In Parliament in London British politicians took turns to abuse Israel on Wednesday. They stood up, one by one and verbally assaulted my country. They are entitled to their opinions as I am entitled to mine.
I take exception to their comments. Many of them made the same comments I make on a regular basis, when they do it offends me and here’s why; it’s the double standard, their utter lack of awareness as to their own mistakes. These Parliamentarians have overseen policies that have led to some of the greatest tragedies of modern times. Yet they behave as if the responsibility for the mess of the Middle East doesn’t belong on their collective doorstep.
These men and women are responsible for governing one of the most powerful countries in the world. So how is it possible that they speak about Israel as if they are utterly unaware of the way they have responded to international incidents in the past and still today? How is that they talk about Israeli security concerns as if they have no comprehension of the subject while sitting in a Parliament that sends soldiers to kill people all over the globe?
Since its formation in 1707 the British Army has been involved in conflict more or less continually. Most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. The British withdrew from Iraq in 2011 and are still in Afghanistan. Many of the politicians debating Gaza the other day sent those troops into both countries.
The affect of their foreign adventures in terms of death and destruction has been staggering. In addition to toppling the dictator Saddam Hussein they set in motion a chain of events that led to the deaths of anywhere between 100,000 and 600,000 people, in Iraq alone.
So while the MP Andy Slaughter berates Israel for the high casualties caused to Gazans during operation Cast Lead he would do well to remember that he has signed off on wars that have caused more deaths than have died in the entire Israeli Palestinian conflict. While he talks of the ratio of Palestinian to Israeli dead over the short period of Operation Cast Lead he would do well to remember that 179 Britons lost their lives in the conflict in Iraq. A ratio of one Briton for every 600 dead Iraqis by the most conservative estimates.
Surely he knows this?
The United Kingdom is able to walk away from their overseas adventures/catastrophes. They are able to go to a sovereign nation, wreak havoc and then leave. They’ll give a collective shrug, a “we tried our best” and then be gone, leaving the natives to pick up the pieces, or more accurately, fall to pieces.
In Israel we don’t have that option. No Iraqi rockets hit London, no Iraqi soldiers attacked England and yet the British army attacked and occupied. We in Israel face a threat that sits in our midst continually. We were occupying the Strip and we left and still it dominates our reality. The United Kingdom invades countries that have done nothing to it. The United Kingdom embarks on foreign military adventures continuously.
It seems that whereas I know this, the very politicians responsible for sending armies around the world have forgotten who they are.
The likes of Andy slaughter, Yasmin Qureshi, Jeremy Corbyn and Gerald Kaufman would do well to remember that they invade countries who have never attacked the UK. They do so with drastic consequences for the entire world that lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. If they genuinely believe what they say about Israel, surely they believe the same about the UK. They would do well to look in the mirror before criticizing us and start by changing the policies they are responsible for. I am sure many of these politicians will cry foul, give it the old “I voted against that…” It doesn’t matter, they sit in Parliament and are far more responsible than the Israelis Kaufman berated on Wednesday.
Go to Tel Aviv, as I did not long ago, and watch them sitting complacently outside their pavement cafés. They do not give a damn about their fellow human beings perhaps half an hour away.”
The proximity of Iraqis may well be further away Mr Kaufman but you remain in a Parliament that wreaks havoc while absolving yourself of all responsibility. You are a pathetic individual, too ineffective to mount a vehement defense of your own beliefs, too ineffective to influence Parliament, too spineless to offer your resignation when the government takes action with which you wholeheartedly disagree. You are moral enough only to attack Israel from the safety of your back bench.
It appears that when it comes to the actions of the British government, certain MPs are deaf, dumb, blind and stupid. When it comes to the actions of the Israeli government however, they are just stupid.