The Middle East peace process is in danger of becoming a casualty of the revolutionary tidal wave sweeping the Arab world, and Israel is putting itself at risk by failing to compromise, William Hague told The Times yesterday. Speaking on an emergency peace mission covering five countries in three days, the Foreign Secretary issued a blunt instruction to Israel to tone down the belligerent language used by Binyamin Netanyahu, its Prime Minister, since the uprising and protests, which have spread from Tunisia to Egypt and beyond.
... Mr Hague responded to increasingly militaristic pronouncements by Mr Netanyahu, who has been urging his nation to prepare for ‘any outcome’ and vowing to ‘reinforce the might of the state of Israel’. The Foreign Secretary said: ‘This should not be a time for belligerent language. It’s a time to inject greater urgency into the Middle East peace process.’
As Melanie Phillips writes:
Belligerent? Israel is currently petrified that, if Islamists come to power in Egypt and tear up its 30-year old peace treaty as the Muslim Brothers have said they will do, it will face the nightmare of a renewed threat of war from the south as well as from Iran/Hezbollah in the north and Iran/Hamas in Gaza. It will be thus encircled by truly ‘belligerent ‘ enemies. It will have to turn its entire military and strategic thinking upside down in order to defend itself against such a grim prospect – and yes, of course it will have to reinforce its defences. Even more young Israelis will have to be called up to army service and face the risk of death to prevent their country from being wiped off the map. For William Hague to represent the warnings by Israel’s Prime Minister that his country must now prepare itself for this terrifying eventuality as ‘belligerency’ is simply obscene.
Let us hear no more nauseating hypocrisy from Cameron or Hague about how they are Israel’s staunch allies. With ‘friends’ like these, who needs enemies?
The Times illustrated the story this way (via Honest Reporting blog):
What an interesting photo choice!