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Passion Islam I December 2009 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 7
Israel lobby ‘big influence in UK’
A British documentary has alleged that
any future Conservative government
will be disproportionately influenced
by a powerful pro-Israeli lobby in the
Channel 4’s Dispatches
programme last month said that
at least half of the Conservative
shadow cabinet are members of the
Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI),
one of a number of pro-Israel lobby
The prorgramme, entitled ‘Inside
Britain’s Israel Lobby’, said that such
organisations make up “one of the
most powerful and influential political
lobbies in Britain”, but that “little is
known” about these groups and their
associated individuals.
David Cameron, the Conservative Bicom organises briefings on
CFI members and their businesses
leader, is alleged to have promised and trips to Israel for journalists. The
are alleged to have donated more
not to repeat the conjecture. CFI and the Labour Friends of Israel
than $16.8m to the Conservative
The Dispatches documentary also (LFI) group, which is described in the
Party over the past eight years.
claims that Poju Zabludowicz, a Finnish documentary as “less unquestioning
The alleged donations include tens
billionaire and chairman of Bicom (the in its support of the Israeli government
of thousands of pounds to William
British Israel Communications and than CFI”, plays a similar role,
Hague, after he was appointed
Research Centre), gave $25,000 accounting for 13 per cent of the total
shadow foreign secretary in 2005.
and $84,000 donations to Cameron number of paid-for foreign trips for
The documentary alleged that
and the Conservative Central Office MPs and candidates.
Lord Kalm, a CFI member and
respectively. In 2006, Stephen Walt and
significant donor to the Conservatives,
Zabludowicz has a business John Mearsheimer, two American
threatened to remove Hague’s
interest in a shopping centre in academics, released a paper stating
funding after he said that Israel had
Ma’aleh Adumim, an Israeli settlement that Washington’s support for Israel
used “disproportionate” force during in the occupied West Bank deemed was predicated by a hugely powerful
its war in Lebanon in 2006. illegal under international law. Israeli lobby in the US.
Terror suspects win UK court
ruling on secret evidence
Two men suspected of terrorism- was revoked. an Early Day Motion to parliament
related activities won a landmark court Human rights solicitor Gareth Peirce earlier this year, which was signed
ruling against the government’s use of welcomed the court’s “resounding by over 90 MPs, describing the use
secret evidence to deny them bail. no” to the idea that individuals could of secret evidence in UK courts as
Judges at the High Court in be detained on the basis of secret “fundamentally wrong.”
London ruled that a person could not evidence, without recourse to apply In June, Law Lords ruled that
be denied bail solely on the basis of to the high court for judicial review. use of secret evidence to support
secret evidence. Applications should The judges said there is an absolute, imposition of control orders to restrict
be treated the same as control order irreducible minimum of information a suspect’s movements was unfair
cases, where terror suspects must that an individual should have,” said and led to Johnson ordering the
be given sufficient material to enable Pierce, who has been involved in release of a suspect from such an
them to answer the case against many high-profile terrorist cases. order as he did not want to disclose
them. Last month, a petition was launched secret intelligence.
The judgement was hailed by on Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s The European Court of Human
human rights lawyers as a “historic” website to end the use of secret Rights has also ruled that detaining
The ruling was won by a Pakistani evidence against terrorist suspects individuals on the basis of secret
student facing deportation from the and others on the grounds of national evidence is unlawful because
UK, who was refused bail on the basis security to ensure that everyone in the detainees had not been able to
of secret evidence, and an Algerian UK has the right to a fair trial. effectively challenge the allegations
national, known as “U”, whose bail The issue has also been raised in against them.
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