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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Another British double standard

The contrast between Britain's handling of its passports being used by the Russian spy ring in the United States and its handling of the use of British passports in the liquidation of Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh (allegedly by Israel) displays a sinister double standard.
At this stage during the Dubai affair in mid-February, the Labour government had already summoned the Israeli ambassador and announced criminal investigations amid furious statements from all political parties. It expelled another Israeli diplomat a month later. The Guardian newspaper ran some 17 articles highlighting the passport accusations.

By contrast, a week into the Russian forgery story, there is not a hint of a diplomatic row between London and Moscow. The Guardian mentioned the fake passport allegations in two articles that lacked the breathless condemnation directed at Israel. The paper's editorial on the Russian spy-ring ignores the passport angle altogether.

Why the double standard? One possible explanation is that Israel is a friend and ally of Britain, and friends aren't supposed to behave that way. Then again, Downing Street also claims good relations with the Kremlin. Or perhaps the difference has to do with the recent change of government. Yet Britain's new chief diplomat, William Hague, when still shadow foreign secretary, encouraged Labour's diplomatic arm-twisting of Israel, a point he was eager to repeat in an interview last month with Al Jazeera, no less.

It's hard to escape the conclusion that what really infuriated the British was not so much the alleged offense but the identity of its perpetrators.

In fact, the only question is whether the cause for the fury is rank anti-Semitism or continued British pique at being expelled from here 62 years ago.


At 7:53 PM, Blogger Mr. Gerson said...

Antisemitsm, combined with idiocy - allowing the media to dictate what we should be upset about.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Hatfield said...

Both. The British are anti-Semitic and are still piqued at their expulsion (it hurt more because of the expulsers...is that a word?)

At 4:57 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Its about the fact Russia is still a powerful country with nuclear weapons. The Brits don't push The Bear around. On the other hand, the Jews are easy pickings for the neighborhood bullies.


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