Why did our government ignore the slaughter in Gaza, and continue to sell arms to Israel? The answer lies in two of Britain’s influential pressure groups
MIRA BAR HILLEL
Writing for The Jewish Chronicle last week, columnist David Aaronovitch addressed the alleged rise in anti-Semitism in this country and attributed it to the Jews being “too quiet and too separate up till now”. He suggested a Jewish lobby would be a great idea, and starting with “Jews beginning to get themselves kippah-ed up and sitting in the audience at Question Time”.
It made me laugh, but coming from a highly reputable writer, it also made me cry.
Just before the most recent Gaza ceasefire, Downing Street confirmed it was conducting a review of arms sales to Israel after David Cameron said the UN was right to condemn the shelling of schools as a “moral outrage”. Some licenses, it said, would be revoked if there were a substantial resumption of bombings.
The ceasefire ended long ago, and the Israeli bombings have claimed hundreds more innocent victims, bringing the total of dead children to over 560. But UK arms sales to Israel continue unabated. Why?
When Baroness Warsi resigned from David Cameron’s cabinet, the event was reported in a major Indian publication under the headline: “Will Britain’s powerful Zionist lobby forgive Sayeeda Warsi?”
The article made me think that one reason why her colleagues and their mates in the media were so keen to dismiss the once-rising Muslim star as “incompetent” (unlike, say, IDS) and “over-promoted” (unlike, say, Grant Shapps) is because she dared lift the corner of a veil shrouding the pro-Israel lobby in Westminster.