Ex-British minister reveals Israeli influence on Gaza

Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives will lose next year's election because they have neglected ethnic minority voters, Britain's first Muslim cabinet minister, who last week resigned over the government's Gaza policy, warned

Ex-British minister reveals Israeli influence on Gaza

World Bulletin/News Desk

Britain's first female Muslim cabinet minister, who resigned last Tuesday, has revealed Israel’s influence on British policy towards Gaza.

In an interview published in two newspapers on Sunday, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi said Israeli lobbying was "incredibly effective."

She said: "I congratulate the Friends of Israel and those who lobby on behalf of Israel because they are incredibly effective.

"I don't blame the lobby, I blame the politicians. If you are not capable of being able to decipher between lobbying and fact, and if we are incapable of politicians to see both sides of the argument, then that's a fault that we have."

In an indication of the close links between Israel and the Conservative Party, Warsi, who served as party chairwoman until 2012, added: "I sincerely hope that how the Tory [Conservative] party raises its funds does not have an impact in relation to its policy in government. The national interest should never be subject to the chequebooks of anybody."

"The electoral reality is that we will not win outright Conservative majorities until we start attracting more of the ethnic vote," she said in an interview with the Sunday Times and Independent on Sunday newspapers.

"We've probably left it a little too late to take this part of the electorate seriously."

The former foreign minister also criticized Chancellor George Osborne and Chief Whip Michael Gove for not using their "very, very close" relations with the Israeli Government to resolve the Gaza crisis.

She said: "What is the point of having that strong relationship if you can't use it to move them to a position which is in their interests and our interests?"

Referring to Osborne, she added: "My actions would not have been necessary if he had done what he should have done, which is pick up the phone to people he is incredibly close to and say: 'It's unnecessary for you to meet your ends by taking out power stations, taking out homes, taking out schools and killing kids on beaches.'”

Warsi claimed she pushed for Britain to recognize Palestine as a state and impose an arms embargo on Israel and revealed how she spoke to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond about Gaza hours before she quit.

She said: “We spoke about what next and how do you rebuild the 40 per cent of Gaza that has been destroyed. And I got no indication that we had any clear thought or process about how that would happen or how we would push to make it happen.

“I was absolutely unconvinced that there would be any accountability for what had happened. I got a very clear sense that it was going to return to business as usual. I therefore thought I needed to resign."

Her comments, published in the Sunday Times and Independent on Sunday, come after she was criticized for announcing her resignation on Twitter. Some claimed she quit because she had not been promoted.

But, she said: "My resignation was not a bartering tool. It was not up for negotiation.”

Warsi, who is from a Pakistani background, said Prime Minister David Cameron would not win a majority in the 2015 general election because of the Conservative’s failure to win support among ethnic minorities.

More than 1,900 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s operation against Gaza while less than 70 Israelis have died.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Ağustos 2014, 15:02

Muhammed Öylek