Hague’s diplomatic double standards

Stuart Littlewood
Stuart Littlewood
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UK foreign Secretary William Hague continues to surpass himself.

You’ll remember how he fell for the phony claptrap about WMD and voted “very strongly” for the Iraq war, thus advertising his lack of diligence and poor judgement.

After three years in power he still has British troops dying in Afghanistan to massage the egos of American and British warmongers. He’s also made it his business to protect Israeli war crimes suspects - and the rest of the world’s most odious scum - from arrest.

He was at the forefront of military intervention in Libya, which has had messy, horrific and uncontrollable consequences.

And he seems to have an unquenchable desire to cripple the Iranian nation with ever-tighter sanctions reminiscent of those against Iraq in the run-up to the war he eagerly supported. It’s almost a replay of the brutal conspiracy by Britain and the U.S. back in the 1950s to topple Mossadeq and reinstate the hated Shah. Iran of course is no threat to the UK, although it could become one if Hague persists with his nonsense, and ought to be cultivated as a friend. There is no cast-iron basis for Hague’s hostility, which is unfathomable and has never been properly explained.

Now he compounds Britain’s embarrassment with his frantic efforts to drag us into the mire in Syria.

Hague has been vigorously campaigning for the EU to lift its arms embargo from the militants but not the sovereign government.

Stuart Littlewood

Trying to flog his snake-oil remedy for the Syria crisis, Agent Hague told BBC News: "In the end there is only a political and diplomatically-supported solution to this. Ending the [EU arms] embargo is part of supporting the diplomatic work.

"How long can we go on with people having every weapon that's ever been devised dropped on them while most of the world denies them the means to defend themselves?” It’s creating extremism and radicalizing people, he said. “We're reaching a limit of how long we can go on with that situation..."

I thought for a moment he was talking about Gaza, where "that situation" has been going on for six years. Syria has suffered for only two.

On this basis shouldn’t we help Hamas and other resistance groups to oust the thug regime bombarding their civilians? Perish the thought. Israel is much too precious to be spanked. The Zionist regime, as always, must be indulged, so it is welcome to carry on bombing, blasting, incinerating and shredding human beings minding their own business in their own homeland. Hague won't act against it. In fact he's part of the clique that enthusiastically rewards Israel's criminal cruelty.

In the case of Syria, however, Hague has been vigorously campaigning for the EU to lift its arms embargo from the militants but not the sovereign government. One wonders what he hopes to achieve by adding fuel to the roaring fire. Is he seeking to turn himself into some kind of hero for the shambolic Islamist fighters, many of whom are straight out of Hollywood’s worst horror movies? What’s to stop them trading their new British and French weapons for the best price they can get? In whose hands will they end up - the nice-as-pie rebels or the nasty West-haters?

And what if the rebel rabble eventually beats Assad to a pulp as a result of Agent Hague’s meddling? What sort of chaos will descend on Syria and how will it be contained? Indeed, who will pay the bills?

And is it legal? Yes, according to Hague’s and his advisers’ understanding of international law... like we were assured the Iraq war was legal, I suppose.

Then there’s Agent Hague’s everlasting support for Israel regardless of its mega-crimes. A few days ago he was saying, "I am pleased to be back in Israel.... The UK and Israel are close friends and allies and I attach great importance to our bilateral relationship. Our collaboration on hi-tech and science is second to none and today we affirmed the UK and Israel’s cooperation on security issues, including Iran. As a friend and ally, Britain is fully committed to Israel’s security needs.”

I’m not aware that ordinary people in Britain are close friends and allies of the Zionist entity, or want anything to do with it. It’s all in the minds of the pro-Israel lobby and the fools they’ve managed to impress.

Hague said there was no military solution to the crisis in Gaza or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The priority is to address the underlying causes, including “more open access to and from Gaza and an end to the smuggling of weapons.... We are clear that the way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations between the parties."

He doesn’t say what the 65 year-old “underlying causes” are. Nowhere does he demand an end to the blockade or the decades-old siege of the West Bank. He calls it a conflict and speaks of easing restrictions on freedom of movement rather than an end to the illegal occupation. He wants to stop the smuggling of weapons Gaza’s resistance in stark contrast to his eagerness to supply weapons to the Syrian resistance. If his policy of arming the Syrian rebels is sound, shouldn’t he arm Hamas too?

Twisted logic

On Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, he admits they are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace. “We consistently urge the Israeli authorities, including at the highest levels, to cease all settlement building, revoke previous announcements and to remove illegal outposts, as required under international law and in fulfillment of Israel’s obligations under the Roadmap." Fine. But no-one, least of all Agent Hague, follows through to actually invoke international law and ensure it’s done.

Instead, the West rewards the Israeli regime’s wholesale lawbreaking with more state-of-the-art offensive weapons to boost its trigger-happy capacity and increase the threat it poses to its neighbors, the region and beyond. Germany is about to supply a fifth nuclear-capable submarine while the UK and the EU shower Israel with favors and trade privileges despite the regime's disregard for the simple rules attached.

On his visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories last week, Hague also said: "In my meeting with President Abbas I stressed my support for his and Secretary Kerry’s efforts to re-launch the peace process.... Britain is ready to play its part."

Why is he supporting more time-wasting negotiations? Exactly what part is Britain ready to play - apart from putting on its usual performance of agonized hand-wringing?

While in Israel last month, Hague was touchingly reunited with Tzipi Livni, now Israel's justice minister. Livni, when foreign minister, was largely responsible for the terror that brought death and destruction to Gaza's civilians during the vicious blitzkrieg known as Operation Cast Lead. Showing no remorse, and with the blood of 1,400 dead Gazans (including 320 children and 109 women) on her hands and thousands more horribly maimed, Livni’s office issued a statement saying she was proud of it. And speaking later at a conference at Tel Aviv's Institute for Security Studies, she said: "I would today take the same decisions."

When Hague took up his present job he set about saving the damsel from the risk of arrest by turning Britain into a safe haven for Livni and other Israelis accused of war crimes. The gallant foreign secretary told guests at a reception held by Conservative Friends of Israel that “the last government left us with an appalling situation where a politician like Mrs Livni could be threatened with arrest on coming to the UK... We will put it right through legislation.”

So here’s a British government minister who was prepared to tamper with the laws of universal jurisdiction and undermine our justice system so that the likes of Livni could safely go shopping in London.

Why this eagerness to serve Israel's interests, anyway? William Hague was recruited into the Conservative Friends of Israel at the tender age of 15. In 2007, while shadow foreign secretary, he said: "We will always have strong economic and political ties with Israel. We will always be a friend of Israel." In 2008 he declared: "The unbroken thread of Conservative Party support for Israel that has run for nearly a century from the Balfour Declaration to the present day will continue.... It will remain constant, unbroken, and undiminished by the passage of time."

Livni told him when the pair met again last week: “We want the PA [Palestinian Authority] to know that peace talks are the only game in town.” When an agreement is reached, she explained, the resulting Palestinian state must be demilitarized and the refugee issue must end (JPost 21 May).

To which the obvious answer should have been: “Wrong. International law is the only game in town. The right of return is non-negotiable. And what about the Palestinians’ security needs?”

Yesterday, after the EU caved in to pressure to end the arms embargo to the Syrian 'opposition', Hague said: "Thousands of lives are at stake in Syria. Our focus remains on.... a political transition that ends the conflict, allows refugees to return to their homes, and prevents further radicalization in Syria."

This from a man who evidently didn't care how many lives were at stake (and snuffed out) in Iraq.

If he’s so concerned for lives in Syria and for the return of Syrian refugees, is he equally concerned for lives in Occupied Palestine and the return of Palestinian refugees forced from their homes at gunpoint when the so-called state of Israel was declared?


Stuart Littlewood is a marketing specialist turned writer-photographer in the UK. He is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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