Israel’s brazen interference in British politics has been revealed once again with the covert filming of the senior Jewish political officer at its London embassy boasting that he is going to “take down” senior politicians who are hostile to illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The exposure of the inner workings of the pro-Israel lobby in Britain forms part of a four-part investigative series filmed by the Al Jazeera Investigations documentary unit.
Shai Masot, senior political officer at the Israeli embassy.
The four part series, titled “The Lobby,” which involved six months of covert filming, will be broadcast one part per day from January 15, 2017.
The documentary is the result of an undercover reporter for the Al Jazeera network posing as a graduate activist with strong sympathies toward Israel who was keen to help combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in Britain.
The reporter accompanied “members of Britain’s lobby network that enjoys strong support from the Israeli government by way of the Israeli embassy in London,” Al Jazeera revealed.
In the first episode, the undercover reporter was part of a meeting between Shai Masot, senior political officer at the Israeli embassy, and Maria Strizzolo, who was then chief of staff to Jewish MP Robert Halfon—once a Member of Parliament, a former cabinet minister under David Cameron, and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.
Masot and Maria Strizzolo, chief of staff to Jewish MP Robert Halfon.
In the clip, Masot asks Strizzolo “Can I give you some MPs that I would suggest you take down?”
Strizzolo answers: ‘Well you know, if you look hard enough I’m sure that there is something that they’re trying to hide.’
“Yeah. I have some MPs,” Masot replies.
Masot was referring to Sir Alan Duncan, the foreign office minister who has openly opposed the illegal settlement of the West Bank. Strizzolo then later hints that a “little scandal” might see Duncan dismissed.
At the same dinner table conversation, Masot describes British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, as an “idiot” who was appointed “without any kind of responsibilities,” while Strizzolo insists Johnson is “solid on Israel.”
Strizzolo also reveals to the Al Jazeera reporter that she has a strategy of manipulation to ensure Israel remains at the top of the U.K.’s foreign policy agenda.
“If at least you can get a small group of MPs that you know you can always rely on, when there is something coming to parliament and you know you brief them, you say: ‘you don’t have to do anything, we are going to give you the speech, we are going to give you all the information, we are going to do everything for you’,” she says.
She also advised trying to infiltrate Prime Minister’s Questions, a weekly session in which the British Prime Minister answers questions from MPs. The debate is televised live.
“If they already have the question to table for PMQs [Prime Minister’s Questions], it’s harder to say: ‘No, no, no, I won’t do it’,” she said.
Strizzolo then boasted how her own efforts once made an immediate impact on the national debate.
While in Israel with the Conservative Friends of Israel parliamentary group in 2014, she got the Jewish MP Halfon to question David Cameron in public over three missing Jews believed to have been kidnapped and murdered “to get a response from the government,” Strizzolo said.
Halfon called on then-Prime Minister Cameron to support the Israeli government, which he said should do “everything possible to take out Hamas terrorist networks.”
In response, Cameron promised that Britain would “stand by Israel.”
Al Jazeera has promised more revelations in each upcoming episode of its documentary series.