Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday that although he was a strong supporter of Israel, he had been shocked by what he had seen first hands on visits to eastern Jerusalem.
“I am well-known as being a strong friend of Israel but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what has happened with the effective encirclement of East Jerusalem – occupied East Jerusalem – it is genuinely shocking,” Cameron told MPs in the House of Commons.
Mind you, with half a million Syrians killed in less than five years only 100 miles north, Egyptian civilians shot in the street by the army 200 miles to the west, untold thousands killed, maimed, raped and sold into slavery about 150 miles to the east, and hundreds of Saudi convicts losing their arms and heads 200 miles to the south, one must steel oneself to the revelations of what could shock the British leader in the liberated Jewish capital. Well, here goes:
“What this government has consistently done and gone on doing is saying yes, we are supporters of Israel, but we do not support illegal settlements, we do not support what is happening in East Jerusalem and it’s very important that this capital city is maintained in the way that it was in the past.”
The British prime minister was speaking during a parliamentary question period in response to a query from opposition Labor MP Imran Hussain, who asked: “Does the prime minister agree with me that illegal settlements and constructions are a major roadblock that hinder peaceful negotiations?”
After Hussain described a visit he made to an Arab family in the Old City of Jerusalem, whom he said was fighting eviction by Jewish settlers, Hussain also asked what the British government was doing “to help prevent the infringement into Palestinian lives and land.”
OK, now we get it — Israel put Jews in homes in that part of the city, and the prime minister, a friend of Israel through and through, just couldn’t tolerate it. It’s cool. After all, there were times back in English history when they assembled the Jews of York in a synagogue and burnt them alive. So being shocked over the fact that — God help us — Israel is building, as we speak, 450 apartments for Jews in eastern Jerusalem is actually progress.