Dear Mr Burt,
I am writing to you in your capacity as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister for the Middle East, North Africa, North America and South Asia. I hope this email finds you well.
I watch with increasing alarm at the worrying situation in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood is a far right organisation which preaches hatred for Jews, minorities and the west. Its thugs control the streets in Cairo. It suppresses dissent by intimidating journalists and academics. It was instrumental in rushing elections following the ousting of Mubarak to ensure that no opposition could be organised in time. It promised that it would not take part in the presidential elections and then did exactly the opposite. Now it is consolidating its power and forcing a constitution on the Egyptian public which will take the country back to the dark ages and keep the Islamist, anti-western, homophobic, intolerant Muslim Brotherhood in power for decades.
Why did the British government not speak out against this when we had the chance? Why does no-one in the British government speak for those Egyptians who do NOT hate the west, who do NOT reject our culture and values of decency and human rights?
Why does the British government continuously pursue a failed policy of backing one dictator in the hope of disempowering another worse dictator? We back Morsi in the hope of undermining the Ayatollah's influence. We back Abbas in the hope of undermining Hamas's influence. None of these tyrants are worthy of Britain's support. We seem to be operating under some sort of delusion that supporting these people will turn them into moderates and friends to the west. There is not a shred of evidence that this has ever worked or ever will work, and yet we continue to do it.
Only one political entity in the region is worthy of our full, consistent support and that is the democratic, liberal, inclusive and tolerant State of Israel. Which brings me to my next point. Why then does the British government continuously undermine, humiliate and betray our only true ally and friend in the Middle East?
When Mahmoud Abbas stood in front of the world and the Unite Nations last week he used his entire speech to defame, degrade and slander Jews, Israel and the Israeli Defence Forces. It was an absolute travesty. He gave an account of a torturous, lamentable version of history, which pointed the finger at Jews as the aggressors and Arabs as the victims, which is a complete reversal of the truth. Never before have I seen such a disgraceful, deliberate, cynical and calculated distortion of the truth.
Why did the British Ambassador to the United Nations not challenge any of this? Why did he not use the opportunity to tell the truth, not only correct Abbas's offensive distortions but also to make clear that the PLO has obligations for peace which it consistently fails to meet? They continue to promote hatred of Jews, they continue to support violence against Jews in word if not in deed (notice their public support for Hamas during the previous conflict with that despicable organisation and Fatah claiming responsibility for the Tel Aviv bus bombing). Not a word of any of this was spoken. Shame on us!
Why did we abstain from a resolution that made no mention whatsoever of Israel's security requirements, which made no mention of the PLO's obligations under the Oslo treaty, and which revised and misrepresented previous binding resolutions and agreements such as UNSCR 242 and the San Remo declaration? Why did we allow the PLO a victory over the west and the USA with impunity? Why did we allow our closest international partners to be humiliated and isolated? Have we no honour?
Finally, there is the issue of settlements and the Israeli government's decision to develop the area of Jerusalem referred to as "E1". I understand that the British government disagrees with this decision, and that we live in a democracy. My own view is that land for peace should and must be a two-way street. If the PLO refuses to make peace (I hope you can see that it is them who have been refusing to return to negotiations for the last four years, not Israel) then why on Earth should Israel continue to refrain from allowing private developments on Israeli land just because the PLO lays claim to it? If they want the land then why won't they negotiate for it? I see no logical reason why Israeli Jews, Christians, Druze and Muslims should suffer housing shortages when there are large swathes of prime real-estate left empty.
But all that aside, why was the British government's disapproval not expressed using private diplomatic channels, as is the norm with friends and allies? Why did we instead choose to publicly humiliate and shame our ally at such a time when Israelis already feel threatened and let down by the world? The Foreign Office's "tweet" said that they "deplore" the decision. This is the kind of language that should reserved for tyrants and terrorists, not democratic allies.
There was a time, Mr Burt, when I believed that Britain stood firmly on the side of people who share our values of freedom and democracy, and we opposed regimes who crushed those freedoms. I am afraid that as time goes on, I am no longer able to convince myself that this is the case. I am a proud and patriotic Briton. If I no longer have faith in Britain to do what is right, how can our allies around the world trust us?