New UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson a “very outspoken friend of Israel”

Boris Johnson at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, November 2015
Nureddin Sabir, Editor, Redress Information & Analysis, writes:

Boris Johnson, Britain’s newly appointed foreign secretary, is best known for his buffoonery, but beneath his clownish exterior lurks a deadly serious and arrogant far-right politician with a crude, ill-informed and xenophobic view of the world.

It should not be too surprising, then, that his most ecstatic cheerleaders, outside the odious cesspits of the Conservative Party’s right wing, is Israel’s Zionist establishment.

Tel Aviv will be looking forward to a “very outspoken friend of Israel”, the Zionist entity’s former ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, said on 14 July, the right-wing Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, reported.

“He is a very enthusiastic supporter, and his relationship with Israel goes back a long way,” said Taub, describing Johnson’s enthusiasm for Israel as “infectious”.

As a measure of his enthusiasm for the state that was build on the bones and stolen houses and farms of the indigenous Palestinians, Mr Johnson has gone out of his way to condemn the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

Launched in 2005, BDS campaigns for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. It has since gained widespread international support.

But for Mr Johnson, the privileged, Eton- and Oxford-educated toff, the thousands of grassroots activists, including many Jews, who support BDS are “corduroy-jacketed lefty academics”.

During a visit to Israel in November 2015, he said: “I cannot think of anything more foolish” than to boycott “a country that when all is said and done is the only democracy in the region, the only place that has in my view a pluralist open society”.

It would have been out of character for Mr Johnson – described as a liar by the French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, on 14 July – to let the facts get in the way of his courtship of the Zionists. As the journalist Jonathan Cook reminds us, Israel is an apartheid state and its apartheid is far wider than the institutionalised discrimination practised against the Palestinians in the occupied territories and the preferential treatment enjoyed by the Jewish squatters in the territories.

  • Israel has nationalised 93 per cent of Palestinian-owned land in the country so that Jewish citizens can exclude Palestinian Arab citizens;
  • Israel operates vetting committees, enshrined in law, in hundreds of rural communities precisely to prevent Palestinian Arabs from living in these communities;
  • Israel has separate citizenship laws – the Law of Return (1950) and the Citizenship Law (1952) – based on ethnic belonging;
  • Israel has designed its citizenship laws to confer rights on Jews who are not actually yet citizens or present in the state, privileging them over Palestinian Arabs who do have citizenship and are present in the state;
  • Israel has more than 55 laws that explicitly discriminate based on which ethnic group a citizen belongs to;
  • Israel defers some of what should be its sovereign powers to extra-territorial bodies – the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund – whose charters obligate them to discriminate based on ethnic belonging;
  • Israel denies its citizens access to any civil institutions on personal status matters such as marriage, divorce and burial, requiring all citizens to submit to the whims and prejudices of religious leaders; and
  • Israel does not recognise its own nationality, and makes it possible to join the dominant national group (Jews) or to immigrate only through conversion.

But perhaps these are not problems for Mr Johnson. In one speech during his visit to Israel in 2015, he said that he admires it for “the audacity, the bravery, the willingness to take risks with feats of outrageous derring-do”.

That, it would seem, is coded language for Israel’s apartheid system, its contempt for international law, its violations of Palestinian human rights, and its war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights.

It is the “the audacity, the bravery, the willingness to take risks with feats of outrageous derring-do” of thieves, murderers and rapists.

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