311_UK ambassador Gould.
(photo credit: Courtesy of British Embassy )
Free elections set to take place in Egypt may turn ugly for Israel unless the
peace process is resumed, UK ambassador Matthew Gould warned on
Speaking to Israeli reporters at his residence in Ramat Gan,
Gould said Egyptian politicians might try to outdo each other with rhetoric
critical of the Jewish state to gain voters.
Gould says UK won't yet recognize Palestinian state
UK envoy: Only peace will help Israel
“If the peace process
continues to be completely stuck as neighboring countries go into elections to
determine their new political shape, those elections will effectively become
auctions for who could be more critical of Israel, and I think that’s extremely
dangerous,” he said.
“As someone representative of a country that really
cares about Israel’s security and position in the region, the last thing we want
to see is elections in the region turning into who-could-be-more-critical-
of-Israel competitions. The way to avoid that is to have progress with the
Gould said the next six months would be pivotal to the prospects
of resurrecting talks between Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority that have
been stalled for more than two years.
“September is going to be extremely
difficult, because you have the deadline that Obama set out for UN
representation for the Palestinians,” he said. “If there is no progress by then
we’ll be in trouble.”
As in all press conferences the 39-year-old
diplomat has held since he assumed his position six months ago, the UK’s
treatment of Israel in the wake of the mysterious assassination of senior Hamas
official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January 2010 came up.
2010 the British government expelled Israel’s military attaché to protest the
alleged use of forged British passports by Israeli agents said to have carried
out the killing.
Last week, however, several British troops were
reportedly caught in Libya in possession of four forged foreign passports
Gould rejected the notion that the UK’s response towards Israel was
hypocritical, saying it had decided to take punitive measures against it because
its explicit requests were ignored by the Mossad.
“As the foreign
secretary said, it was not on the basis of suspicion,” Gould said. “It came
following several requests that British passports not be used in that
He said he was not at liberty to discuss recent secret operations
in Libya or whether it was common practice by British security services to forge
Immediately after the press conference ended, Gould
accepted a ketuba-like parchment made by Israeli-Briton Michael Horton on behalf
of Prince William and Kate Middleton for their wedding.
Gould, who is
Jewish, said the scroll written in Hebrew and English would reach Britain
through the diplomatic mail ahead of the marriage set to take place next month.