Daily Telegraph, September 13, 2007
Forget setting aspirational targets for cutting greenhouse gases.
And stop pointing the finger at China and America as the main stumbling blocks for a climate change treaty.
Because, according to a prominent British MP, it’s actually cold-hearted Israel that’s to blame for global warming.
Former Blair Government minister Clare Short made the absurd claim last month that no progress was possible on climate change treaties because Israel “undermines the international community’s reaction to global warming”.
Ms Short, who resigned from the Blair Government over the war in Iraq, explained that man-made climate change continues because Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbours is distracting world leaders from devising a response to global warming.
What was that about mad dogs and Englishmen coming out in the midday sun?
Her timing was unfortunate. Days later, APEC passed a major declaration on climate change.
The travesty is that Ms Short’s comments received no condemnation from responsible European or world leaders.
For the record, Israel has signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol and also indicated it aims to produce 5 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2016.
Ms Short has form, declaring in 2005 that America’s support for Israel is the major cause of bitter division and violence in the world.
What about North Korea? For that matter, what about Kashmir, Sri Lanka or Chechnya?
In 2006, Short hosted a love-in in the British Parliament with extremist Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organisation banned in many countries and which espouses a global Islamic caliphate.
It boggles the mind that no matter how distant or ludicrous the proposition, Israel and/or Jews are so often portrayed as guilty.
The litany of world conflicts and problems down through the ages that are supposedly due either to Israel or the Jews is astounding – the Black Death, communism, capitalism, World War I, World War II, the genocide in Darfur, 9/11, the Iraq war and the 2005 Tsunami.
Even Harry Potter has been labelled by Iranian clerics as a billion-dollar Zionist project designed to disrupt young minds.
Six years on from 9/11 it is instructive to note how many still believe it was a Jewish-Zionist plot, and that hundreds of Jews were warned against going to work at the Twin Towers.
That about 400 of the nearly 3000 victims were Jews is dismissed as untrue by some, and a necessary sacrifice to further Zionist-Jewish aims by others.
Those who sensibly shrug off these conspiracies and farragoes do not realise how many people accept them.
Of course, criticism of Israel can be legitimate but not when it is based on fairytales – ugly ones at that.
Little by little, each false and tendentious claim peddled and not condemned allows larger ones to flourish, until the point is reached where, with apologies to Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that every conspiracy and disaster has a Jew behind it.
Allon Lee is a policy analyst with the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council