|David Cameron, then leader of the British parliamentary |
opposition, greeted by Abbas of the Palestinian Authority
and the image of his predecessor
While it is not for us to dictate how each country should meet the aspirations of its people, we must not remain silent in our belief that freedom and the rule of law are what best guarantee human progress and economic success. Freedom of expression, a free press, freedom of assembly, the right to demonstrate peacefully: these are basic rights... They are not British or western values – but the values of human beings everywhere.Music to our ears! After decades of covert and overt channeling of torrents of cash into the hands of the terrorist leadership of the Palestinian Arabs - finally a British leader who understands what untold harm has followed from this patronizing and thoroughly irresponsible largesse on the part of Whitehall, of the British parliament and - most of all - of the faceless Brussels bureaucracy of the EU.
We need to take this opportunity to look again at our entire relationship with this region – at the billions of Euros of EU funds, at our trade relationship, at our cultural ties. We need to be much clearer and tougher in linking our development assistance to real progress in promoting more open and plural societies. And we need to dispense once and for all with the outdated notion that democracy has no place in the Arab world.
Too often in the past, we have made a false choice between so-called stability on the one hand and reform and openness on the other. As recent events have confirmed, denying people their basic rights does not preserve stability, rather the reverse.
More than four years ago, we wrote here [6-Oct-06: Crying Poor: The Terror-Laden Rise and Rise of the Palestinian National Payroll] about the disgraceful deeds of Christopher Patten who presided over an official European Commission program of sending huge sums of money into the Arafat kleptocracy while denying eloquently out of both sides of his mouth that anything, Heaven forfend, might be wrong with any of this.
How pleasant to read today the words of the UK government's head beating his chest in regret. Too late to bring back to life the thousands of innocent Israelis (our fifteen year old daughter among them) murdered by jihadist thugs and terrorist gangs - payrolled by the ocean of European and British money handed off year after year to the PA and Hamas despite all the evidence of their evil.
Did we just have an unfortunate misunderstanding? That speech yesterday by David Cameron - was it actually about Libya and not the Palestinian Arabs?
What a pity.