Arafat Visit Cynical Gesture by Blair


Islamic Human Rights Commission


14th October 2001

Arafat Visit Cynical Gesture by Blair

IHRC Questions British Government’s Ability to Broker Honest Peace

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) is deeply concerned that the invitation to visit by Yasser Arafat to the UK today is an empty gesture on the part of the British government.

IHRC feels that this visit is an attempt to allay Muslim and Middle Eastern fears that Allied bombing of Afghanistan is itself an act of terror. IHRC fears that this attempt to show a renewed interest in the Palestinian struggle is itself bereft of any meaningful significance. A spokesman for IHRC said:

“Whilst we welcome the British government’s renewed interest in addressing the many wrongs being perpetrated on the Palestinian people, we cannot help but feel sceptical about the role it envisages for itself. Successive British government’s have shown alarming partisanship towards Israeli interests. The current Blair administration is perhaps the most pro-Zionist for decades.”

He further noted:

“If Tony Blair is serious about justice for the Palestinians he should address the pro-Israeli bias within the New Labour government. As well as reviewing trade and military links, he should endeavour to ensure that all those involved in foreign policy have no biases or interests in the area. Clearly this means that the position of the Prime Minister’s special envoy to the Middle East, Lord Levy, is untenable. Lord Levy has proven Israeli connections and Zionist leanings. Until such a time as these issues are addressed, the British government will not be seen as an honest broker in any Middle East negotiations.”

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