Friday, February 26, 2010

Top UK military commander says Israeli advice key to British strategy against suicide bombers in Afghanistan, warns of "dark forces" in the BBC.


by Robin Shepherd   

A rare voice of sanity in the British establishment, Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of UK forces in Afghanistan, has mounted another devastating defence of Israel. In a speech at the annual dinner (which I attended) of the UK’s Zionist Federation in London last night, Kemp even revealed that prior to his deployment in Afghanistan a four hour briefing by a top Israeli general had been instrumental in formulating British tactics and strategy on how to deal with Taliban suicide bombers.

To my knowledge, such an intimate strategic relationship on such a sensitive matter has never before been revealed. If it has, it has certainly not received widespread coverage in the UK press.

Kemp’s counter-orthodoxy views on Israel rose to global prominence in October last year when, against the background of the Goldstone Report, he appeared before the UN Human Rights Council to say of Operation Cast Lead: “..Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare. Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.”

In the course of his speech last night, Kemp reiterated the substance of those remarks, adding that “dark forces” inside the BBC and further afield were subjecting Israel to a wholly biased, discriminatory and distorted campaign of vilification.

Speaking from personal experience, he contrasted the media response to the immense difficulties faced by British and American troops in facing down terrorists with the response to Israeli troops facing the same problems:

“When we go into battle we do not get the same knee-jerk, almost Pavlovian response from many, many elements of the international media and international groups, humanitarian groups and other international groups such as the United Nations which should know better,” he told the 400 strong audience.

He described it as the kind of “utter automatic condemnation” which British and American forces do not encounter. Shamefully, the British government abstained in the latest UN vote on the Goldstone Report against a background of near-monolothic vilification of Israel in the British and international media, and in order to preserve good relations with Arab and Muslim dictatorships.

To its credit, the BBC carried a report of Kemp’s speech to the Zionist Federation on its website (see link below). It will be interesting to see whether his remarks are now dispersed more widely across the British media.


Robin Shepherd   

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