British ex-minister claim 'Israeli control' of UK foreign affairs

British ex-minister claim 'Israeli control' of UK foreign affairs
Former British Foreign Secretary Alan Duncan revealed in his recently published memories the extent of Israeli influence over UK diplomacy.
2 min read
06 June, 2021
Duncan said the smear campaign against him was merely because he believed in Palestinian rights [Getty Images]

Former British minister Alan Duncan has revealed the extent of Israeli influence on the UK’s diplomacy in his recently published memoirs, claiming a pro-Israel lobby wanted to "destroy" him.

The report, published by the Daily Maverick, considered that Duncan's memoirs, released in April, provide "an unprecedented view of the influence of the Israeli government and pro-Israel lobby groups on the British Foreign Office".

Duncan, a Conservative MP, served as the UK's minister of state for international development between 2010 and 2014 and minister of state for Europe and the Americas between 2016 and 2016.

He revealed in his diaries, entitled 'In the Thick of It: The Private Diaries of a Minister', that Israel "succeeded in preventing Prime Minister Boris Johnson from appointing him" as minister of the Middle East at the foreign ministry due to his views on the situation for Palestinians.

Al Jazeera had contacted Duncan early 2017 to inform him of its investigation into the impact of Israel’s influence on British policy, which included information relating to him personally.

Duncan also revealed that the network owned footage of diplomats from the Israeli embassy in London "collaborating with MPs from both the Labour and Conservative (parties) on Israel," adding that Israeli diplomatic Shai Masot wanted him "destroyed" so that he never becomes foreign secretary.

In July 2016, the former minister wrote: "All seems clear and agreed that I will be minister for the Middle East, as expected. Permanent Under-Secretary Simon McDonald called to say it's all been agreed, and he would recommend it to the foreign secretary."

He says this angered the Conservative Friends of Israel lobby group, adding that Johnson had told him the CFI were "going ballistic".

The CFI is a powerful lobbying group in London, which does not reveal its source of funding, but claims that 80% of Conservative parliamentarians are members of it, according to the Daily Maverick report.

"Whereas they pretend to believe in two parallel states, it’s quite clear that they don’t, and so set out to destroy all genuine advocates for Palestine," Duncan wrote, and concluded by saying: "They just want to belittle and subjugate the Palestinians.

"The CFI and the Israelis think they control the Foreign Office. And they do!’” 


Editor's Note: This article has been edited to correct an error that stated Duncan "served as foreign secretary between 2016 and 2019". He was in fact the UK's minister of state for Europe and the Americas during this period.