World Opinion

October 13, 2012 • Editorial

England’s relationship with [auth] the EU

Prime Minister David Cameron used his round of eve-of-conference-speech interviews recently to show a little more ankle on the vexed issue of a European referendum, saying it would be the “cleanest, neatest, simplest” way to settle this country’s future relationship with the European Union. The more naive may have thought that this was a pretty clear steer that there will be a national plebiscite at some time in the next few years. After all, it is 37 years since the British people last had a direct say on our place in Europe.

In fact, Cameron intended nothing of the sort. For in the same interview he argued that the crisis in the eurozone created an opportunity for Britain to get a “fresh and better” settlement with the EU, which would then require the renewed consent of the electorate “either at a referendum or a general election.” And it is the general election option that remains the government’s preferred policy.

So why did Cameron feel the need to set the referendum hare running once again? Well, a struggling economy has made this a tricky mid-term conference, and a hint at a vote on Europe will always appeal to some of his critics on the Right. He may also have thought he was at risk of being upstaged by Boris Johnson, whose high-wattage star quality gave the conference some much needed uplift.

Cameron is right to say that the economic meltdown in the eurozone must lead to profound changes in the structure of the EU and that this offers Britain a golden opportunity to recalibrate its relationship. It would not be credible for such a historic shift to become no more than a paragraph in the next general election manifesto. It requires the separate endorsement of the British people.

Guest Editorial

The Telegraph, London

U.S. presidential election

For the record, The Jerusalem Post is not backing either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney in next month’s presidential elections.

As Israel’s top English-language newspaper which prides itself on its balanced news coverage and opinion columns, we are certainly committed to providing our readers with as much material as we can on the candidates and their campaigns.

And it is our job as a newspaper to report on the presidential race as best we can, in an unbiased but informative way.

At the same time, however, The Jerusalem Post — like any other newspaper — is a business. As such, we are open to advertising from both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Running paid ads in our print edition and on our website and sending them to our subscribers does not mean that we are endorsing one side or the other.

In order to give our readers first-class, original content, we need the resources provided by such advertising.

Supporters of Republican challenger Romney recently produced and posted on YouTube an anti-Obama documentary called Absolutely Uncertain. It featured interviews with The Jerusalem Post’s editor-in-chief, as well as with other Israel-based journalists who were told they were being filmed for a documentary on the U.S. and Israel.

They had no idea that their statements were going to be used for political propaganda.

It is in no one’s interest for Israel to be a wedge issue in the upcoming U.S. elections. To play political football with the enormous challenges facing Israel, the U.S. and the entire world today, especially when it comes to Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, is irresponsible and immoral.

Such issues must be addressed not in propaganda ads with a clear political agenda but via channels that promote robust discourse and free thought.

Guest Editorial

The Jerusalem Post

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