Welsh Member of Parliament in anti-semitic row
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Paul Flynn MP in anti-semitic row
Dec 2 2011
Paul Flynn, who represents Newport West, made the remarks while questioning Sir Gus O’Donnell during an inquiry by the Public Administration Select Committee into the role of the head of the civil service. The present civil service chief was being questioned about his investigation into Adam Werritty, the controversial friend of former Defence Secretary Liam Fox.
Mr Flynn questioned the appointment of ambasador Matthew Gould, who took up the post in Israel last year. It has been alleged by conspiracy theorists that Mr Gould, Dr Fox and Mr Werritty all met with Mossad, the Israeli secret service, in order to discuss a possible strike on Iran.
“I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories, but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran, in the service,” said Mr Flynn.Referring to two of his constituants who had been imprisoned after participating in “flytilla” demonstration against the Gaza blockade in July, he added: “When they were briefly imprisoned in Israel, they met the ambassador, and they strongly believe… that he was serving the interest of the Israeli government, and not the interests of two British citizens.”
Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, who also serves on the committee immediately refuted the accusation: “Mr Flynn is implying that the British ambassador to Israel is working for a foreign power, which is out of order.”
It was later reported that Chief Whip Rosie Winterton called Mr Flynn in for a meeting to discuss his comments.
On his blog, Mr Flynn elucidated on his earlier comments.
“In appointing Gould, a British Jew, to the ambassadorship in Israel in September last year, the foreign office broke with long-standing policy.
“No Jewish diplomat has held the post before because of concerns that it might lead to a conflict of interest, or at the very least create the impression of dual loyalty.
“Given these traditional concerns, Gould was a strange choice. He is a self-declared Zionist who has cultivated an image that led the Forward, the most prominent Jewish newspaper in the US, to describe him recently as ‘not just an ambassador’.”
Fellow MP’s appeared to distance themselves from Flynn in the wake of his remarks. Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, said: “I am astounded by these unfounded insinuations. Matthew Gould has a high reputation as an outstanding representative of the UK government.”
The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council released a joint statement which said: “It is deeply disturbing to suggest that certain parts of public service are out of bounds for British Jews and a slur on the professionalism of a British ambassador who is widely recognised for effectively representing Britain’s interests.”
Flynn later released a statement which attempted to clarify these remarks.
“Today’s accusation that I have made an anti-Semitic remark is ludicrous. I have been a lifelong friend of Israel and Jewish causes.I have visited Israel on four occasions including a private family holiday.
“Never before in my long political life has such an accusation been made. But I have been accused of being too friendly to Israel on many occasions.
“ True. I am strongly prejudiced against a war in Iran and in favour of Israel. That is why I am demanded a legitimate inquiry into the Liam Fox/ Werrity affair by Phillip Mawer to include a full probe into the USA anti Neo-con groups influence in advancing their agenda.
“The issue is the possibility of the UK stumbling into a war with Iran.
“It is a disappointing Labour Party colleagues joined in the hysteria without any of them first contacting me. It’s the Ian Gibson syndrome. Attack on the basis of the publicity not on the truth of the issue.”Read More www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/12/02/paul-flynn-mp-in-anti-semitic-row-91466-29883025/#ixzz1fPBjBRdF…