“Sighs of relief will have been heard in Israel’s London embassy on Friday morning as it emerged that Britain’s Liberal Democrat party had failed to capitalize on a surge in pre-election opinion polls,” Haaretz reported.
Cleggmania might have proven to be short-lived — or at least not translated well in a parliamentary system that disregards the size of the vote. Still, I’d says those breaths released in relief should probably have been held in. An Israeli nightmare might still come to pass: Foreign Secretary Nick Clegg in a coalition government. As of Friday afternoon, that outcome is still in the cards.
But why should Israel be so afraid of Britain’s newest political star?
“Clegg is bad news for Israel,” one official here said. “His party is running on a human rights platform, and the atmosphere is hostile to Israel. We remind the Liberal Democrats of South Africa during apartheid. Even if Clegg decides not to take the foreign portfolio, the very fact that Liberal Democrats sit in the cabinet is likely to mean trouble for us.”
Israel’s Lieberman-run ministry of foreign affairs might make a mockery of diplomacy, but it should never be faulted for its bluntness: Good for human rights; bad for Israel. There’s a slogan to remember!