This article was cross-posted on CiFWatch
For a change, the Guardian has published a story which, although it is about the Middle East, does not have an Israel angle to it at all. And yet it shows up British politics at its perfidious worst. The item, on British MPs’ 107 paid visits to Middle Eastern dictatorships, was hidden away in the Guardian’s World news page, but curiously filed under the non-world title “Politics”.
It is extraordinarily revealing, and goes a long way towards explaining Britain’s hostility to Israel. Conversely it could be said that because of Britain’s hostility to Israel, Britain’s politicians are so cosy with Middle Eastern Arab dictators.
Either way it shows up British politicians in a most unflattering and unsavory light. It also shows how feeble is the famed “Israel lobby” and “Jewish influence” in Whitehall.
The most shameful of the politicians is Clare Short:
Former international development secretary Clare Short accepted £1,580 worth of flights, hotel accommodation, food and travel expenses from al-Manar television in Lebanon in 2008. Al-Manar is described by the US government as “the media arm of the Hezbollah terrorist network“, and was classed as a specially designated terrorist entity by the US in 2006.
Short said her trip had been registered with Commons authorities and that the visit allowed her to see how reconstruction in southern Lebanon was proceeding after the country’s conflict with Israel in 2006.
“I did an interview for the TV programme and was free to express my views without censure, and I also met with senior Hezbollah officials,” she said. “I do not accept US advice on who I should speak to. UK diplomats also talk with Hezbollah. I have also met with Hamas leaders on a number of occasions as well as Fatah leaders, and the Syrian and Lebanese governments.”
On the basis of these meetings of hers with known and recognized terrorists, and defying British foreign policy, Short should have been blacklisted and even thrown out of Parliament, rather than letting her stay until her resignation in 2010. She is a disgrace to any democracy. Her attitude and statements about Israel explain her disgraceful behaviour.
Note the list of countries visited:
Trips by country
And note which little democratic country is not mentioned at all.