a piece for this week’s Jewish News stating that:

“Yachad is giving voice to a large number of British Jews. When the Knesset passed the anti-boycott bill a few weeks ago (primarily for the purpose of targeting those that make a political statement by calling for boycotts of West Bank settlement produce), Yachad released a statement explaining that while we don’t support boycotts, we support the democratic right of Israelis to make a political stand through their purchasing power. That statement; reprinted on the front pages of Ha’aretz in Hebrew and English, reflected the concerns of a swathe of UK Jews, including the editor of this paper.”

But there is a very fine line between supporting the right to call for boycotts of settlements and actually supporting boycotts. In fact calling for boycotts is far worse than the boycotting itself.

I have no problem with someone taking a private decision to boycott the settlements.

But what goes along with the calling for boycotts is a demonisation of settlers, which contributes to continued Palestinian violence against them.

Weisfeld’s mindset is one of “democracy trumps everything”. She is supported in this view by LibDem Friend of Israel’s Matthew Harris who says that “Freedom of speech must allow Israelis to call for a boycott of settlement goods.”

But we don’t have unlimited freedom of speech in the UK where, for example, you wouldn’t get away with gratuitously screaming “Fire!” in a crowded cinema. It would put lives at risk as people ran for the exits.

Meanwhile, Weisfeld is putting lives at risk by wanting to allow the settlements and settlers to be demonised via calls to boycott them.

And anti-settlement rhetoric quickly spills over into anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric, as we regularly see in the UK.

But if Weisfeld is so keen on fixing Israel it’s Israel where she needs to live, not the UK, so she can persuade more Israelis to vote for anti-settlement parties. She could even set up her own political party.

Israelis are not going to be persuaded by Weisfeld while she is sat in her relatively safe and secure UK surroundings, however many British Jews she thinks might back her. Most Israelis are not interested in what relatively safe British Jews think.

In her article she names David Grossman, Meir Dagan, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak and “countless other military firgures” who back Yachad, but imagine the list of names who think that what Yachad is doing is dangerous.

If Weisfeld, and those who support Yachad, really want to make a difference to Israel then they should consider making Aliyah and put their money where their mouths are for once.

British Minister wishes to treat settlers like Dead Men Walking.

Alan Duncan MP, 2nd from right, in the British Embassy in the UAE recently.

Alan Duncan MP, 2nd from right, in the British Embassy in the UAE recently.

Is this Conservative government turning into one of the most anti-Israel in recent memory?

Alan Duncan MP, the Minister in charge of Britain’s international aid budget, recently visited the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”, as the Department for International Development, calls them.

He has produced this video of his visit which ranks alongside David Cameron’s “Gaza is a prison” camp jibe. Feel free to watch with sick-bag in hand:

He calls the wall a “land grab” and complains that:

“It hasn’t just gone along the lines of the proper Israeli boundary, it has taken in land which properly belongs to Palestine. So that’s not a security wall, that’s a perimeter wall trying to annex land that doesn’t belong to Israel.”

He delivers these lines with all the spite of a seasoned British anti-Israel activist, not a considered government minister.

Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the settlements, if the wall was situated on the “proper Israeli boundary”, as Duncan calls it, the settlers would be immediately exposed to the risk of having their sloats slit by the likes of Hakim Awad who murdered Udi and Ruthie Fogel and their three young children in their beds.

Does Mr Duncan really believe that all Israeli settlers should be dead men walking, for that is how he treats them?

Meanwhile, the distance of the wall from the “Israeli boundary” reduces the opportunities for suicide bombers to blow up Israeli restaurants, buses and discos and for Palestinian terrorists to snipe at Israeli civilians.

This also reduces the need for retaliatory attacks on Palestinian terrorist targets and, therefore, war.

As JFK said, “A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war”.

And as I understand it Israel’s eastern border is not a “proper Israeli boundary”, but merely an armistice line from 1949. Nothing has been agreed so, as it stands, Israel is not in breach of any law by positioning the fence where it has, subject to the decisions of Israel’s Supreme Court on its route.

As the short video progresses we see Duncan complain about the long queues of Palestinians waiting to go through security checks before going into Israel to work. Does he really expect Israel to let them through without stringent security checks?

He continues to express his hatred for the settlers when he accuses them of stealing water from the Palestinians. Finally, we come to the scene with which no anti-Israel video would be complete; that of a Palestinian baby.

Here Duncan talks of a “financial crisis”, but Page 23 of the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2011 shows that the Palestinians received the second most amount of aid for any country between 2000 to 2009 at US$7.2bn, which is second only to Sudan at US$8.9bn.

While, ElderofZiyon shows that, on a per capita basis, this figure far outstips any other country, including Sudan, by a mile.

Duncan should ask why there is still a “financial crisis” when the Palestinians receive such huge amounts of financial assistance. Where has all the money gone?

Duncan’s pre-Parliamentary career was as an oil trader where he made millions.

And his website states describes him thus:

“A respected voice on the Middle East within the party, Alan continues to travel extensively in the region.”

Considering he doesn’t know the difference between an armistice line and a border and doesn’t seem to have too much of a problem with settlers having their throats slit, “respected” is not a word I word use to decribe our Minister of State for International Development.

And being the Arabist he is, one should question whether he should be in charge of an international department in the first place.

 

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.