#NSAfiles — The Israeli connection

My new opinion/analysis piece on the Israeli connection to the revelations about the NSA’s massive internet spying program:

Because these are only rough indicators we are into uncertain territory here, but if Israel has access to PRISM, one would expect a lot more interceptions of Syrian and Palestinian internet traffic.

One possibility is that Israel runs its own version of PRISM, built using very similar technology from companies such as Verint and Narus, presumably snooping mostly on Palestinian, Iranian, Syrian and Lebanese traffic. But if it does have such a system, it is likely to be spying all over the world.

Read the whole thing over at the Middle East Monitor, who will be publishing me more often.

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.