Israel’s 60th Birthday


Welsh Assembly Sparks Outrage in Boycott Call by Dave
June 20, 2008, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Boycott, Israel, Ron Prosor, UK | Tags: , , , ,

Welsh Assembly Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas is to be commended for urging colleagues to boycott a visit by Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor. In a leaked email he is quoted as saying “I am unwilling to accept the invitation to meet the ambassador because of my objection to the failure of the state of Israel to meet its international obligations to the Palestinian people of the Holy Lands. I would invite other colleagues to do the same.” This call has generated a lot of press: I count at least 9 newspaper articles including the Daily Mail, BBC, Jerusalem Post, Jewish Chronicle, AFP, Wales Online, etc. All of them negative I might add.

The BBC counters Mr Elis-Thomas’s email with 6 spokesmen and you’ll notice they quoted no-one who was in favour of the boycott. One of the 6 was Rodney Berman, the leader of Cardiff council, who believes Wales’ Jewish community would be shocked at the “strident tone.” He then adds “If AMs have concerns, as I do myself, about policies followed by the Israeli government then surely it’s better to use this event to talk about those concerns rather than to put up barriers which can only promote further misunderstanding.”

Frankly I was very impressed with the email and am delighted to hear that Dafydd is “standing by what he had written.” What Rodney Berman is missing is that there has been talk for the last 40 years of occupation and it has solved nothing. Israel has refused to obey International Law, as judged most recently in 2004 by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and ignores countless UN resolutions. Israel knows well that it’s failing these commitments and we now need less talk and more political pressure to force positive action. I congradulate Dafydd Elis-Thomas for his stand – it would seem there are still some decent people willing to put their necks out for a just cause. Also Berman presumes that all Jews would be shocked, many I know would be delighted by this stand. The only people that will be shocked are pro-Israel supporters (Jewish or not) whose bias prevents them from acknowledging the horrendous Israeli human rights and legal record.

What’s more curious is why a Muslim member of the assembly invited Prosor in the first place? Mohammed Asghar claims that he knows a lot from the Palestinian side but not a lot from the other side. I would advise him that the Ambassador / Hasbara goon Prosor is not the best source for an objective opinion.

Of further interest is how fast Mr Elis-Thomas’s wikipedia page was edited. Is this a part of the information “war” launched by pro-Israel lobbying group CAMERA? The added content is certainly bias: including choice quotes such as, his objections target “a country that has withdrawn from 89 percent of the land it conquered in 1967, and he fails to deal with the complexity of a Gaza Strip controlled by ruthless radicals who mete out death penalties to gays.” This is ignoring Israeli’s legal obligations as judged by the ICJ and is rather crude propaganda.

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