A Labour MP has caused outrage by suggesting that Britain’s first Jewish ambassador to Israel has divided loyalties because he has “proclaimed himself to be a Zionist”.
Challenged by the JC to clarify his comments about Matthew Gould, who took up the post last year, Paul Flynn, the Labour MP for Newport West, said ambassadors to Israel had not previously been Jewish “to avoid the accusation that they have gone native”.
Britain needed, he said, “someone with roots in the UK [who] can’t be accused of having Jewish loyalty”.
The Foreign Office and MPs from across the political spectrum sprang to Mr Gould’s defence and condemned the remarks.
Middle East Minister Alistair Burt said: “Paul Flynn should take some time to consider his comments, which could easily be misconstrued. There is absolutely no reason why our ambassador to Israel should not be Jewish. Any allegations about Matthew Gould’s conduct are utterly unsubstantiated. He is a first-class ambassador.”
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- jedibeeftrix 16th Sep - 8:04am
@ John Tilley - "But I find it impossible to believe that the EU will reject five million people who want to stay in the...
- Mark 16th Sep - 7:51am
Shambolic to give people less than 6 hours' notice of this! I would have gone and so would a lot more people if it had...
- Jayne Mansfield 16th Sep - 7:25am
@ Richard Dean, If it was a matter that involved me, yes he would persuade me. On this, as on other matters people with the...
- Clive Sneddon 16th Sep - 1:30am
Reading through the comments so far leaves me with the feeling my core idea has been missed – perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. I want...
- T-J 16th Sep - 12:42am
I'm not going to vote No, because that would send the minute signal that I am satisfied with the status quo. However anodyne the Yes...
- Stephen Donnelly 16th Sep - 12:34am
Good questions, but we have to live with the world as it is, and I don't think there is any practical possibility of the media...
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