LONDON – A UK news website released a document on Wednesday which it describes
as containing “disturbing attitudes” the British Foreign Office shows toward
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Middle East peace process.
document published by The Commentator, a London-based current affairs and
analysis website, was marked restricted but released into the public domain
under the Freedom of Information Act.
Titled “Research Paper FINAL” the
document had meant to be redacted but instead the sentences that were meant to
be edited where highlighted in yellow thus were not secured by the Foreign
Office before release.
The document, which was uncovered by the
TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign group founder Matthew Elliott, looks at incitement,
which it says has been “part of the discourse of the peace process since Oslo,”
and Palestinian textbooks in the context of the peace process.
accuses Netanyahu using incitement as a delaying tactic while saying that
Palestinian textbooks do not incite hatred.
“Netanyahu has a history of
using the incitement issue as a delaying tactic in peace
“Authoritative studies agree that PA textbooks are not inciting
hatred of Israel.
Nevertheless Palestinian, and Israeli, school
curriculums could do better and should aim to teach something objective or
positive about the other,” the summary states.
The documents reflects on
comments made by Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon in 2009 that Palestinian textbooks
teaches “young Palestinians to make suicide belts and incites them to kill
However the document refutes this by putting the blame on
“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,” it says.
It then goes on to say that a
series of “highly respectable studies” – citing the Congressional Research
Service, UNESCO and the Israel Palestine Centre for Research and Information –
shows that Ya’alon’s assertion is “without foundation.”
claims that while Prime Minister David Cameron publicly calls the UK a “strong
friend of Israel” this has “placed fresh doubts over whether Britain is as firm
an ally as the Prime Minister has previously suggested.”
A Foreign Office
representative told The Commentator, “The Foreign Secretary has consistently set
out the UK’s position on the Middle East Peace Process, including the urgent
need for progress and the UK’s unswerving support for a lasting two state
A government source said: “The views of a junior official
under the last government should not be conflated with the clear positions that
the foreign secretary has repeatedly set out in Parliament.”