As Israel haemorrhages British political support, its supporters watch impotently

Ambassador Matthew Gould about speak to Israeli TV during royal wedding and Queen’s birthday celebrations last year.

Mati Milstein UK in Israel

Speaking to Israeli TV earlier this month British ambassador Matthew Gould said Israel was increasingly losing support among middle-ground politicians in the UK because of its aggressive settlement policies.

His comments confirm other indications of increased mainstream support for Palestine in the political mainstream, as I showed in a feature for EI last month.

The Guardian reports that:

In an unusually forthright interview for Israel’s Channel 10 news, Gould said he detected a shift among the middle ground of British members of parliament towards a more critical view of Israel.

“Israelis might wake up in 10 years’ time and find out that the level of understanding in the international community has suddenly changed, and that patience for continuing the status quo has reduced,” he said.

“Support for Israel is starting to erode and that’s not about these people on the fringe who are shouting loudly and calling for boycotts and all the rest of it. The interesting category are those members of parliament in the middle, and in that group I see a shift.”

It’s interesting to note that, according to The Guardian, Gould said the “shift was a result of Israeli government policies… [and suggested] that it could not be countered or obscured by hasbara” or Israeli propaganda campaigns.

As is clear from the way he attempts to cast boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns as marginal, Gould is by no means on our side. But it’s interesting that even he has to acknowledge how low Israel’s public support has slipped in Europe – as a result of its own aggressive actions against the Palestinian people:

“Israel is now seen as the Goliath and it’s the Palestinians who are seen as the David.” In the biblical story of David and Goliath, the young future king of Israel defeats the mighty Philistine warrior armed only with a sling and stones.

Zionist reactions

It’s been most encouraging and funny to watch the sometimes hysterical reactions from Israeli officials and their British apologists. It’s a good thing for us that they are living in denial.

Missing the point, Dermot Kehoe, the acting chief executive of Israel lobby group BICOM told The Guardian:

The Britain/Israel relationship has never been stronger in terms of trade, technology and security cooperation. Our polling shows the relationship is not eroding.

“The ambassador is right to highlight the importance of the peace process to the British public. However, Israel is not Goliath. It is a small country surrounded by threats…

The Guardian quotes an unnamed Israeli official, who seems to be in total denial:

“[This] does not describe anything near reality. It’s a dishonest attempt to take a biblical myth and turn it upside down to make Israel look bad in Jewish terminology.” In the past 30 years, he added, there had been other attempts, particularly by the Palestinians, “to dispossess Jews of our history”.

Stuart Polak, director of lobby group Conservative Friends of Israel also attacked Gould. He told The Jewish Chronicle that:

the comments did not reflect the actions of Tory MPs. “Conservative MPs ‘in the middle’ of the debate are very engaged and regularly make their voices heard in support of Israel on a wide range of issues,” he said.

Interestingly, he didn’t name any MP in particular. You can almost picture him sticking his fingers in his ears and shaking his head.




this shift will continue as Israel denies the rights of Palestinians and ignores International laws to their detriment.
It is sad that they have followed the Zionist principles and wanted more and more of what it is not theirs dispossessing Palestinian people to achieve their aims.They will only egender antipathy and hate if they continue on this path of destroying all to get what is legally not theirs. We all should live by decent moral codes and do unto others as we would have done unto us, that is not what is happenning in Israel I am sorry to say.


You can see it all the way through Israeli society not just the lobby groups, they really think their Hasbara campaign is rearing results in Israel's favour.

When in reality people are no longer bothering arguing or putting their points of view to Israelis or Israel firsters because all you get in return are threats, and even more threats, and various attempts to shut you up, regardless of which source you use to back up your argument.

In other words by shutting down any and all debate, Israel is deluding itself that there are high rates of support in the world for it's illegal occupation of Palestine.

Even here the illusion of a 4% rise in Israel's GDP is seen as a positive sign, when in reality all it has done is increase by the amount the American taxpayer has incresed
their 'aid'


Ah... if only such were true here in America. The British, as a general matter, possess a media somewhat less shackled by the drumbeat of Zionist propaganda that rules every aspect of American media and so to some extent the truth of things comes through a bit more. With even a rudimentary understanding of what really went down in 1948, one would at the very least approach the Israel question with apprehension and wariness toward Zionist spin. We don't seem to have that going on here. Let us hope that their shift is contagious.


Wait wait, this is the British ambassador to Israel right? So how is this talking his job? Who is he actually working for?

This same Gould had numbers of shadowy meetings with amateur diplomat Adam Werritty, that special friend of MoD Liam Fox. Fox had to resign because of these meetings.

Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist who lives in London. He is an associate editor of The Electronic Intifada and co-host of our podcast.

He is author of the bestselling book Weaponising Anti-Semitism: How the Israel Lobby Brought Down Jeremy Corbyn (OR Books, 2023).