US Media outraged by Russia, won’t Notice Israeli plot on UK Parliament

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment)- –

Washington is obsessed by the story put out by US intelligence agencies that Russia tried to interfere in the US presidential election. But for reasons of self-preservation, the blockbuster story just hitting the headlines that an Israeli operative was plotting to get up scandals to unseat British members of parliament will sink like a stone. This, even though part of the concern voiced by official Washington is that Putin may target the elections of European democracies allied to the US to push them in a right wing direction. That’s exactly what the right wing Likud government of Israel has been caught planning to do to Britain.

Ian Cobain and Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian report on undercover footage taken of Shai Masot, a “senior political officer” in the Israeli Embassy in London who has been an officer in the Israeli Army and still is employed there. I conclude that he is likely Israeli military intelligence with a cover at the embassy.

Masot is overheard in the video discussing plans to politically ruin members of parliament, including foreign office minister Sir Alan Duncan, who wants to see a Palestinian state established.

“Israeli diplomat caught on camera plotting to ‘take down’ UK MPs”

One of the people in the tape, Maria Strizzolo (a civil servant and aide to a Conservative Member of Parliament or MP), boasted that she had helped her boss, MP Robert Halfon, rise in politics.

Masot asked her if she could also demote politicians. “Can I give you some MPs that I would suggest you would take down?”

She replied, “Well, you know, if you look hard enough, I’m sure that there is something that they’re trying to hide.” In case Masot did not get the point, she later added “A little scandal, maybe.” A third person in on the conversation, one “Robin,” was supposed to be from “Friends of Israel” but was actually an investigative reporter from the Qatar-based Aljazeera, who made the recording.

Masot says, “I have some MPs.”

Strizzolo says, “Well let’s talk about it.”

Masot gets coy. “No, she knows which MPs I want taken down.”

Strizzolo says, “Yeah, it’s good to remind me.”

Masot names the Deputy Foreign Minister [Sir Alan Duncan] (equivalent in the US to an Undersecretary of State).

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Strizzolo asks, “You still want to?” This question shows that Strizzolo has discussed the possibility of creating a scandal around Duncan with the Israelis before.

The question arose whether Duncan had already been disciplined and tamed. Masot demurred. “No, he’s still doing a lot of problems.”

The question turned to Duncan’s boss, Foreign Minister Boris Johnson. Masot agreed that he was safely pro-Israel and “doesn’t care” (presumably about Palestinian human rights). Moreover, Masot observed, Johnson is “an idiot.”

The video comes in a film claiming to expose the way that the Israeli government has ‘infiltrated’ both the Conservative and Labour parties via its embassy in the UK, using secret cash and covert support.

The longer Aljazeera report also catches Masot telling Joan Ryan, a senior Labor member of parliament that he he has gathered more than one million British pounds ($1,229,000) to bring cooperative British Members of Parliament to Israel.

Other footage shows pro-Israel Labour Party members admitting that Tel Aviv backs their activities.

Masot in some of the footage calls Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn “crazy” and dismisses his supporters as “weirdoes.”

I’ve always wondered why American politicians are mostly so timid and intimidated by the Israel lobbies. The US Congress is so out of line with regard to the opinions of the rest of the world about the illegal Israeli colonization of the Palestinian West Bank that it is like something out of a science fiction movie. (Of course, our Congress did also vote resolutions in support of Afrikaner colonial racism in South Africa, which was also bizarre).

It isn’t a matter of the American Jewish community, which is more liberal than Americans as a whole and mostly quite powerless. The Israel lobbies often operate in opposition to the polled opinions of Jewish Americans, and often has no more relationship to ordinary Jews than the ExxonMobil lobby has to Americans who drive gasoline-fueled cars. Lobbies are about power for a minority within a minority.

The usual answer is that the Israel lobbies are well-heeled and give a lot of money to political campaigns (as much as 30% nationally), and few politicians want to risk the possibility that they might throw their funding to the other candidate. The Israel lobbies sometimes lose (they lost the fight on the Iran deal, at least the first round) and don’t by any means control things.

But Israeli intelligence operations against politicians are also a threat, and evidence for how exactly such efforts are pursued has just emerged. It is highly unlikely that the Israeli embassy in Britain was behaving in an unusual way, and I think we may conclude that such conversations are common in the capitals of important democratic countries, including the United States.

But this interference, unlike that of Russia, will provoke no national outrage or even be covered in any serious way by US television news. This silence will not be because the subject is unimportant.

16 Responses

  1. This is how these Israelis are. No surprise. But they get away with everything no matter how serious the story may be. This is treachery in every form and action must be taken. But they say ‘the case is closed’. Despite clear proof. Why is israel let off for all its violations whether its Palestine or violations of international protocol? This pampering should stop.

  2. You don’t need to worry about our members of parliament professor, they are mostly so up to their arm pits in muck that anything agents from Israel might come up with, would roll off them like water off a duck’s back. Covert agents of the state are the same everywhere including your own country. The bizarre public pronouncement recently by them that they had some very tenuous evidence that proved Russia hacked Clinton’s emails just shows how far they will go to besmirch Trump, always at the same time linking him with the Russians. There is too much at stake for the industrial military complex to let Trump have a free reign on foreign policy when he gets into power. The last thing the CIA pentagon and secret agencies want is peace breaking out. One would have hoped that somewhere in the recess’s of their black hearts they would give the democratic process a chance, but these people are so far up Satan’s rear end, there not much chance of this. It amazes me that the American secret agencies haven’t come up with something really damning about Trump yet. Trump is a bizarre candidate for president and doubtless a bit of a buffoon, but like our own Nigel Farage over here in the UK, he is a breath of fresh air compared with anyone else from the cesspit from which most politicians seem to come from. I haven’t seen anything in our own press about this stuff from Israel yet. However, the amount of shyte which emanates from the UK Westminster political bubble is so voluminous that its like standing in the path of a wall of effluence being discharged from the Southern outfall, so I may have missed it !

    • Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women, incited violence at his rallies, has expressed clear cut racism and xenophobia, mocked the disabled, has more conflicts of interest than all of presidents in history combined, and you think that nothing really damning has yet been revealed? You really need professional help.

      • Gary the point about Trump is he’s up front about his views etc. I agree the man is an oaf, course and his views are most objectionable, but the thing is, he’s up front about it and we know what he thinks. When I say ‘damning’ I mean something criminal, hidden etc and not in the public domain.

  3. Of course the US media will make light of this, or ignore it. How can they make a big deal out of this, when they value their jobs in the zionist media? It would be a miracle if they behaved like real media, and give it the same coverage as they do when covering something negative about Muslims.
    They are doing the American people a disservice by not informing them of how devious Israel and it’s minions are.

  4. ThePundick

    or Yemen! we the foreign power that’s helping to bomb and starve innocents in that war Russia is no saint but neither are we

    • There are no good guys and no bad guys… just us! Can we ever learn to manage ourselves in a civilized way? Without law, its all about power. And law is very weak.

  5. Carrots and sticks.
    The stick came when Netanyahu allegedly told New Zealand’s Foreign Minister “this means war” over the co-sponsoring of the settlement’s resolution in the UN.
    The NZ Foreign Minister has not denied the report.

  6. You rightly point out that pro-Israeli lobbies have no more relationship to ordinary Jews than the ExxonMobil lobby has to those who drive cars. The problem is not with the Jews but with the pro-Israeli lobbies that often accuse anyone who criticizes some Israeli policies of anti-Semitism.

    A few months ago, we had the hysterical campaign in Britain accusing the Labour Party of “institutional anti-Semitism” in order to get at the newly elected Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn who, in the past, had made some pro-Palestinian remarks. That campaign dominated the British media for weeks. Investigations were held, some MPs were suspended and others made to apologize for what were seen as anti-Semitic remarks. This is despite the fact that there are many prominent Jews serving the Labour Party both in the Commons and in the House of Lords.

    Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party for expressing an uncomfortable truth that initially Hitler had supported the transfer of Jews to Palestine, “before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.” He lost his place on the all-powerful National Executive Committee and was barred from participating in the elections to it. He was replaced by Rhea Wolfson, a former outreach manager for the New Israel Fund.

    Even more problematic than the activities of pro-Israeli lobbies is the role that some non-Jewish Zionists play in support of Israel. The Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and the Labour Friends of Israel in the Parliament are two powerful bodies that support Israeli policies. According to some reports, around 80% of Conservative MPs are members of the CFI. Peter Oborne, the associate editor of the Spectator and former chief political commentator of The Daily Telegraph, called CFI “by far Britain’s most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group”, similar to AIPAC in the United States.

    Such excessive support for a foreign country, and the targeting of those who do not fully support it, poisons politics, inhibits freedom of expression and in the long run is counterproductive and will intensify anti-Israeli feeling.

  7. Dear professor: Please stop referring to it as the Israeli lobby – it would be more accurate to say Likud Lobby or perhaps Zionist Lobby. Israel is not identical with the Likud party.

    • I use the diction “Israel lobbies” to indicate the pluralities you point to. However, these lobbies supported Labor and Kadima governments as well.

  8. In a story carried in Europe and Israel – but not in the U.S. –
    there were reports that Israeli intelligence services conducted wiretapping of the communications facilities of Secretary of State John Kerry during brokered peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,and these intercepted communications were used by the Israeli government during the negotiations:

    link to ibtimes.com

    link to themoderatevoice.com

  9. “Of course, our Congress did also vote resolutions in support of Afrikaner colonial racism in South Africa, which was also bizarre”

    When was this?

  10. I would like to simply quote from Geo. Washington’s Farewell Address those portions which perfectly describe our favoritism toward the so-called “state” of Israel and our antipathy toward its antagonists, as something to be avoided. I quote:
    “Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it – It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.
    In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy.
    “So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.”
    All of this describes perfectly the policies pursued by the corrupt miscreants we have elected and in whose guilt we therefore share. And one can be sure the blowback will continue to plague us in various forms. And if anyone cares to dispute this, let him explain why Washington’s warnings should not be heeded. “Oh, we like sheep have gone astray!”

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