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. . . .
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