UK minister forced to resign over secret Israel meetings as questions continue to swirl

Middle East
on 42 Comments

A British government minister was apparently so dedicated to her work that she spent a “family holiday” in Israel conducting 12 undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Those covert meetings brought about the downfall of Priti Patel on Wednesday night. She was forced to resign as international development secretary, responsible for Britain’s overseas aid budget, admitting her actions “fell below the standards of transparency and openness” expected of a minister.

Her position became untenable as further revelations this week showed she had held two additional unrecorded meetings with Israeli officials in London and New York in September, organised and attended by a prominent Israel lobbyist.

All meetings conducted by British ministers on official business are supposed to be recorded by government civil servants.

Although the office of Theresa May, the British prime minister, has insisted it did not know of these meetings until the BBC revealed them on November 3, a report from Britain’s Jewish Chronicle newspaper suggested otherwise. It claimed that, while the meetings were not authorised beforehand, May’s officials learnt of them almost immediately through Israeli counterparts.

During her vacation in Israel, Patel also dispensed with sightseeing to head instead to the Golan Heights, Syrian territory illegally occupied by Israel since 1967. Thoughtfully, the Israeli army accompanied her and had the chance to explain in detail their “humanitarian work” running a field hospital patching up those injured in southern Syria, including al Qaeda combatants.

Patel was reportedly so impressed she wanted to give the Israeli army a chunk of Britain’s limited international aid. Her department’s budget is apparently so tight that, according to the Independent newspaper, she approved cuts last year in aid to the Palestinians of £17 million, including projects in Gaza.

In other words, Patel hoped to give British aid intended for the most unfortunate directly to one of the best-funded and equipped armies in the world, one that already receives $4 billion a year in military aid from the United States, and which has used its swollen budget to sustain a five-decade belligerent occupation of the Palestinians and enforce its continuing occupation of the Syrian Golan.

All of this was done unofficially. In an example of under-statement, the British media called all of this a “breach of ministerial protocol”. The Guardian newspaper characterised Patel’s behavior as a sign of her “incompetence”. But is that plausible?

Was Patel so astoundingly ignorant of government protocol that she held meetings off the books with senior Israeli officials? Was it political naivety that led her to venture into the Golan under the auspices of the Israeli army and into an area from which Israel has been deeply meddling in the six-year Syrian proxy war raging just a few miles away?

And was it simply a coincidence that her unusual holiday excursion occurred as analysts have begun warning of an imminent renewed outbreak of hostilities between Israel and its northern neighbors, Syria and Lebanon?

It is worth picking through the debris in an attempt to work out what she, and Israel, might have been trying to achieve.

Meetings with Israeli officials

Patel is a prominent member of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), a pro-Israel lobby group to which 80 per cent of the ruling Conservative party’s members of parliament, including most government ministers, belong. They and a similarly entrenched group of opposition Labour MPs belonging to Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) are there to advance Israel’s case in parliament and in British foreign policy.

Such MPs are invited on official “educational” trips to Israel where they get access to Israeli leaders and are wined and dined. The damaging influence of these lobbies on British politics – and the covert nature of their activities – were highlighted earlier this year in a four-part undercover investigation broadcast by Al Jazeera.

In the episode on the Conservative party, an Israeli embassy official was filmed plotting with party officials to “take down” a government foreign office minister, Alan Duncan. He is seen as a rare outpost of support for the Palestinians in the Conservative party. This disturbing incident was largely ignored by the Conservative leadership and the British media.

Patel’s membership of CFI is hardly surprising. But her level of commitment to Israel, beyond that of her CFI membership, is suggested by the nature of her choice of “holiday” destination and the endless round of meetings she held there. They were organised by Stuart Polak, who accompanied her and is the honorary president of CFI.

Patel has argued that the meetings touched on entirely innocuous topics. Netanyahu apparently took time out of his busy schedule – including his frantic efforts to staunch a corruption scandal that could lead to his resignation and jail time – to chat about Patel’s “experience growing up in an area of the UK with a thriving Jewish community” and “her political journey”.

More likely, Israeli officials were keen to talk to Patel for more pertinent reasons. Some are easier to identify than others. Most obviously, Patel’s role was to oversee Britain’s aid to the Palestinian Authority and human rights groups that monitor Israel’s appalling record of abuses in the occupied territories.

Patel had already proven her willingness to cut aid to the Palestinians. It was reported that in October last year she also temporarily suspended £25 million in funds to the Palestine, though her department denied the story.

A foreign office source told the BBC: “She has been pushing to get her hands on the PA aid budget and we have been pushing back.” Israeli officials may have hoped they could extract more concessions from her or persuade her to tie aid to greater Palestinian compliance with Israeli demands.

Netanyahu has additionally been leading an aggressive campaign to silence Israeli human rights groups and prevent them from receiving foreign, mainly European, funding. In a sign of how high a priority this is, Netanyahu asked the British prime minister at a meeting in May to end Britain’s supposed funding of an Israeli army whistleblower group, Breaking the Silence. In fact, the group receives no money from the British government.

Patel’s account of her meeting with Israel’s police minister, Gilad Erdan, at least hints inadvertently at another topic that both sides may have hoped would be of mutual benefit. Notably, she met Erdan a second time at the Houses of Parliament in September, in contravention of a decision by her department officials. The meeting was arranged through her constituency office and went unrecorded.

She says she discussed with Erdan the problem of antisemitism in the UK. He, meanwhile, stated in a Tweet that they spoke about ways to “counter attempts to delegitimise Israel in international institutions”. 

Erdan’s full title is minister of public security, communications (hasbara – or “propaganda” in English) and strategic affairs. He is charged with smearing Israel’s critics abroad and has established a “dirty tricks unit” to try to destroy the growing international BDS movement that campaigns for a boycott of Israel. Netanyahu has claimed that “delegitimisation” – criticism – of Israel is the biggest threat facing his country after an Iranian nuclear bomb.

As the Al Jazeera documentary indicates, the dirty tricks campaign has often relied on Israeli embassy officials and allies in western political parties, like the most zealous members of the CFI and LFI, to weaponise accusations of antisemitism against Israel’s critics.  

Since Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the opposition Labour party two years ago, the British media have been flooded with stories of a supposed antisemitism crisis under his watch. In judging the plausibility of these accusations, it is hard to ignore the fact that Corbyn is the first leader of a major British political party to place the rights of Palestinians above Israel’s right to carry on regardless with the occupation.

Was Patel plotting with Netanyahu and Erdan to help Israel in further damaging Corbyn, possibly by stoking yet more claims of antisemitism in his party, at time when the Conservatives have no parliamentary majority and are in a permanent state of crisis that may yet force elections Corbyn is well placed to win?

And, more cynically still, as some of her fellow ministers have suggested to the BBC, might the ambitious Patel have seen seeking to prove her credentials with Israel and its wealthy supporters and lobbyists in the UK, including Lord Polak, to help in a future leadership bid?

And if that is what these meetings were at least in part about, did Patel take on this task on her own initiative or on behalf of CFI? And was there really no coordination with the party leadership?

Interestingly, when the meetings first came to light, Patel claimed that the foreign office was fully informed. Only under pressure from Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and May did she start backpedalling.

Now, the evidence appears to indicate that May’s office too may have been engaged in a cover-up. Michael Oren, deputy minister in the Israeli prime minister’s office, reportedly told senior British government officials about Patel’s meeting with Netanyahu the day it occurred.

The Jewish Chronicle has also reported that May and Patel spoke face to face in September about the latter’s meeting with Netanyahu, shortly before the British prime minister spoke at the United Nations General Assembly. May is said to have agreed with Patel on her “plan for UK aid to be shared with the Israelis.”

So given this context, what can we make of Patel’s extraordinary trip to the Golan?

Israel and the Syrian civil war

The field hospital that so impressed her is rather more than an example of altruistic “humanitarianism” by the Israeli army. Although it is widely reported that the hospital cares for “Syrian nationals” injured in the fighting in Syria, its primary role appears to be to treat foreign fighters from al Qaeda-affiliated groups injured in battles with Syrian government forces and their Lebanese ally, Hizbullah. A significant number of wounded have been transferred to hospitals inside Israel.

This barely concealed fact – it was even documented by the United Nations in 2015 – caused outrage among the Syrian Druze population living under Israeli occupation in the Golan, as well as Druze families in Israel. It looked to them like the Islamist fighters were being patched up so that they could carry on butchering Druze relatives a few miles away in southern Syria.

In summer 2015 that anger peaked, and several ambulances carrying fighters to Israeli hospitals were attacked by Druze, in the Golan and Israel. In one attack masked men managed to stop an ambulance and beat a fighter to death. In September two Israeli Druze men were convicted of another, failed attempt to stop an ambulance. They face up to 20 years in jail.

But in fact, Israel’s ties to al Qaeda groups and Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria extend beyond medical help. The UN reported that the Israeli army was seen transferring boxes to al-Qaeda groups in Syria. There are credible reports that Israel has also armed and trained al Qaeda fighters, and provided them with maps and intelligence. The strong suspicion is that Israel has forged links to these Islamic extremists to help them wear down Hizbullah and the Syrian army.

Israel has carried out more than 100 air strikes inside Syria, all against government forces, precisely to weaken the military alliance between Iran, Syria and Hizbullah, and thereby helping al-Qaeda groups. The Islamic extremists have also received assistance from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf and less directly from the US.

Why was a British minister in charge of humanitarian aid getting mixed up in all this?

Creating an “alternative” government policy?

The episode has troubling parallels with events from 2011 when Liam Fox, Britain’s defence minister, resigned after his own murky dealings with Israel. The official grounds for Fox’s departure were that he had broken ministerial protocol by allowing a close friend and lobbyist, Adam Werritty, to attend defence meetings posing as an adviser.

But in fact, Fox’s ties to Werritty were even more problematic than admitted. Craig Murray, a former British ambassador turned whistleblower, has argued that the official story about Fox was used to deflect attention from far more serious violations of government protocol.

Fox and Werritty were active in a shadowy group called Atlantic Bridge that had close ties to the neoconservatives who were deeply embedded in the administration of George W Bush. The neocons openly promoted an aggressive policy designed to destabilise the Middle East, all in a bid to help Israel.

The neocons had served as a long-standing pressure group for attacks on Iraq, Iran and Syria – chiefly because they were seen as bulwarks against Israel’s hegemonic influence in the region. In 2003 they succeeded in persuading the Bush administration to invade Iraq, unleashing a lethal collapse of central authority there.

Israel and the neocons have been trying to engineer a complementary attack on Iran ever since, and there is overwhelming evidence that they have been seeking to undermine Syria too.

The most significant of Fox’s off-the-books meetings occurred in February 2011 when he and Werritty, supported by the UK ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, secretly met Israeli officials in Tel Aviv.

According to Murray, drawing on his contacts in the diplomatic service, the Israeli officials were, in fact, Mossad agents. And the topic they discussed was Britain’s possible role in helping to create a favourable diplomatic environment for Israel or the US to carry out an attack on Iran.

Separately, the Guardian newspaper revealed that Fox’s ministry had drawn up detailed plans for British assistance in the event of a US military strike on Iran. That included allowing the Americans to use Diego Garcia, a British territory in the Indian ocean, as a base from which to launch an attack.

Unnamed government officials told the Guardian Fox had been pursuing an “alternative” government policy. Murray, more directly, suggested that Fox, Werritty and Gould had conspired in a “rogue” foreign policy towards Iran, against Britain’s stated aims.  

Although Fox was forced to resign over his links to Werritty, he was quickly rehabilitated once May became prime minister. He was appointed secretary of state for international trade last year.

With fitting irony, Patel was on a trip to Africa with Fox when she was called back to the UK as the scandal deepened. Under pressure from an embattled May, she has resigned.

Was Patel pursuing an “alternative” policy towards Israel, or its neighbors? And if so, what was that policy, and did anyone senior to her authorise it?

Her role in talking to senior Israelis bypassed the foreign office. Did she do so because officials there like Alan Duncan were not seen as sympathetic enough to Israel, and might try to sabotage it? The permanent bureaucracy of the foreign office has often been seen as holding “pro-Arab” views not unrelated to western interests in the Gulf and its plentiful oil.

And how does May, a fervent supporter of Israel, fit into this picture?

Given British government secrecy, it will likely never be possible to provide definitive answers. But it is worth remembering that Israel, its still-powerful neocon allies in Washington and the Saudi regime are angling for the Israeli army to reverse the decisive gains Assad and his allies have made in taking back control of Syria in recent months.

This week Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, wrote in the Haaretz newspaper that the Saudis were meddling yet again in Lebanese politics, forcing Hizbullah into greater political prominence, to provide the pretext for Israel to renew its confrontation with the Lebanese militia and thereby stoke a new war between Israel and Lebanon and Syria.

In his words: “Israel and Saudi Arabia are fully aligned in this regional struggle, and the Saudis cannot help but be impressed by Israel’s increasing assertiveness to strike at Iranian threats in Syria … When the moment of truth arrives, Israel’s allies, with the United States in the lead, should give it full backing.”

When the time comes, Israel will, as ever, rely on well-placed friends in western capitals to support and misrepresent its actions. Until her resignation, Priti Patel would undoubtedly have been one of those prominent champions of Israel helping out in a time of need.

About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.

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42 Responses

  1. Jackdaw
    November 9, 2017, 12:25 pm

    “In other words, Patel hoped to give British aid intended for the most unfortunate directly to one of the best-funded and equipped armies in the world, ”

    In other words, you haven’t a clue, beyond idle speculation.

    Patel might just have easily hoped to give British aid to the humanitarian effort Israel is engaged in treating ALL wounded Syrians who come to her border for medical care.

    Ugh!

    • Kaisa of Finland
      November 9, 2017, 12:46 pm

      Jackdaw:

      “Patel might just have easily hoped to give British aid to the humanitarian effort Israel is engaged in treating ALL wounded Syrians who come to her border for medical care..”

      Well, if Israel honestly wishes to be so helpfull, it can surely do it with the money the IDF receives anually from the U.S. Are you honestly saying, that the IDF and Israel are economically doing so bad, they need some “humanitarian aid” to help others.. Maybe you need to do some travelling around the world to see the people who REALLY need some humanitarian aid..?? (I must say that your comment sounds like a joke to me, but I am responding just in case you really meant it!)

      • Jackdaw
        November 9, 2017, 2:17 pm

        @Kaisa

        The Syrians that Israel helps do REALLY need some humanitarian aid, save for th 600,000 who are already dead. Been gunshot lately Kaisa? It hurts.

        BTW, the IDF isn’t treating the injured Syrians. The Israeli hospitals of the Israeli Ministry of Health have treated the 50,000 Syrians, gratis.

      • amigo
        November 9, 2017, 2:41 pm

        “BTW, the IDF isn’t treating the injured Syrians. The Israeli hospitals of the Israeli Ministry of Health have treated the 50,000 Syrians, gratis.” jackduh

        Slight exageration there jack–duh.

        “The Nahariya hospital is 10 kilometers from the Lebanese border, and it’s the second-biggest medical center in Israel’s north. Inaugurated in 1956, it has 722 beds, and from 2013, the year Israel began to take in Syrian wounded, it became a world leader in treating war wounds.

        In the last four years it has treated 1,600 Syrians − 70 percent of the Syrian wounded who have entered Israel. Their average stay is 23 days.
        read more: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/.premium-1.787053

        According to this Haaretz report , only 2280 have been treated in Israel up to may 2017.

        Gee, maybe Israel has treated 48000 since then .

        Your so full of it jack–duh.

      • John O
        November 9, 2017, 2:56 pm

        @Jackdaw

        “The Israeli hospitals of the Israeli Ministry of Health have treated the 50,000 Syrians, gratis.”

        Where? In Israel proper? And where do they send them after they’re discharged from hospital?

      • Kaisa of Finland
        November 9, 2017, 3:20 pm

        Jackdaw:

        ” The Israeli hospitals of the Israeli Ministry of Health have treated the 50,000 Syrians, gratis..”

        Oh poor Israel, it surely needs some Humanitarian Aid for that. Like you’d really care about some gunshot Syrians..

      • Kaisa of Finland
        November 9, 2017, 3:33 pm

        p.s. Jackdaw:

        Didn’t Gene Simmons&co. just collect some special funding for the IDF?? I am sure the generous and oh, so caring Israel could just use that extra money to treat those wounded Syrians!!

        Or do you mean that Israelis are generous only, if someone else pays for it???

        (Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) raised a record $53.8 million at its annual Western Region Gala on Thursday, Nov. 2)

        http://mondoweiss.net/2017/11/gerald-simmons-million/

      • just
        November 9, 2017, 5:58 pm

        “BTW, the IDF isn’t treating the injured Syrians. The Israeli hospitals of the Israeli Ministry of Health have treated the 50,000 Syrians, gratis”

        Wow!

        Did not know that there were “50,000” Al-Nusra /Al-Qaeda wounded terrorists that have/ are getting more and more freebies from Israel.

        Thanks.

    • John O
      November 9, 2017, 12:54 pm

      @Jackdaw

      And why are the wounded Syrians stuck at the border? Indeed, to be strictly correct, why are they being treated beyond Israel’s border in occupied Syrian territory?

      But to return to your main point. Britain is, rightly, very wary of giving foreign aid money to armies. Where aid agencies and armies work in close proximity (e.g. Afghanistan), governments have to be very careful to ensure that money they provide for, e.g. medical services, is not seen to be associated with an occupying, or otherwise combatant, army.

      British government policy is that the Golan Heights are illegally occupied by Israel. Consequently, representatives of the British government cannot be seen to do anything that might be interpreted as contradicting, or even overturning, that policy.

      Thus, even if Patel’s motives were as pure as the driven snow, she made at least two gross errors of judgement for which she was rightly dismissed.

      • Jackdaw
        November 9, 2017, 2:22 pm

        @John O

        “And why are the wounded Syrians stuck at the border? Indeed, to be strictly correct, why are they being treated beyond Israel’s border in occupied Syrian territory? ”

        Ignorance is thick today. ‘Stuck at the border’? WTF are you talking about? No Syrians are treated in the Golan Heights, which lacks a major hospital. The Syrians are treated in Safed, Haifa and Jerusalem, which is Israel.

      • John O
        November 9, 2017, 3:48 pm

        @Jackdaw

        Why do the Golan Heights lack a major hospital? Israel has been occupying them for 50 years; plenty of time to put in some decent infrastructure.

        Of course, there is, or maybe there isn’t, a field hospital there, which may (or may not) treat injured Syrians. It certainly seemed real enough for a British minister to suggest taxpayers’ money could be sent to the IDF to help defray the costs of running it. OK, Patel’s as thick as two short planks but, even so …

      • Mooser
        November 9, 2017, 6:01 pm

        “Ignorance is thick today” “Jackdaw”

        A brocheh on Mondoweiss, for allowing Zionists the free-speech to tell us how Zionists think. That will make all the difference to many.

    • Emory Riddle
      November 12, 2017, 7:06 pm

      “In other words, Patel hoped to give British aid intended for the most unfortunate directly to one of the best-funded and equipped armies in the world, ”

      In other words, you haven’t a clue, beyond idle speculation.

      Did you read the article? Let me help you.

      “Patel was reportedly so impressed she wanted to give the Israeli army a chunk of Britain’s limited international aid.”

      Now I supposed you can choose not to believe the writer — or not to believe the writer sufficiently vetted the assertion — but to claim “In other words, you haven’t a clue, beyond idle speculation.” — is just plain wrong.

      Have you enuff decency to admit as much? Odds are steep that you don’t.

    • Emory Riddle
      November 12, 2017, 7:21 pm

      The #JewishChronicle just revealed that “Number 10” WAS aware of #BritishMinister of Development #PritiPatel’s extra meeting with an #Israeili #minister – but she was told to keep them quiet.

      As Priti Patel aborts an official visit to Uganda to return to the #UK in a growing crisis over secret meetings with Israeli ministers and plans to divert foreign aid to Israeli Defence Force (#IDF) administered projects, this latest revelation raises serious questions about #TheresaMay’s actions.

      Theresa May refused to sack the International Development Secretary for breaches of Ministerial Code after it emerged that she had used what appeared to be a family holiday this summer for secret meetings with 12 Israeli politicians including premier Binyamin Netanyahu. – Potential breaches of Ministerial Code.

      She had kept the meetings hidden from the foreign office, and Theresa May said that she did not know about Patel’s off-the-radar high-level meetings this summer, announcing that Patel had apologised to her.

      But just a few hours later it was revealed that Patel had met two Israeli ministers again this autumn: Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan in Parliament on September 7 and foreign ministry official Yuval Rotem in New York on September 18.

      As in the Summer meetings, it appears no British officials accompanied Priti Patel, and she did not mention them to the Foreign Office or Government as ministerial procedure dictates. As the scandal deepened, the Development minister was recalled to the UK amid speculation that she is about to be fired.

      But now the Jewish Chronicle reports:

      Number 10 WAS aware of the New York meeting with Yuval Rotem and instructed Priti Patal NOT TO INCLUDE it in a list she was forced to publish of 12 secret meetings with Israeli politicians. This was to avoid embarrassment with the Foreign Office.
      The paper also reports that though Priti Patel’s meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister was not authorised in advance, Theresa May’s government “WAS MADE AWARE OF IT WITHIN HOURS.”
      What’s more – Theresa May discussed and AGREED with the International Development Secretary’s plan to share UK foreign aid with Israel. – A plan that appears to have emerged over Patel’s undisclosed meetings on ostensibly a family holiday often attended by honorary president of the Conservative Friends for Israel lobbying group Lord Polak.
      Jewish Chronicle Senior Reporter Lee Harpin writes: “Last night I wrote on the JC site that something didn’t add up about Number Ten’s claim that it had no idea about Priti Patel’s meetings with senior Israelis.

      “As I put it: “Well before last week’s James Landale scoop about Ms Patel’s meetings with Israeli politicians, I was told very matter of factly that there would soon be an announcement of cooperation between the UK and Israel over aid in Africa – that we would divert some of our aid money to the Israelis to fund some of their aid work there. I was told that it had been signed off between DfID and Number Ten, but that the FCO had kicked off because it felt its toes were being trodden on.”

      “After that story went up, I was contacted by two senior and reliable sources. Both gave exactly the same story: that although Patel had clearly messed up and had to go, the real story was about Number 10.

      “Far from being unaware, Number 10 knew in full about her meeting with Mr Netanyahu, because Ms Patel had discussed it with the Prime Minister in September, prior to the UN General Assembly.”

      • oldgeezer
        November 14, 2017, 11:31 pm

        @emory

        Yeah funny that the only pwoe reporting that were thejc and likely suspects referring to thejc report.q

        You just can’t top anonymoud reporting from a party with a stake in the game.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      November 14, 2017, 8:15 pm

      All wounded Syrians? Who do you think you are fooling? Israel helps ONLY the anti Assad forces. The Israel lobby pushing for intervention in Syria is the main reason why Syria is the mess that it has become.

      • oldgeezer
        November 14, 2017, 11:27 pm

        No not all wounded Syrians.

        The UN observers have reported regular meetings between the idf and Al Nusra (Al Queda). The idf has acted as both AQ’s airforce and artillery. It”s politicians have stated a preference for ISIS in Syria. Israel’s work with Syria is not humanitarian.

        Israeli arms and ammo have been found with the Kurds despite the fact that tbe kurds have engaged in ethnic cleansing in operational conjuction with ISIS.

        Combined with the other major ISIS back the house of Saud we have combined two of the major evils in the world .

        No Israel is not Jews. Jews are not Israel. Two different things. Not remotely related except in the mind of the truly and totally perverse (both pro and con) but Israel is a major problem in the middle east. Their hands aren’t just covered in blood wrt to Syria. They aren’t merely complicit.

        They are active participants in the murder and slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocents. Not alone in this
        But actively involved and a total disgrace to humanity.

    • DaBakr
      November 21, 2017, 3:54 am

      @jd

      Clueless on so many levels is impossible to keep up. The two news sources, al Jazeera and the Guardian are known to be two of the most biased against reporting anything but negative takes on Israeli action.
      . And the rank speculating written as if by Hedda Hopper with a salacious sex scandal. The number of ,”what ifs…” , “just suppose….” And other pure speculation indicates cook is” yet another fishing expedition where he barely caught a guppy. I guess this is the bottom bilge stuff that deluded Israel, Zionist and jew haters survive on while waiting on the bloodier dishes that justify their self righteous mindset

      • amigo
        November 21, 2017, 9:14 am

        “The two news sources, al Jazeera and the Guardian are known to be two of the most biased against reporting anything but negative takes on Israeli action.”duh bakr

        Israel has no positive takes to write about.Go bitch to the GOI.

  2. pabelmont
    November 9, 2017, 1:03 pm

    Yes, to the extent she was at all interested in aid to the wounded, she was interested inter alia in aiding Al Qaeda wounded (!) (does President Trump know of this ??!).

    Of course aid to Israel might possibly go for other purposes, who knows!

    Mostly this was kept secret because that’s how Israel wanted it kept and Teresa May knew and kept the secret. She, too, is under the thumb.

    Under The Thumb.

    Do we need another trade marked phrase, like The Dersh ™, say, Under The Thumb ™ ?

  3. Ossinev
    November 9, 2017, 2:41 pm

    The silver lining in all of this may well be that the British electorate particularly younger voters will start to seriously question the ethics of those MP`s who are listed as CFI or LFI and come the next election will send a strong message in their voting. Will be interesting to see if any of the existing members of these august institutions see the light and jump from the Zio ship . BTW in response to this latest cock up by Hasbara Central watch out for Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party Series 5 (or is it 6) coming to your screens soon starring Joan Ryan and John Mann with a guest appearance from mad Melanie Phillips. Zios are so wrapped up in their alternative reality that they will automatically spew this up as a distraction device years after its sell by date.

    Tick tick.

  4. JWalters
    November 9, 2017, 2:51 pm

    Israel’s very existence has been based on secret influences from the start. Its constant fear of de-legitimization is due to the fact that it was brought into existence illegitimately. It is the fear of a criminal fearing to be found out.

  5. amigo
    November 9, 2017, 5:10 pm

    Another setback for Trump and Israel.

    “Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, continues to work with members of his own party, Democrats, European envoys and the Trump administration hoping to construct legislation that will send a message of toughness to Tehran while keeping the nuclear accord intact. But the amendment he initially previewed one month ago with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), alongside President Donald Trump’s national address on Iran policy, will not advance as planned.”

    http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-News/Republicans-pull-back-on-Iran-deal-legislation-in-setback-for-Trump-513831

  6. Kathleen
    November 10, 2017, 10:50 am

    “The Guardian newspaper characterised Patel’s behavior as a sign of her “incompetence”. But is that plausible?”

    NO! She knew what she was doing , Why make such an effort to keep all of those activities hidden,.

    Have heard this “incompetence”..”naive” argument applied to Jared Kushner, Don Jr etc Russiagate issue.

    Many tried to use “incompetence” argument forthe Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz invasion of Iraq and all of the created, cherry picked, disseminated false intelligence. They knew what they were doing.

    OK comparing Patel’s “breach of ministerial protocol” to the human rights crimes the Bush 43 administration committed is a bit extreme, however the “incompetence” claim gets used in such absurd ways,

    At least Patel held accountable.

    • John O
      November 10, 2017, 11:15 am

      Good points, Kathleen.

      Everybody makes mistakes; but making the same mistake over and over again – failing to learn from one’s mistakes – that’s incompetence.

      By that criterion, Boris Johnson, the other subject of the Guardian article, is incompetent: his inability to keep his mouth shut, his persistent failure to read his ministerial briefs (for which he is notorious among the followers of Westminster politics), his lack of seriousness when the occasion demands it, etc.

      Patel arguably less so. She is the archetypal Peter Principle politician, promoted above her ability. She could have done her job and learned how to be a minister, but her all-consuming ambition (she sees herself as a future Prime Minister) seems to have led her to think she could change the whole government’s policy towards Israel by engaging in a little personal “diplomacy”. So, she is different from the likes of Cheney in that she almost certainly didn’t know what she was getting into.

    • oldgeezer
      November 14, 2017, 11:15 pm

      I think the guardian was largely correct. She was totally incompetent.

      A competent politician would not have been caugjt so easily sellingr soul to a foreign state. And don’t forget that the guardian has been pro zionist for at least 20 urs. Hence their judgement fits their world views.

  7. James Canning
    November 10, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Great piece, and of course fascinating.

  8. Rashers2
    November 10, 2017, 1:41 pm

    An excellent piece. Mr. Cook. I’d love to know the identity of The Times’ “senior” source inside the Conservative Party, quoted two days ago: “Lord Polak should probably be expelled from the party for suborning a cabinet minister. ” Regrettably, it won’t happen because, to borrow from @pabelmont, too many are UTT: Britain still lacks the appetite to confront its considerable contribution over the past century to the dystopian political and moral landscape which is today’s I/P.

  9. Ossinev
    November 10, 2017, 1:52 pm

    A lot lot more to come out on this one. It begs the obvious question of yes she was caught out on this specific little Zio conspiracy but what other secret little unofficial meetings orchestrated by Polak and Co has she been involved in since becoming International Development Secretary.
    Questions are also being asked about the cost to the taxpayer of her lies and deceit:
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/09/priti-patels-departure-clocks-up-8000-bill-for-taxpayers

    But still the silver lining is that a bright light has been shone on the sleazy conspiracies and manoeuvres by the UK Zionist Lobby and a lot more of the UK electorate hopefully will be asking whether Friends of Israel MP`s ( Tory or Labour) can really be trusted.

    As for Priti herself it appears to be a question of it is all so unfair and it will all blow away given time and I still want to become PM one day – taking to twitter to thank the millions of people who have supported her:
    https://twitter.com/patel4witham/status/928538822245154816?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    Also congratulating her successor and “dear friend” (NB Mordaunt does not appear to be a CFI MP but happy to be corrected):
    https://twitter.com/patel4witham/status/928660563013586944?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

  10. Mayhem
    November 12, 2017, 5:55 pm

    Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan has been accused of having the “means and the motivation” to ensure details about Patel came to light.

    The focus is on Duncan’s criticism of Israeli policy in the occupied territories after it became apparent Patel had ordered research on whether aid could be given to refugees in Golan Heights, Syria, through the Israeli Army.

    Other ministers have said they suspect it was Duncan who spoke with the press.

    Another case of someone who was trying to improve the dynamic in the I/P conflict zone being shot down by naysayers.

    The ‘Palestinian’ refugees are being used as political pawns; there is no real concern about them as people, rather the focus of all the attention is on dismantling ‘nasty’ Israel.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 13, 2017, 8:22 am

      someone who was trying to improve the dynamic in the I/P conflict zone

      i’ve no idea what you’re talking about.

      Sir Alan Duncan has been accused of having the “means and the motivation”

      that just means they have no clue, no evidence, nothing. it’s old news mossad wants him out. tables turned the other way this time.

      • Mayhem
        November 13, 2017, 9:56 pm

        The Annie Robbins blindspot?
        “aid could be given to refugees in Golan Heights, Syria, through the Israeli Army”

      • John O
        November 14, 2017, 8:46 am

        @Mayhem

        No, it couldn’t. To have done so would have implied that the British government considered Israel’s presence in the Golan to be legitimate.

    • amigo
      November 13, 2017, 9:00 am

      “The ‘Palestinian’ refugees are being used as political pawns; there is no real concern about them as people, rather the focus of all the attention is on dismantling ‘nasty’ Israel.” mayhem

      As in LFI , (Labour Friends of Israel) trying to take down or should that be over , by dismantling the Nasty Corbynites who don,t suck up to the zionist lobby in the UK.

      Example –trying to take down a democratically elected minister of a sovereign nation by interjecting Israeli spies into British politics.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/07/israeli-diplomat-shai-masot-caught-on-camera-plotting-to-take-down-uk-mps

      Cut the faux concern for the Palestinians buster.You would be happy to see each and everyone of them gone or preferably dead.

      • Mayhem
        November 13, 2017, 10:02 pm

        @amigo, if you want to know I would have preferred their supposedly Arab brethren to take them in but that would have diminished the pressure on Israel. With the complicity of UNRWA ‘Palestinian’ refugees have been kept on tap as pawns to help exacerbate the conflict.

      • John O
        November 14, 2017, 8:51 am

        @Mayhem

        Palestinian (the word does not need quotation marks) refugees are not being used as pawns. For the countries that have taken them in to offer them citizenship would (a) give legitimacy to Israel’s ethnic cleansing and tell the world there was nothing that could be done about it; (b) encourage Israel to expel the remaining Palestinian population from Israel, Gaza and the West Bank

      • oldgeezer
        November 14, 2017, 9:15 am

        @John O & Mayhem

        zionists don’t have anything but their greedy self interest at heart when they moan about other countries not granting Palestinians citizenship.

        In the first instance those countries are under no obligation to do so and in the second instance they know it would extinquish the Palestinians right of return under international law.

        Just as we saw zionist concern about Syrians where they limit their activities to arming and aiding ISIS and AQ. Palestinians attempting to escape that slaughter were told they could go to Palestine only if they signed away their right of return by the criminal GoI.

        And in terms of refugee treatment in general we don’t see Israel offering citizenship to refugees (unless the right kind of Jews) but deporting them in violation of international law.

        Israel is an outlaw state. One of the worst which is why they are forced to compare themselves with the other bottom feeders.

  11. Krendall Mist
    November 12, 2017, 8:36 pm

    Just another up-and-coming careerist politician in the West who understands that the road to power runs through Tel Aviv.

    Britain is a special case, however. The moribund empire’s betrayal of Palestine created this global blood sucking squid 100 years ago. It is only fitting that the caretakers of it’s pitiable remnant now betray their own countrymen for the sake of this venomous monstrosity.

  12. Ossinev
    November 13, 2017, 7:29 am

    @mayhem
    “Another case of someone who was trying to improve the dynamic in the I/P conflict zone being shot down by naysayers”

    The only “dynamic” that this lying hypocritical creature was trying to improve was her future PM campaign funding from Zio Central.

    As for Sir Alan Duncan and the accusation that he had the “means and the motivation” ergo he was the one who was responsible for bring down poor innocent angelic Ms Patel. Total bullshit and a pathetic attempt to portray her as a victim rather than a perpetrator of a blatant breach of government policies and procedures.

  13. Ossinev
    November 14, 2017, 1:06 pm

    @oldgeezer
    “And in terms of refugee treatment in general we don’t see Israel offering citizenship to refugees (unless the right kind of Jews) but deporting them in violation of international law”

    Spot on.The Zios milk these situations as golden opportunities to portray Zioland as a humanitarian country ( LOL) so long as they can get the PR done and dusted on non ancient homeland (sob) etc soil. If any of these wounded refugees somehow found their way across into Zioland they would magically be transformed from victims of war and persecution into repulsive foreign infiltrators and incarcerated in one of Zioland`s specialist infiltrator concentration camps.

    • just
      November 14, 2017, 4:59 pm

      Thanks to oldgeezer and Ossinev.

      I read this in The Guardian this morning by Dr. Nizar Ayoub:

      “Patel resignation puts spotlight on the Golan

      Although Israel provides medical assistance to Syrian civilians, it fails to offer them a safe haven, writes Dr Nizar Ayoub. Syrian opposition fighters are grateful for the help, says Judy Samuel

      “Priti Patel’s visit to an Israeli army base in the occupied Golan temporarily put this usually forgotten territory in the headlines (Report, 10 November). However, despite the international coverage, there has been little attention paid to two important issues: the return of injured civilians and fighters to Syria following Israeli medical treatment, and the situation of the remaining Syrian population in the Golan who now mark the 50th year of living under occupation.

      First, although Israel provides medical assistance to Syrian civilians, it fails to offer them a safe haven – as required by international law – and instead sends them back to a conflict zone. Israel is also the only country neighbouring Syria that has not taken any Syrian refugees. Fighters from Syria who receive medical assistance from Israel also re-join hostilities rather than being prevented from participating again in military operations, as required by international law.

      Second, the conflict also has a huge impact on Syrians in the Golan, like me, who have been cut off from the rest of the Syria since the Israeli occupation in 1967. Following the occupation, approximately 95% (130,000) of the Syrian population in the Golan was forcibly transferred or displaced from their homes, and 340 villages and farms were demolished. Today, the remaining Syrian population in the Golan (26,000) is separated from friends and family in the rest of Syria, and face danger from spillover of the conflict as the region becomes increasingly militarised. Further, we suffer from multiple discriminatory Israeli policies similar to the Palestinian population. …”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/13/patel-resignation-puts-spotlight-on-the-golan

      (you can read Samuel’s praises @ the link~ I won’t bother to post her dreck)

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