Israel’s global support declining: British envoy
London: British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould has said that the international support for the Jewish state among those in the political mainstream is declining, with a "growing concern" in the UK over lack of progress towards peace with the Palestinians.
Gould believes that Israelis “might wake up in 10 years' time and find out that the level of understanding in the international community has suddenly changed, and that patience for continuing the status quo has reduced”.
“Support for Israel is starting to erode and that's not about these people on the fringe who are shouting loudly and calling for boycotts and all the rest of it. The interesting category are those members of parliament in the middle, and in that group I see a shift,” The Guardian quoted Gould, as saying.
Gould claimed that the support for Israel was starting to erode with more members of British Parliament having a more critical view of the country, which was now being seen as ‘Goliath’ against the Palestinians as ‘David’, referring to the biblical story.
“Israel is now seen as the Goliath and it's the Palestinians who are seen as the David,” he added, referring to the biblical story of David and Goliath, in which the young future king of Israel defeats the mighty Philistine warrior armed only with a sling and stones.
Gould said that the shift in the mentality of the British Parliamentarians was a result of the Israeli government’s policies, and suggested that it could not be countered or obscured by ‘hasbara’, the Hebrew word referring to the efforts by the Israeli government and its supporters to promote a pro-Israel agenda and challenge what it sees as negative media coverage.
"The centre ground, the majority, the British public may not be expert, but they see a stream of announcements about new building in settlements and about what's going on in the West Bank, they read about restrictions in Gaza. The substance of what's going wrong is really what's driving this," Gould said.