Labour Party

robin Recently, for the first time in the 25 years I have been publishing Lobster, a subscriber wrote and told me he was not renewing his subscription because of something I had published – or, rather, because of some things I had published. He said Lobster had become just another anti-Israeli magazine.
I wasn’t greatly surprised; and, yes, it is true that in the last five years Lobster has been publishing material not so much critical of Israel but interested in and critical of the influence of the Israeli lobby on the Labour Party. Some of the material has been coming from one of my regular contributors – like me a former member of the Labour Party – and some from me.
There has been a considerable Israeli lobby influence on Labour certainly since the days of Harold Wilson, who was very pro-Israel (and wrote a history of Israel when he retired). In his most recent book, Downing Street Diary, Lord Bernard Donoghue, head of Wilson’s policy unit in the 1970s, describes the regular comings and goings of the Israeli ambassador to No 10, and Wilson’s former press secretary, Joe Haines, recounts in his Glimmers of Twilight that he was told by a former head of the Joint Intelligence Committee that the Foreign Office considered Wilson’s private secretary, Marcia Falkender, to be an Israeli agent. So Israeli influence and money within the Labour Party isn’t new. But when money from Jewish businessmen was raised by Lord Levy and given to Blair to run his private office when Blair became leader of the party, the Israeli lobby achieved a new prominence; for their money enabled Blair to become financially independent of the Labour Party. And so Jewish money enabled Blair to form his little clique within the Labour Party and carry on with Mrs Thatcher’s project of destroying it.
A big supporter of the Labour Friends of Israel, Blair has since repaid the money he received by supporting the American invasion of Iraq; and has been repaid, in turn, with his ‘job’ trying to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for ‘the Quartet’. Taking over a floor in the best hotel in Tel Aviv, Blair has been doing . . .  who knows? At any rate he has yet to visit the Palestinian sections of Israel. But this is hardly a surprise, for the one thing a pro-Israeli politician like Blair cannot do is face the reality of Israeli policy. Blair and his ilk are simply unable to acknowledge that the Israelis’ policy is simply and openly to squeeze the Palestinians out of Israel: land seizures, the security wall, blockades of the enclaves etc etc – slow-motion ethnic cleansing: inch-by-inch, steps too small to make it impossible for American politicians to support them; but ethnic cleansing nonetheless. Given that Blair cannot deal with reality, what chance does he have of solving the conflict? Meanwhile the Israelis will continue talking vaguely of the ‘two state’ solution to appear reasonable to ‘international public opinion’ while slowly pushing the Palestinians into the sea.

Leave a Reply