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Criticise Israel at your peril; only Israel can forge peace in the Middle East

Those who publicly criticised the Israel Government over the issue of annexation have been proven wrong – unilateralism can and does work. The result is the third peace treaty between Israel and an Arab State, with strong indications that Bahrain and Oman will be next in line. For the past generation, the imposition of Western standards in the Middle East has been shown to fail. Israel is the only liberal democracy that can survive and thrive with the understanding that, dealing with its neighbours, requires a combination of Middle Eastern political skills and local cultural heritage.

Middle East politics is not like European and Western politics. Peace is not gained through ordinary negotiation nor by outright capitulation in the name of Western liberalism, but instead is gained through strength, interests and necessity.

To drive this point home even further, the UAE did not demand a resolution of the Palestinians protracted conflict with Israel, nor did they insist on a full Israeli withdrawal from the disputed territories, the evacuation of its network of settlements, nor the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

With similar deals expected with Bahrain and Oman, these countries are telling the Palestinians to reduce the criticism over Trump’s peace plan and that they want the Palestinians to consider it as a basis for negotiations. They have never accepted the complete rejection of the plan and are making it clear to the Palestinians that they frustrated with the ongoing Palestinian intransigence.

The feeling amongst the Arab nations is that the Palestinians are unable to make decisions and concessions necessary to reach a peace agreement with Israel. The idea is to organise a coalition of pro-American Arab allies, including the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and to pressure the Palestinians to be more accommodating.

Israel has paid a heavy price over the past 75 years to learn the harsh lessons of living in the most dangerous part of the world. The question is, when will we in the UK learn that one must first live in a place to even begin to understand how to survive there, which is why public criticism of any Israeli Government is best reserved for Israelis.

We as a community must be careful of herd mentality. Many in our community abandoned their trust in the democratically elected, broadest Israeli government and submitted to populism in their condemnation of Israel’s strategies. Please join us now in praising Israel for once again taking brave steps to secure peace and normalisation, with hopefully more to come.

I would like to commend the JLCs President, Jonathan Goldstein and particularly pressurised BOD President, Marie Van Der Zyl, for showing strong leadership and wisely not acquiescing to calls for our community leadership to publicly criticise Israel.

Despite disagreements, we call on those who love Israel to unite, celebrate and strengthen the only true democracy in the Middle East – our Jewish homeland, the State of Israel. Please join us in publicly praising Israel as surely, the goal for all is to make Peace.