Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Conservatives and Israel

I've reported previously my concerns about the future relationship between Britain and Israel if Cameron is elected Prime Minister. Labour under Brown has been no friend of Israel with its backtracking on the lawfare issue and its expulsion of an Israeli diplomat after the Dubai affair. And there are plenty of ferocioulsy anti-Israel MPs in the Labour Party. However, at least Brown himself has said nothing to disprove his previously stated heartfelt admiration for Israel. In contrast, Cameron made the one of most (ignorant) anti-Israel statements ever made by a British party leader when he recently boasted about how he would take a strong stand against Israel's 'occupation':

  • ‘Unlike a lot of politicians from Britain who visit Israel, when I went I did stand in occupied East Jerusalem and actually referred to it as ‘occupied East Jerusalem,’ he says. ‘The Foreign Office bod who was with me said most ministers don’t dare say [that].’

Moreover, the foreign minister in a Cameron cabinet would be Wlliam Hague who was infamously one of the biggest critics of Israel during both the Lebanon and Gaza wars with his obsession about Israel's 'disproportionate response'.

But what is truly shocking (and is reported in, of all places, the Guardian) is the contents of a leaflet that the Conservative candidate in Jack Straw's Blackburn constituency has put out:

  • The leaflet urged voters not to fall for Labour's "hollow claims" about what it had done for Muslims. "We have in front of us a whole saga of atrocities committed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Palestine and as if this was not enough, the Labour government allowed the Israeli government to create havoc in Lebanon and Gaza in Palestine, destroying their infrastructure and killing and maiming thousands of innocent civilians," it said. "The Labour government did nothing, absolutely nothing, for a number of days while Israelis carried on their inhuman killing of innocent men, women and children."
  • The leaflet also claimed Straw's criticisms of Muslim women for wearing the veil "shows he does not care" for his Muslim voters. "Today they are criticising our women's veil, tomorrow it will be our caps and our beards they will attack."
  • The leaflet suggested: "If you want to see an end to unnecessary and very expensive wars, shedding of innocent blood and save Britain from bankruptcy, vote for your Conservative candidate."
Although the leaflet has since been withdrawn Cameron has refused to condemn it.

Because of his disgusting role in blocking attempts to reform the lawfare legislation used against Israelis I was previously hoping that Straw would be booted out of Parliament. But, clearly, compared to the Conservative candidate he is positively a friend of Israel!

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