The speech by Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett at the Labour party conference was simply embarrassing. Thin? It was intellectually anorexic. It was the speech of someone who seemed to have nothing original or even half-way thoughtful to say about anything. But one paragraph in particular caught my eye. Referring to the Middle East, she said, amongst other vapidities, this:There is more. It is too bad that so few have perspective when it comes to the religious bigots war against Israel and the West. Sympathy for terrorist and the places that have given them sancuary leads to more "terrible events."
"No doubt there will be yet again those whose goal is to obstruct the prospect of peace. Because let’s not forget in the welter of accusation and counter-accusation it was the desire to obstruct such progress that led directly to the terrible events of the summer in Palestine and the Lebanon."
Excuse me? ‘Terrible events of the summer in Palestine and the Lebanon’? What about the terrible events of the summer in Israel, the country that was actually attacked from Lebanon and from Gaza — which is presumably what Ms Beckett means by ‘Palestine’? What about the terrible 4000 rockets that rained down during August on Israel’s northern towns in order to kill as many innocent Israelis as possible, the terrible deaths and injuries that did take place among the Israelis, the terrible flight of hundreds of thousands from the north of Israel, the terrible hardship of those trapped in shelters for a month?...