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Britain's relationship with Israel increasingly fraught
Comments best characterised as blunt have emanated from David Cameron and William Hague at regular intervals.
Israeli diplomats had expected Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrat colleagues to provide awkward moments as the centrist party catered to its supporters views.
But the Conservatives were supposed to be different. Instead Mr Cameron visited Turkey and called Gaza a “prison camp.”
The words sent a shiver down the spines of Israeli officials, who by and large have not retorted in public, but cannot hide their disbelief.
In theory the Right-wing party should fall for the tropes of the Israel lobby just like their counterparts in America.
But the Conservatives long tradition of nurturing Britain’s historical ties to the Arab world has a firm advocate in Mr Hague.
The Foreign Secretary has close links to the Gulf and other Muslim states.
His philosophy of building ever stronger ties involves listening to his counterparts.
Their views that the region will be ridden with problems as long as peace is in abeyance in the Holy Land gets a more sincere hearing in Whitehall under Mr Hague.
For Israel this is an uncomfortable new development. It hardly helps that the Israeli government’s own strategy is to use regional unrest as a pretext for not taking the uncomfortable path of compromise with the Palestinians.
Mr Hague says Israel's “belligerent” tone is partly responsible for the faltering peace process.
Only Tony Blair now wholeheartedly reflects the Israeli point of view. His dark warnings of the rise of Muslim fundamentalists in the winds of change shaking the Middle East are the only message Israel really wants to hear from British representatives.
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