Don’t tell the Minister…

15 09 2010

Category: anti-semitism, Media, Middle East, Politics

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has revealed he knew nothing about EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht’s comments about irrational Jews and the Jewish Lobby.

Louise Ellman MP asked whether he’d heard them during Foreign Office Questions in Parliament. He hadn’t. Hague knew nothing at all about de Gucht’s comments.

He certainly wouldn’t have heard them from the BBC, which decided not to report the matter. It now appears the Foreign Office decided to leave it off ministerial briefings too. Click on ‘read the rest’ to read the exchange…

Here’s the excerpt from Hansard, the Parliamentary record, for 14th September 2010:

Mrs Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside) (Lab/Co-op): On 2 September, Karel De Gucht, the European Commissioner for Trade, told a Belgian radio station that there was little point in trying to engage in rational argument with Jews and that peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were doomed to failure because of the power of the Jewish lobby. Is the Foreign Secretary surprised to hear those sentiments and has he heard them before?

Mr Hague: I have not heard them before. I totally disagree with those sentiments. I think that the direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians now represent a genuine opportunity. There is a long way to go, and one should not artificially raise expectations about the results of those talks, but they have begun in a very good atmosphere. If the quote that the hon. Lady gives from the European Commissioner is correct, I flatly disagree with it.

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