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UK politics fraught with Israel lobby groups

British Parliament

More than eight months of relentless US Israeli bombing of Gaza and as many months of national protests in London have not stopped the UK government's support for Israel. The reasons could be both historical and contemporary.

One argument is that Israel is an imperial outpost, that it provides a landing strip and a whole host of other functions for Western Empire and hegemony, including that of the United Kingdom, in the region.

Another is that there has been a huge operation carried out in imperial capitals, particularly in Washington and London, by the so-called Israel lobby.

Critiquing Israel now has consequences, as former Bristol University professor David Miller knows all too well.

I was a professor of political sociology at the University of Bristol and did a lecture on Islamophobia, where I discussed some of my research on the role of Zionists in pushing and promoting Islamophobia.

Some students complained, there was a long two-and-a-half year process, I was investigated, I was found not guilty.

I was investigated again, I was found not guilty, but they sacked me anyway in October 2021.

 I have been to tribunal. The tribunal said I've been wrongly dismissed, that I had been dismissed because of my anti-Zionist views.

David Miller, Academic

Through years of research, Professor Miller has found the Israel lobby to be extremely powerful in the UK with influence across the political spectrum.

In the UK parliament there are two key groups in the two big parties, Labour and Conservative Friends of Israel they are called, and the conservative one is very influential - something like 80% of Conservative MPs are members.

The Labour one is also very influential. Not so many people, as far as we know, are supporters of it, but it's something which young Labour MPs look to join as soon as they join the Houses of Parliament.

David Miller, Academic

Two examples of that are former foreign minister and current interior minister, James Cleverly, and his predecessor, Suella Braverman

Their first trip as new MPs after the 2015 elections was to Israel and funded by Conservative Friends of Israel.

Labour Friends of Israel, which like the Conservative Friends of Israel doesn't reveal its funders, has a huge number of MPs and Labour Lords as members.

In December last year, Declassified UK revealed that two thirds, 13 of the 31 members of Labour Leader Keir Starmer's Shadow Cabinet, and in fact Starmer himself, had been funded by pro-Israel lobbyists.

So what you have here experts say is a well-oiled machine set up to influence the political class, the members of the British Parliament, to give undying support to Israel, even as it commits genocide against the Palestinians.

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