LONDON (Jul. 13)
A suggestion that Britain and other European Economic Community (EEC) countries should transfer their embassies in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was made here yesterday by Jeremy Thorpe, MP, the Liberal Party’s spokesman for foreign affairs.
He told a luncheon organized by B’nai B’rith that such a step could be taken as a balancing gesture on the next occasion that Britain, together with European community nations, made another statement calling for a Palestinian state, such as that issued at last month’s EEC summit. He said his proposal had the full agreement of David Steel, the Liberal Party leader.
Thorpe associated himself with the anti-Arab boycott bill introduced in the House of Lords yesterday and said that the British government should immediately cease cooperating with the Arab boycott by refusing to give certificates of non-Israeli origin to any British exports or re-exports.
SAYS ANGLO-JEWRY IS TOO SENSITIVE
Referring to the Sunday Times’ allegations of torture by Israel, Thorpe said that even if the paper’s investigations were proved to be true–“which I do not believe”–Israel’s record compared with almost every other conqueror in war “would stand as an example of restraint and of mercy.”
At the end of his prepared speech, Thorpe, who is the patron of the Liberal Friends of Israel, chastized Anglo-Jewry for being “far too sensitive” in its reaction to criticism of Israel. Although it wielded great influence in all three main British parties, it sometimes behaved as if it was an oppressed minority, he said.
“Your case is far too strong. Argue it on logic After all, you are talking about the right of a nation to survive, one which in its struggle for survival owes nothing to any other nation,” Thorpe said.