But to its credit, they've also outed Brown as a Zionist, and all future statements by this dangerous and irresponsible sycophant should be considered with this in mind.
No Middle East Peace Without Tough Love
Israeli MPs will today hear a personal account from Gordon Brown of how he has been a passionate supporter of their country from when he was growing up in the 1950s. Brown will tell the Knesset, in a speech marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, that he was inspired by his father.
John Brown used to visit Israel up to twice a year in the 1950s and 1960s as a chairman of the Church of Scotland's Church and Israel Committee.
(A Christian-Zionist organization.)
The prime minister's father would return home and show slides of the building of the new state to his family.
Brown will say in his speech: "I will never forget those early images of your home and the stories my father would tell ... there was never a time that I did not hear about the struggles, sacrifices, tribulation and triumphs as the Israeli people built their new state. I am proud to say that for the whole of my life I have counted myself a friend of your country."
(Befriending a country's Extremists is not being a friend to any nation, or to its people.)
Brown warns Iran to end 'totally abhorrent' threat to destroy Israel
At least the paper published this refutation only a day later:
A missed opportunity at the Knesset
The slip in Gordon Brown's speech in Israel about Iran's nuclear 'weapons' programme was symptomatic of a misjudged message
All comments (136)
* Jonathan Steele
o Jonathan Steele
o Monday July 21, 2008
o Article history
Gordon Brown's choice of the Knesset today as the place to make a strong statement on Iran was not the only misjudgment on his trip to Israel. It could not help but give the impression that the prime minister supports the belligerent statements from senior Israelis about the need to strike Iran militarily to block its access to nuclear weapons. At a time when talks are underway with the Iranians and with sanctions still in play, the last thing needed from responsible western leaders is any hint that force is permissible.
Hopefully, Brown misspoke when he called on Iran to "suspend its nuclear weapons programme", a programme which was halted in 2003, according to the most recent United States national intelligence estimate. But his slip of the tongue was revealing. An attack on Iran, even if it were proved to be trying to acquire nuclear weapons in violation of the non-proliferation treaty, would be illegal, inflammatory and sure to create massive instability throughout the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.
The prime minister was also wrong to repeat the notorious mistranslation of the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's words about Israel. He is in good company among western politicians in claiming Ahmadinejad said Israel must be "wiped off the map". But that does not excuse Brown and his advisers from failing to consult specialist opinion. Independent Farsi-speaking experts outside Iran pointed out at the time that Ahmadinejad's remark followed a passage in his speech where he said the Shah's regime and the Soviet Union both collapsed quite suddenly. He went on to say that the "regime occupying al Quds (Jerusalem) must be eliminated from the page of time". Some will see this as just as threatening as "wiped off the map", as I wrote in a blog two years ago, but others will accept that the Iranian president was expressing a wish for the future. He was not suggesting that Iran would be the instrument for getting Israeli control removed from Jerusalem, let alone for destroying the Israeli state altogether.
Brown did well to draw attention to Israel's grim separation wall. Standing in Bethlehem, he eloquently described it as "graphic evidence of the urgent need for justice for the Palestinian people, the end to the occupation and the need for a viable Palestinian state". He did not buy the argument, in his public comments, that the wall is primarily a security tool. The fact that it does not run along the 1967 borders makes it clear to most observers that the wall is another instrument for incorporating Palestinian land into an expanded Israeli state. The wall also undermines the Palestinian economy by splitting the West Bank into incoherent segments.
A pity, then, that Brown did not speak equally firmly about justice and occupation when he addressed the Knesset. It is not Palestinian politicians but Israeli decision-makers who need to hear tough words. In spite of emphasising the goal of Palestinian economic development, there was nothing in his Knesset speech about the hundreds of roadblocks, including 86 new ones since last year's Annapolis peace promises. When the prime minister talked politely about "needing your help in lifting economic obstacles", the only desirable step he mentioned was the re-opening of the Chamber of Commerce in East Jerusalem. This was banality to the point of ridicule.
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