10th January 2017
Israeli State Subverting Democracy in the UK
By Graham Bash and Mick Brooks
Revelations from the Al Jazeera news company that Shai Masot, based at the Israeli Embassy, was bugged threatening to “take down” British MPs who opposed his government’s aggressively expansionist policies should be met with consternation. Who is this person? What right does he think he has to interfere in British democracy? Is money from the Israeli government being used to subvert the democratic process here? What does he mean by “taking down” MPs?
Instead the Foreign Office has met the news with feigned boredom, declaring the matter closed. Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry has correctly dubbed Masot’s statements an “improper interference in our democratic politics” and emphasised that “this is a national security issue.” Thornberry added, “The exposure of an Israeli embassy official discussing how to bring down or discredit a government minister and other MPs because of their views on the Middle East is extremely disturbing. Improper interference in our democratic politics by other states is unacceptable whichever country is involved.”
A former Minister in Cameron’s Cabinet wrote anonymously in the ‘Mail on Sunday’ (08.01.17) that “British foreign policy is in hock to Israeli influence.” It is humiliating and just plain wrong that Britain can be treated like a banana republic to be bribed and kicked around by the Israeli government.
Masot is a member of the Israeli Defence Force. So what is he doing over here? It is not unusual for foreign embassies to be a nest of spies. Masot’s target in the overheard conversation was the Tory MP Sir Alan Duncan, who has in the past compared Israeli government policy towards the Arabs to the former apartheid regime in South Africa.
We have found out that Israeli spooks are also actively involved in subverting the Labour Party. One conduit is the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI). The Wikipedia entry on the subject herestates that more than 60 Labour MPs were invited to visit the State of Israel from 2001-9, all expenses paid. Who paid for these jollies, we wonder? Masot reveals that he obtained more than £1 million from the State of Israel has for this hospitality. Surely these are bribes.
Wikipedia also provides a list of the ‘Friends’. They include Tony Blair, David Blunkett, Gordon Brown, Mike Gapes and Margaret Hodge. Readers who examine the list will notice that they are overwhelmingly from the right of the Party. Masot regards Jeremy Corbyn as ‘crazy’. “I would prefer that the party will not stay with Corbyn,” he says. What on earth is it to do with him?
In the recordings, Masot boasts of establishing organisations “in Israel and here (in the UK)”. When asked what he meant, he replied, “Nothing I can share, but yeah,” The LFI came up in the conversation. Masot felt that he needed to set up a youth group of LFI. How much would this be a creation of Israeli intelligence? A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind horse. “Yeah, because there are things that, you know, happen, but it’s good to leave those organisations independent. But we help them, actually.”
There has recently been a flood of accusations of antisemitism within the Labour Party. The tales lacked only one thing – evidence. The LRC and the Labour Party as a whole stand four square in opposition to antisemitism, a form of racism against Jews. If antisemitism raises its ugly head in or movement it has to be stamped out.
But the cheap trick that the supporters of Zionist expansionism have carried out is to deliberately conflate any criticism of Israeli policy with antisemitism. Jackie Walker of the LRC has been singled out for these attacks. Pete Firmin has shown this squalid trick up for what it is.
Oppose the illegal settlements in the West Bank? Then you’re an antisemite! Feel sympathy for the Arabs’ plight in Gaza? You must be a racist!
In fact the big majority of Jewish people in the world do not live in Israel. People who are rightly proud of their Jewish identity should not be strong-armed into supporting the policies of the Israeli government with this bogus argument. Would those of us who marched against the illegal invasion of Iraq be regarded as anti-British racists?
Incidentally there is an interesting article in the latest issue of ‘International Socialism’ which shows that support for Zionist aims coexisted with vile antisemitism among leading Labour figures for decades past. here
Jeremy Corbyn is the first Labour leader who has been solidly committed to the Palestinian cause for decades past. That is why powerful forces are trying to undermine him and smear him and his supporters with the association of antisemitism.
Who is using whom? The Israeli Embassy is using right wing figures in the Labour Party to spread fantasies about widespread antisemitism in the Corbyn camp. On the other hand right wing Labour is using false briefings to undermine the Corbyn leadership, and it seems is being supported in doing this by the Israeli government.
Millions of Americans were outraged when they found out that the Russian government was interfering in the presidential elections. The Tories apparently couldn’t care less that the world knows that “British foreign policy is in hock to Israeli influence.” We support Emily Thornberry’s denunciation of the Israeli Embassy’s interference in British politics and her call for an enquiry into the affair.
But for Labour Party members the matter goes deeper. Are agents of a foreign power interfering in the affairs of our Party? Are members of the Labour Party taking money from the State of Israel to help them undermine our elected leader? If so, this has got to stop. We need the NEC to investigate the infiltration of the Israeli Embassy into the affairs of the Labour Party.
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