Cameron Talks a Good Talk on Israel, But do his Promises Stack Up?
David Cameron's speech to the Knesset today was undeniably strong, even considering the weaknesses such as his continued blind support for Mahmoud Abbas, and John Kerry's peace plan. The British Prime Minister's address to the Israeli parliament was quite clearly a heavily 'pro-Israel' address.
But while Cameron is strong in sentiment, do his words stack up in active support for the State of Israel?
Undeniably, under Cameron, UK-Israeli relations have improved. Israeli politicians no longer have to fear arrest under 'universal jurisdiction' laws when visiting the UK, and trade between the two countries is at an all-time high.
David Burrowes, the MP for Endfield Southgate echoed this in a comment to Breitbart London. He said: "I was delighted to join the PM on this historic visit, which comes at such a significant time for Israel and the wider region. The Prime Minister's speech demonstrates the crucial and long-standing friendship between Britain and Israel, and the important role that Britain has in supporting the state of Israel".
But anti-Israel sentiment in the UK is arguable on the rise, and Cameron as well as others should be noted for scarcely making the same cases while in the British Parliament.
While Cameron said Britain opposes boycotts of Israel, a number of UK universities still target the Jewish State, and Britain has not once spoken out against the United Nations' bias against Israel.
Furthermore, Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) still routinely works with organisations that are overtly hostile to Israel, and advocate one-state solution as well as boycotts. This needs to be stamped out if Cameron can truly stake a claim to his comment that "delegitimising the State of Israel is wrong. It is abhorrent, and together we will defeat it."
The mainstay of anti-Israel sentiment within the British government comes not from Left-wing MPs either, but mainly the FCO. Previously, FCO staffers have been found to be overtly pro-Palestinian, and even the Foreign Minister, Alistair Burt, was set to speak at an anti-Israel Friends of Al-Asqa event at the Conservative Party Conference last year.
Should Cameron's comments be followed up with swift action to remove those who are ostensibly pushing against his own policies towards Israel from inside the British government, then he may well go down as one of the staunchest friends of Israel that Britain has ever had.
If not, he will be remembered at best as all talk, and at worst as playing to some of his party's pro-Israel donor base ahead of a major fundraising round before the UK general election.
For him to be able to convincingly say that "you have a British prime minister whose belief in Israel is unbreakable", he needs to get tougher on Hezbollah in Europe, on Iran in general, and on rooting out where Britain is funding Palestinian incitement and terrorist prisoner salaries.