Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
London's Foreign Office might as well relocate to Tel Aviv
By Stuart Littlewood
Redress, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, January 25,
Stuart Littlewood takes a close look at the subterfuge, obfuscations
and double talk of British Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt, a
card-carrying Israeli stooge who on a recent visit to occupied Palestine
deceitfully professed his commitment to justice in the Holy Land while
pledging to stand by Israel and defend its war criminals.
our Foreign Office minister said on his recent visit to Israel and occupied
Palestine shows more clearly than ever why the struggle in the Holy Land
extends all the way to our own front door here in the UK.
minister in charge of Middle East affairs, Alistair Burt, was there to
reward the sterling work of the Palestinian Authority's prime minister,
Salam Fayyad, and his boss, Mahmoud Abbas, with a gift of GBP 17 million.
This largesse no doubt made the British government feel better about doing
naff-all to right the catalogue of wrongs going back to 1917.
official reason was that Burt is impressed by the dynamic duo's progress
towards creating an independent, viable Palestinian state "living in peace
with a secure Israel".
Alistair Burt is “an Israel lobby stooge. He used to be
(and maybe still is, for all I know) an officer of that
infamous bunch of Israel-firsters, the Conservative Friends
Their only real achievement, however, is the way they have
turned the occupied territories into a police state of the most sinister
kind, with torture, rape and other extreme forms of cruelty a regular
feature of the prisons they run.
This bonus from the British taxpayer is supposed to pay for schooling for
over 4,400 children, fund 340 teachers and help 15,000 people continue to
receive clean water, says Burt.
More likely it’s a sweetener to get
the Palestinian leaders back to the negotiation table. Burt seems
desperately keen for that to happen, though God knows why.
It is critical that both sides
find a way to return to talks. The current impasse is of great concern
and I urge all parties to take immediate steps to secure a lasting
We firmly believe that this should see a Palestinian
state based on 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. This
is the solution which offers the best prospect of a just and sustainable
I also hold firmly the view that settlement construction
is illegal, wrong and should stop. It blights the lives of Palestinians
and is an obstacle to peace.
Talk is easy when you have no intention of following it up with action.
Mr Burt is not about to transform himself into a man of action for peace.
Why not? Because he's an Israel lobby stooge. He used to be (and maybe still
is, for all I know) an officer of that infamous bunch of Israel-firsters,
the Conservative Friends of Israel.
“The friendship ... will deepen, because the ties between
this party [the Conservatives] and Israel are unbreakable.
And in me, you have a prime minister whose belief in Israel
David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
The Foreign Office is stuffed with them, all appointed by our new prime
minister, David “I’m-a-Zionist” Cameron. This misguided individual is
famously quoted on the Friends of Israel website as saying: “The friendship
... will deepen, because the ties between this party and Israel are
unbreakable. And in me, you have a prime minister whose belief in Israel is
What a ridiculous commitment for a British prime minister to make to a
lawless, racist state that respects nobody’s human rights, continually
defies international law and shoots children for amusement (see “The
methodical shooting of boys at work in Gaza by snipers of the Israeli
occupation force”, a horrific article by surgeon David Halpin).
It is a disgrace that the Conservatives, who were not given a clear mandate
to govern, nevertheless vomit their infatuation with the thuggish Israeli
regime all over their much more level-headed coalition partners (the Liberal
Democrats), the whole British nation and the Arab world.
Go to the
UK’s Israel embassy
website where Burt “answers your questions” and see the way he tells
everyone how “clear” or “firm” the UK government position is on this and
that. When challenged to say what exactly he is doing to uphold the official
position or enforce official policy, he sidesteps every time.
In a speech to the Board of Deputies of British Jews in London last year,
Burt told his audience he had worked from the age of 15 for an MP who was a
president of the Board and founder of the Conservative Friends of Israel,
and how this “had a lasting effect upon me, and on my interests in
He said: "Israel is an important strategic partner and
friend for the UK and we share a number of important shared objectives
across a broad range of policy areas.”
Offhand, can anybody think of
a single objective they would wish to share with those people?
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said that “without an agreement between the
Palestinians and the Israelis then peace in the Middle East is
He added, apparently oblivious to the irony of his
Those who are enemies of peace
will continue to use the conflict for their own purposes... We cannot
allow those who want to pursue a violent agenda to succeed...As a friend
to both sides, we are committed to a two-state solution and we will
continue to support the efforts of the US to broker a peace deal between
And as an honest broker, the UK government does not
believe that economic sanctions or embargoes on Israel [are] the way to
engage or to influence it.
The “friend to both sides” and “honest broker” he refers to has
been happy to use economic sanctions to collectively punish the Gazans, who
are no threat to us, and thinks nothing of threatening the Iranians, who are
no threat to us. Why so queasy about doing the same to Israel, which is a
threat to everyone? All else has failed. Could it be that Mr Burt is
actually no more interested in peace than the Israelis?
“And I know some of you here are concerned about Universal
Jurisdiction... We have prioritized resolving this and look to see
legislation introduced to Parliament…”
to sabotage the Geneva Convention’s principle of
Jurisdiction so that suspected
war criminals can walk the streets of London without fear of
arrest, reflects his party’s eagerness to appease the whining of the
Needless to say the Jewish
Chronicle was ecstatic about Burt’s appointment as a Foreign Office
minister, which it said sent
as clear a message as possible
about the direction of the new government in the region. Mr Burt is
listed as an officer in the parliamentary group of Conservative Friends
of Israel and has been passionate in campaigning for visiting rights to
Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas for the past
four years... The appointment of Mr Burt and Mr [David] Lidington will
be seen as an attempt to distance the Foreign Office from its Arabist,
“Camel Corps” reputation.
The Jewish Chronicle continued: “Mr Burt will have to work hard
within the Arab world to build credibility and prove that he is an honest
broker. He will not be helped by his commitment to the Evangelical Christian
Burt’s deep concern for Shalit, whose capture and
detention he calls “outrageous” while ignoring the thousands of Palestinian
civilians (including women and children) abducted and left to rot in Israeli
jails without trial, wins him no credibility.
At the Jerusalem
Post they were rubbing their hands in glee. The director of the
Conservative Friends of Israel called Burt’s appointment excellent news. “I
have travelled to Israel with Alistair on numerous occasions. He has an
excellent knowledge and understanding of the complex issues of the region
and is well-placed to approach the brief with the balance and fairness it
London Muslim, on his blog, confessed he had been
under the impression that one
of the qualities needed to be a minister in the FCO [Foreign and
Commonwealth Office] was that you championed Britain rather than a
foreign government that practises apartheid and fakes British passports
before carrying out assassinations. My impression was also that when MPs
take the oath ... they swear allegiance to Liz [Queen Elizabeth] and her
heirs, not Israel.
“Burt is a Christian
Evangelical who like many of his eschatology ilk, particularly in
America, will be hoping for Armageddon in the Middle East.
Yes, let’s hang on to that bleak thought.
Britain’s Israel-firsters ditch law and justice for lopsided
Stopping off in Jordan, Burt announced that Britain would not recognize a
Palestinian state unless it emerged from a peace deal with Israel. London
could “not recognize a state that does not have a capital, and doesn’t have
London recognizes Israel. Where does Burt suppose Israel’s
borders are? And is Israel sitting inside them? Where does he think Israel’s
capital is? And where does Israel claim it to be? In other words, is Israel
where Israel is supposed to be, within internationally defined borders? If
not, how could he possibly recognize it let alone align himself with it?
Burt had talked the previous day about a Palestinian state based on 1967
borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. In the space of a few short
hours he seemed to have completely lost the plot.
We are looking forward to
recognizing a Palestinian state at the end of the negotiations on
settlements because our position is again very straightforward: We wish
to see a two-state solution, a secure and recognized Israel side by side
with a viable Palestine, Jerusalem as a joint capital and agreed
Negotiations about illegal settlements? Since when did Her Majesty’s
Government negotiate over criminal acts and crimes against humanity? Unless
of course Alistair Burt is now answering to Queen Hillary Clinton, who has
rejected in advance an anticipated Palestinian resolution in the UN
condemning unlawful Israeli settlement building. Queen Hillary says the
issue of illegal squats can be resolved through “negotiations” between
Palestinians and Israelis and to hell with international law. Mr Burt
obliges by chiming sweetly with this conspiracy. "That’s where we want to
get to. When we get there, that of course will imply recognition of a state
"...instead of enforcing international law and upholding
justice, as he [Alistair Burt] should, he cooperates with
the most dishonest peace brokers on the planet to revive
discredited, lopsided talks between dispossessed victim and
Many people are betting that, compared to the borders already defined by
law and UN resolution, any “negotiated” solution will be worth diddly-squat.
As for a unilateral declaration of independence by the Palestinians, he
said it would mean ambiguity on crucial issues like the capital of the
state, its borders and the fate of refugees.
Again, Mr Burt hasn’t
been paying attention. These things were ruled on long ago. But instead of
enforcing international law and upholding justice, as he should, he
cooperates with the most dishonest peace brokers on the planet to revive
discredited, lopsided talks between dispossessed victim and criminal
occupier. Where’s the honour in that?
Aiming to grab Gaza’s gas too
And talking of boundary recognition, where does Mr Burt suppose the
Palestinian state’s offshore boundaries are? Huge reserves of marine gas and
oil have been found in the Levantine Basin, which comprises Israel, the
Palestinian territories, Lebanon and their territorial waters.
report by Manlio
Dinucci the Israeli government with Washington’s backing considers it is
entitled to all the energy reserves.
A coastal state may exploit
offshore gas and oil reserves within a zone extending 200 nautical miles
(370 kilometres) from the shore, so the Palestinian Authority also has a
claim. According to the map drawn up by the US Geological Survey, the major
portion of the gas deposits (around 60 per cent) lie in the waters and
territory belonging to Gaza, so we can expect the US-Israeli “Axis of Greed”
to ruthlessly exploit the Palestinians’ disunity and deprive them of their
natural resource, just like they’ve stolen their water.
Israelis plan to grab the lot “with Washington’s backing”, is London signed
up to this act of grand larceny too?
The question for many years has
been: will Gaza ever get a whiff of its own gas? What does Mr Burt, wearing
the British government’s “honest broker” hat, say?