Pam Barker | Director of the TLB Europe Reloaded Project
The Al Jazeera network has performed a valuable service in its 4-part exposé of how the Israeli embassy in London and certain of its operatives have been attempting to remove senior members of the British government critical of Israel’s stance toward the Palestinians.
But we are left wondering why the British mainstream media couldn’t have done the same.
To this embarrassing revelation the Israeli ambassador Mark Regev subsequently apologized, and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office have declared the matter closed. Such is the strength of Israeli influence over the British government; such is the disregard the British government has for attempts made by foreign governments to subvert the democratic process.
In part 1 (video below) we hear about the need to attract young people on British campuses, especially those in the British Labour party, to the cause of Israel, the concern being that the next generation of British leaders will not be sympathetic. It’s usually automatic that young politicians join the Friends of Israel group for their particular party, but Labour stands out as the exception. Interestingly, the Conservative Party has no such problem recruiting younger members to its own CFI.
This is especially a threat given the influence the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement is currently having on young people, especially on university campuses. The NUS (National Union of Students) is also posing problems given that its newly-elected leader is pro-Muslim. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader who speaks out on behalf of the Palestinian cause, is also in the crosshairs.
Shai Masot, the infamous political officer at the Israeli embassy, who was recorded talking about ‘taking down’ certain pro-Palestinian British politicians and has since resigned, features prominently as a recruiter and adviser of those who can help the Israeli embassy in its charm offensive on Labour Party youth.
AIPAC on both sides of the Atlantic and the Israeli embassy are mentioned as key funding sources.
In part 2, the undercover reporter for Al Jazeera is recruited by Masot (pictured) to start up the Young LFI group. The key strategy Masot advocates is to keep all associations with the embassy well hidden.
The Labour Party conference in Blackpool becomes the target of recruitment and infiltration strategies. MP Joan Ryan, the Chair of the Labour Friends of Israel, heads a stall at the conference. This part is interesting for the way legitimate questions about Israel and other pertinent topics are ‘handled’, where anything of a remotely critical nature earns the damning label of ‘anti-semitic’. Indeed, a ready-made argument has been set up whereby the state of Israel is deemed integral to Jewish identity. Any criticism of Israel, therefore, automatically becomes a racist attack on Jews.
Enjoy parts 1 and 2.
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