Tag Archives: Shai Masot

Willsman suspended – again. But his alleged claims are entirely reasonable

Peter Willsman: Clearly he has enemies who want him discredited – and they aren’t above ignoring Labour Party rules to achieve this.

Peter Willsman, a left-wing member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, has had his party membership suspended – again – over comments that some are claiming to be anti-Semitic.

It seems clear that these claims are false and it will be informative to watch the way Labour deals with this case.

Mr Willsman’s party membership was previously suspended after allegations last year, but was restored to his position after he made an apology. Many believe he should have stuck to his guns as he had done nothing wrong.

The current allegation arises from a recording of an “off-the-record” conversation with an author, in which Mr Willsman allegedly said he believed the Israeli embassy was coordinating antisemitism accusations against the Labour Party.

The first thing that occurs to This Writer is that “off-the-record” means exactly that; comments made in such circumstances are not intended to be attributed to their source and it is the height of unprofessionalism to name the source of an “off-the-record” comment. I would like to know the name of the person who supplied the recording to LBC, in order for this person to be blackballed by the British Establishment. They cannot be trusted.

Secondly – and far more importantly – is the fact that Mr Willsman said nothing anti-Semitic, even though this is the apparent reason for his suspension.

It is known that at least one Israeli embassy operative very definitely conspired with at least one UK civil servant in order to “take down” then-Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Shai Masot was forced to return to Israel after the revelations by Al Jazeera.

But here’s a thing: Part of the accusation against Mr Willsman is that he said a Labour member was “working indirectly” for the Israeli embassy. This is believed to refer to Joan Ryan, who was a Labour MP at the time the recording was made (she has since switched to Change UK) and also chair of Labour Friends of Israel.

There is evidence in support of this claim.

Here’s a video of Ms Ryan being offered a vast amount of money to carry out work for the Israeli government – by the same Israeli embassy official, Shai Masot:

Clearly there is evidence to support Mr Willsman’s concerns, as expressed on the recording.

But what will Labour do? Here’s what I think should happen – and what I fear will happen:

The problem is exactly as former Labour minister Clare Short described it in a BBC interview earlier this week:

“There has been a widening of the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of Israel.”

This contradicts the definition and examples of anti-Semitism laid out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which the Labour Party adopted last year.

Israel-supporting members of Labour campaigned hotly for the party to adopt this definition – and the examples accompanying it – in full after the party initially adopted its own (better) definition.

Watch them now as they ignore it completely.

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If British organisations worked with the Israeli embassy to achieve that country’s aims and not our own, what should we call it?

Jeremy Newmark and Ella Rose of the Jewish Labour Movement, with Israeli ambassador Mark Regev: No connection?

I’d call it conspiracy.

No – not an ‘International Jewish Conspiracy’, because the implication behind that anti-Semitic stereotype has always been that all – or at least many – Jews are involved and know about it.

Talk to (for example) David Schneider on Twitter for a while if you need to be divested of that illusion.

But certainly a conspiracy involving Israeli government representatives and members of pro-Israel organisations in the UK. Consider the following, from an article in The Electronic Intifada:

The Jewish Labour Movement acted as a proxy for the Israeli embassy, a document obtained by The Electronic Intifada reveals.

“We work with Shai, we know him very well,” the group’s director Ella Rose admitted to an undercover reporter in 2016, a transcript of the conversation shows.

Ms Rose was referring to Shai Masot, the former Israeli embassy staffer who returned to his country in disgrace after trying to enlist the help of a Conservative government office worker to have pro-Palestine minister Alan Duncan removed from the foreign office.

I called that a conspiracy – and have been accused of anti-Semitism for it, especially after I questioned the activities of organisations such as… oh, yes, the Jewish Labour Movement!

In a statement broadcast in the film, the Jewish Labour Movement claimed to Al Jazeera that it “denies that it has worked closely with Shai Masot.”

The September 2016 transcript… shows that Rose’s relationship with Masot and the Israeli embassy continued after she was hired by the Jewish Labour Movement in July of that year.

Looks like someone was lying. I wonder who it was and why they would do that?

The transcript reveals that the Jewish Labour Movement brought an Israeli delegation to the 2016 Labour Party conference on behalf of the embassy.

The delegation was presented as a group of young, left-wing Israeli activists.

But the day after the conference closed, a report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz alleged that Israeli agents had been “operating British Jewish organizations” in a way that could “put them in violation of British law.”

While the Haaretz report – which cites a cable from the Israeli embassy in London – does not name any of the groups, the transcript of the conversation between Rose and the undercover Al Jazeera reporter suggests that the Jewish Labour Movement may have been one of these organizations.

Conspiracy? No? What, then?

Despite denials, Masot appears to have been an agent for the Ministry of Strategic Affairs – a semi-clandestine organization that leads Israeli “black ops” against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Its minister is Gilad Erdan, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The ministry’s director-general is a former senior military intelligence officer, most of its employees – whose names are classified – are drawn from the ranks of Israel’s various spy agencies and it has a budget of tens of millions of dollars.

But as revealed in the Haaretz report, the Israeli foreign ministry got wind of how Erdan’s strategic affairs ministry was allegedly “operating” groups in the UK in violation of British law and was unhappy that what it perceived as its turf was being intruded upon.

The article goes on to name other organisations believed to have been used to promote the interests of Israel:

All the evidence points to Masot attempting to use the Jewish Labour Movement, Labour Friends of Israel and perhaps other groups to influence decision makers in the Labour Party for the benefit of Israel.

This is a familiar situation. I described it myself, on This Site, in January 2017:

It’s like a game of aggressive-Zionist join-the-dots now; Shai Masot leads to Labour Friends of Israel, and from there on to the Jewish Labour Movement and who knows where.

I continued:

It is time to root out every last one of these operators.

Anybody who has been involved in the anti-Semitism witch-hunt within the Labour Party … needs to be pulled in and checked out.

And I was right, wasn’t I?

But I was smeared as an anti-Semite for it.

It seems to me that – considering the latest evidence – quite a few people owe me a quite enormous apology. Don’t you agree?


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Accusation games: It’s all falling apart for the knee-jerk “anti-Semitism” accusers

Momentum’s former vice-chair, Jackie Walker: Does she look like an anti-Semite now? [Image: Andy Hall for the Observer].

Isn’t it funny how these people are starting to be pulled into the light, when they thought they could play their dirty little accusation games from the shadows.

It’s like a game of aggressive-Zionist join-the-dots now; Shai Masot leads to Labour Friends of Israel, and from there on to the Jewish Labour Movement and who knows where.

This Writer has to wonder whether this conspiracy – and it is a conspiracy, have no doubt about that – would have been rumbled if, for example, people like myself hadn’t objected to the claims of anti-Semitism when they were levelled at Naz Shah, Ken Livingstone and Jeremy Corbyn last summer.

I was warned off, you know. Good friends told me to be very careful of what I was saying, because the people I was accusing are “very dangerous indeed”.

Maybe they are, but facts have a habit of getting out. And while my articles back then produced a strong opposing – verbal – reaction from certain of our favourite figures and organisations (including a few of the kind of ad hominem claims mentioned below) there have been no bullets or bombs (yet).

They also seem to have got people thinking.

When Jackie Walker (mentioned in the Mondoweiss article quoted below) was accused at the Labour Party Conference, it seems more alarm bells started ringing.

And now we have the Al-Jazeera investigation (why not BBC? Why not ITV? Why not Channel 4 or the British mainstream print media?) that revealed Shai Masot and his little network of … I think they’re being called “infiltrators”.

It is time to root out every last one of these operators.

Anybody who has been involved in the anti-Semitism witch-hunt within the Labour Party last summer needs to be pulled in and checked out. That includes Paul Staines of the Guido Fawkes blog. It includes John Mann, who accused Ken Livingstone. Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who gave evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee when it was accusing Mr Corbyn, would be worth questioning – as would every member of the committee itself, as their performances in the evidence sessions made it clear that they had already made up their minds before asking a single question.

Some of them might have nothing to do with it – perhaps all of them. But that has yet to be demonstrated.

What about Jackie Walker’s accusers in the Jewish Labour Movement – and, for that matter, in Momentum?

What about the national newspaper writers and editors who reported each story?

The list of possible suspects gets ever-larger, and is likely to grow even further, if these people are contacted and questioned in a thorough manner.

The issues here are serious. We are being told that agents of a foreign country have infiltrated our institutions and undermined our foreign policy with false accusations against our politicians and political figures.

As the extract below shows, the trail leads back at least as far as Mark Regev – and he is Israel’s ambassador to the UK.

At the very least, this is a major diplomatic incident.

So why is the Conservative Government refusing to take the necessary investigative steps?

While an Israeli operative’s efforts  to “take down” Britain’s Deputy Foreign Minister, may appear to be the biggest scandal to arise out of Al Jazeera’s investigative documentary The Lobby, what became clear to me throughout the four-part series was that the primary function of the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) and other pro Israel groups in the UK working with the Israeli embassy was smearing Palestinians and their supporters with charges of anti Semitism and other nefarious ad hominem claims.

Jackie Walker, former vice-chair of Momentum, the left wing of the Labour party, called this “a constructed crisis for political ends”.

Evidence of this runs throughout the four-part series. Mark Regev, Israel’s ambassador to the UK, at a private meeting held during the annual Labour Party Conference in Liverpool last September, advises key activist leaders of Labour’s pro-Israel contingent on strategy and talking points:

“Why are people who consider themselves progressive in Britain, supporting reactionaries like Hamas and Hezbollah?  We’ve gotta say in the language of social democracy, I think, these people are misogynistic, they are homophobic, they are racist, they are anti-Semitic, they are reactionary. I think that’s what we need to say, it’s an important message.”

Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, is captured saying in conversation at Labour’s annual conference that anti-Semitism is “the defining narrative actually now”. Defining narrative of what? The Labour party? Or the LFI’s strategy of taking down the leftwing branch of the party?

[Ella Rose] reveals a trajectory of what could be perceived as a strategy of accusation (of anti semitism), a gotcha focus with the objective of trapping people, as a means of one-upsmanship so as to advance the profile of the Jewish Labour Movement on the right flank of Labour, aligned with the faction of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

The suggestion by critics that anything untoward is taking place is angrily rebuffed. Labour’s right flank postures itself as the real victims– for being accused of falsely accusing! For example, Michael Foster, a generous Jewish donor (£700,000) to Labour, last summer accused Corbyn supporters of behaving like “Nazi stormtroopers”, and was suspended by the party for the abuse, leading to yet more glaring Blame-Corbyn headlines in the British press.

As for those targeted, the bigger fish the better, beginning with Jeremy Corbin, of course, and his supporters in Momentum, like Walker. Labour party members are targeted for re-education programs through Labour Party trainings on anti-Semitism, and if you slip up you’re subject to an inquisition with the threat of being thrown out of the party, loudly and publicly with the press cheering it on.

Source: ‘Constructed crisis for political ends’: anti-Semitism claims are prime weapon for UK Israel lobby, Al Jazeera shows

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Pro-Israel groups and figures should face inquiry after ‘take down’ video leak

Shai Masot discusses MPs he wants “taken down” in the leaked video.

While This Writer has to agree with the Israeli Embassy staffer Shai Masot when he says Alan Duncan is an idiot, there are questions about Israel’s policies in the UK that really must be answered now.

Mr Duncan was the fool who criticised everybody in the UK who isn’t a millionaire as “low-achievers”. Of course, he comes from a privileged background.

He is also outspoken against the anti-Palestinian policies of the Israeli government and has denounced the policy of building settlements on Palestinian land, likening Israeli policy to apartheid.

It is clear, then, that this Israeli politician was proposing the removal of British politicians who oppose his own government’s behaviour when he suggested to Maria Strizzolo, Tory Robert Halfon’s former chief of staff, that she “take” him “down” – as shown on a leaked video.

How many other UK politicians have been the subject of Israeli interference? How is the UK government to prevent further such interference?

It seems the Foreign Office considers the matter closed, after Israel apologised.

But the Labour Party is right to demand an inquiry.

Ms Strizzolo has said there was nothing to the conversation – it should not be interpreted as an attempt to instruct the UK government on its ministerial appointments – but this can only be borne out by examination of her actions, and those of Mr Masot.

Mr Masot is also on record as having admitted setting up front groups. These are both party political & “astroturf” (fake grassroots) bodies, including Labour Friends of Israel.

Would these include the organisations we have seen trying to “take down” prominent Labour figures on bogus “anti-Semitism” claims over the last year?

That must be investigated, also.

Until we know how far this rot has set in, we cannot know whether any claims relating to Israel, anti-Semitism or Zionism have solid foundations at all.

It is good that this issue has been revealed but more work must be done.

And those who try to shut it down should be held in suspicion.

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