I have written 2 posts on this matter including an approach forward on a resolution so I refer to those rather than repeating myself;
What I would like to take on here are 2 clear cut reservations of PM May on Secretary Kerry’s speech;
1. Inappropriateness to attack a “Democratically” elected government of an Ally; I address this “Democratic” concept in one the posts above but briefly it is quite absurd to suggest that Democratic governance in and of itself would excuse Israel from following International norms and Law. It should also NOT restrict us from being critical of any democratic nation if there is valid reason to be so particularly where there is a clash of Liberal/Democratic values we in the west strongly believe in-remember these values do not only pertain to self-governance but also in our respect to the rule of law (national/International), as well as the protection of freedoms/human rights/dignity irrespective of culture, ethnicity and religion-that’s the foundation, right?
In terms of Israel being an ally hence we should be restrained in our criticism; Well this presents yet another fundamental problem-again something I mentioned in previous post; if the starting point for us as Britain (or any Western democracy for that matter) is to suggest-in action or in statement-a preferential treatment of one party towards another in a foreign conflict then we’re essentially shooting ourselves in the foot at the start of a Marathon. Why, here are a couple answers;
a) Preferential treatment means that there is less (or no) incentives for the stronger party to agree to any form of a settlement or not be in any rush to do so because in this case it allows the proposition of a 2 state solution to be slowly diluted by Israeli actions on the ground. On that basis any calls for the parties to engage in talks without any incentives or real influence to make it happen is call for a status quo-or what I call “Creative Inertia”.
b) Being an ally in normal circumstances should be a 2 way street with both duties/obligations on each side in the relationship particularly when dealing with areas of conflict. So far the trajectory of travel has been in 1 direction and I have yet to see any real influence by the successive British governments on the peace process that has led to substantive actions on the ground rather than sheer rhetoric/political posturing.
2. Unbalanced Criticism of Israel: Another criticism directed towards Secretary Kerry is that his speech was unbalanced on placing onus on Israel alone for lack of progress in the ME Peace process. This is simply/factually incorrect as he did mention clearly that any permanent resolution needed to address the security of Israel and mark the end of all terrorist attacks.
Finally, let me just say I believe, and this is a personal opinion, that PM May is being coached from behind on this issue by Pro Israel group within the conservative party including/possibly headed by Michael Gove. This leads swiftly to a point I made in one of the posts mentioned above about importing foreign conflicts into our political echo system which in turn affects our ability as a nation in reacting to such conflicts based on our own values/traditions irrespective of any form of external influence. We need to be Pro British values NOT Pro Palestinian nor Pro Israel-this will take us a long way on developing a pragmatic/progressive Foreign Policy profile something that seems to have dropped out of our Resume for a long time.
“I have a Dream!” said Martin Luther King one Sunny Day, but then I would say “When Prudent Foreign Policy Becomes the British Only Way”, Right PM May??