Clegg On Israel
Nile Gardiner, a rabid British right-winger now in Washington, nonetheless spells out accurately Nick Clegg's foreign policy here. Yes, he's more Europhile than any prime minister this century (except, arguably, for Churchill at certain moments and Ted Heath), indifferent to the US alliance, and in favor of giving up Britain's nuclear deterrent. On Israel:
To describe Clegg as a vociferous opponent of Israel would be an understatement I’ve written in greater detail on this issue here. Clegg has penned a number of articles condemning Israel’s handling of Gaza, and has been the most prominent British critic of Israel’s response to Hamas attacks. He has alleged that the Israeli government “continues to imprison 1.5 million Palestinians and prevent the rebuilding of its shattered infrastructure,” and supports the U.N.’s use of the highly offensive term “collective punishment.” Clegg has drawn parallels between Israel’s defensive actions and the terrorist campaigns of groups such as Hamas, and has urged the European Union in the past to isolate and even sanction Israel.
Remove the rhetorical spin and the truth is: Clegg is pretty much in the Euro-mainstream on Israel. Which is to say: about as anti-neocon as you can get. Tomorrow is the foreign policy debate. I'll be live-blogging it again. I'm beginning to wonder if Clegg couldn't win this outright the way things are moving. It's about change vs more of the same. And Clegg has managed to seize the change mantle from Cameron.