Is Israel also responsible for the dying of the sun, Mr Brazier?

MP blames Israel for inciting anger in Pakistan, the election of extremists in Egypt and Iran’s threat to close the Straits of Hormuz

By Marcus Dysch, April 11, 2012
MP Brazier

MP Brazier

A Conservative MP has blamed Israel for "whipping up feeling" against British troops in Afghanistan, the election of extremists in Egypt, and Iran's threat to close a vital oil route.

Julian Brazier, MP for Canterbury and Whitstable, made the claims in a letter to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Mr Brazier raised the issue of local authority tendering regulations before digressing into a rant about Israeli actions in the West Bank.

He quoted a lecture in which late military historian Professor Richard Holmes claimed Israeli activity in the West Bank was "playing a major role in inciting the anger felt in Pakistan and Afghanistan" and leading to attacks on British troops.

The MP continued: "I can be in no doubt at all of the fury Israeli settlement activity is causing in all Israel's neighbours [and the role it played in the sweeping electoral successes of the extremists in Egypt last autumn]."

Regarding Britain's approach to Iran, he wrote: "If, in the worst scenario, we have to go to war to keep the Straits of Hormuz open, Israeli settlement activity will have made it much harder."

Mr Brazier also complained about French waste-management company Veolia, which has repeatedly been targeted by anti-Israel groups over its links to the Jerusalem light rail project.

He asked Mr Pickles to investigate whether local councils should be allowed to work with the company and accused Veolia of being "intimately involved in highly illegal activities in the occupied territories".

These "illegal activities" included "establishing and operating transport systems, which are both run on an apartheid basis and make the settlement process even more irreversible", he said.

In the letter, Mr Brazier said he had "never taken part in any anti-Israeli boycott" - but he is a regular critic of Israel in Parliament.

Following the Gaza flotilla incident in 2010, he asked Foreign Secretary William Hague to comment on Israel's "brutal blockade of Gaza". During a 2007 Commons debate, he told then Foreign Secretary David Miliband that Israel was partly to blame for the rise of Hamas. The previous year, he had blamed Israel for "bullying" Lebanon.

The British Israel Coalition encouraged supporters to write to Mr Brazier contesting his "disgusting" letter to Mr Pickles.

A BIC spokesman said: "While it seems rather unlikely that Egyptian protesters took down the Mubarak regime because of Israel's military policy in the West Bank, what is far more disgusting is the idea that Taliban fighters that murder little girls who desire an education, or attack British troops trying to defend Afghani freedoms, do so because of the Jewish desire to live as a free people in their own land in another part of the world".

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said Mr Pickles had received Mr Brazier's letter, but had yet to respond. The department has not launched an investigation into Veolia's work.

Last updated: 3:04pm, April 11 2012