This is a guest post by Jonathan Hoffman
Richard Ingrams is a vile man who has a problem with Jews. He tends to disregard letters in support of Israel in the newspapers if the writer “has a Jewish name”. And more recently he suggested that two of the historians on the Iraq War Enquiry Panel could not be trusted to be objective because they were Jewish.
Showing a striking lack of originality, former UK Ambassador Oliver Miles – in Sunday’s Independent – said much the same thing about the two eminent historians (Sir Martin Gilbert and Sir Lawrence Freedman). Miles wrote “Membership should not only be balanced; it should be seen to be balanced.”
How dare you, Oliver Miles! What next: Jews should be barred from teaching 20th Century history or international relations in schools or universities?
Miles’ verminous comment comes from the same cesspit as Peter Oborne’s disingenuous protestation that supporters of Israel need to be more transparent, because otherwise people might accuse them of a conspiracy!
And the Oborne connection goes further. Remember another former Ambassador, Sir Richard Dalton, who appeared in Oborne’s Channel 4 documentary last week encouraging the view of a somehow sinister ‘Israel lobby’.
Both Miles and Dalton are senior members of the Libyan-British Business Council, co-bankrolled by the UK and Libyan governments. Miles is the Chairman of the lobbying group MEC International, which has organised the most recent project of the LBBC, including producing a report for the EU offering very rosy prospects for EU trade with Libya.
Miles’ MEC International offers for sale the services of a range of ex-Ambassadors for all who seek influence and contracts in the Middle East. His most famous demonstration of what he can organise was the famous letter from 52 ex-Ambassadors which he organised from a Tripoli internet cafe, urging the then PM Tony Blair to change UK government policies on Iraq and on Israel.
None of Miles’ interests were declared in the Sunday Independent article yesterday. Unsuspecting readers were given the impression that his is the disinterested opinion of a man who has devoted his life only to the service of Her Majesty’s Government.
It comes from precisely the same cesspit as Peter Oborne’s disingenuous protestation that supporters of Israel need to be more transparent because otherwise people will accuse them of a conspiracy.
And look who has a senior position at Chatham House…..
No wonder Robin Shepherd’s days at Chatham House were numbered after he wrote a good op-ed about Israel in the Times in January 2008. ….