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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Only in Israel: UK funding 'political activity'

Can you imagine the outrage if the United States were funding 'political activity' in Britain or vice versa? Well, all over Europe, funding 'political activity in Israel' is unfortunately accepted as routine. Israelis are getting tired of it.
Israel is up in arms over a declaration by a British government spokesman that the UK is funding political activity in Israel.

British spokesman Martin Day said in an interview in Dubai with Al-Arabiya television last week that the British government was "taking practical steps towards freezing settlement activities."

"For instance," Day said, "we finance projects aimed at halting settlement activities. One of these projects seeks to build new Palestinian neighborhoods in east Jerusalem and save Palestinian houses from demolition."

In addition, Day said in an Arabic interview, "we also finance organizations that monitor settlement activities."

He further stated that "products from the settlements do not enjoy preferential custom duties that we offer to products coming from Israel. In light of this, we can say that we are taking effective and practical steps against settlement activities."

The Foreign Ministry's senior deputy director general, Rafi Barak, spoke with British Ambassador Tom Phillips two days ago and asked for an explanation. He met with the British envoy again on Wednesday to again discuss the matter and voice Israel's displeasure.


Yossi Levy, the ministry's spokesman for the Hebrew press, characterized Day's comments as the "height of chutzpah," and said such activity was "unheard of."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, "We can't recall any other case of a democratic country funding political activities inside another democratic country."

Additionally, he said, this makes no sense from their point of view because any political activities they are backing will lose credibility in the eyes of the Israeli public when it is revealed that these activities are funded by a foreign government.

"How would the British feel if another country funded political activities of groups within the UK?" he asked.
Indeed. Unfortunately, at 10 Downing Street, it seems that anything goes when it comes to Israel. Simply outrageous.

Related: Breaking the Silence funded by European governments, EU and private Americans.


At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How would the British feel if another country funded political activities of groups within the UK?" he asked.

You mean like the Saudi's funding madrassas? I guess it would depend on the group being funded. /sarc

At 10:38 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Knesset should pass a law banning foreign funding of Israeli NGOs. They should not be influenced by the views of their foreign benefactors. It would help to kill off a lot of NGOs that have no real support within Israel and improve the quality of Israeli public discourse. And it would keep foreign governments from interfering in Israel's internal affairs.

Its about time.

At 11:50 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

NormanF I agree with him. that sounds like a Democratic solution. the people should be represented. not their enemies. the abuse in the system is glaring.

At 12:14 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

how to be rich and Jewish... the easy way : hate yourself and your family. there is a lot of money for Jews who back stab their own community. and I'm not being emotional about it. I know. especially in the media, public relations, marketing and advertising. the money all comes from oil in the end... and they prefer a Jew who can discredit other Jews. just take a cheap video camera to Israel and find some angry kid and video tape him. be sure to edit a Michael Moore cut and voila! you will be rich!


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