Shimon Peres says England is 'anti-Israeli'

Rick Moran
Hurt feelings in England today as Israeli President Shimon Peres accuses the Brits of being 'deeply pro-Arab' and 'anti-Israeli:'

Shimon Peres said England was "deeply pro-Arab ... and anti-Israeli", adding: "They always worked against us."He added: "There is in England a saying that an anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary."

His remarks, made in an interview on a Jewish website, provoked anger from senior MPs and Jewish leaders who said the 87-year-old president had "got it wrong".But other groups backed the former Israeli prime minister and said the number of anti-semitic incidents had risen dramatically in the UK in recent years.

The controversy follows the furore last week over David Cameron's remark that Gaza was a "prison camp", as he urged Israel to allow aid and people to move freely in and out of the Palestinian territory.

Mr Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is three years into his seven-year term as president and was awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen in 2008, said that England's attitude towards Jews was Israel's "next big problem".

"There are several million Muslim voters, and for many members of parliament, that's the difference between getting elected and not getting elected," he said.

"And in England there has always been something deeply pro-Arab, of course, not among all Englishmen, and anti-Israeli, in the establishment.

I think it's a question of to what degree Peres is correct. Obviously, not all Brits are anti-Israel nor does the government constantly act in ways that are not supportive of the Jewish state.

But recent events have proved that Great Britain is backing away from traditional western support for Israel by deliberately making Gaza an issue to criticize the Israelis for. PM Cameron knows how sensitive the issue is with the Israeli government and yet used the most provocative language imaginable - calling Gaza "a prison" - to appear to pander to Arab sensibilities. Cameron's speech was delivered in Turkey - a nation recently very active in trying to run the blockade. And England is one country in the EU who is enthusiastically backing Turkey's admission into the European Union.

If it wasn't pandering to Muslims, I don't know what is.

Kudos to Peres for calling out the British Foreign Office who have demonstrated their antagonism toward the Jewish state since its inception in 1948. But like the fact that our own pro-Arab State Department doesn't deter administrations from strong support for Israel, the elected leadership of Great Britain has been more friendly - usually - to the Jewish state.

It will be interesting to see how Peres' criticism of England goes over in Israel.


Hurt feelings in England today as Israeli President Shimon Peres accuses the Brits of being 'deeply pro-Arab' and 'anti-Israeli:'

Shimon Peres said England was "deeply pro-Arab ... and anti-Israeli", adding: "They always worked against us."

He added: "There is in England a saying that an anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary."

His remarks, made in an interview on a Jewish website, provoked anger from senior MPs and Jewish leaders who said the 87-year-old president had "got it wrong".

But other groups backed the former Israeli prime minister and said the number of anti-semitic incidents had risen dramatically in the UK in recent years.

The controversy follows the furore last week over David Cameron's remark that Gaza was a "prison camp", as he urged Israel to allow aid and people to move freely in and out of the Palestinian territory.

Mr Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is three years into his seven-year term as president and was awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen in 2008, said that England's attitude towards Jews was Israel's "next big problem".

"There are several million Muslim voters, and for many members of parliament, that's the difference between getting elected and not getting elected," he said.

"And in England there has always been something deeply pro-Arab, of course, not among all Englishmen, and anti-Israeli, in the establishment.

I think it's a question of to what degree Peres is correct. Obviously, not all Brits are anti-Israel nor does the government constantly act in ways that are not supportive of the Jewish state.

But recent events have proved that Great Britain is backing away from traditional western support for Israel by deliberately making Gaza an issue to criticize the Israelis for. PM Cameron knows how sensitive the issue is with the Israeli government and yet used the most provocative language imaginable - calling Gaza "a prison" - to appear to pander to Arab sensibilities. Cameron's speech was delivered in Turkey - a nation recently very active in trying to run the blockade. And England is one country in the EU who is enthusiastically backing Turkey's admission into the European Union.

If it wasn't pandering to Muslims, I don't know what is.

Kudos to Peres for calling out the British Foreign Office who have demonstrated their antagonism toward the Jewish state since its inception in 1948. But like the fact that our own pro-Arab State Department doesn't deter administrations from strong support for Israel, the elected leadership of Great Britain has been more friendly - usually - to the Jewish state.

It will be interesting to see how Peres' criticism of England goes over in Israel.