Monday, July 21, 2008

PM Brown's speech to the Knesset

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown made history today when he addressed the Knesset in Jerusalem. Brown has a history of being a friend of Israel that dates from his early childhood. His father was a leader in the Church of Scotland, and was very pro-Israel. He began to take annual trips to Israel soon after independance and often took his young son with him.
I suppose no previous PM (not even Blair) was invited because of the fact that many of them were ambivalent about Israel, Britain having been the imperial occupier of the area, and having been pro-Arab during the crucial years of Jewish immigration after WWII.
It's true that Brown berated Israel for its settlement policy on the West Bank when he visited Pres. Abbas in Ramallah yesterday. But this pales in comparison to the fulsome words he included in his speech to the Knesset.
I am appending Brown's speech because I think it warrants reading. He makes three important points, i. That Israel is unique in having accomplished more in a shorter time than any other nation on earth; ii. He criticizes Iran and it's leaders for their statements about Israel, and he calls for stiffer sanctions against them; iii. He criticizes attempted British academic boycotts of Israeli academia and promised an expansion of joint academic projects between the UK and Israel.

Here is his speech:
21 July 2008

Speech by the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the Knesset , Jerusalem, Israel.

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