It used to be considered that the phrase ‘Israel lobby’ was considered too hot to mention in the US media. The activities of the Israel lobby in the US, once also considered an untouchable topic, are now being reported on more openly. Aida Chavez and Ryan Grim at The Intercept write about what happened when Al Jazeera sent reporters undercover to expose the workings of the lobby both in the UK and in the US. The Israeli government complained to the UK media watchdog, which cleared Al Jazeera of all the charges.
BRITAIN’S BROADCASTING REGULATOR on Monday concluded that Al Jazeera did not violate any rules in its controversial undercover investigation exposing the Israeli embassy’s campaign to target British citizens critical of Israel, a campaign that included attempts to destroy the careers of pro-Palestinian British politicians.
Clayton Swisher, director of investigative journalism for the Al Jazeera Media Network, confirmed it on Monday to The Intercept. The goal of the British complaint may partly have been to delay publication of the follow-up American version, he said. “At the very same time [as the London investigation]–and we can safely reveal this now–we had an undercover operative working in tandem in Washington, DC. With this UK verdict and vindication past us, we can soon reveal how the Israel lobby in America works through the eyes of an undercover reporter,” he said.
The four-part series “The Lobby” dug into the Israeli embassy in London, as well as several other pro-Israel lobby groups, and their campaign to “take down” British Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote to Prime Minister Theresa May in January, calling for a probe into Shai Masot, the Israeli Embassy’s then Senior Political Officer. An undercover reporter secretly filmed Masot discussing a plot to “take down” Duncan, which Corbyn described as “improper interference in this country’s democratic process.” Masot resigned shortly after the recordings were made public.
Swisher wouldn’t confirm or deny the identity of the American operative, but he said that with the American political class focused on foreign intervention in the affairs of the United States, now is an appropriate time to run the follow-up investigation. “I hear the US is having problems with foreign interference these days, so I see no reason why the US Establishment won’t take our findings in America as seriously as the British did, unless of course Israel is somehow off limits from that debate,” he said.
Ah, but the US and Israel do not work by a set of general rules but make up rules depending on who the parties are. So while Russian interference in the US political process is considered an unconscionable crime, a blind eye is turned to Israeli interference. And, of course, the US claims the right to intervene in the internal politics of every country on Earth, even including overthrowing their governments.