Controversy & Resignation

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why Israel?

The case for Israel

SIR – Why, one might ask, has America “forged an unshakeable alliance with Israel”? Why did Britain and America refuse to call for a ceasefire during the second Lebanon conflict or the more recent Gaza campaign? And why do George Osborne, Liam Fox and Michael Gove argue so strongly in favour of supporting Israel?

One answer is to be found in the recent formation of the Friends of Israel Initiative.

In May 2010, José Maria Aznar, the former Spanish prime minister, brought together a high-level group in Paris to launch this project, aimed specifically at asserting Israel’s position as an integral part of the Western world and of fundamental importance to its future.

Members of the Friends of Israel Initiative acknowledge that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is important, but the group is even more concerned about the rising tide of radical Islamism and the prospect of a nuclear Iran, both of which threaten the entire world. To weaken Israel, they argue, is a serious mistake since it is our first line of defence in the region. If Israel fell into the hands of its enemies, the West as we know it would cease to exist.

“The West is what it is,” wrote Mr Aznar in July, “thanks to its Judaeo-Christian roots. Today to defend Israel is to defend the West.”

Neville Teller, Edgware, Middlesex

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