Is the UK’s pro-Israel lobby starting to lose?

I was pleased to be invited to be August’s guest writer for MEMO, the Middle East Monitor. I was asked to write about the Raed Salah case, so used the opportunity to revist some of the evidence. The focus of the article is what the case taught us about the waning power of the Israel lobby in the UK:

In Palestine solidarity circles the debate around the pro-Israel lobby often focuses on the chicken-or-the-egg problem: are Western governments supportive of Israel because the lobby is so influential, or does the lobby only seem influential because governments are so supportive of Israel?

A focus on this question neglects another, more crucial, aspect of the debate: how can we win? How can the tide be turned against Western governments’ support for Israel?

In April, a Palestinian political and religious leader won an important victory in the British judicial system. Sheikh Raed Salah’s successful appeal against deportation gives us a glimpse of how to answer this question.

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Is the UK’s pro-Israel lobby starting to lose?

  1. The chicken and egg question is not quite as irrelevant as you think. If you think the lobby determines policy, the question is why and that leads you into all the conspiracy stuff and away from the Palestinians. So it is important.

    I have no doubt that ‘the lobby’ is a reflection of existing power relations and interests. The question for us is to dislodge and disrupt those relations, to make it too expensive to continue to support Israel. E.g. a Boycott of Tesco because it has no ethics in terms of buying West Bank i.e. settlement produce and encouragement to shop at the Co-op. A major supermarket chain like this switching would begin to do real damage. So this is not an irrelevant question re the lobby they are dialetically linked.

  2. Asa

    I didn’t say the chicken and egg question was irrelevant, and I do agree the two questions are linked. This article is just an attempt at a different take on things

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