Backstabbing Britain

On December 12, the Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, gave a fulsome speech to the annual Conservative Friends of Israel lunch. Before a roomful of 800 pro-Israel Conservative MPs and party supporters, she lavished praise on the Jewish state. She praised Israel’s achievements and castigated its enemies. She said that Britain would be marking the centenary of the Balfour declaration “with pride.” She also stressed that cooperation and friendship between Britain and Israel was not just for the good of those two countries, but “for the good of the world.”

One thing I really value is loyalty. My true friends have it unreservedly and I will always have their back no matter what the personal cost to myself because that is what true friendship means to me.True friends though are a rare breed and Britain’s PM has shown one face to Israel while stabbing them behind their backs.

Only now, a fortnight later, has the true duplicity of Theresa May’s speech been exposed. For now the world has learned what diplomacy the British government was engaged in even as May was making her speech. At the same time as the Prime Minister was talking about “true friendship” in front of friends of Israel, her government was conspiring with the outgoing Obama administration to kick that friend in the back. The British government was exposed as being one of the key players intent on pushing through the anti-Israel UNSC Resolution 2334. British diplomats were revealed to have been behind the wording and rallying of allies for the resolution.

During her speech Theresa May also boasted about banning Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Pastor Terry Jones from coming to the UK. She then tried to say that these three critics of the ideology of Islam are equivalent to those who promote hatred of the Jewish people.

This is a serious category error for a Prime Minister to make. It puts critics of a religion, such as Geller and Spencer, on the same plane as people wanted for terrorism (Qatada). It blurs the line between speech and action, and mixes people who call for violence with those who do not. The comparison also fails to follow the consequences of its logic to its own illogical conclusion. The comparison fails to recognise that anyone who objects to Islamic anti-Semitism is immediately known as an “Islamophobe.” Therefore, someone hoping to come to Britain would have to accept being attacked by Muslim extremists for fear of being banned from entering the UK. These are serious and basic misunderstandings for a Prime Minister to propagate

There is, of course, a reason why Britain’s Prime Minister has failed to stand up for Israel and insists on saying that anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are the same things. She is cursed with diversity in Britain and one part of that diversity tends to violent activism and terrorism so she fears to stand up for the truly oppressed and the truly marginalised because of the repercussions. True leaders like true friends will stand up for you not because it is easy for them to do so but because it is right for them to do so. A leader that fails to protect the most vulnerable is no leader at all.

There was, however, a clear political sense to them. A Prime Minister in a country such as 21stCentury Britain might believe that he or she has to be exceptionally careful not to appear to be criticising any one group of people or praising another too highly. So for the time being in Britain, a moral relativism continues to stagnate. If the Jewish community complains of anti-Semitism, then you must criticise anti-Semitism. If the Muslim community complains of “Islamophobia,” then you must criticise “Islamophobia.” To make value judgements might be to commit an act of political folly. Wise leaders in increasingly “diverse” societies must therefore position themselves midway between all communities, neither castigating nor over-praising, in order to keep as many people onside as possible.

Politicians are keen on taking stands. But if you take a stand that is based on a lie, then that stand cannot succeed. If you try to oppose anti-Semitism but pretend it is the same thing as “Islamophobia,” then the structure on which you have made your stand will totter and all your aspirations will fail. If you try to make a stand for Israel while simultaneously conniving at the UN to undermine Israel, then your duplicity will be exposed and admiration for this and other stands will falter. If you try to make a stand based on the idea that settlement construction rather than the intransigence of the Palestinians to the existence of a Jewish state is what is holding up a peace deal, then facts will keep on intruding. They have before — at home and abroad — and they will again.

-gatestoneinstitute.org


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