Pol­icy re­vealed

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

WE HAVE had cause be­fore to com­ment on ap­par­ent in­con­sis­ten­cies i n the gov­ern­ment’s attitude to Is­rael. But the lat­est ex­am­ple, from Alan Dun­can, min­is­ter for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment, is some­thing else again. Mr Dun­can states that the se­cu­rity wall is a “land-grab… a perime­ter wall try­ing to an­nex land that does not be­long to Is­rael” and that the Is­raelis are steal­ing wa­ter from the Pales­tini­ans. His com­ments are a mix of ig­no­rance and prej­u­dice. But few will be sur­prised. Mr Dun­can has form. In­deed, on this page we pub­lish a letter in which the blus­ter­ing min­is­ter ac­cuses the of pub­lish­ing “en­tirely un­founded” al­le­ga­tions that his depart­ment funds an­tisemitic pro­pa­ganda within the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity. He then fails to pro­vide a sin­gle word to sup­port his claim. Mr Dun­can’s re­marks can usu­ally be dis­missed as those of a man suf­fused with loathing for Is­rael. What makes his lat­est state­ment of real concern is that, de­spite be­ing given ev­ery at­tempt by the to cor­rect him, the For­eign Of­fice could not be more in­sis­tent that Mr Dun­can has not ut­tered a word out of place. A spokesman in­sisted that Mr Dun­can’s state­ment “is the gov­ern­ment’s po­si­tion”. So, ac­cord­ing to the For­eign Of­fice, Is­rael is ef­fec­tively a rogue state, de­lib­er­ately steal­ing land and wa­ter. It has taken 15 months to find out what this gov­ern­ment re­ally thinks. Now we know.

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