Is Ed Miliband getting any Foreign Affairs advice?

18 December 2010

4:31 PM

18 December 2010

4:31 PM

It really has been the strangest of weeks and it has left me feeling curmudgeonly. On Monday I heard David Cameron give an eminently reasonable speech to Conservative Friends of Israel. Surrounded by people my teenage self would have
despised, I realised that this was a speech Ed Miliband could not have made, although there is cross-party consensus on universal jurisdiction, the status of the settlements and the Gaza blockade.
Miliband left it to Ed Balls this week to announce Labour support for the new Police Bill (this legislation contains the change to the law on universal jurisdiction, which passes authority for
granting arrest warrants for visiting politicians to the Director of Public Prosecutions).

But the Labour leader really does need to get a grip in the area of international affairs. Tom Baldwin will be a robust spin doctor and it is important that the former Times journalist has finally
made his role as Labour propagandist explicit. But foreign affairs remain a problem for Labour.


As I write, neo-con David Frum asks whether the UN should
declare a Palestinian state. His analysis is subtle and nuanced. I find the idea of UN recognition of Palestinian statehood compelling, but so is Frum’s argument that, in reality, this may
turn out to be just another delaying tactic. “The hunt is on for ways to postpone a settlement, prolong the conflict and extend the hope that Israel will collapse.”

Where will Ed Miliband turn for advice in this area? It is really unclear.

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Show comments
  • rndtechnologies786

    Your blog is good.

  • Patricia Shaw

    nobody can seriously suggest that this israeli administration has any interest in a viable two state solution.

    Their strategy is to ensure congress stops obama, steal as much land as possible through settlements and delay any process – was it not an israeli politicians who once said talking is good, decisions is bad.

    for all our sakes, it is time for a re evaluation, and Milliband should recognise Palestine.

  • Major Plonquer 1

    I agree. Ed Miliband needs to get more advice on Foreign Affairs. Someone needs to tell him to bugger off back to Russia.

    If Tony Blair was alive today he’d be turning in his grave.

  • victor jara 67

    Ah yes Universial jurisdiction to allow the perpetrators of the cast lead massacre to avoid accounting for their war crimes.

    Why do apologists for Israel always suggest it is on the brink of anihalation to justify its ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem and the Jordan valley. The idea the Palestinians are blocking a settlement is nonsense when Israel is colonizing what it desires of the West Bank while keeping the natives contained in their Bantustans. Netenyahu and his racist coalition have never believed in the 2 state solution.

    It sounds like you do not believe Milliband has not signed up to the pax Americana foreign policy agenda. I would not worry as the Murdoch attack dogs will make sure he is onside.

  • John Edwards

    It is extraordinary how often David Cameron uses the word “fantastic” in his speech, it becomes rather irritating after a while. I note however, that Cameron does come out in favour of a freeze on settlement expansion. As it it this minimal demand that the Israelis are unwilling to concede even temporarily it is hardly worth putting any faith in future direct talks, or in UN recognition while the occupation continues.

    There is no point beating about the bush on what advice Miliband might or might not need. The contours of a peace settlement are still what they have been for a considerable time – a Palestinian State on the 1967 borders (with a few minor land swaps) and a just settlement of the 1948 refugee question in return for recognition of Israel by all the States in the region.