n interview with Jewish News, British premier addresses Iranian threat to boycott Olympic Games over 'racist' logo, says UK won't recognize unilaterally declared Palestinian state
LONDON - In his first exclusive interview as prime minister with a Jewish media outlet, David Cameron addressed Iran's threat to boycott the 2012 Olympic Games scheduled to be held in London.
In February the Islamic Republic protested against the 2012 Olympic Games, saying the emblem is racist and spells the word "Zion".
"It's completely paranoid," the British prime minister told the Jewish News. "If the Iranians don't want to come, don't come, we won't miss you. It would be a crazy reason for not coming"
Cameron further added that athletes unwilling to compete against Israelis would not be welcome at the Games. "They can't come if they're going to behave like that," he said. "You shouldn't have that approach to sport. If you were going to come to the Olympic Games, you take part against everybody and if you're going to behave like that you're not welcome."
The British premier also addressed Foreign Minister William Hague's recent statement urging Israel to stop it's "belligerent language" amid the turmoil in Egypt.
Cameron said: "William Hague is a strong supporter of Israel, as am I, and we greatly value the longstanding friendship between our two countries. We also want to get the peace process back on track so that it doesn't lose momentum."
Cameron himself was also criticized for describing Gaza as a "prison camp" during a visit in Turkey without once mentioning Hamas.
He argued he had a record of being "very clear in condemning Hamas."
Cameron said it was "absolutely appalling" that IDF soldier Gilad Shalit has been captive by Hamas for nearly five years. "He should be released unconditionally. We raise it in every way that we can. We keep up the pressure and we'll go on doing so."
UK won't recognize Palestinian state
Referring to the stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks, he said: "Peace means people taking risks on both sides and that's what needs to happen. My strongly held view is that this is in the Israeli interest as well as the Palestinian interest because every time we fail to make peace we find that the people we're left to deal with can get more extreme."
Asked whether Britain would consider recognizing a unilaterally-declared Palestinian state if there was no solution by September, Cameron replied with a resounding "No."
"What we want is a two-state solution, and I think all our aims will be focused on how to help bring a two-state solution together."
Asked whether he has any plans for a visit in Israel, he replied "Not in the immediate future but I'd be very keen to go."
"I very much enjoyed my visit there as Leader of the Opposition. I have a good relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, we speak quite regularly and I've met him many times. But obviously this year it's a very busy year. If I can go this year I will but if not it'll have to be later."
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