Israel control of UK government
Making friends with Israel: Britain appoints Judaeo-centric Zionist diplomat as ambassador to Israel
By Gilad Atzmon
13 December 2009
Gilad Atzmon asks how the appointment by Britain’s Jewish foreign secretary, David Miliband, of a fiercely Zionist diplomat as the UK ambassador to Israel is likely to serve British interests in the event of a conflict with Israel.
"Considering Israel's crimes against humanity in general and Palestinians in particular, one would expect Britain to send an impartial ambassador to the Jewish state. Judaeo-centric by admission and Zionist by education, Gould is certainly not the man for the job."
In case you want to learn how to appeal to the Jews, British diplomat
Matthew Gould gives a free lesson. Haaretz
has reported that
Gould, the newly-appointed British ambassador to Israel, wasn't too connected to
his Jewish roots until he served in Tehran. Seemingly, now he knows where he
"Being posted in Iran made me go to shul [synagogue] more regularly," says the new ambassador. "I did it to reach out to the Jewish community in Iran and to show that Western embassies were watching out for its welfare," Gould explains. "I was determined to go to shul to show both the Jewish community and the Iranian authorities that I was Jewish and not embarrassed of it."
Gould says that his two-year stint up to 2005 in Tehran as deputy head of
mission has given him "a real expertise in an issue of profound security
importance to Israel".
The religious process that began in Tehran continued in Britain. "I got more active [with Judaism] and over the last couple of years I've spent a lot more time and a lot more thought on my Jewish identity and what it means to be Jewish," says Gould.
Haaretz reports that Gould and his wife go to shul every week at the West London Synagogue. As a child, Gould recalls going to Middlesex New Synagogue in Harrow with his parents, who still live in London as "proud but inactive" members of the Jewish community.
In Israel, Gould says he and his wife "will keep a Jewish household” and "bring up their kids in the Jewish tradition, when those children are born”. Gould knows some parts of Israel, from his visits there as a child, when he would occasionally go to the Liberal Movement's Kadima summer camps. He also has family – second and third cousins – in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. What can we say, he is not only a Jew but a product of a typical Zionist upbringing.
Considering Israel's crimes against humanity in general and Palestinians in particular, one would expect Britain to send an impartial ambassador to the Jewish state. Judaeo-centric by admission and Zionist by education, Gould is certainly not the man for the job. As Gould himself admits, "the fact that I'm Jewish means I will come with a particular insight and sympathy and understanding, because the story of my family is in certain respects the story of the people of the State of Israel”.
A month ago British TV Channel 4 broadcast an exposè of the UK Jewish lobby. It revealed also that 50 per cent of MPs in the shadow cabinet are Conservative Friends of Israel members. The Jews in Britain, or at least the rich ones, are drifting away from the Labour Party. They gamble on the Tories. Consequently, David Miliband, the foreign minister, is doing whatever he can to bring the Jewish fundraisers back home to his Labour Party.
At the end of October Miliband lambasted the Conservative Party over their new alliance with the far right in Europe and with a Polish politician with an anti-Semitic past. Some prominent British Jews were not impressed. They knew exactly what Miliband was up to; they realized that Miliband, himself a Jew, was attempting to destabilize the new Jewish alliance with the Conservatives.
Fatigue is not exactly one of Miliband's characteristics. As we learn from Haaretz, he is now sending the Jewish state a kosher ambassador, one who “goes to the shul every Sabbath”, one who vows to keep a “Jewish household”. One who understands and is “sensitive to Israeli security matters”.
Ambassador Gould maintains that he is going as “the British ambassador, to pursue British policies and advance British interests". So here are two simple questions to the new British ambassador to Israel. How are you going to act when the British interests and the Jewish ones oppose each other? How will you act when you notice a clear discrepancy between Israeli actions and humanism?