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Monday, February 28, 2011

Netanyahu says Britain worries him

Sunday's London Telegraph has a lengthy interview with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Here's what he has to say about the Brits.
He is, he admits, "worried" about Britain. In his view, there are "two streams" in British attitudes to Israel and the Jews. One, exemplified by Lloyd-George's "understanding of history" in the Versailles era, is admirable. He cites Col Richard Meinertzhagen, intelligence chief to General Allenby in the Mandate era in Palestine, who, despite having had little previous contact with Jews, quickly discovered that, contrary to his fellow-countrymen's prejudices, they were "very good fighters" and would "provide a bulwark against the aggression of Islamic militancy". He also refers to Arthur Stanley, late 19th-century Dean of Westminster, as one of many British luminaries who found the Holy Land neglected and argued that "the Jews would come back and build up this country". Mr Netanyahu has a portrait of his greatest British hero, Winston Churchill, on his shelves. He poses beside it for our photographer.

On the other hand, there are bad attitudes. "Britain was a colonial power, and colonialism has been spurned." Britain therefore tends to look at the Israeli question through its "colonial prism", which makes the British "see us as neo-colonialists". But this is wrong. "We are not Belgians in the Congo! We are not Brits in India!"

In the United States, the situation is different because the Americans were not colonisers, but in revolt against colonial power. Their vision was "one of a society based on the New Jerusalem, the promised land", so they naturally saw Israel as "partners in freedom".

He agrees that Western loss of support for Israel is "a huge issue" and "tragic because, in many ways, we are you and you are us". This has been a talk with Mr Netanyahu in statesmanlike mode. He shows me his books, including the huge, definitive history of the Spanish Inquisition written by his father, who is still alive aged 101.

It seems a pity to drag the talk to mere politics, but I have a parting shot. We now have a coalition in Britain. In Israel, they never have anything else. Has he any advice for David Cameron? He permits himself an amused look: "Lower taxes." Then he adds: "I believe you are thinking of reforming your voting system. Be careful of proportional representation. I give you that as a free tip."
The problem is that Britain is on the verge of being overrun by the Islamists.

Read the whole thing.

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2 Comments:

At 4:01 AM, Blogger BH in Iowa said...

Will they make it to 2066?

Right now it doesn't look good.

 
At 6:42 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Netanyahu is too accommodating to the West for my taste.

The loss of support for Israel in Europe is real and its not likely to be reversed any time soon.

Israel's leaders need to come to terms with it and the sooner they do, the better off the country will be.

 

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