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Last updated: 2003-04-30

The Board of Deputies has complained to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw about remarks he made regarding “double standards” in the course of a recent radio interview.

Mr. Straw was reported as stating that the West was “guilty of double standards” in requiring Iraq’s compliance with UN Security Council resolutions but “rather quixotic” in implementing UN resolutions about Israel and Palestinians. This comes only a few months after Mr. Straw had made a clear distinction between Iraq and the problems of Israel and the Palestinians. The Board asked Mr Straw to confirm that he had not changed his earlier views on this distinction.

In his letter to the Foreign Secretary, Senior Vice President Henry Grunwald wrote: “You know better than anyone that there is no comparison between the two sets of resolutions. They fall under different chapters of the UN Charter with different degrees of compulsion. The UN has also imposed obligations on Israel’s neighbours and on the Palestinians but these never seem to get mentioned.

“Nothing will be gained by distorting the significance of Resolution 242. On the contrary, if the UN is to play any role in encouraging a peaceful settlement it needs to reject its almost monolithic hostility towards Israel which found its ultimate expression in the deplorable anti-Semitism of the World Conference against Racism in 2001.”