Former Commander of UK Forces in Afghanistan Says Anti-Israeli Settlement UN Resolution ‘Incites Palestinian Violence, Encourages BDS, Antisemitism’
The former commander of Britain’s forces in Afghanistan blasted the anti-Israeli settlement Resolution 2334, passed last month by the UN Security Council, on the grounds that it “incites [Palestinian] violence against Jews and encourages BDS movements around the world that will encourage antisemitism.”
In a debate on Jewish Internet station J-TV‘s program “Current Affairs” — moderated by the UK-based Henry Jackson Society founder and executive director Dr. Alan Mendoza — Col. Richard Kemp also criticized his government for supporting the resolution and the Obama administration for abstaining from the vote, rather than vetoing it.
Kemp was debating Tal Ofer, a member of the British Labour Movement originally from Israel, who said that though “the resolution is really, really bad for the settlements, it’s actually really good for Israel, because it requires Israel to make a decision into what direction it wishes to go – whether it’s the one-state solution or the two-state solution.”
Ofer, a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Executive Committee and Labour Friends of Israel, said, as well, that perhaps “it is a sign for Mr. Netanyahu that maybe he needs to change his policy in regard to the settlements.”
Kemp argued that not only are settlements “not illegal,” but “the British Foreign Office and the British prime minister, [who] have said that they’re illegal… know that they’re not.”
But, he claimed, “By saying they’re illegal, [the UK] will be applying pressure to Israel…” He also said, “The Palestinians do not wish to negotiate with Israel, because they do not want to do the one thing that Israel will require them to do, which is accept the existence of the Jewish state.”
Kemp said he believes that the ultimate aim of both the British and current American governments is Israel’s total withdrawal from the West Bank and east Jerusalem — home to “Judaism’s most holy sites.” However, he added, Israel will never pull out completely, because it knows what would happen in such an event. “We’ve seen the consequences of pulling out of Gaza; we’ve seen the consequences of pulling back from Southern Lebanon; we’ve seen the consequences of pulling out of Sinai,” he said, claiming that such a move in the West Bank would “allow an Islamic [terrorist] state” to form and flourish there.
Ofer conceded that “the settlements are not the only reason there is no peace agreement,” saying that in any territorial withdrawal, Israel “would maintain the large settlement blocs…it’s those outside the major blocs that are causing the controversy.”
Asked by moderator Mendoza about Kemp’s claim that an Israeli withdrawal would result in a terrorist state, Ofer said, “Yes, obviously, that can happen, and that’s why you don’t need to unilaterally withdraw, as happened in Gaza and south Lebanon. Because you leave a vacuum, and…when you leave a vacuum, terrorism is going to enter. That’s why it needs to be a direct negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians with some land swaps. And that’s why any expansion of settlements right now and any of these illegal outposts is not really helpful for peace, because it puts facts on the ground…and that’s the purpose of it; it makes it more difficult to achieve a two-state solution…they need to come clean about it and not claim that they mean to achieve a two-state solution, while in reality on the ground, things are quite different.”
Watch the debate below on J-TV, a global Jewish YouTube channel, featuring weekly segments on current affairs and Jewish culture: