Former UK Minister Accuses Pro-Israel Lobby of ‘Disgusting Interference’

Former UK Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan has accused pro-Israel lobbyists of “the most disgusting interference” in British politics, and of “negatively influencing” the country’s foreign policy in the Middle East.

Duncan, a former Conservative MP and government minister until 2019, wrote in his recently published memoir ‘In The Thick of It: The private diaries of a minister’ that the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) has pushed Britain to adopt pro-Israel policies.

Founded in 1974, CFI is a parliamentary group that supports the ruling Conservative Party and advocates support for Israel. In 2014, it claimed 80% of Conservative MPs were CFI members.

Speaking to journalist Michael Crick about his book for the MailPlus Website, Duncan added that the group has injected a “Netanyahu-type view of Israeli politics into our foreign policy”, referring to Israel’s prime minister.

He claimed that the group applied pressure on Theresa May’s government to prevent him from becoming minister for the Middle East and North Africa at the foreign office.

In his book, Duncan said that his new role was agreed upon until then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that CFI “are going ballistic”, and claimed he was blocked due to his support for Palestinian rights.

In one diary entry, Duncan is critical of Conservative MPs’ fawning over Netanyahu during his visit to Britain. He was “ashamed” of the British government, accusing officials of allowing Netanyahu to “peddle pro-settlement propaganda”.

Duncan described to Crick the culture of fear created by CFI.

“A lot of things do not happen in foreign policy or in government for fear of offending them because that’s the way it’s put to them by the CFI,” he said.

“It’s a sort of buried scandal that has to stop… they will interfere at a high level in British politics in the interests of Israel on the back of donor power in the UK,” he added.

Ultimately, the influence of the pro-Israel lobby group came at the expense of the Palestinians, he said.

In 2017, an undercover Al Jazeera documentary revealed a senior official at the Israeli Embassy in London discussing a potential plot to “takedown” government ministers.

Duncan, fellow Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were named as targets.

Similarly, former US President Barack Obama disclosed in his memoir “A Promised Land”, which was released in December, how the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC] pressured his administration to pursue policies in Israel’s favor.

 

Source: The Palestine Chronicle