Alyn Smith may not be a big name on the world stage, but the Scottish MP has made waves after he called the Israeli Embassy, in an apparent bid to de-escalate the latest deadly conflict with Hamas, drawing ridicule in the process.
On Wednesday, Smith, the Scottish National Party (SNP) MP for Stirling, tweeted a photo of himself sitting at his desk on the phone.
“My call earlier to Israeli Embassy on current events in Israel and Palestine. We need to de-escalate tensions now in all areas,” the lawmaker wrote.
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However, critics were quick to question the SNP Foreign Affairs Spokesperson’s motives, not to mention his relevance to Middle-Eastern geopolitics.
One user mocked that, while government ministers can phone their foreign counterparts directly, the SNP are left to “call the Israeli Embassy switchboard and ask to speak to the manager.”
“Shamelessly trying to look like they have influence on the world stage in another desperate independence plug,” they added.
"This is the Israeli Embassy in London. For complaints about the current conflict from showboating local politicians in the UK who have no role in determining UK foreign and diplomatic policy, please press 1. Your call may be recorded for training purposes."
— Classical liberal (@Union1707) May 13, 2021
Others also suggested Smith was “showboating” with his apparent call and would likely be sent to answerphone or perhaps put on hold with The Who’s song “Who Are You?”
Bet they’ve placed on hold and laughing as this phone hold music plays pic.twitter.com/Rznxotpa0Q
— the original Grumpy Git (@GitGrumpygit) May 13, 2021
Smith was also likened to David Brent, the infamously self-aggrandizing manager played by Ricky Gervais in the British sitcom, The Office.
This new series of The Office looks good, David Brent's has lost a bit of weight.
— Scots_close_1645 (@CloseScots) May 13, 2021
“After you’ve solved the Arab-Israeli conflict, any chance you could get the bins uplifted more than once a month?,” one said.
Ambassador, It’s Alyn Smith on the phone! Who? No idea, but I think he’s from the local council in Scotland wishing he was a statesman Tell him our glass bin is full again and get the actual UK government on the phone!!
— John Swindley 🇬🇧 🏴🇬🇧 (@colg73) May 13, 2021
The SNP’s bid for Scottish independence also came up, with one user branding Smith’s phone call: “Nationalists lecturing other countries with nationalists how not to be nationalists.”
Not all comments were at Smith’s expense, however; the author and historian Tom Holland also weighed in to try and offer the MP some light-hearted guidance.
“I hope he reminded the Israeli embassy that the Scots are descended from Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh who rescued Moses from the bullrushes. I am sure it would have broken the ice,” he said.
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