The British government’s foreign affairs department accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of expressing false concerns over Palestinian incitement as a means to delay the peace process, according to a confidential document recently leaked to The Commentator, a conservative British news site.
The charge that Netanyahu has used the issue of incitement "as a delaying tactic in peace talks" has called into question the British government’s public commitment to the Jewish state and its understanding of the fractious Middle Eastern dispute.
"Netanyahu has a history of using the incitement issue as a delaying tactic in peace talks," an official in Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office states in a report that was initially redacted and marked confidential. "Authoritative studies agree that [Palestinian Authority] textbooks are not inciting hatred of Israel."
The documents were delivered to The Commentator heavily redacted, but the British government "seemingly failed to properly secure the information before it was released," thereby permitting the new site to read the department’s charges against Netanyahu.
Though experts and Arabic translators routinely catalogue the Palestinian Authority’s inflammatory rhetoric towards Israel and Jews, the British documents reveal that some officials view this as a non-issue.
"The history of this issue suggests that Netanyahu administrations have a tendency to charge the PA/PLO with incitement as a delaying tactic in peace talks," the leaked document states, which also charges that Netanyahu is "a strong opponent of the Oslo Accords."
The government official goes on to allege that, during peace talks in past years, Netanyahu has raised the issue of Palestinian incitement as a way to delay the creation of a Palestinian state.
"It was about the fact that he did not wish to make any further withdrawals from the OPTs [Occupied Palestinian Territories]."
The revelation that elements of the British foreign affairs agency view Israel as the chief impediment to peace has caused outrage among some British politicians, the Commentator reports:
Critics of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will seize upon this as evidence that Palestinian incitement is willfully ignored by British authorities and argue that the Foreign Office does not always act as an ally of the State of Israel.
Phillip Hollobone MP, the Member of Parliament for Kettering told The Commentator, "There is a growing body of well documented evidence that official Palestinian organisations – some funded by the UK, the EU and the UN – are promoting terrorism and martyrdom in an attempt to aid the Palestinian cause, and yet the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and DfID appear surprisingly slow to explore this evidence and condemn its perpetrators. Now we know why.
"Whilst Britain has always appeared – officially at least – to see both sides of the complex conflict between Israeli and Arab, it would now appear that some British government officials are seeking to inject an unfair pro-Palestinian bias into official UK Government briefing documents."
E-mails between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development also give insight into the British Government’s approach to reports produced by the non-profit IMPACT-SE group, an organisation staffed by numerous academics that monitors and analyses school books across the world.