Ery BDS row

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -


Dur­ing his Churchill me­mo­rial lec­ture at Jerusalem’s Mishkenot Sha’ananim, Mr John­son mas­saged his au­di­ence like putty, draw­ing laughs and bursts of ap­plause. He stressed the qual­i­ties that Win­ston Churchill shared with Is­rael — “dar­ing, au­dac­ity, der­ringdo, and in­domitabil­ity”.

He added that Mr Churchill “was some­times wrong, as in the gold stan­dard, ab­di­ca­tion cri­sis and over In­dia”.

Per­haps with one eye on the next day in Ra­mal­lah, an ebul­lient and gar­ru­lous Mr John­son is­sued a warn­ing about Pales­tinian rights.

Mr Churchill, Mr John­son said, had told Jewish au­di­ences they had “the chance to cre­ate a land flow­ing with milk and honey”, but he warned that “ev­ery step that you take must there­fore be for the moral and ma­te­rial ben­e­fit of all Pales­tini­ans”.

“I think to­day we have to ad­mit that the present sit­u­a­tion does not en­tirely ac­cord with that Churchillian vi­sion — not yet,” Mr John­son said.

The speech ended a day that started with a som­bre visit to Yad Vashem, and in­cluded a rau­cous visit to Jerusalem’s Ma­hane Ye­huda mar­ket; fish-wran­gling and po­lenta-whisk­ing with chef As­saf Granit, of Soho’s Palo­mar; and a brief pause at a muddy foot­ball pitch for a match with Is­raeli Pres­i­dent Reu­ven Rivlin and Arab and Jewish 10-year-old boys signed up to a co­ex­is­tence scheme spon­sored by the Bri­tish Em­bassy.

The tour’s stated pur­pose had been trade. For Is­rael, the mis­sion was a clear suc­cess. For the Pales­tini­ans, it was a missed op­por­tu­nity.



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