Here’s a short blog from Jamie Stern-Weiner that turned up in my email this morning. In fact, I spotted this news yesterday evening in a tweet from RT – you know, the ‘Kremlin-backed’ Russia Today, which the UK media and politicians regard as a sinister propaganda outfit. We can only speculate why Vladimir Putin decided to report a public comment by the British Foreign Minister, Alistair Burt, which our own, balanced media judged irrelevant. Sowing the seeds of conflict, I guess, or perhaps just toying with us for his own perverse amusement.

Indeed, I did a quick search just now which confirmed that the UK press – from the rabidly anti-Palestinian Telegraph to the ‘Murdoch-backed’ Times to the smug Guardian and the pompous BBC – didn’t think Burt’s comments, or the House of Commons exchange about Ahed Tamimi in which they were made, were newsworthy at all.

I suppose this isn’t surprising given their collective silence on yesterday’s pronouncement by Israel’s Agriculture Minister that ‘The Time Has Come for Dead Palestinians.’ Nor for that matter did they bother reporting comments last month by the Labour MP Stephen Kinnock urging the UK government to ‘put a cost on Israeli violations of international law.’ ‘We in this House can no longer stand by and do nothing,’ Kinnock said. To be fair, they probably didn’t want to confuse their audience by mentioning Israel’s serial violations of international law which they hadn’t reported in the first place.

Here’s a quote from Burt:

‘The truth is that the soldiers should not be there and the young woman should not have needed to do what she did.’

And here’s the rest.

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Dear Sir

I was utterly shocked to read in The Guardian your claim that the Palestinians bear ‘principal responsibility’ for attacks on Gaza that have killed more than 120 people, including many children.
 
Given your position, you are undoubtedly aware of the precise series of events that led to these latest Israeli attacks, which include the killing of a mentally disabled 13 year-old Palestinian. I am baffled by the Israeli claim to self-defence against any response to its brutal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. The fact that you would help perpetuate this warped perspective and stand by while Palestinian women and children are wiped out like fish in a barrel is shameful.
 
I am naive enough to have hoped that the United Kingdom would show moral and political leadership on this issue, especially given David Cameron’s own description of Gaza as an ‘open air prison’. Instead, your policy appears to have been drafted in Washington where political fortunes hinge on one’s courtship of the pro-Israel lobby.
 
Sincerely,
 
Juliana Farha