I am neither a historian, decent author or a journalist and the chances are, unless there is a link or reference to somewhere else, the perpetrator is your's truly-Renaud Sarda.
I created this blog as a focal point, to arm friends and people with arguments and facts that they could perhaps use to counter the anti- Israel propaganda, biased media and Israel boycott campaign.
I am a Zionist and a proud Sephardi Jew who will fly the Israeli flag, and defend whatever Israel does.
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Thursday, 2 June 2011
Israeli Embassy Newsletter- HE Prosor bids Farewell
HE Ambassador Prosor
In Today's Telegraph, Ambassador Prosor wrote: After four years as Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, I am leaving to represent my country at the UN. I have cause, therefore, to take stock. I admire Britain. Our nations remain united by shared values and common interests. We are members of an elite club of countries whose flags are frequently burnt in hostile Middle Eastern dictatorships. I am proud to represent a country that, like this one, is grounded in democratic values, tolerance and freedom of expression.
The regime in the Islamic Republic of Iran has long referred to the "Great Satan" of America, and the "Little Satan" of Israel. But the venomous tirades of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, its president, also include regular mentions of "criminal Britain", proof that you must be doing something right.
Allegations that appear quaintly ludicrous to Western audiences hold sway in prominent positions throughout the Middle East. When a shark attacked a tourist in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, the local Egyptian governor suggested Mossad was using sharks to harm Egyptian tourism. When scientists at Tel Aviv University tagged a flock of vultures to monitor their flight patterns, Saudi police arrested an itinerant bird as an Israeli spy. We fear that in interrogation, the bird sang. One British commentator wondered whether the real head of the Mossad was in fact Dr Dolittle.
As we forecast the weather of the Arab Spring, we must strive for change that leads to the erosion of such lunacy, rather than its empowerment. Sadly, some of it has been imported to these shores unchallenged. Three years ago, I wrote in The Daily Telegraph that Britain had become a hotbed of anti-Israeli sentiment. That position has deteriorated. Attitudes once considered marginal or extreme have drifted dangerously close to the mainstream.
Channel 4 chose Ahmadinejad, the world's leading Holocaust denier, to present its alternative Christmas message in 2008. A few months later, the tyrant stole an election, crushing subsequent protests with brutality, torture and execution. The then broadcaster of Big Brother gave a prestigious prime-time slot to the head of a "Big Brother" state.
In 2010, when an earthquake struck Haiti, Israeli soldiers and medical teams delivered aid with greater speed and impact than some countries 10 times our size. Some warped imaginations alleged that Israeli doctors were on a sinister mission to harvest Haitian organs, a 21st-century blood libel. A Liberal Democrat peer lent credibility to those claims – Baroness Tonge might not have been the organ-grinder behind the libel, but was happy to play the role of monkey.
On British campuses, a minority of aggressive, radicalised and even violent students have hijacked the discourse from the majority. Hard-line Arab and Muslim speakers are hosted with impunity. This country fought the Second World War for the right for ideas to be freely aired and debated. Today, some British campuses are breeding grounds for a mindset that seeks not to engage in debate, but to shut it down.
This endangers more than just the quality of discussion. Last December, a British resident, a student from Bedfordshire University, blew himself up in Sweden. The previous Christmas, a former student of UCL attempted to detonate his underpants on a transatlantic flight. Yet some still deny there is a problem.
Perhaps we should not be surprised. As Middle Eastern tyrannies brutalise their civilians, British university graduates are often nearby. In Libya, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, some-time funder of the London School of Economics, is gunning down his people in stark contrast to his PhD on "civil society and democratisation". In Syria, Bashar al-Assad, the London-educated ophthalmologist with a blind spot for terror, is crushing the vision of unarmed protesters. Yet on the streets and campuses of Britain, Assad will never receive the level of vitriolic condemnation for slaughtering his citizens that Israel receives for defending ours.
Tomorrow's leaders are being educated in environments where visceral hatred of Israel is not the exception but the norm. NGOs such as Amnesty are happy to host speakers with dubious records of sympathy for militant groups. In Scotland, West Dunbartonshire Council recently ordered a ban on books by Israeli authors, putting the "dumb" into Dumbarton. A place that bans books is not far from one that burns them.
A campaign is raging to drive a wedge between Israel and our natural allies. Extremists who despise democracy are abusing Britain's institutions to demonise Israel, the Middle East's only democracy, out of the accepted family of nations. Ironically, the abuse of British tolerance has made it the Western headquarters of the assault on Israel's legitimacy. The values we share, cherish and strive to defend are our soft underbelly, targeted and exploited by anti-Western, anti-democratic and, consequently, anti-Israeli radicals.
In many ways, the friendship between Britain and Israel is in reasonable health. In strategic dialogue, counter-terrorism and co-ordinating a response to the Iranian nuclear threat, we are working together as never before. On a governmental level, relations remain warm. But bubbling below the surface, a toxic mix of delegitimisation and demonisation against the State of Israel risks undermining the relationship.
Our co-operation has never been more important. In a world facing the threat of Islamist extremism, we are natural allies in the fight for democratic values. As citizens in the Arab world rise up for freedom, it is crucial we prevent democratic movements being hijacked and snuffed out by Islamist fanatics, as occurred in Iran in 1979.
Britain has led the international community in the struggle against Iran's nuclear weapons programme. Nothing would cripple progress in the region more than a mullah regime with a nuclear bomb, providing an umbrella for terrorism while holding the world's energy supply hostage. It is essential we continue to work together to prevent that devastating scenario.
If the current level of demonisation of Israel remains unchecked, however, our room for co-operation could be narrowed. Our relations are like a luxurious penthouse suite, all mod-cons and stunning views, perched on top of a dilapidated apartment block. The foundations are shaky, water floods the basement and rising damp stains the building. Without repairs to the lower levels, there could be serious damage.
Now, more than ever, the values our countries share should never be taken for granted. I am proud to represent Israel. Despite a 63-year struggle for survival, and with a population of just seven million, we have built a society on the technological cutting edge, in which science, innovation and creativity thrive. Recent events around the Middle East have emphasised Israel's uniqueness in a region plagued by tyranny.
Britain remains an ally and an inspiration. As I leave London, the birthplace of modern democracy, for New York, home of the Statue of Liberty, I am proud that liberty remains a cherished value in Jerusalem, the ancient and eternal capital of the Jewish people. It was in Jerusalem where the Jewish people wrote the great works of law that shaped our civilization. Today, Jerusalem's courts safeguard our modern democratic freedoms – the freedom of expression, the freedom of worship, the freedom to disagree with and elect our leaders, all protected by a fiercely independent judiciary.
I leave the UK with good memories, some concerns, but also hope that a majority of decent British citizens will continue striving to strengthen our friendship, our freedoms and the values of liberty, democracy and the rule of law into an uncertain future.