And what is the real, hidden cost of this undue influence?
“There’s nothing secret about the pro-Israel lobby, but there’s also nothing special about it. I’m a British journalist and wherever any special interest group — be it industrial, financial or foreign — seeks to exert influence with which a reasonable British reader might feel uncomfortable, an evidenced investigation is fair game. Unfortunately journalists who are interested in the pro-Israel lobby are treated in one way only by too many mainstream editors; as conspiracy theorists. No doubt many do over-egg the influence of the lobby (the Iran nuclear deal demonstrated its limitations), and many pro-Palestinian activists do conflate Jewish and Israeli points of view, but to claim that the pro-Israel lobby doesn’t exist, and isn’t influential in some way, is ludicrous, naive and dangerously irresponsible.”
CROSSPOST: Alastair Sloan
Any visitor to the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) website will find open and informative accounts of much of the organisation’s activities. Information abounds about trips to Israel on which hundreds of activists, candidates, MPs and peers have been shown carefully around the West Bank and Israel proper. They never go to Gaza, though, where the scale of the humanitarian crisis is so grave that no amount of Israeli spin could cover up the unethical monstrosity that is the illegal blockade.
The trip which took place in late August, for example, included five Conservative MPs, named and photographed on the CFI website as Stuart Andrew, Conor Burns, Philip Davies, Jonathan Djanogly and John Howell, as well as two peers and CFI officials. In a further tribute to the transparency with which CFI organises these trips, it was happy to reference the positive coverage that the trip received…
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