Oct 19, 2010

#BDS: A Close Look at the Pro-Israeli Lobbies inside Britain

The US is considered by many as the backbone of Israel and the mother of many evils in Middle East. With the presence of various pro-Israeli lobbies and pressure groups rallying around the corridors of power in Washington to press their case, they have been highly successful not only in setting the agenda in favour of Israel, but also makes sure that the Palestine voice is not heard. Many believe that this is a typical phenomenon in Washington and hence an internal issue of the United States. But the pro-Israeli lobbies are a decisive factor in most European countries and its influence is felt manifold in Britain.

These pro-Israeli lobbies are a coalition of wealthy individuals and organizations who actively work to shape British foreign policy in a pro-Israeli direction. Though the percentage of British Jews who wholeheartedly support the pro-Israeli lobby in very minimal, they have been highly successful in portraying their cause to be of great concern to the majority of the Jewish community. The lobbies has got great influence and access to all major parties including the Labour and Conservative to the extent that they shape the foreign policy the United Kingdom, much as their counterparts in the United States.

Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) is one of the most active lobbying groups in UK with major stakes in the Conservative Party. In 2009, few months after Israel’s brutal Operation Cast Lead that saw more than 1200 Palestinians killed and many thousands injured, Conservative Friends of Israel held its Annual Lunch for its Conservative politicians and businessmen. David Cameroon who was star speaker for the day made no reference to the widespread killing of innocent civilians and massive destruction in Gaza that happened six months earlier. Instead he praised Israel and commented that Israel strives to protect innocent life. Thanks to the estimated £10 million bankrolled in the last eight years to the Conservative Party, Mr. Cameroon continued to say that ‘if I became Prime Minister, Israel has a friend who will never turn his back on Israel.’

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