Peter Oborne on Israel

Peter Oborne Again

I have written before of my liking of Peter Oborne’s pieces in the Daily Telegraph. I have very little in common with the man, and probably even less with his politics, but what comes through in his writings is that they say what he really believes in, and that he holds both himself and others to a higher moral and ethical standard than what may be expected nowadays. In other words this isn’t someone who is writing to his boss’s orders. He doesn’t come across as a Kelvin McKenzie.

A couple of weeks ago he wrote about the relationship between Israel and the British Conservative Party here. He was brave to do this as the article was quiet critical of the unrestrained support given to Israel by the party. As others, including Alex Hilton, have pointed out it opens any writer making the criticism to attacks from a pro-Israeli lobby which brooks no such criticism. Basically what Oborne said about the Tories we could say something similar about Labour. The lobby’s attacks, including by many London Labour members, on Ken Livingstone before the London mayoral election could well have given the election to Johnson.

So take this as my agreement with Oborne that the Netanyahu government is doing its best to wreck any chance of a two-state solution and the settlement of the Middle East problem. Now this isn’t coming from someone, me, who could easily be called anti-Semitic. In fact you couldn’t even call me anti-Zionist as I have no problem with a Jewish homeland, and I don’t really have a problem with this homeland being in Palestine. I have a high respect for some of the Israeli statesmen and stateswomen of those times when I was growing up. The likes of Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan were heroes in East London back then.

Of course it’s a shame that Balfour could make a promise without giving any thought to those already living on those lands at the time. This just shows the arrogance of the old imperial mindset. At the same time what a shame that mosques are so often controlled by people far from enlightened, at times almost fascist in their dislike of outsiders.

I will end with a quote from Oborne and hope that you will be able to read the original article without having to go through the Telegraph’s paywall. On no account would I like to help the Berkeley twins make even more money.

I cannot speak for Britain’s Jewish community, but I have a strong impression that many of them would be delighted if Mr Cameron spoke out far more strongly than he has done so far. Indeed, it is essential that he should do so. Mr Cameron does not want to go down in history as the man upon whose watch all hope of a two-state solution died, and with it all hope of a secure and peaceful future for the country a Conservative prime minister helped to bring into existence.

  • Chris Paul

    Mosques? So often controlled etc? What kind of non sequitor balancing line is that supposed to be? Unnecessary.

    • Daniel Speight

      I don’t think so Chris. A lot of the early opposition to Jewish immigration into Palestine was anti-Semitic and was led by the religious leadership. Even today part the Islamic religious leadership around the world uses anti-Semitism in its present day opposition to Israel. Of course none of this gives an excuse for the actions of the present day Israeli government.

      • swatantra

        I do wish people would stop making excuses for the Israelis, it only makes matters worse. Oborne has a point, that the World must speak out more strongly against Israel, but they won’t.

        I’ve come to the sad conclusion that this matter can only be settled by military means ie when Israel is brought to her knees on the battlefield. Its the only language these people sunderstand. A Settlement is not going to happen until Israel is forced to the negotiating table by the scruff of the neck, and has to sue for peace in order to survive. But the Arabs are incapable of making that happen. So, stalemate, and the World has to put up with this nonsense for another 50 years..

        • Anonymous

          Bit like Pakistan and India then.

          • swatantra

            Nothing like India/Pakistan at all.
            Pakistan is a basket case, a failed State. India is not.
            And, anyone who thinks that Kashmir should go to Pakistan needs their heads examined. And, anyone who thinks that Kasmir should be an Independent State just risks creating another Afghanistan.
            India could easily demolish Pakistan on the battlefield if it wanted to, but propriety and adherance to UN Resolutions won’t let it.
            The best solution for peace and prosperity would be to go back to the pre-independence borders ie a united One State solution, and I mean both in in Sub-Continent and in the Middle East.

          • Anonymous

            Shouldn’t it be for the Kashmiris to decide where Kashmir should be, not India or Pakistan.

            By One State solution, do you mean all part of the UK? Or for the Middle East do you mean Turkey as it was divided between UK and France after WW1?

          • swatantra

            I mean One India, and One Palestine, just like One Nation GB here.

          • Anonymous

            Given that we are going to let the Scots decide if they want there to be one GB or two, isn’t that up to the people of India/Pakistan/Bangladesh (the Raj as was) to decide how many countries? Or should we keep the Scots in the Union by force if they vote to leave in 2014?

          • Anonymous

            If you say so Swat.

        • Andy Williams

          It’s not that they don’t – Israel has UN resolutions on it that it is supposed to adhere to and makes no effort to even try knowing that the USA will block any attempt to impose sanctions. They also routinely ignore international law and international treaties again safe in the knowledge that the USA will prevent any further action.

          The paperwork is akk in place – it;s the American veto that is preventing any progress.

      • Andy Williams

        do you mean anti-semitism or anti-zionism. The two are entirely different things. For instance Iran is anti-zionist and Hasidic jews are also anti-zionist.

        • Daniel Speight

          Hello Andy. If we are talking about the early Palestinian opposition to Jewish immigration you could say both anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. That is they didn’t like the Zionist idea of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, but also their religious leadership was prepared to use anti-Semitism to rally the locals. In other words it was death to the Jews rather than death to the Zionists.

          As for today, how much anti-Semitism is there in the Muslim world? I suspect quite a lot. How much anti-Islamic and anti-Arab feeling is there in Israel? I also suspect quite a lot.

          What I do know is that we seemed closer to peace in the Middle-East when Jimmy Carter was US president. It’s been downhill ever since.

  • Anonymous

    Happy new year to the world.

  • LesAbbey

    Israeli ambassadors from around the world meeting in Jerusalem for their annual get-together have been told to support the government’s domestic and foreign policies or resign.

    All is not well in the Israeli foreign service according to the above article in The Independent. This far right Israeli government is doing untold damage to the reputation of its country.

  • Anonymous

    Off-topic, but does anyone know what is happening at Tribune?

    They haven’t renewed their domain-name since 10-Nov-2012, so are off-line. But cannot see any news in Press Gazette, Chartist etc about any rescue or demise.

    • Anonymous

      Looks and sound pretty much dead…

  • Anonymous

    ” As others, including Alex Hilton, have pointed out it opens any writer making the criticism to attacks from a pro-Israeli lobby”

    Sorry but what do you expect a pro Israel lobby to do when Israel is attacked? I mean its what it says on the tin – like any lobby, that is its raison d’etre.

  • paul scott

    I think it’s important for the Palestinians to have a homeland, equally, for Israel to exist too. However, the Islamists and media shouldn’t be so anti-Semitic too.

  • TitusLivius

    “The lobby’s attacks, including by many London Labour members, on Ken
    Livingstone before the London mayoral election could well have given the
    election to Johnson.” Silly of some in Labour to attack Livingstone but the Evening Standard and Andrew Gilligan’s hatchet job helped too.
    Where is Gilligan now? Boris Johnson’s cycling Tsar