When senior British spokespeople are starting to speak out against the Jewish state, things are clearly getting desperate. The Guardian reports:
The British ambassador to Israel has said international support for the Jewish state among those in the political mainstream is eroding, driven by settlement expansion in the West Bank and continued restrictions on Gaza.
There is “growing concern” in the UK over lack of progress towards peace with the Palestinians, and Israel was now being seen as Goliath against the Palestinians as David, said Matthew Gould, in reference to the biblical story.
In an unusually forthright interview for Israel’s Channel 10 news, Gould said he detected a shift among the middle ground of British members of parliament towards a more critical view of Israel.
“Israelis might wake up in 10 years’ time and find out that the level of understanding in the international community has suddenly changed, and that patience for continuing the status quo has reduced,” he said.
“Support for Israel is starting to erode and that’s not about these people on the fringe who are shouting loudly and calling for boycotts and all the rest of it. The interesting category are those members of parliament in the middle, and in that group I see a shift.”
But, he added, Britain was “by no means unique” in its growing concern about the lack of progress towards peace. “Anyone who cares about Israel’s standing in the world should be concerned about the erosion of popular support.”
The shift was a result of Israeli government policies, Gould said, suggesting that it could not be countered or obscured by hasbara. The Hebrew word for explanation refers to efforts by the Israeli government and its supporters to promote a pro-Israel agenda and challenge what it sees as negative media coverage.
“The centre ground, the majority, the British public may not be expert, but they are not stupid and they see a stream of announcements about new building in settlements, they read stories about what’s going on in the West Bank, they read about restrictions in Gaza. The substance of what’s going wrong is really what’s driving this,” Gould said.
He added: “Israel is now seen as the Goliath and it’s the Palestinians who are seen as the David.” In the biblical story of David and Goliath, the young future king of Israel defeats the mighty Philistine warrior armed only with a sling and stones.