JERUSALEM - Political sources have slammed British Prime Minister Tony Blair, accusing him of “hypocrisy” for blaming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for instigating terrorism, in the wake of last week’s attack in London.
“It is a widespread approach in Europe,” said one source in Jerusalem. “They really believe we are responsible for all their problems.”
Officials in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office refused to respond to Blair’s attack, saying Sharon would not turn the comments into a diplomatic crisis.
Friday, Sharon instructed government ministers to refrain from comparing the London attack with similar attacks in Israel in order to avoid linking Israel with the attack.
Other sources said Blair’s outburst is yet one more sign Europeans have not yet woken up to the dangers of radical Islam.
They also point to comments made by European Parliament President Josep Borell Fontells during last month’s visit to Israel to show Europeans refuse to recognize the “dormant terror cells” amongst Europe’s large Muslim population.
“You think we are here as some sort of ‘rich uncles,’” said Fontells. “But we are here because your conflict is starting to work it’s way over to us.”
“Blair’s comments are an attempt to calm things down,” said one source, “to tell British Muslims, ‘it’s not you, it’s the mid-east conflict.’ He’s apparently hoping for quiet in England, and trying not to kick the community when it’s down.”