Superb speech by George Osborne to Board of Deputies' Dinner last night


By Jonathan Hoffman
November 24, 2010
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http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_231110.htm

What a pleasure to read this after the Mick Davis drivel

COMMENTS

telegramsam

Wed, 11/24/2010 - 18:57

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This is indeed an excellent speech, Jonathan. Thank you for posting it. I am unclear, however, where he differs from Mick Davis's views.
Does Mr Osborne not echo them here?

Understand that this nation is a friend of Israel.

A candid friend at times, yes.

Like many, many people in this room we want to see the Israeli Government negotiate peace, and we urge upon them an end to settlement building, and an opening up of Gaza.

And this?

I remember very clearly my first trip to Israel.

I visited Jerusalem, met with the Government, and went to Tel Aviv.

And while I was there in that city, a suicide bomber brought death to the bustling market of Carmel.

In any other country in the world they would have taken the visiting politician as far away as possible from the terror threat.

In Israel, they took me – within the hour – to the exact spot where three innocent people had just died.

I remember as if it were yesterday the scene of destruction:

The twisted metal of the market stalls;
The distraught family of the young Russian lady who had come to Israel to build a life and instead met with her death;
The people from the ZAKA organisation doing their extraordinary work.
I saw all this.

And the next day I went back to the market, to the same place, and I saw something else remarkable:

I saw the market bustling with shoppers;
I saw the market stall where one of the young market-traders had died reopened; saw the return of life, a people fighting back.
So, yes, I am a strong supporter of the peace talks.

Yes, I believe in a two-state solution in the Middle East.

But I have seen how Israelis live in daily fear and I say to its opponents - whatever you believe the justice of your cause to be:

You cannot bomb your way to peace with Israel;
Or murder your way to peace with Israel;
You must talk your way to peace with Israel.

Is there anything here with which we cannot agree?


mattpryor

Wed, 11/24/2010 - 19:11

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Happy Birthday to the Board of Deputies.

I didn't like Osbourne's speech much, it was sycophantic and condescending. Especially this bit:

"Like many, many people in this room we want to see the Israeli Government negotiate peace, and we urge upon them an end to settlement building, and an opening up of Gaza."

No, Hamas need to be contained until we (i.e. the west) figure out what to do with them. THANK YOU Israel for keeping the rest of us safe from those genocidal maniacs and the brainwashed fools that elected them.

As for settlement building - define a settlement Mr Osbourne. "East" Jerusalem? Tel Aviv? Where does it end?

It's sickening. How would he feel if Israelis started lecturing us about Afghanistan? We're in no bloody position to talk.

I'm utterly and completely disappointed by this government's sanctimonious attitude towards Israel.

There. I've said it.

Now for some cake.


amber

Wed, 11/24/2010 - 19:13

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i don't believe it - telegramsam is being nice.

I like it.


amber

Wed, 11/24/2010 - 19:19

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I agree Matt - I hate those speeches where they make an insult sound like a compliment.

What if Israel did begin lecturing us on Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan? There would be an indignant outcry. Yet people expect Israelis to be meek and bow and scrape before us, just because you throw them a few nicely vague words. Don't forget Cameron's Gaza "prison camp" jibe. That was simply disgusting.

As you said, sickening hycorisy!


mattpryor

Wed, 11/24/2010 - 19:21

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Thanks Amber, I'm glad it's not just me!


Jonathan Hoffman

Wed, 11/24/2010 - 19:50

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Matt and Amber - I agree, that bit is not "superb" but one would not realistically expect thim to say anything else


amber

Wed, 11/24/2010 - 23:49

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Yes Jonathan, but that just shows how low our expectations are in the UK concerning our political elites.


Avraham Reiss

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 00:13

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amber: "i don't believe it - telegramsam is being nice.
I like it."

Don't get used to it - 3 days and he reverts to his usual vile self. Anyway, it's not how he says things; it's what he says. An anti-Semite who spends his days and nights dreaming up bad ideas about Israel, doesn't change his ways over night.


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 00:19

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Avraham, I am truly sorry to be such a disappointment by agreeing with Jonathan that Osborne's was a superb speech, echoing many of the things said by Mick Davis.


raycook

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 10:28

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If Ed Miliband made this speech would it also be superb?

Maybe sometimes our local politics gets in the way of how we think or even hear.

None of the main parties can do anything else but be mealy-mouthed about Israel because they have to appear to be 'honest brokers' and 'even-handed'.

There are about 10 times as many Muslims in the UK as Jews and that ratio wordwide is far greater.

Politicians are what they are. We can't expect them to be Zionists but we should expect them not to use inflammatory language like Cameron or the 'I'm-Jewish-and-my-grandparents-fled-the-Holocaust-but-look-I'm-not-in-the-pocket-of-the-Zionist-lobby'ism of Ed Milband.

Tony Blair is the only true British statesman when it comes to Israel. Regardless of your domestic politics, or views on Iraq, I've never heard him say anything as objectionable as Cameron or Clegg.

They can make as many speeches to Friends of Israel or the BOD or UJIA or the ZF as they like, but when it comes down to it, they are cowards fearful of upsetting certain elements at home and abroad, rather than telling it as it is.


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 11:19

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Ray, that's an excellent point you make. Do you think our communal organisations should cease to invite UK politicians as crowd-pullers -- with the exception, of course, of Tony Blair?


raycook

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 11:58

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Sam, of course not, I just don't think we should expect them to be Zionists, but I would like them to express more understanding of Israeli policy on Gaza, for example, rather than use the language of Israel's enemies.


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 12:02

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Ray, fair enough. But when it comes to politicians, of any stripe, all you are going to get are platitudes.


raycook

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 14:07

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Melanie Phillips calls Osbourne Israel's false friend.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/6490304/israels-false-friend....

Methinks he did protest far too much. For his speech was full of easy platitudes. It was a kind of check-list of all the buttons that he knew he had to press to curry favour with that audience.

And then there was this

Like many, many people in this room we want to see the Israeli Government negotiate peace, and we urge upon them an end to settlement building, and an opening up of Gaza.

This paragraph negates Osborne’s professions of friendship and shows them to be cynical and false. The implication was that the Israelis were the ones preventing those negotiations – one of the great canards of the day. The fact is that you can’t negotiate peace unless there’s someone who wants to negotiate it with you. But the Palestinians don’t want peace with Israel. They want peace in place of Israel. They don’t want a two-state solution; if they did, there would be peace between two states tomorrow.

The whole piece is an excellent analysis of what is wrong with HMG's analysis or lack thereof.

On Israel, at least, there appears to be cross-bench agreement. Agreement to be purblind when it comes to the Palestinians.


Yoni1

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 21:33

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Melanie is right, as usual. That was also the sentence that caught my eye:
"we urge upon them an end to settlement building, and an opening up of Gaza".
What a pathetic, chinless, useless, brainless little nonentity.


Yoni1

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 21:37

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"I've never heard him say anything as objectionable as Cameron or Clegg."

Indeed. Or that vile Hague.

"they are cowards fearful of upsetting certain elements at home and abroad"

You don't mean the religion of pieces, by any chance? Those professional 'angry and upset' grievance merchants?


raycook

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 23:35

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@Yoni1 - I couldn't possibly comment. But arms sales, for eaxmple, are very lucrative when your economy is as it is.

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