An official with the Israeli embassy in England was recently outed by Arab media after he was caught soliciting the help of a staffer with a high ranking member of Parliament to smear another PM, who had a history of protesting Israel’s illegal land thefts. The official resigned after he was outed, but no one believes that this activity will stop any time soon.
By Dave Gahary
A lot has been written over the years about the so-called Jewish—and since 1948 Israeli—plot to dominate the world’s affairs by infiltrating the host countries in which they reside, a claim immediately branded as an “anti-Semitic canard” by not just Jewish organizations like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), but also by the elite media, which has a clear pro-Israel bias. Now, however, a six-month undercover investigation conducted by Qatar’s state-funded broadcaster al Jazeera has provided video proof that rather than a canard—a groundless rumor or belief—the attempt to influence countries, in this case Great Britain, is a clear conspiracy, directed by the Israeli government, which included plotting to destroy the careers of senior UK politicians, especially those considered “anti-settlement.”
The undercover reporter, whom al Jazeera referred to as “Robin,” met regularly with members of Britain’s lobby network, which has a close relationship with the Israeli government via their embassy in London.
“Robin posed as a graduate activist with strong sympathies towards Israel who was eager to help combat the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement prominent in Britain,” reported al Jazeera.
One of those targeted by Israel was Sir Alan James Carter Duncan, the British Conservative Party member of Parliament, who currently serves as minister of state for Europe and the Americas.
During a secret filming at a French restaurant in London, Shai Masot, the then-senior political officer at the Israeli embassy, asked the then-chief of staff to the deputy chairman of the ruling Conservative Party, Maria Strizzolo, “Can I give you some MPs that I would suggest you take down?”
Strizzolo, “a British civil servant active with the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI),” replied, “[I]f you look hard enough I’m sure that there is something that they’re trying to hide.”
According to its website, CFI, a British parliamentary group affiliated with the Conservative Party, “is dedicated to strengthening business, cultural, and political ties between the UK and Israel” and seeks to strengthen ties between the party and Israel’s Likud Party.
“Yeah, I have some MPs,” Masot brazenly stated, looking at Robin. “[Strizzolo] knows which MPs I want to take down,” referring to Duncan.
Strizzolo hints that “a little scandal” could harm Duncan.
In 2014, Duncan said that, while he supports Israel’s right to exist, he believes Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land represent an “ever-deepening stain on the face of the globe,” and he equated the longest military occupation in world history to apartheid.
Although Masot’s exact role at the Israeli embassy is shrouded, he claims to be a former Israeli navy officer and an employee of the Israeli Defense Ministry.
“His embassy business card describes him as a senior political officer, but the embassy says he is not a diplomat,” reports the UK’s Guardian.
An online profile states that his work includes “founding several political support groups in the UK to maximize the Israeli ‘firewall,’ ” and that he helps secure “adjustments to legislation” in the UK.
Incredibly, Strizzolo revealed to Robin “that she had a strategy of manipulation to ensure Israel remains at the top of the UK’s foreign policy agenda,” which provides insight into how public policy is influenced by, in this case, pro-Israel pressure groups.
“If at least you can get a small group of MPs that you know you can always rely on, when there is something coming to parliament and you know you brief them, you say: ‘You don’t have to do anything. We are going to give you the speech, we are going to give you all the information, we are going to do everything for you.’ ”
Strizzolo also advised trying to infiltrate a live-televised weekly session—called “Prime Minister’s Questions” (PMQs)—wherein the country’s leader answers MP questions.
“If they already have the question to table for PMQs, it’s harder to say: ‘No, no, no, I won’t do it,’ ” al Jazeera revealed.
She then went on to boast about how she “once made an immediate impact on the national debate.”
While in Israel with the CFI in 2014, she persuaded her former boss to question the prime minister in public about three missing teenagers thought to be kidnapped and murdered. Her boss took the request and called on then-Prime Minister David Cameron to support Israel and do “everything possible to take out Hamas terrorist networks.” Cameron promised his country would “stand by Israel.”
After news of al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit’s series “The Lobby” was published by international media, an Israeli embassy spokesman in London tweeted a message saying that Masot would be “ending his term shortly,” adding that Mark Regev, ambassador of Israel to the UK, had apologized to Duncan “and made clear that the embassy considered the remarks to be completely unacceptable.”
Immediately following the airing of “The Lobby,” it was confirmed that Masot was forced to resign. It was also revealed by The Guardian that Masot had “set up a number of political organizations in the UK that operated as though entirely independent,” for the purpose of benefitting Israel.
Strizzolo has since resigned from her post as well.
Although the Israeli ambassador to the UK apologized and claimed “the British government said it considered the matter closed,” the Scottish National Party’s foreign affairs spokesman said this position was not acceptable.
“I would expect the UK government to fully investigate this matter so that we can be confident our elected officials are free to carry out their jobs to the best of their ability and without fear of having their reputation smeared by embassy officials who do not agree with their views,” said Alex Salmond, apparently unafraid of Israel’s heavy hand in UK politics.
The Guardian quoted a former minister in Cameron’s government who wrote anonymously online, “British foreign policy is in hock to Israeli influence at the heart of our politics, and those in authority have ignored what is going on. For years the CFI and LFI [Labour Friends of Israel] have worked with—even for—the Israeli embassy to promote Israeli policy and thwart UK government policy and the actions of ministers who try to defend Palestinian rights.”
Dave Gahary is a writer for AFP and lives in Florida.