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Israeli Government Minister Fires Back at British Criticism

By: JTA

The education minister of Israel responded to British condemnation of planned construction in eastern Jerusalem and accreditation of Ariel University Center.

“Our connection to Ariel is at least as strong as the UK’s connection to the Falkland Islands,” Gideon Saar said late Saturday.

“A university is an obstacle to peace? And as long as it was not a university there was a chance for peace? The incitement in the Palestinian educational system is the true obstacle to peace,” he said during a cultural event in Ness Ziona. “It is the unwillingness of the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and end their conflict with us that constitutes an obstacle to peace.”

Saar noted that hundreds of Arab students study at Ariel and that the center has cooperated with academic institutions in England on important research projects.”

British Foreign Minister Alistair Burt said in a statement released on Dec. 27 that  Israel’s upgrading of the Ariel center “will deepen the presence of the settlements in the Palestinian territories and will create another obstacle to peace.” He also said that Israel’s decision to build 1,200 homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo “is damaging Israel’s international reputation.”

Burt also invoked the Geneva Conventions in his criticism, and by  juxtapositioning them implying that settlement expansion is considered a war crime under international law.

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9 Responses to “Israeli Government Minister Fires Back at British Criticism”

  1. Rosalie Laughton says:

    What, according to the British Foreign Minister are the "Palestinian Territories"? Does he mean Judea and Samaria? If so, in what year did they become "Palestinian Territories"?

  2. Wouldn't it be great if the British Foreign Minister had one of those BIbles with a map in the back … and if he read all the historice references to Judea and Samaria and cross-referenced them?

  3. To say that the Queen gave Prof. Your a title of nobility is profoundly stuped.

  4. To say that the Queen gave Prof. Your a title of nobility is profoundly stuped.

  5. Euna Haynes says:

    pRECISELY!

  6. Britain is in no position to comment on this issue–let them get out of the Falkland Islands –Gibralter –and Northern Ireland first before they even open their mouth.

  7. What can anybody expect from a Brittish foreign minister>.

  8. What can anybody expect from a Brittish foreign minister>.

  9. At best in the past, Arabs herded goats through the area. The Univesity buildings and housing could always better serve human uses, Israeli or Palestinian.

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