How Anti-Israel Animus Brought Down a British Government Minister

Nov. 10 2017

Earlier this week, British media outlets reported that Priti Patel, the secretary for international development, had “secretly” traveled to Israel and met Benjamin Netanyahu and other government officials in August, unbeknownst to Prime Minister Theresa May. The Guardian proclaimed that this “covert summer trip was a gift to Israelis who seek to influence British policy.” But the supposedly sub-rosa visit was reported in the Israeli press at the time, and Israeli politicians publicly tweeted about their meetings with Patel, who has since resigned. Tom Rogan comments:

[Most likely] the real reason Patel resigned is that she recognized the forces arrayed against her wouldn’t rest until she fell. The first culprit is Patel’s own Department for International Development (DFID). Officials at DFID leaked Patel’s query to them earlier this summer over whether the British government could sponsor an Israeli aid project in the Golan Heights. One official told the BBC that Patel’s query was in and of itself “inappropriate.”

Of course, it didn’t matter that the aid project in question is specifically designed to save Syrian refugees, only that DFID officials hate the idea of supporting Israel in any way. Because the UK regards the Golan Heights as Israeli-occupied Syrian territory, DFID officials were especially furious at Patel’s conduct.

The second challenge came from the Labor party opposition. Their fury here was inherently unsurprising but had nothing to do with Patel’s breach of the ministerial code. Rather, led by the avowed Israel-hater Jeremy Corbyn, Labor embraces any opportunity to distance Britain from Israel. . .

Nevertheless, Patel should not have resigned. Instead, she should have apologized and then forced her DFID officials to look in the mirror. . . . [W]hile DFID will spend $51 million in the Palestinian territories this year and roughly $65 million next year, it has actively sponsored anti-Israel non-governmental organizations. . . .

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, Theresa May, United Kingdom


In Pursuing Peace with Saudi Arabia, Israel Must Demand Reciprocity and Keep the Palestinian Question off the Table

Nov. 22 2017

The recent, unprecedented interview given by the IDF chief of staff to a major Arabic news outlet has fed the growing enthusiasm in Israel about the prospects of a peace treaty and mutual recognition between Jerusalem and Riyadh. Mordechai Kedar urges level heads and caution, and puts forward ten principles that should guide any negotiations. Most importantly, he argues that the two countries normalize relations before coming to any agreements about the Palestinians. To this he adds:

The most basic rule in dealing with the Saudis and their friends is that Israel must not feel that it has to pay anything for peace. . . . If the Saudis want to live in peace with us, we will stretch out our hands to offer them peace in return. But that is all they will get. Israel [has] been a state for 70 years without peace with Saudi Arabia and can continue being a state for another 7,000 years without it. Any desire for a quick peace (as expressed in the disastrous slogan “Peace Now”) will raise the price of that peace. . . .

[As part of any agreement], Israel will recognize the House of Saud’s rule in Mecca and Medina—even though the family does not originate from the Hejaz [where the holy cities are located] but from the Najd highland—in exchange for Saudi recognition of Israel’s right to Jerusalem as its historic and eternal capital city. Israel will recognize Saudi Arabia as an Islamic state in exchange for Saudi recognition of Israel as the Jewish state or a state belonging to the Jewish people. . . .

Israel will not allow incitement against Saudi Arabia in its media. In return, the Saudis will not allow anti-Israel incitement in Saudi media. . . .

It is important to keep the Americans and Europeans away from the negotiating table, since they will not be party to the agreement and will not have to suffer the results of its not being honored—and since their interests are not necessarily those of Israel, especially when it comes to the speed at which the negotiations move forward. The Americans want to cut a deal, even a bad deal, and if they are allowed into the negotiation rooms, they will pressure Israel to give in, mainly on the Palestinian issue.

Read more at Israel National News

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy, Israel-Arab relations, Saudi Arabia