Fascinating interview with Michael Gove on David Frum’s Diary. Here is a key extract:
"Q: Why was the British establishment so fiercely hostile to the Lebanon war – much more so, it seems even than to Iraq?
A: In the 1990s, there was a significant section of left opinion – not numerous, but influential – that believed in liberal interventionism. These people regarded the Kosovo war as a great success. That success put great credit in Tony Blair’s account, credit he used to justify Iraq. Because Iraq is seen as not having worked as it should have done, any military action in the Middle East faces a much higher hurdle.
Beyond that, it is difficult for anyone not in Britain to appreciate how hostile elite opinion has grown to Israel has grown since the collapse of the Barak government. Hostility to Israel has become a touchstone issue around which the European left has coalesced. Without socialism, the proletarian can no longer be the poster boy of the left; the guerilla has taken his place. And Israel has become for the European left the archetype of the settler/ colonial/ bourgeois regime. The Palestinian is the archetype of the noble guerilla.
At a deep level in the European psyche, there flows an underground river of anti-semitism that anti-Zionism can tap into. But ultimately, anti-Israel feeling in Britain owes more to anti-westernism than to anti-semitism."
David Frum recently completed a Q&A for ConservativeHome. Next week we’ll be publishing two very different reviews of Michael’s Celsius 7/7 book.