Alondon Staff (05/03/2012)
The Daily Mail reported yesterday that Foreign Secretary William Hague was accused by fellow Conservative MPs of being "under the thumb" of an anti-Israel Foreign Office. Hague furiously dismissed the charges.
Other MPs present at the meeting also argued that Hague and the Foreign Office are too lenient towards the Palestinians, while being overly tough on Israel. Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg and Goole, argued, “We give the Palestinians money to help the poor, but they spend it on hate education.” While Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow, who is Jewish, informed Hague that “The Foreign Office has not done enough to stop the delegitimisation of Israel.” James Arbuthnot, Parliamentary Chairman of CFI, added that the Foreign Secretary should not “alienate” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Hague pushed back against the allegations of bias in the Foreign Office and the personal attacks against his performance as Foreign Minister, replying angrily to Carswell: “You are living in a fantasy world and talking total nonsense. The Foreign Office is not pro-Palestinian. I have never heard such claptrap.”
It is estimated that around 80% of Conservative MPs are members of Conservative Friends of Israel.
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