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British Military Head Is Iran Hawk

And the Miliband brothers battle for Labour lead

by
Marc Tracy
May 12, 2010
New Defense Secretary Liam Fox earlier today.(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
New Defense Secretary Liam Fox earlier today.(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The dust has settled in Britain: The government is a Conservative-led coalition with the Liberal Democrats; the prime minister is Tory leader David Cameron; most of the other influential ministries are also Conservative; Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is deputy prime minister; the Labour Party is the loyal opposition.

According to Tablet Magazine’s Larry Miller, Israel’s supporters should be relieved that Clegg is not running the foreign ministry (instead, as predicted, one-time Tory leader William Hague will). Not only that: It appears they should be especially heartened by who is in charge of the military. The new defense minister is Liam Fox, and he is, apparently, known for taking a tough line on Iran. Wikipedia sayeth that he supports the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and has insisted that military action against Iran must remain on the table.

And as for Labour? While five top party officials will vie for the leadership position, the two most high-profile contestants are brothers David and Ed Miliband, respectively the outgoing Foreign and Climate Ministers. And the Milibands are Jews: Their mother hailed from Poland; their father, Ralph, was one of the most prominent British Marxists of his generation. As foreign secretary, David Miliband condemned both Israeli and Hamas actions in the Gaza conflict; advocated a full settlement freeze; expelled an Israeli diplomat following the whole Dubai murder thing; and supported limited British engagement with Hezbollah. But he also insisted, “It’s foolish to think that if you resolved the Palestinian issue, al-Qaeda would disappear.”

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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