Thursday, December 25, 2008

Jews? Meet Them? Talk To Them? Me? I'm The British Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East

The British Foreign Office reported

Mr Rammell also visited Hebron in the Palestinian Territories and called for the removal of illegal Israeli settlements. At the end of a tour in the old city of Hebrony yesterday he reiterated the British Government and the international communities position calling for two states and for the withdrawal from settlements in order for peace to be achieved in the Middle East.

Mr Rammell who met the Governor and Mayor of Hebron was accompanied by the British Consul General Richard Makepeace, his deputy John Edwards and Political Consul Karen Mcluskie.


The British delegation visited the Al-Shuhada Street, in the heart of the old city, which Israeli occupation forces closed to Palestinian traffic since 2000, where they could verify the line of shops forcefully closed down. The guests also visited the home of Nidal al-Oweiwi, which settlers had burnt down during their recent violent riots.

Well, I don't think he visited any Jewish building or institution, any terror victim nor any Jews at all. Neither did he confer with any Jewish representatives.

Hebron is a very special place. True, it is quite a problematic location. Arabs kill Jews there. They did so in 1834. The did so in 1929. They did so between 1948-1967 as fedayeen. They have been doing so ever since 1967.

Why, then, should Rammel even look their way.


Because it was Abraham's city, site of the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
Because Hebron was David's first capital. King David, that is.
More history here and here and also here.

Bill Rammel, sir, you acted wrongly and spoke worse.


Here he is speaking even worse in Parliament:

...our message has been consistent and robust: Israeli settlement activity anywhere in East Jerusalem and on the west bank is illegal under international law. The road map is clear that Israel should freeze all settlement activity, including the natural growth of existing settlements, and dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary reiterated the UK's position to Israeli Ministers during his visit to the region in November, and I have acted similarly. We certainly welcome recent attempts by the Israeli security forces to dismantle outposts in parts of Hebron and the west bank, including the successful evacuation of the disputed house in Hebron on 4 December, which, as we should acknowledge, is a step in the right direction. But we should also acknowledge that there is much more to do.

I want the House to be clear that we are not bashing Israel to play to the crowd. We are seeking, rather, to advance the peace process and we genuinely see settlement expansion as a critical factor holding that progress back. Unlike other obstacles in the way of peace, settlement expansion is not a grey area: its continuation is in direct contravention of the spirit and the letter of the roadmap and the Annapolis commitments.

No comments: