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Britain and Israel

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On September 28, 2010 @ 9:08 am In Europe | 8 Comments

Britain is curiously similar to Israel in foreign relations. A small country which used to be strong, proud, and expansionist, a viable ally deteriorated into a barking dog, prone to rhetoric and mini-actions, unwilling to use whatever military power it still possesses, clinging to useless pieces of foreign land instead of respectable large-scale colonialism. Like Israel, Britain has become a burden to the US, where the supposed cultural affinity substitutes for strategic value. Britain is especially prone to lambasting Israel in order to dissociate itself from us, and to look different from Israel in the eyes of Americans.

The British promised the Jews a state in return for the Jewish lobby dragging America into WWI. Britain changed its mind when it was granted the Mandate: the status quo was too good to abandon. When the Jews and Arabs of Palestine began to drive them out, the British found an ally in a powerless puppet to whom they subsequently allotted Jordan, a territory three times the size of Israel, for what were then 200,000 people. Britain tried to hold onto the Negev and failed; they tried to hold onto Suez—and failed again. When Jordan occupied the West Bank, Britain and its ally Pakistan were the only countries to recognize the conquest. When Jordan withdrew its claims, Britain recognized the West Bank as belonging to Palestinian Arabs. Britain—a guardian of the newborn State of Israel according to the Mandate—refused to vote in the UN for its creation two years after the Holocaust, aided the Arabs in their attempt to annihilate the Jews in 1947-48, switched allegiances to aid the Jews in their fight against Egypt in 1956, and then reverted to its traditional pro-Arab position, which it has held ever since.

These twists should come as no surprise from a country that abandoned its defense treaty with Czechoslovakia in 1938, amended a defense treaty with Poland to avoid fighting the Soviet Union, which invaded Poland just like Nazis did, pretended to defend Poland until that country had been finished off, then fought halfheartedly in France until the Nazis gave it a chance to evacuate, and later built its military policy on dragging the US into the war.

Britain was just fine with apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia, but misses no chance to condemn Israel for our imagined oppression of the Arabs. A major colonialist power just decades ago, having abandoned its colonies for no moral reasons, and having fought over the Falkland Islands halfway across the globe, Britain condemns Israeli construction in Jerusalem.

In the world of cynical political powers, Britain stands in a league of its own, and Israel must be stupid to consider mediation by the Quarter headed by a Brit.


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