4 November 2010

Foreign Office victory in the Middle East

Back last 2 June, after a fortnight away, I noted with scorn Hague's opportunism in condemning the botched Israeli raid on an islamist blockade-runner.

"Wouldn't it have been nice", I wrote, "if Hague had said 'nobody in the Middle East gives a shit what the British government has to say about anything, so from now on I'm not going to add my ha'porth of pointless commentary to a situation that is as intractable as it is tragic for all concerned'."

But no - he has gone along with his officials to create a confrontation with Israel, and the Foreign Office has leaked word that it is "furious" that the Israelis have "ambushed" the garden gnome by cancelling some of the meetings planned for his first visit to that country.

The FCO pukes are not furious, of course - they are delighted. The important thing was to deepen the rift with Israel and to show the correct submission to Saudi Arabia, and both have been achieved. 

I think the main reason British officials are able to continue believing they are clever, despite being regularly used to mop the floor by their peers in other countries, is that the British press never looks below the surface. To define cleverness as the ability to get a bunch of lazy hacks to publish leaks sets the bar very low. 

Simple question: was Hague's visit to Ramallah designed to provoke the Israelis? Answer: Without a doubt. Next question: who benefits? Answer: the Foreign Office Arabomites.


  1. Well, let's look at it from the point of view of what we might call 'negative cleverness' which is what the Israelis seem to employ a lot of the time. Let's take the current model of how to play this back to the Netanyahoo administration as demonstrated by Presudent Erdogan of Turkey - tell them what you're going to do - send a boatload of bolshi Islamists to Gaza - wait for them to load up and then kill un(fire)armed Turkish citizens and then play to the ME Sunni audience! Works like a charm every time.

    So who can blame Hague for following the same formula? We all need a dose of Israeli repudiation. After all, they live off it. Why not share the benefits all round. Too bad the US can't quite reach to that.

  2. In the light of Hague's subsequent undertaking to rein in our "universal jurisdiction" legal dick-heads, maybe I underestimated the man. Perhaps he calculated that he needed to do some pre-emptive Palestinian dick-sucking to avoid being called pro-Israel. But why the hell go there and prat around where nobody wants or respects you?

  3. From the picture-show someone sent me of Gaza, it's really rather different from what all the bleeding goiters on the Left would make it out to be. Of course the pics may have predated the various IDF incursions. But it looked like lots of semi-affluent folk on the beach or at cafes. Maybe Hague wanted to see for himself and to accumulate a little Halal good will in his vote bank.