Jeremy Corbyn – The Labour Party and anti-semitism smears
The Tory Party hit back at Labour because of its demands for an inquiry over the Tory Party inaction to interference in British politics by Israel
Israeli state sponsored strategy is focused on controlling public opinion in the UK. Israel’s objective is to harness the resources of grassroots Zionist supporters in order to buttress from below the British government’s traditionally staunch support for Israel and to combat increasing public antipathy to Israel, specifically in its military interventions in Gaza, known colloquially to IDF soldiers as ‘mowing the lawn’ (Rabbani 2014).
The strategy exposed
Al Jazeera recently broadcast a four-part series of undercover documentaries entitled “The Lobby”.
The series was to shatter any illusions about Israel’s capacity to influence British democratic processes.
Most controversially, the films exposed an Israeli Embassy official in the act of suggesting to a senior civil servant the ‘take down’ of British politicians, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sir Alan Duncan, a known supporter of Palestinian rights, at the top of the list.
The embassy official was Shai Masot, a former intelligence officer for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).
Masot’s interlocutor, Maria Strizzolo, a former ministerial aide employed in the Education Department, was filmed agreeing: ‘If you look hard enough, I’m sure that there is something that they are trying to hide’
The scandal mongering attempts of the pair were hard to deny in the face of the filmed evidence and further footage showed Masot boasting about his recent success in influencing British government policy over local council boycotts of Israeli goods and services through the “Conservative Friends of Israel.”
Equally damaging, he was also seen mobilizing behind the scenes support for Israel through his close involvement with Zionist lobbyists amongst the British political elite and covertly fostering the spread of pro-Israel advocacy groups at the grassroots level of British society.
The documentaries caused outrage on all sides of the Israel-Palestinian debate in Britain and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded an inquiry on grounds of national security.
The public joined the protest arguing, with good reason that had Russia, Iran or indeed any other state been caught behaving in a like manner, there would have been a thorough investigation.
Taking a contrary view the Jewish press to minimized the importance of the exposure, scorning it as trivial and out of touch with the reality of everyday parliamentary lobbying.
Other israeli sources accused Al Jazeera of importing Middle Eastern anti-Semitism to Britain, or berated the deceitfulness of undercover reporting and complained to the communications regulator Ofcom.
The furore was short lived. House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow (Berkowitz) made short shrift of MPs’ demands for an inquiry, telling them it would not be ‘helpful to discuss it further’ (Middle East Eye 2017).
A public petition collected more than 12,000 signatories demanding an investigation into the embassy’s conduct but it too drew a terse response from the Tory controlled Foreign Office.
Stressing Britain’s strong ties with Israel, the response concluded: ‘We consider the matter closed’ (UK Government & Parliament 2017).
Credit: Jane Jackman (University of Exeter)