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Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
Oren Ben-Dor amongst signatories attacking the Israel Loby

http://www.unobserver.com/index.php?pagina=layout5.php&id=4309&blz=1

 U.K. 'SLEAZE COMMITTEE' INFILTRATED BY 'FRIENDS OF ISRAEL' REFUSES TO INVESTIGATE LOBBY

2008-01-21 | But campaigners insist they go ahead, saying "New chairman is off to a bad start". Parliamentary sleaze watchdog the Committee on Standards in Public Life initially turned down a request by a group of 20 top academics, surgeons and others to investigate the influence of Israel lobby groups like Friends of Israel at the heart of British government. The submission, addressed to the Committee's new chairman Sir Christopher Kelly, was rejected in a note from an administrator on the grounds that it was "a matter of general policy for others" but admitted that the remit of the body she suggested (the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards) did not fit the circumstances. The three main political parties in the UK each have a 'Friends of Israel' lobby group that ensures pro-Israel members are embedded at all key levels in Parliament and government. For example, the Foreign Office minister responsible for the Middle East is a former chairman of Labour Friends of Israel. His opposition 'shadow' is a member of Conservative Friends of Israel. Campaigners argue that this paralyses the government when it comes to taking a principled stance on issues such as Israel's vicious and unlawful blockade of Gaza, which is taking the lives of many innocent civilians and children. The group is adamant that the Israel lobby falls squarely within the Standards Committee’s remit. "The man in the street is entitled to look at the Seven Principles of Public Life and say that the activities of lobbies like Friends of Israel are against the declared intentions of the Principles both in word and spirit. Otherwise what is the purpose of having them enshrined in the Committee's constitution?" They have pushed it back to Sir Christopher insisting that the case be put before the Committee for proper
consideration. The claim of undue influence is causing embarrassment in Westminster because the watchdog Committee has itself been infiltrated by Friends of Israel. The pro-lobby media are already disturbed. The Jewish Chronicle, for example, reports a "smear" on Isreal lobby MPs, one of whom suggests that if the Committee fails to investigate it might be accused of being part of a Jewish conspiracy. The director of Conservative Friends of Israel, a would-be MP, confidently predicts there will be no
investigation, his cocksure posture leading one to suppose that he and his like are a protected species within the Westminster village (see
http://www.thejc.com/home.aspx?ParentId=m11&SecId=11&AId=57452&ATypeId=1 ). Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox makes the group's case for them. He is quoted on the CFoI website as saying: "...We must remember that in the battle for the values that we stand for, for
democracy against theocracy, for democratic liberal values against repression - Israel’s enemies are our enemies and this is a battle in which we all stand together or we will all fall divided.” Spokesman for the group is David Halpin, a trauma surgeon who last year led a team of 7 UK doctors to Gaza. He said: "Dr Fox presumably speaks for all Friends of Israel in the party that hopes to form the next government. The group includes the party leader and future prime minister and many on the front bench. He would have Parliament and the public believe that Israel's enemy, Iran, must become Britain's enemy. Such dangerous and irresponsible nonsense could lead this country to disaster. "Claims that the Israel lobby’s activities are transparent are untrue since seldom, if ever, do its members declare an interest when speaking or writing about the Middle East. That is unacceptable in the 'Mother of Parliaments'." Stuart Littlewood, who was in Gaza two months ago, said: "The Israel lobby is embedded in the parties and in government. It blows the Principles of Public Life - integrity, honesty, accountability and so on - to
smithereens. The Standards Committee is supposed to uphold those
Principles. I'm afraid its new chairman is off to a bad start." The group say that British people should not have to tolerate dual allegiance in their Parliament and Government, since obviously it puts national security at risk. They quote one peer who wrote: “I ask over and over again why Israel is allowed to get away with breaking International Law and the answer is silence from the government… they are afraid of the Israel Lobby who label anyone who speaks out as anti-Semitic and withdraw their support.” -ends- More from David Halpin (44) (0)1364 661115 or Stuart Littlewood 44 (0)1760 755349. Note (1) The Seven Principles of Public Life The Committee has set out ‘Seven Principles of Public Life’ which it believes should apply to all in the public service. These are:
Selflessness Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their family or their friends. Integrity Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties. Objectivity In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit. Accountability Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is
appropriate to their office. Openness Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands. Honesty Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest. Leadership Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example. Note (2) Text of letter....... 21 January 2008 Dear Sir Christopher, The Israel Lobby Twenty signatories, mostly senior professionals, took the trouble to write to you on 9 January in furtherance of a submission, on 19 December, about the undue influence of the Israel lobby at the heart of British government. They expect the courtesy of a personal reply, please, rather than a dismissive note from your administrator. It had already been made clear that we are not asking the Committee to investigate individual cases, or specific allegations of misconduct, so to be told yet again that the Committee is precluded from doing so is perplexing. You are now saying the subject is a matter of general policy for others but admit that the remit of the body you suggest (the Parliamentary Commissioner for
Standards) does not fit the circumstances. It is plain to us that the matter falls squarely within the Standards Committee’s remit. The man in the street is entitled to look at the Seven Principles and say that the activities of lobbies like Friends of Israel are against the declared intentions of the Principles both in word and spirit. Otherwise what is the purpose of having them enshrined in the Committee's constitution? The lobby media are already disturbed. The Jewish Chronicle, for example, reports a "smear" on Isreal lobby MPs, one of whom suggests that if the Committee fails to investigate it might be accused of being part of a Jewish conspiracy. The director of Conservative Friends of Israel, a would-be MP, confidently predicts there will be no investigation, his cocksure posture leading one to suppose that he and his like are a protected species within the Westminster village (see
http://www.thejc.com/home.aspx?ParentId=m11&SecId=11&AId=57452&ATypeId=1 ). Moreover, claims that the lobby’s activities are transparent are untrue since seldom, if ever, do its members declare an interest when speaking or writing about the Middle East. This is an unacceptable state of affairs in the ‘Mother of Parliaments’. The aim of Friends of Israel is to promote the interests of Israel and its government, which is racist in its treatment of its own Arab population, the Palestinians and the Bedouin. MPs who align themselves with Israel are not acting in the public interest of the UK but against our own anti-racist laws. Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox proves the point. He is quoted on the CFoI website as saying: "...We must remember that in the battle for the values that we stand for, for democracy against theocracy, for democratic liberal values against repression - Israel’s enemies are our enemies and this is a battle in which we all stand together or we will all fall divided.” He presumably speaks for all Friends of Israel in the party that hopes to form the next government. The group includes the party leader and future prime minister and many on the front bench. Dr Fox would have Parliament and public believe that Israel's enemy, Iran, must become Britain's enemy - dangerous and irresponsible nonsense which could lead this country to disaster. The Israel lobby and associated Friends of Israel groups, in supporting a racist regime with racist policies in contravention of international law and human rights, are a disgrace to Parliament and an insult to the people whose Parliamentary democracy this is. We note that they even use the House of Commons logo when advertising for officers. Furthermore the British people should not have to tolerate dual allegiance in their Parliament and Government, since obviously it puts national security at risk. As one peer wrote: “I ask over and over again why Israel is allowed to get away with breaking International Law and the answer is silence from the government… they are afraid of the Israel Lobby who label anyone who speaks out as anti-Semitic and withdraw their support.” The subject for investigation has little or nothing to do with the Jewish community in Britain. It is about the activities of the Israel lobby – groups of political activists and MPs who are, for the most part, non-Jews. It is disturbing to see their support of a racist, foreign government, which is also in defiance of numerous United Nations resolutions, so high on their agenda within the sovereign government they represent. The Committee’s job is to "make recommendations as to any changes in present arrangements which might be required to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life." Accordingly we insist, please, that our case is put before the Committee for proper consideration. For truth and justice,
(Signatories) Mona Baker, Professor of Translation Studies, BA, MA, DSc Sally FitzHarris, MA (Oxon) Karl Sabbagh, writer Sara T A Wood, MA (Oxon) Derek Summerfield, Hon Senior Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College and Teaching Associate, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford David Halpin, MB, BSc, FRCS, Stuart Littlewood, BA, MInstM Martin Birnstingl, MS FRCS, previously senior surgeon at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London Felicity Arbuthnot, Hon PhD Rich Wiles, Artist
Dr.C.J.Burns-Cox, MD, FRCP Dr Nur Masalha, Reader in Religion and Politics and Editor of Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal David Seddon, MA PhD Professorial Fellow, University of East Anglia Robert Shearer, MB BS FRCS, Consultant Urological Surgeon (retd) Medical Director, Royal Marsden Hospital, London 1994-2000. James Goddard, MBE and Tricia Goddard Sue Fanous, BSc, MA Colin Imber, formerly Reader in Turkish Studies, University of Manchester Mary Bedforth Oren Ben-Dor, Lecturer in law, School of Law, Southampton University Dr Andrew Rouse, MB, BS MPH, FFPHM, Consultant in Public Health, Heart of Birmingham Primary Care Trust 

 

 

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