Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Israel Astroturfs the UK

More revelations concerning Israel's hidden hand in UK politics:

"An Israeli embassy official who plotted to 'take down' MPs regarded as hostile has also set up a number of political organisations in the UK that operated as though entirely independent. Shai Masot was filmed covertly as he boasted about establishing several groups, at least one of which was intended to influence Labour Party policy, while appearing to obscure their links to Israel. The disclosure comes as Labour demanded the government launch an immediate inquiry into 'improper interference in our democratic politics.' A former Tory government minister also called for an inquiry into the Israeli embassy's links with two organisations, Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and Labour Friends of Israel (LFI).

"Meanwhile, Masot is being sent back to Israel in disgrace, and a civil servant and Conservative official [Strizzolo] who was also filmed discussing ways to discredit MPs has resigned from her post....

"In the latest recordings, Masot boasts of establishing organisations 'in Israel and here [in the UK].' When asked what he means, the Israeli official replies: 'Nothing I can share, but yeah,' adding: 'Yeah, because there are things that, you know, happen, but it's good to leave those organisations independent. But we help them, actually.'... The footage taken by al-Jazeera shows Masot wanted Robin [the al-Jazeera filmer Masot and Strizzolo believed to be an LFI activist] to head up a new organisation, Young Labour Friends of Israel. At a meeting last July, Masot explains that he had the idea for a group called Young Conservative Friends of Israel in 2015, and wanted to set up a Young Labour Friends of Israel at that time. 'When I tried to do the same in Labour they had a crisis back then with Corbyn. So instead of that I took a delegation to Israel... I took a Fabians group to Israel,' he says.

"Masot also says in the footage of that meeting that he does not wish to see Jeremy Corbyn win the leadership contest with Owen Smith. During another meeting, he describes Corbyn as 'a crazy leader.' 'I would rather that the party will not stay with Corbyn,' he says. Referring to a number of Labour MPs who had recently visited the West Bank, he adds: 'Some of them are against Corbyn, so who knows?' Masot advised Robin that he should launch the Young Labour Friends of Israel by first organising a reception, and then setting up an email list. LFI needs to be rejuvenated by a new youth group, he adds. 'Not a lot of young people want to be affiliated. For years, every MP that joined the parliament joined the LFI. They're not doing it any more in the Labour Party. CFI, they're doing it automatically. All the 14 new MPs who got elected in the last elections did it automatically... " (Israeli diplomat who plotted against MPs also set up political groups, Ewan MacAskil/ John Cobain, theguardian.com, 9/1/17)

Meanwhile, back in Australia, you'll be interested to know that "a group of Labor politicians has formed a new action group to counter what they perceive to be growing anti-Israel sentiment within the party that they claim is being pushed by high-profile colleagues such as former foreign minister Bob Carr. The Labor Israel Action Committee, headed by NSW state members Walt Secord and Ron Hoenig, will work to 'restore balance in the Labor Party on Israel and the Middle East.' It's understood the group, which has 62 members, was formed in response to frustration at the influence of Mr Carr and NSW MP Shaoquett Moselmane... Federal Labor members Mike Kelly and senator Deb O'Neill are the new group's co-patrons, while former NSW MP Eric Roozendaal, former NSW MP Mary Easson and former senator Michael Forshaw were some of the first official members." (Labor politicians join to fight 'anti-Israel focus', Sam Buckingham-Jones, The Australian, 12/12/16)


Anonymous said...

Typical that a Google New search for "Shai Masot" does not find a single hit in an Australian news source.

Grappler said...

@Anonymous - he's neither a cricketer nor a footie player so what do you expect?