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Posts tagged ‘Eric Pickles’

The untold story: why Priti Patel’s departure is ‘a great loss for Israel’

It is easy enough to understand why an ambitious politician like Priti Patel would have wanted to court Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), described this week by The Jewish Chronicle’s reporter Marcus Dysch as “the biggest lobbying group in Westminster”.

But what about the Israeli government and its allies? Why, in the words of Israeli opposition politician Isaac Herzog, was Patel’s fall from grace a “great loss for Israel”?

True, she looked like future leadership material. But in fact, a more interesting answer lies in the story of how the Department for International Development (DFID) has become a key battle ground for Israel and its Westminster lobbyists, an arena for foreign policy by proxy. Read more

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Shifty antisemitism wars

In 2005, a draft, working definition of antisemitism was circulated by the European Union’s Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). To the dismay of its critics, the document confused genuine antisemitism with criticism of Israel, and was repeatedly, and erroneously, promoted by Israel advocacy groups as the EU definition of antisemitism.

By 2013, the EUMC’s successor body, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), had abandoned the politicised definition as unfit for purpose. Just this week, in response to a motion passed at NUS conference, the FRA explicitly denied having ever adopted the definition. Yet on March 30, Eric Pickles, UK Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues and chair of Conservative Friends of Israel, revived the discredited definition by publishing it on the government’s website. Why? Read more