Members of Knesset were outraged with Britain's accusations against Israel over the assassination of a Hamas official in Dubai and its threats to expel an Israeli diplomat from London over the stolen passports affair. MK Arieh Eldad said on Tuesday that the British were behaving hypocritically and compared them to dogs.
Eldad also gave an interview to the British Sky network, and said that a British diplomat should be expelled in response, "maybe the military attaché". British media has been covering the crisis since Tuesday morning.
When asked of the comparison, Eldad said, "I was just quoting what was said in Latroun 62 years ago. I think the British are being hypocritical and I do not wish to insult dogs here, since some dogs show true loyalty. Who gave the British the right to judge us on the war on terror?"
The National Union MK addressed the Passover haggadah, as passed down to him from his father, the late Lehi leader Yisrael Eldad. "When my father held the seder in Latroun before 500 prisoners he read Chad Gadya (One goat song sung at Passover) to the British prison commander. And the question was posed: If the goat is righteous, then the cat is evil, then the dog is righteous, then the stick is evil – and in the end it turns out that, heaven forbid, God Almighty is evil. What is the answer he gave to the Briton? The answer was that 'the goat may be righteous, the cat may be evil, but you are the dog. You Briton. Who gave you the right to judge?'"
Eldad's fellow party member Michael Ben-Ari was asked if he agrees with the comparison and said, "Dogs are usually loyal, the British may be dogs, but they are not loyal to us. They seem to be loyal to the anti-Semitic establishment.
"Unfortunately, the Israeli government and Israeli diplomacy play into their hands. We have learned that a dog must be called by its name. This is anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism."
On the other hand, Chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Kadima) said Israel should refrain from responding to the crisis with Britain. "I believe that Israel's abstaining from giving any kind of response at the height of the Dubai crisis was right. Now that the height of the crisis is behind us, it is certainly all the more logical to refrain from making matters worse."
He added, "Over the years, Israel has adopted a policy of not responding to allegations made against it in such matters. This is sometimes used to accuse Israel of things it has nothing to do with."
Earlier, it was reported that Britain plans to formally announced that Israel was behind the cloning of British passports used in the assassination of Hamas man Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. It was also reported that an Israeli diplomat is to be expelled from London, with Foreign Secretary David Miliband scheduled to give a statement on the matter at 3:30 pm GMT Tuesday.