Israeli Ambassador Calls Britain a 'Hotbed of Radical Anti-Israeli Views'

Britain has become a hotbed of radical anti-Israeli views, Israel's ambassador to the country said in an article for a British newspaper.

Ron Prosor said in an opinion piece in Tuesday's Daily Telegraph newspaper that his country has been demonized.

"Israel faces an intensified campaign of delegitimization, demonization and double standards," he said.

"Britain has become a hotbed for radical anti-Israeli views and a haven for disingenuous calls for a one-state solution, a euphemistic name for a movement advocating Israel's destruction."

Prosor, who took up his post in November, said Britain was once admired for fairness and decency but the debate on Israel has now been hijacked by extremists.

He criticized attempts by the University and College Union to sever links with Israeli universities in 2007 because of Israel's treatment of Palestinians. That proposal was later dropped but the academic union recently passed a motion that condemns Israel's actions in Gaza.

Prosor said: "Academics, supposedly society's guardians of knowledge, objectivity and informed debate, have seen their union held hostage by radical factions, armed with political agendas and personal interests."

He said the British public's perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was affected by biased coverage.

"Israel's military reaction to the attacks it faces is given in depth, microscopic coverage. Yet the attacks to which Israel is responding are often ignored. The average British citizen is painfully unaware that since Hamas seized control of Gaza last year, 1,400 rockets and 1,500 mortar bombs have landed on Israeli soil," he said.

Prosor's comments come as Britain's foreign secretary David Miliband cut short an official visit to Israel to fly back for a vote on anti-terrorism laws.