Labour Friends of Israel

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Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) is a Westminster based pro-Israel lobby group working within the British Labour party which exercises significant influence over British Middle East policy. It is considered one of the most prestigious groupings in the party and is seen as a stepping stone to ministerial ranks by Labour MPs. LFI boasts some of the wealthiest supporters of the party, and some of its most generous donors, such as Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Michael Levy, Sir Trevor Chinn and Sir Emmanuel Kaye. [1] Two of its leading members, Michael Levy, and David Abrahams, have been embroiled in major scandals involving the New Labour government. [2] Both Gordon Brown and Tony Blair have been members of the group.

Contents

History

The committee wields considerable influence in Westminster and is also consulted routinely by the Foreign Office and Downing Street on matters relating to the Middle East. Tony Blair is known to consult its members over Middle East policy. [3] The body also has Tory and Liberal Democrat sister organisations. The late Labour MP Gwyneth Dunwoody, former chairman of the Commons transport select committee, was the life president of LFI, while David Mencer, a former volunteer for the Israeli Defence Force, is a former director.

A small time player during the Thatcher years, LFI first made it into the news when one of its erstwhile guests, Erwin Van Haarlem, a Czechoslovakian art dealer turned out to be a spy for the Czech intelligence services. The 1987 gathering, to which Van Haarlem was invited because of his 'apparent support for Jewish causes', was also attended by members of the House of Lords, leading trade unionists, industrialists, and the former chief of staff of the Israeli army. [4]

Buying influence

While Labour originally carried a reputation for having more voices sympathetic to the Palestinians - especially during the Thatcher years - the New Labour government of Tony Blair has reversed this orientation. One of Tony Blair's first acts after becoming an MP in 1983 was joining LFI. Blair, as the Spectator reported in September 1997: 'joined LFI as soon as he was elected to Parliament in 1983, when it was a deeply unpopular, politically incorrect club to belong to'[5] However, the relationship truly developed in the early 1990s, when as shadow Home Secretary, Tony Blair met Michael Levy at a private meeting at the latter's house. Michael Abraham Levy is a former chairman of the Jewish Care Community Foundation, a member of the Jewish Agency World Board of Governors, and a trustee of the Holocaust Educational Trust. [6]According to Andrew Porter of The Business, Levy expressed his willingness 'to raise large sums of money for the party' which led to a 'tacit understanding that Labour would never again, while Blair was leader, be anti-Israel'. [7] The partnership proceeded as Levy started inviting potential donors for tennis at his palatial home where Tony Blair would join them for a set or two. Levy would then proceed to ask the guests for donations after Blair had left.[8] The genius of Levy's fundraising strategy ensured that most of Labour's election funds came from private sources, rather than its traditional source - the trade unions, thereby weakening their say over policy.[9]

Levy's investment eventually paid off, with Blair's ascension to power. The reward was not long in coming as Levy was ennobled and subsequently retained as a 'special envoy' to the Middle-East, leading predictably to the development of a strong pro-Israel line. [10] Given the fact that Levy has both a business and a house in Israel and his son Daniel used to work for Yossi Beilin - the former Justice Minister of Israel - speaks of a serious conflict of interest, especially when he is the man assigned by Blair to negotiate impartially with Palestinians and Israelis.[11] The fact that Levy acted as a fundraiser for former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak casts further doubt on his capacity for impartiality. According to Neil Sammonds of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in 2002, four of the previous five ministers with Responsibility for the Middle East had been active members of LFI. [12]

Cash and dishonour

While Michael Levy was subsequently arrested and disgraced in what has come to be known as the 'cash-for-honours' scandal, his Israel connection was for the most part politely excluded. (This, however, did not deter some from proclaiming Levy a victim of anti-Semitism).[13] The case was soon followed by another revelation that David Abrahams, a Labour Friends of Israel financier who became the third largest donor to the party after Gordon Brown's ascencion, has donated more than £600,000 since 2003 illegally through proxies.[14] The subsequent scandal has swiftly spread to many leading figures in the Labour Party. Abrahams, a strong supporter of Israel, told The Jewish Chronicle that he donated cash secretly 'so as to avoid accusations of his being part of a “Jewish conspiracy”'.[15] Labour Friends of Israel was implicated in yet another scandal when it was revealed that Cabinet Minister Peter Hain had also been the beneficiary of illegal funds siphoned through proxies. The funders Willie Nagel, a diamond tycoon, and Isaac Kaye, a South-African born supporter of the erstwhile Apartheid regime, are both tied to the Labour Friends of Israel.[16]

Membership and funding

LFI currently has a burgeoning membership in the Commons and it is seen as a certain ladder for success by aspiring politicians. Receptions hosted by the lobby usually boast a huge turnout, with such powerful guests as Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, the Israeli ambassador and the Israeli Deputy Minister of Defence. [17]

LFI has found staunch allies in the current Labour government in the shape of Blair, Brown and Straw. The influence of this committee is quite evident in Blair's frequent comments in support of Israel, particularly at a time, when its actions have been widely condemned. Addressing a meeting of the body, Blair urged the British public not to forget the suicide attacks to which Israel has been subjected when criticizing Israeli aggression towards the Palestinians.[18] That is indeed a remarkable observation given that - as is well known - the Israeli Human Rights Centre, B'Tselem, reports that the overwhelming majority of the victims, even in the current phase of the conflict, have been Palestinian civilians.[19]

In 1997, prominent members of LFI contributed generously to the coffers of Labour, including Lord Sainsbury, who donated ?1 million - the biggest single donation ever - Michael Levy, who raised 7 million pounds, Sir Trevor Chinn, who was reported to have donated a six figure sum, and Emmanuel Kaye, who donated a sizable sum to Blair's blind trust. [20] According to one party official, by 2001, Levy had raised up to 15 million pounds for the party. [21] David Goldman - the Chairman of an Israeli telecommunications equipment company BATM Advanced Communications - is also reported to have made several 5-figure donations. The amount of influence such money could buy in today's politics cannot be discounted, and from Britain's unconditional support for Israel's brutal policies, it seems like the government is keen to deliver.

Trips to Israel

LFI sponsors trips of parliamentarians to Israel, purportedly to educate them on issues central to the conflict. One recent trip included a 'tour of Jerusalem and the route of the separation fence, plus meetings with Labour MKs, senior Foreign and Defence Ministry officials'. These trips are invaluable in cultivating relationships with members of the British parliament who can then be counted on to support legislation favourable towards Israel. These loyalties usually transcend moral barriers, as David Cairns - the organizer of one such tour - exclaimed after professing his deep commitment to Israel, "No one ever said being a friend of Israel would be easy", since his view of the 'peace process' was at odds with Israel's operative policy[22]

A Labour campaign advert in the Jewish Chronicle boasted:

Since 1997 a record 57 Labour MPs have visited Israel, mostly with Labour Friends of Israel, swelling the number of MPS willing to ensure balance on the Middle East in the House of Commons. More Labour MPs have visited Israel than from any other party. [23]

The advert also boasted that the new Terrorism Act of 2000 - for which LFI actively lobbied - 'proscribes terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad [24]. Predictably enough there was no mention of the multi-million pound military aid to Israel's occupying forces.

Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) states:

Touting its links to Israel in campaign literature ahead of the last parliamentary elections, the UK Labour party boasted, "More Labour MPs have visited Israel than from any other party." In September of 2005, an LFI delegation visited the Western Wall tunnels in Jerusalem's Old City.[25]
NB: the tunnels are provocations and a means to undermine the foundations of the Al Aqsa mosque, the third most important religious site in the world. The tunnels have been dug by extreme right-wing settlers with backing of the most reactionary American Zionist backers.[26]

Some of the MPs, who had their trips to Israel sponsored by LFI in recent years include:


Douglas Alexander David Blunkett[27] Andy Burnham
David Cairns Ivor Caplin Paul Clark
Anthony Colman Tony Cunningham Parmjit Dhanda
Andrew Dismore Louise Ellman Lorna Fitzsimons
Caroline Flint Mike Gapes Fabian Hamilton
Huw Irranca-Davies Eric Joyce Oona King
Ashok Kumar Ivan Lewis Anne McGuire
Rosemary McKenna Gillian Merron Margaret Moran
Meg Munn Jim Murphy Dan Norris
Sandra Osborne Linda Perham Peter Pike
Frank Roy Joan Ryan Angela Smith
Graham Stringer Gareth Thomas Stephen Twigg
Rudi Vis David Watts David Wayne

Former MI6 officer and member of the House of Lords Margaret 'Meta' Ramsay has also been on LFI sponsored trips.

Taming the media

LFI has used its influence to intimidate British media into adopting an openly pro-Israel position. A recent study by the Glasgow University Media Group revealed the systematic bias in BBC and ITV's coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict which often reproduces the official Israeli narrative uncritically, whereas very little time or detail is devoted to the Palestinian side.[28] Some, who dared to criticize the Israeli position have faced bans, as Faisal Bodi, of BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight did. According to Bodi, LFI members play a "crucial propaganda role, carrying the flag for Israel in parliament, and lobbying editors to toe the Israeli line"[29]. Tim Llewellyn, a Veteran Middle East correspondent for the BBC, has gone to the extent of calling BBC's reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict downright 'dishonest'. He has attributed it to the 'unremitting and productive' efforts by 'Israel's many influential and well organised friends" [30]. However, this still did not preclude LFI's Andrew Dismore from expressing 'concern' about the BBC for being 'anti-Israeli and biased towards the Palestinians." [31] This charge could not have been more frivolous given that BBC has referred to Jerusalem as Israel's 'capital' - a view otherwise shared outside of Israel by two out of the world's nearly two hundred countries. [32]

A key association in LFI's powerbase is Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The strategic alliance between News Corp. and New Labour was formed just before the 1997 election when Murdoch's The Sun and The Times switched sides to support Blair's election bid against the Tories, who had been discredited by a series of scandals. Murdoch has been a regular visitor to the Downing Street ever since. In a keynote address to an LFI meeting in London, the Northern Ireland Secretary and New Labour luminary Peter Mandelson praised Thatcher's intolerance towards the siege of Murdoch's union-busting Wapping plant by protesting printers. [33] In the past Mandelson has appeared at pro-Israel rallies with the far-right former Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. Mandelson also happens to be a close friend of Elisabeth Murdoch - Rupert Murdoch's daughter, and given Murdoch's own investments in Israel and his close friendship with Ariel Sharon, the orientation of Murdoch's newspapers is predictably pro-Israel. Journalists have complained of extremely narrow editorial parameters favouring Israel, and having to adopt official Israeli formulations like 'targeted killing', 'crossfire' and 'closures'. [34]

Another natural ally in this enterprise was Conrad Black, whose Daily Telegraph and The Spectator magazine are two of the most influential pro-Israel voices in Britain. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hollinger Inc. which owns the right-wing Israeli Jerusalem Post which openly advocated the killing of Yasir Arafat in 2003. The leading Neo-con and pro-Israel hawk Richard Perle is also a top executive at Hollinger. Black's wife Barbara Amiel is a famous right-wing Zionist columnist. Both are known for their unbridled support for Israel. Apparently as a reward for his contributions, Black has also been ennobled by the Blair government. [35]

Obstacles to peace

Given the hard line position of its donors, LFI has grown increasingly tendentious in its approach towards any resolution of the Middle East conflict. In 1990, two principal donors withdrew their financial backing for holding a joint meeting with the pro-Arab Labour Middle East Council[36]. While LFI has consistently excused Israeli atrocities in the occupied territories as 'self defence', it certainly can't feign ignorance. One of its visiting members got a first-hand glimpse of IDF tactics when he got shot at in Rafah even though he arrived in a clearly marked UN vehicle.[37] The three British MPs, surrounded by 20 children got shot at in the presence of UN officials, which led to a demand for investigation by the MPs into the IDF's 'outrageous behaviour' bordering on 'lunatic'. One of the MPs, Crispin Blunt, concluded 'If they are prepared to do this to people who come out of two clearly marked UN cars, what do they do when there is no one there?' He added 'They are building up levels of hatred that will take decades, if not centuries, to erase." [38]

Such insights into have not precluded Blair from making significant contributions towards the maintenance of the illegal Israeli occupation. According to the veteran Journalist John Pilger:

Under Blair, British support for Israeli repression has accelerated. Last year alone, the government approved 91 arms export licences to Israel, in categories that included ammunition, bombs, torpedoes, rockets, missiles, combat vessels, military electronic and imaging equipment and armoured vehicles.[39]

While Foreign Office minister Ben Bradshaw - an active member of LFI - said there was "no evidence" that British arms and equipment had been used against the Palestinians, the Pilger article cited an Amnesty International report claiming abundant evidence that the Apache helicopters used to attack the Palestinians are kept flying with British components made by Smiths Industries. Merkava tanks are serviced with parts from Airtechnology Group; BAE provides parts for Israel's F-16 fighter jets while converted British Centurion tanks are used as armoured personnel carriers. Land Rovers are an Israeli Army mainstay and British transponders are employed to coordinate helicopter attacks [40].

Pilger provides further insight into how the Israeli occupation is kept liquid:

The Blair government has also backed the Israeli military-industrial complex by buying bullets, bombs, grenades and anti-tank missiles. The Metropolitan Police and the South Wales police buy Israeli ammunition. An Israeli combat aircraft training system was bought by the RAF. In 1999, a joint UK-Israeli high-technology investment fund was established to pump funds into joint research and development.[41]

The war on Iraq also received enthusiastic support from senior LFI members. An LFI gathering was reassured by Blair that 'a stable Iraq will be good news for Israel." Israel security needs were also cited as a rationale by the Neo-con dominated US administration in its decision to go to war. In an exclusive interview with Israel's daily Yediot Aharonot Condoleezza Rice said 'security of Israel is the key to security of the world."[42] The economic dividends for Israel from this venture were not discussed as openly - except in Israel's own press.[43] This led Tam Dalyell, the longest serving member of the House of Commons, to comment on the undue influence of the 'Sharon-Likudnik' agenda pushed by advisers such as Michael Levy (and the US neocons)- on Blair's decision to go to war.[44] He commented on the Neo-conservative 'Cabal', particularly the 'Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs combined with neo-Christian fundamentalists' urging America on towards a 'Likudnik' policy of attacking Syria.[45]

The Politics of Anti-Semitism

While more circumspect than its American counterparts, LFI - like most pro-Israel groups - has often tried to discredit criticism of Israel by conflating it with 'anti-Semitism'. LFI has not shied away from describing general resentment against Israeli policies as being rooted in, or contributing to, anti-Semitism. Lord Greville Janner, former president of the Jewish Board of Deputies and an LFI vice-chair has commented on the surge of anti-Semitism among the "viciously and often notoriously anti-Israel" left liberal media. [46]

An alleged comment by the French ambassador to London, referring to Israel as that 'shitty little country' immediately elicited a demand by LFI (in a letter from Chair Jim Murphy and president Gwyneth Dunwoody) for his sacking, and the charge of anti-Semitism by Barbara Amiel in the Daily Telegraph. The Ambassador denied making the remark.[47] For good measure, Dunwoody also added 'These comments are eerily familiar from the French.' Ironically enough, the alleged remark was made by the ambassador at a dinner hosted by Conrad Black.(Ibid.) Black's newspapers and magazines have regularly intimidated other media for their criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. Black's The Spectator features articles by Melanie Phillips who is notorious for her extreme views, and has gone as far to suggest that Bishop Desmond Tutu's criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. [48]

During the elections for the seat of the Mayor of London, LFI compiled a dossier of the alleged 'anti-Zionist bias' of the candidate Ken Livingstone. [49] The feud came to a head, with Livingstone's comments to an invasive reporter, accusing him of acting like a 'concentration camp guard'. Whereas LFI itself was guarded in its statements, its pro-Israel allies in the press were less inhibited as they cited various unnamed 'critics' and 'protesters' who found the comments 'anti-Semitic' as the reporter in question was Jewish. [50]Livingstone's refusal to apologize and his subsequent publication of an op-ed openly critical of Israeli policies drew further ire from the lobby and its media surrogates. [51]

Alarmed by the growing condemnation of Israel's brutal suppression of the Al Aqsa Intifada when Israel's PR apparatus responded with the New Anti-Semitism campaign (this campaign identifies criticism of Israel as a new form of anti-Semitism and progressive antiwar forces at its main purveyors)[52], LFI was quick to latch on to the theme. James Purnell of LFI declared anti-Semitism 'a virus' once again infecting [British] body politic while Stephen Byers added that anti-Israeli criticism should not be used as "a cloak of respectability" for racist views. He went on to warn against dangers of the development of an "intellectual argument" bolstering anti-Semitic feeling. [53]. Denis MacShane dispenses with any pretense of originality -- or subtlety -- altogether in publishing an op-ed in the Washington Post entitled 'The New Anti-Semitism', which he dramatically began by writing, 'Hatred of Jews has reached new heights in Europe'[54], however the only evidence he cites for his tendtentious claims is a report by an entity called All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into Antisemitism. However, this entity is comprised exclusively of members of the Israel lobby, and the report -- published in 2006 to coincide with the campaign to resurrect Israel's image after the PR debacle that was the Lebanon war -- is itself of dubious merit. Norman Finkelstein writes:

To judge by the witnesses (David Cesarani, Lord Janner, Oona King, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Melanie Phillips) and sources (MEMRI, Holocaust Education Trust) cited in the body of the report, much time and money could have been saved had it just been contracted out to the Israel Foreign Ministry...[55]

On the other hand testimony from Jews critical of Israel, such as the members of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, was pointedly rejected by the Committee.

The report defines an anti-Semitic incident as any occasion "perceived" to be anti-Semitic by the "Jewish community"... The report includes under the rubric of anti-Semitic incidents not just violent acts and incendiary speech but "conversations, discussions, or pronouncements made in public or private, which cross the line of acceptability," as well as "the mood and tone when Jews are discussed"... In the category of inherently anti-Semitic pronouncements the report includes "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis" (only comparisons of contemporary Arab policy to that of the Nazis are permissible) and "theories about Jewish or Zionist influence on American foreign policy" (even if Jewish and Zionist organizations boast about this influence).[56]

Target Iran

The neoconservative agitation for war against Iran has been complemented by campaign of fear-mongering in UK by key members of Labour Friends of Israel which while rejecting the military option reproduces much of the same unsubstantiated claims. Kim Howells, Mike Gapes and Siôn Simon have been actively promoting the 'Iran Threat'. Howells claimed Iran was 'hell bent' on developing nuclear weapons [57]. Even though the US National Intelligence Estimate laid to rest claims about Iran's nuclear weapons program, Mike Gapes, the chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee claims Iran still has 'ambitions' and 'by 2015 could gain the ability to quickly produce nuclear weapons.'

"Based on the evidence we have received and our own visit to Iran, we believe its nuclear ambitions remain...Iran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. If it did, it is very likely to lead to a domino effect in the Middle East. This challenge requires the world's urgent attention."

According to the BBC, 'The report also said it was equally important that the nuclear issue was not a distraction from addressing what it calls Iran's "malign influence" in the Middle East and support for insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.'[58]

Through its chief propagandist Emanuele Ottolenghi, LFI also has links to the neoconservative right. Ottolenghi is a personal friend of Michael Ledeen, and has also been a featured lecturer at the Henry Jackson Society, two key proponents of the anti-Iran campaign.

Meeting with American Jewish Committee

In 2006, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) report meeting with Labour Friends of Israel in 'an effort to strengthen AJC’s ties to British Jewry'

The report states that:

'AJC President E Robert Goodkind led a leadership delegation to London to meet with the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main community organizing body for British Jews, as well as with the Community Service Trust and the newly formed Jewish Leadership Council. The group also met with British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, longtime Jewish community leaders Lord Greville Janner and Sir Trevor Chinn, and with leadership from the Reform, Liberal and Conservative Masorti movements. In addition, the group held meetings with those Members of Parliament who initiated a serious parliamentary investigation of anti-Semitism, and with younger leaders of Conservative Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Israel. AJC Board members Stanley Bergman and Peter Rosenblatt joined Goodkind on the mission[59].

Affiliations

People

Principals

Vice Chairs

Policy Council

Parliamentary Executive Commons

Lords

Members and former officials

Staff

Sponsorship

In 2002, Isaac Kaye and David Garrard sponsored the Labour Friends of Israel Annual Lunch. Amongst those in attendence were Jack Straw and Israeli Ambassador, Zvi Shtauber. In his speech at the event, Straw thanked Michael Levy for his work on behalf of the Jewish community in Britain[74].

Supporters

In 2003 Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon gave a speech to the United Jewish Israel Appeal. In his speech he declared that he is a 'strong supporter' of Labour Friends of Israel and a good friend of Trevor Chinn[75].

Publications

Making the progressive case for Israel

Following the death of former chair David Cairns, LFI published a collection of essays named after a speech he wrote called Making the progressive case for Israel in which, according to an LFI newsletter 'he called for the left to remind ourselves of the values that brought us into progressive politics, and to acknowledge that there is still only one country in the Middle East where those values are lived out every day'.[76] The collection was published to coincide with LFI's annual lunch at which Labour leader Ed Miliband spoke.[77] In the book Woodcock pledged to carry on Cairns' work 'making the progressive case for Israel'.[78]

The essays included are:

  • David Cairns MP - Making the progressive case for Israel
  • Rachel Reeves MP and Jonathan Reynolds MP - Israel's thriving economy: active government support and a strong base for social welfare
  • Brian Brivati - Championing, not undermining, human rights in Israel
  • Adrian Cohen - Justice and the defence of progressive values: the centrality of the rule of law in Israel
  • Michael Dugher MP and Steve Scott - Trade Unions and Israel: building bridges for workers rights and peace
  • Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale - Israel in the world: an outward expression of progressive values
  • Robert Philpot - Israel's minorities: a progressive example
  • Meg Munn MP - Women in Israel: fighting for equality and peace
  • Peter Kyle - Israel's third sector: vital for the challenges of today
  • Wes Streeting - Youth activism should be harnessed to make the progressive case for Israel
  • David Hirsh - Israel is not an idea which requires justification, it is a nation state, forged by history
  • Louise Ellman MP - Britain and Israel: a progressive bilateral relationship that deserves our support

Contact, References and Resources

Contact

BM LFI
London WC1N 3XX
Website: www.lfi.org.uk
Email: mail@lfi.org.uk

Resources

References

  1. Andrew Pierce, “Blair's chance to raise cash for Pounds 1m refund”, The Times, 18 November 1997
  2. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, The shadowy role of Labour Friends of Israel, The Independent, 3 December 2007
  3. David Cracknell, “Byers plots a comeback with pro-Israel pressure group”, Sunday Times, 4 August 2002
  4. “Art dealer on spying charge 'impressed Commons meeting'”, The Guardian, 1 March 1989; “'Czech spy' was guest at Commons dinner”, The Independent, 1 March 1989
  5. 'Israel Goes Orthodox', The Spectator, 13 September 1997, cited in 'Diary', LFI News, Autumn 1997, p4.
  6. Peter McKay, “How Tony has let us all down”, Daily Mail, 20 March 2000
  7. Andrew Porter, The Business, 30 June 2002
  8. Michael White, “Downing St denies pressure to gag Robinson”, The Guardian, October 21, 1999
  9. Paul Eastham, “Tories want answers over ‘Cash Passport to Downing Street’”, The Daily Mail, March 30, 1998; Iain MacWhirter, “Blair Gambles Party Cash”, The Scotsman, November 18, 1997
  10. Kevin Maguire and Ewen MacAskill , Fundraiser's role as envoy under attack, The Guardian, 1 October, 2001
  11. John Pilger, Blair's meeting with Arafat served to disguise his support for Sharon and the Zionist project, New Statesman, 14 January, 2002
  12. Neil Sammonds, British culpability and the shadow of Canary Wharf, ZNet,April 10, 2002
  13. Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Is Levy a victim of racism?, The Independent, 11 March 2007
  14. Chris Hastings and Andrew Alderson, David Abrahams' glory days as Blair ally, The Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2007
  15. Leon Symons and the JC Reporting Team, David Abrahams gave in secret ‘to quell conspiracy fears’, The Jewish Chronicle, 7 December 2007; Haroon Siddique, Jewish Chronicle defends its coverage of David Abrahams, The Guardian, 7 December 2007
  16. Bernard Josephs, Labour donor calls Hain row ‘rubbish’, The Jewish Chronicle, 18 January 2008; Speech by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at the Labour Friends of Israel Annual Lunch, 13 March 2002
  17. “Friend of Israel;Londoner's Diary”,The Evening Standard, September 28, 2001
  18. Marie Woolf, “Blair: Do not forget Israeli victims of terror attacks”, The Independent, October 2, 2002
  19. Fatalities, B’Tselem
  20. Pierce, op. cit.
  21. Maguire and MacAskill, op. cit.
  22. Charlotte Hall, Separation of Church and state, a one-man act, Ha’aretz, 22 October 2004
  23. Labor Campaign Advert, Jewish Chronicle, 1 June 2001
  24. Ibid.
  25. Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, Conservative Friends of Israel at UK Political Conference, Arutz Sheva, 22 January 2008.
  26. There are many articles about this topic that, among others, can be found here: Furthermore, refer to:
    • Grace Halsell, Eradicating Muslims and Christians from Jerusalem, WRMEA, November 1996.
    • Ian Williams, U.N. Debate on Jerusalem Isolates U.S. and Israel, WRMEA, November 1996
    • Christopher D. Cook, The Bingo Connection, Mother Jones, October 2000 (refers to Irving Moskowitz).
    • Nora Barrows-Friedman, Jane Hunter and Haim Dov Beliak, Los Angeles entrepreneur uses his casino to fund illegal settlements in occupied Palestine, 31 December 2003.
    • There are many more articles about the tunnel and other "archaelogical" digs used to undermine Palestinian monuments or as a pretext to steal land. Search Search PIWP database (about 120 articles referring to the Jerusalem tunnels)
    • Other articles PIWP database, but also including archaeological digs initiated with dubious intent and against the wishes of the Palestinians.
  27. Overseas visits, 5 December 2007
  28. Greg Philo, What You Get in 20 Seconds, The Guardian, 14 July, 2004; Greg Philo and Mike Berry, Bad News From Israel, (Pluto, 2004)
  29. Faisal Bodi, Why I was banned by the BBC, The Guardian, 21 May, 2001
  30. Tim Llewellyn, The Story TV Won’t Tell, The Observer, 20 June 2004
  31. Tim Shipman, “BBC Reporter faces ‘Terror Links’ Inquiry”, Sunday Express, 19 December 2004
  32. Jon Goddard, “BBC Slammed By Anti-Israel MPs”, Totally Jewish
  33. Michael White, Mandelson speaks up for Portillo, The Guardian, 20 December 2000
  34. Sam Kiley, “The Middle-East’s war of words”, The Evening Standard, 25 September, 2001
  35. Richard Ingrams, Who will dare damn Israel?, The Guardian, 16 September 2001
  36. “Israel's friends make enemies”, The Times, 4 October 1990
  37. Crispin Blunt, Shooting at MPs won't do any good, The Guardian, 22 June 2004
  38. Inigo Gilmore, Israeli soldiers open fire on visiting British MPs, Sunday Telegraph, 20 June, 2004.
  39. Pilger, op. cit.
  40. Sammonds, op. cit.
  41. Pilger, op. cit.
  42. Israel Key to World Security, The Daily Times, May 22, 2003
  43. Akiva Eldar, Infrastructure Minister Paritzky dreams of Iraqi oil flowing to Haifa, Ha'aretz; Israeli firm awarded oil tender in Iraq firm, Aljazeera, February 25, 2004
  44. Chris Marsden, Labour extends antiwar witch-hunt to Tam Dalyell, WSWS, 22 May 2003
  45. Michael White, Dalyell steps up attack on Levy, The Guardian, 6 May 2003
  46. Rabbi David Goldberg, Let's have a sense of proportion, The Guardian, January 26, 2002
  47. Ewen McAskill, Israel seeks head of French envoy, The Guardian, 20 December 2001
  48. Melanie Phillips, Return of the old hatred, The Observer, 22 February 2004
  49. Mark Inglefield, “Ken Livingstone; Diary”, The Times, 19 November 1999
  50. Paul Eastham, “Red Ken's Nazi slur”, Daily Mail, 12 February 2005
  51. Ken Livingstone, “This is about Israel, not anti-semitism”, The Guardian, 4 March 2005
  52. As Norman Finkelstein has shown, there are precedents for this campaign. Every iteration of the 'New Anti-Semitism' campaign has coincided with some particularly brutal Israeli action eliciting worldwide censure. See Norman Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah, Verso, 2005
  53. Marie Woolf, “Anti-Semitism is infecting British politics, MPs warn”, The Independent, 21 April 2004
  54. Denis MacShane, The New Anti-Semitism, Washington Post, 4 September 2007
  55. Norman G. Finkelstein, Kill Arabs, Cry Antisemitism, Counterpunch, 12 September 2006
  56. Ibid.
  57. DPA, U.K. minister: Iranians 'hell-bent' on getting nuclear weapons, Haaretz, 2 November 2006
  58. MPs urging direct US-Iran talks, BBC News, 2 March 2008
  59. American Jewish Committee London Jewish Community Greets AJC President Update 236, 20th December 2006. Accessed 21st August 2008
  60. School Chairman Paid for Bibi Trip, Jewish Telegraph
  61. Etgar Lefkovits, UK MPs call for Europe-wide campaign to pressure Red Cross concerning Schalit, Jerusalem Post, 9 November 2008.
  62. Bernard Josephs, Leader quits Labour Friends of Israel, Jewish Chronicle, 11 January 2008
  63. Who We Are, LFI
  64. One of the first speeches that he delivered when he became prime minster was addressed to LFI; 25 Sept. 2008. Therein he states: "I have been proud to be a member of Labour Friends of Israel over three decades...".
  65. James Prunell Profile, TheyWorkForYou.com
  66. Chris McGreal, Foreign Office 'unrelentingly pro-Palestinian' says Israel, The Guardian, 26 November 2005
  67. Andrew Apostolou, 'The Battle for Britain', National Review Online, 5 May, 2005.
  68. Matthew Taylor, Discredited Irving plans comeback tour, Guardian, 29 September 2007.
  69. Reference to Mendelsohn firing Abrahams was made on BBC Newsnight, 27 Nov 2007.
  70. Marcus Dysch, New Strategy for Labour Friends of Israel, Jewish Chronicle, 7 September 2012, accessed 25 October 2012
  71. David Mencer profile, LinkedIn, accessed 15 Ocober 2012
  72. Dan Fox and Toby Greene, Israel is not the problem, Progress Online, 25 August 2005
  73. The Week in Lobbying, Hanover has hired a new senior consultant from Labour Friends of Israel. Rebecca Simon makes the switch to Charles Lewington's agency, having been deputy director at LFI. (Accessed: 13 October 2008).
  74. Straw, J. (2002) Speech by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at the Labour Friends of Israel Annual Lunch 13th March 2002. Accessed 2nd July 2008
  75. Hoon, G. (2003) Speech by Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon, to the United Jewish Israel Appeal. 13th November 2003. accessed 2nd July 2008
  76. Key Issues update: 18 November 2011, Labour Friends of Israel, 18 November 2011, accessed 27 October 2012
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