President Shimon Peres minner om at en inngrodd pro-arabisme, særlig det britiske establishment, og fristelsen ved muslimske stemmer, gjør Storbritannia stadig mer anti-israelsk. Uttalelsen vekker naturlig nok oppsikt i Storbritannia.
Vesten er ikke vant til at israelske ledere snakker fra levra. Det har de begynt å gjøre. Noen kaller det et bevis på at Israel er blitt mer høyreorientert. Sidsel Wold vil mene det. Men kan det tenkes at israelerne reagerer adekvat, dvs. at Europa gjennomgår store endringer, og at eliten tilpasser seg og blir mer propalestinsk? Ikke en spesielt dristig antagelse.
«There are several million Muslim voters, and for many members of parliament, that’s the difference between getting elected and not getting elected,» he said.
«And in England there has always been something deeply pro-Arab, of course, not among all Englishmen, and anti-Israeli, in the establishment.
«They abstained in the [pro-Zionist] 1947 UN partition resolution … They maintained an arms embargo against us in the 1950s … They always worked against us. They think the Arabs are the underdogs.»
By contrast, relations with Germany, France and Italy were «pretty good», he added.
He made the comments in an interview with the historian Professor Benny Morris of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev published last week in Tablet, a Jewish news website.
The latest figures show that the number of anti-semitic incidents in Britain is rising, according to the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity set up in 1984 to monitor such incidents.
The situation in Britain had worsened «significantly» in the past decade, a spokesman said.
In 2009 there were 924 anti-semitic incidents, the highest figure since CST began keeping records in 1984, and 55 per cent higher than the previous record in 2006.
The figures include reports, accepted only when backed by evidence, of physical assaults, verbal abuse and racist graffiti.
The monthly figure has soared from 10-20 incidents in the 1990s to 40-50 now.
Last year nearly half of the 924 anti-semitic race attacks recorded by the CST showed a political motivation, with 66 per cent of those including some reference to Israel and the Middle East.
Fury as Israel president claims English are ‘anti-semitic’
Israel’s president has accused the English of being anti-semitic and claimed that MPs pander to Muslim voters.