Op Ed: To Whom is the British Ambassador to Israel Loyal?

A Million Stories about the Zionist Rape of This World – in pictures

PNN – Palestine News Network –  09.12.11 – 04:36| Gary Spedding

All across government, officials have been quick to jump to the defence of the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould  when recently it was claimed a duality in his allegiances exist that call into question whether he is loyal to more Britain or Israel.

An Israeli flag flies near a Palestinian mosque in the city of Jerusalem (Lo Yuk Fai, PNN).
Paul Flynn recently shocked many in his claims regarding not only our Ambassador to Israel but also his commentary on British Jews in general claiming they are “too loyal to Israel”.
According to the Jewish Chronicle article, Flynn is quoted to have said that Mr. Gould has divided loyalties because he has “proclaimed himself to be a Zionist”.
The entire incident raises some important questions that nobody seems to want to deal with because, as usual, there is a tirade of misconstrued accusations of anti-Semitism that are flying around like wild fire. It is very important to highlight genuine anti-Semitism when it appears especially in government officials comments, however, can we actually conclude what Mr. Flynn has said is anti-Semitic?
What we have failed to look into are statements by Matthew Gould himself in an interview with the Manchester based Jewish Telegraph that could shed light on how such accusations came about in this interview Gould says(according to the source) that “Nothing would give me greater pleasure than seeing our embassy — and America’s — move to Jerusalem” he also said that “You cannot do this job without being a passionate Zionist” these statements could be seen as contrary to Britain’s own policies especially regarding Jerusalem which Britain regards as a city with contested status.
A failure on Flynn’s part is due to his poor use of terminology where he fails to display he understands the difference between being Jewish and a Zionist. This failure to recognize that the majority of British Jewry in spite of Zionism still adamantly identify as being wholeheartedly British was a mistake. To say British Jews have loyalty issues to the extent claimed is thus rather foolish.
All of this controversy stems from two of Flynn’s constituents who were arrested for taking part in the Flytilla during the summer months who have spoken of their experience with Gould which Flynn thought was relevant to bring up in an investigation the constituents said that “When they were briefly imprisoned in Israel, they met the ambassador and they strongly believed that he was serving the interest of the Israeli government, and not the interests of two British citizens”
It could be said that the state of Israel does not help in terms of combatting claims of a conflict of Interests with regard to Zionist ambassadors when by its own definition being of Jewish decent gives anyone the immediate right to citizenship thus we can ask about the possibility of divided loyalties.
Please also note the fact that under Gould the British embassy to Israel has been increasingly less helpful to British nationals whom complain about the practices of the Israeli military including to foreign nationals in the occupied territories. This leaves many with the feeling they cannot approach their own embassy especially when it appears that the British government is looking out for the interests of Israel as a country rather than the human rights of everybody in the area specifically its own citizens.
Israel is a unique state in many respects; one of the most difficult concepts for the general public to get fully understand is what is meant by Israel as a “Jewish State”. The shift incontext allows for implications that criticism toward an individual or group for being loyal Jewish nationalists can easily bemisconstrued as an attack on them for their Jewish identity which is usually not the case.
In amongst the discussions over the Iran attack and the conspiracies that are being investigated at the moment regarding the Werritty – Fox fiasco there is a simple matter in that there is no other country in the world that causes a dilemma of this kind not even envoys to say Italy or the Vatican where it could be argued a catholic envoy would be a conflict of interests. It is in fact the unique and complex way in which being a Zionist manifests that can cause the accusation of a division in loyalty not because of the individual but because of the constructs surrounding Israel as ‘The Jewish State’ for Jews world-wide.
Right wing groups were quick to act by shifting the narrative from one where the proclamation that Matthew Gould is a Zionist was the catalyst in order to focus on the idea Judaism or him being a Jew is the issue. This was perpetuated by Denis McShane in the House of Commons where he said there should be no rule that said “Jews cannot serve in Israel and Catholics cannot service in Catholic countries”.
In this statement the word Zionist is not mentioned once which reveals either McShane has not looked into the content of the actual criticism made or he is choosing to focus his response in a specific manner, it still leaves us asking whether a Zionist can serve as ambassador to Israel without bias.
The shadow foreign secretary also commented saying the faith of any British diplomat was “irrelevant to their capability to their job” and to make suggestions otherwise was “wrong and offensive”.
We have to consider previously ignored difficult questions; can we trust a person who prescribes to a particular political ideology that favours one group over the other in a conflict situation of this kind? Can we really be satisfied that a Zionist is going to serve British interests serving as the ambassador to the State of Israel for the crown? These are things that we need to know so as to put everyone’s minds at ease because some of us refuse to allow the distraction of the current discourse to stop legitimate criticism.

Source and more at the PNN – Palestine News Network

Truth does not matter for “Israel”. Buttons Do. To mute.

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