Fri Sep 3, 2010 11:9AM
The investigative journalist Janine Robert rightfully believes that the Israeli lobby in Britain has been more successful than its counterparts in the United States.
She argues that in the US, the voting patterns of most of the 14 Jewish Senators in the Senate and 30 Jewish Congressmen and Congresswomen in the House of Representatives appear to be Pro-Israeli, while in the UK, where we have a Jewish community 20 times smaller, there appears to be 18 Pro-Israeli MPs in the House of Commons and 41 Pro-Israeli Lords in the House of Lords. This is the highest Pro-Israeli representation in the West.
She also believes that this achievement is due in part to Tony Blair's patronage. One of Blair's first acts on becoming an MP in 1983 was to join Labour Friends of Israel. But the major change only occurred after he became Prime Minister.
But what exactly is a Pro-Israeli lobby group?
The term Israel lobby in the United Kingdom (also known as the Zionist lobby) is a term used to describe the coalition of groups and individuals who attempt to influence British foreign policy to support Israel and its strategies.
Many decisions made in both Houses of Parliament are made as a direct result of lobbying at the hands of parliamentary colleagues, constituents or even outside pressure groups, including "private companies known as lobbyists" employed by organisations.
These establishments include non-ethnic political groups in addition to grassroots ethnic organisations whether Christian, secular or Jewish-Britons, all of which have seen increasing growth and influence in recent years.
Without a doubt the pro-Israeli lobby in Britain is increasingly spreading its influence within the politicians, media and even celebrities .
Labour Friends of Israel (LFI)
LFI is a UK Parliament-based lobby group promoting support within the British Labour Party for a strong bilateral relationship between Britain and Israel. It also seeks to strengthen ties between the British and the Israeli Labour party.
The lobby was founded in October 1957 at a public rally at the Labour Party Conference; it has since developed into one of the largest special interest groups in the Labour Party, drawing wide support from Members of Parliament and Government Ministers.
According to their manifesto, Labour Friends of Israel supports a two-state solution with Israel recognised and secure within its borders and the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. They have been described as "less unquestioning in its support of the Israeli government than the other parties' Zionist lobbies". Between 2001 and 2009 they sponsored more than 60 MPs to visit occupied Palestine.
They have strongly and powerfully lobbied for the UK and EU to cut off financial aid to the Gaza Strip as long as the elected Hamas government is in power. Many of those who are aware of this blame LFI as they share responsibility with Israel for the current atrocious and miserable living conditions in the Gaza Strip.
So who are the prominent figures of the group? One of the most influential figures involved is no other than the former PM Tony Blair, shortly after, Gordon Brown followed in his footsteps. The group's chair is Andrew Gwynne, while other members include the former Home Secretaries David Blunkett and John Reid, former Minister of Europe Chris Bryant, former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Stephen Byers and other high ranking labour politicians.
Conservative friends of Israel (CFI)
According to the lobby's website, it is one of fastest growing lobbies in The United Kingdom currently chaired by Stuart Polak, who in 2009, was named the 61st most-influential right-winger in the United Kingdom. Moreover, reliable statistics show that around 80% of Conservative MPs are members of the CFI.
The group was founded by Conservative MP Michael Fidler and its members include the current British Prime Minister David Cameron, who expressed his pride at being a member of CFI and his admiration for the lobby's key role within the Conservative party.
Other figures include Defence Secretary Liam Fox, who describes Israel's enemies as Britain's enemies tying the Zionist atrocities to British national interests, Foreign Secretary William Hague, who joined CFI at the age of just 15, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, the Home Secretary Theresa May and Secretary of State for Justice Kennett Clarke.
The existence of so many cabinet ministers has raised concern among political activists and observers who are worried about the influence of a foreign government lobby in the heart of the British political establishment.
Perhaps such worry is in place given the CFI sponsors 6 delegations to Israel each year and maintains constant contact with the Israeli embassy in London.
Liberal Friends of Israel
The Liberal Democrats have in place a parliamentary 'Friends of Israel Group'. In fact it was the liberal democrats who first gave life to primary 'Friends of Israel' group to be born in the British Parliament operating room. The group's website seems stridently Pro-Israel, much more than the websites of the Labour or Conservative groups respectively.
Despite the party's left approach to political issues this lobby has a quite hawkish stance over the Zionist regime . The lobby states its prime objective is "to influence the Party's Middle East policy so it places a high priority on Israel's right to security".
It also attempts to strip statements such as 'Israel "occupies" the West Bank' and 'the Jews created the refugee problem by expelling the Palestinians' reducing them to nothing other than "Myths"
There seems to be other pro-Israeli lobbies within the United Kingdom influencing our ancient democratic political system and lobbying our politicians.
These are lobbying groups such as British Christian Friends of Israel, Northern Ireland Friends of Israel, Scottish Friends of Israel and many more. In its long and distinguished history, Great Britain has never been under the influence of a foreign government lobby group as it currently is. These groups have formed marital relationships with policy makers while simultaneously attempting to stifle criticism of Israel in the press and media regardless of whether or not such criticism is based on our national interests as a sovereign nation.
Whether we like it or not, Israel is a liability for Britain and is not the strategic asset that the Pro-Israeli lobby has long claimed it was.
For example, Israel's atrocities in the Middle East and Africa are doing serious damage to UK's interests in the region. At the height of the matter, British political figures have attempted to exempt Israeli officials from the British Law on their visits to the UK. Against the needs of British Citizens, British politicians are for supporting the Israeli regime and appear ready to change the national laws for the sake of those charged with the crimes against humanity.