As reported by the human ticker-tape machine, Mark Pack, Tim Farron has appointed two Middle East advisers, in the shape of Lord Monroe Palmer and John McHugo. I think this an extremely wise move by Tim.
Monroe Palmer, a Local Liberal Hero, is a former chairman of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel and has a long and distinguished career as a councillor and speaker on matters of concern to the UK Jewish community.
John McHugo is chair of the Liberal Democrat friends of Palestine and is an historian, Arabic linguist and international lawyer.
So, Tim will be getting some very wise counsel. Moreover, he will be getting, dare I say it, a balanced view.
One of the things I love about the Liberal Democrats is that we are scrupulously even-handed in our approach to the Israel-Palestine controversy. This was typified by a remark by Lorely Burt at the Bournemouth conference. She said that leaders of the Jewish community in her constituency were “up in arms” when they learnt that she was going to visit Gaza. But she was quick to point out to them that, during the same trip, she would also be visiting Israel.
Many apologies from me for originally and wrongly writing “Israel” instead of “Palestine” in relation to John McHugo. A stupid mistake by me.
Photo: Israeli children visit Palestinian village of Tuwani and participate in bilingual activities together – Some rights reserved by delayed gratification / Flickr CCL.