Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How come the Brits never called for the Jordanian Illegal Occupation to End?

I freely admit any slight curiosity or tepid desire I might have felt for visiting Britain one day was demonstratively cooled when the 200th anniversary of Nelson’s stunning victory at Trafalgar was reenacted using solid red or blue flags so as not to hurt the sensibilities of the French. How so very lame.

I might have warmed up to the idea, given enough time, if the Brits hadn’t put Moshe Feiglin on a ban list while allowing every other anti-Semite and their grandmothers safe harbour but this just kills any hope for rekindling the desire. The Jerusalem Post:
British Foreign Office minister Kim Howells has vowed to ensure that settlers will not be invited to future events hosted by the British embassy in Israel following a complaint by a Member of Parliament that Israeli settlers took part in a party to celebrate the Queen's birthday at the residence of the British ambassador to Israel in June.

Conservative MP Crispin Blunt wrote to Howells on July 25, after raising the issue in Parliament the previous day, stating that the invitation to "settler leaders" gave the impression of a "weakening in the government's long-held position that settlements were illegal and an obstacle to peace."

"Entertaining the pioneers of this colonization movement has certain given the strong impression that Britain tacitly endorses it or no longer objects to it," Blunt said.

Three representatives of the Yesha Council - chairman Dani Dayan, Shaul Goldstein and Yisrael Medad - attended the celebration at the residence of British Ambassador Tom Phillips in Ramat Gan in June.

Singling out Dayan in his letter - who he said is "strongly in favor of expanding these settlements and even return settlements dismantled in the 2005 disengagement plan" - he asked the minister to ensure that British tax payers' money is not used on those who "violate the Geneva Convention."

He said: "We would like to know what steps are being taken to ensure that this never happens again and that British tax payers' money is spent entertaining those who violate the Fourth Geneva Conventions and whose very presence has been an obstacle to a vital and much needed peace deal in the Middle East."

In response, Howells has said that the presence of the settlers at the celebration "was not helpful" and that the British Embassy will ensure it does not happen in the future. In a letter sent to Blunt on July 31, Howells said: "I should like first of all to reiterate our firm position that all Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law. You will indeed have seen that the Prime Minister spelled this out very clearly during his recent visit to the region and made clear including in a speech to the Knesset on 21 July that we want to see an immediate freeze of settlement activity and indeed withdrawal from them."

Howells added that the British Embassy in Israel has cultivated links with the settler community to make clear the government's view on the issue and convince them that settlements are "a significant obstacle to peace." "Our Embassy in Tel Aviv's contacts with the settler community have been with the goal of setting out the British Government's view on this issue, and to seek to convince them that settlements are a significant obstacle to peace. But you are right that their presence at this event was not helpful and the Embassy is reviewing its procedures to ensure that it does not happen in the future."

Who in their right mind bans Settlers?? I love settlers, okay – maybe not all settlers, but as a concept, settlers are the phat of the land. Who else makes the milk or honey for the Arabs to steal?

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