Pressure Mounts on U.K. Not to Rent from Settlement Czar Leviev

Lev Leviev, the settlements and diamond czar, is back in the crosshairs. Pressure is mounting on the British government to cancel plans it has made to rent space for its embassy in Tel Aviv from a company owned by Leviev. Abe Hayeem, an Arab-Jewish architect and peace activist has penned a piece in the Guardian saying that Britain is undercutting its policy re the settlements.

When Britain's prime minister, Gordon Brown, visited Ramallah in mid-July, he told
the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas: "We want to see a freeze on
settlements. Settlement expansion has made peace harder to achieve. It
erodes trust, it heightens Palestinian suffering, it makes the
compromises Israel needs to make for peace more difficult."

In that case, the decision by the British government to rent space for our new embassy in Tel Aviv from the Africa-Israel Investments company chaired by businessman Lev Leviev sends precisely the wrong message

Note that the Guardian piece has 196 comments, most of them blasting UK complicity in the settlements policy, including this:

"Israel has been illegally occupying territory, against UN Mandates, since the sixties. They agreed to demolish some settlements and stop further expansion. They lied. Only the US can put pressure on Israel. They don't give a toot about world opinion."

I don't know. Globes, an Israeli business newspaper, has picked up the Guardian editorial. And here a group of Palestinian, U.S. and English NGO's have called on the Brits to cancel the deal. Ian Lustick says that Israel's attitude is making it a pariah state like South Africa. That's no fun. Roll over, Jabotinsky and tell Ben Gurion the news!

Thanks to David Bloom.

Posted in Beyondoweiss, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East

{ 2 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Glenn Condell says:

    Talk about England 'undercutting its policy re the settlements', what about this?

    link to reuters.com

    'JERUSALEM, Aug 25 (Reuters) – The United States says Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank threaten any peace between Israel and the Palestinians — yet it also encourages Americans to help support settlers by offering tax breaks on donations.

    As Condoleezza Rice flew in on Monday for another round of peace talks, Israeli and American supporters of settlements defended the tax incentives, which benefit West Bank enclaves deemed illegal by the World Court and which the U.S. secretary of state has said are an obstacle to Palestinian statehood.

    Pro-settler groups say they are entitled to the tax breaks because their work is "humanitarian", not political, and reject any comparison to Palestinian charities, some of which face U.S. sanctions over suspected links to Islamist groups like Hamas.

    The full extent of tax-exempt U.S. funding for settlements is unclear because so many groups are involved and their spending practices are not always transparent.

    But a review by Reuters of U.S. tax records found 13 tax-exempt organisations openly linked to settlements that have raised more than $35 million in the last five years alone….'

  2. Paul Easton, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, Belly Of The Beast says:

    Thank you Glen.