Israel embassy in UK play key role in regime’s lobbying moves
For several years, Israeli politicians have been preparing the ground for blacklisting of Hamas in the UK, Deniz Caner said, adding that the Israeli embassy in London plays a leading role in Israel’s lobbying activities.
The British government on November 19 joined the United States, Canada, and the European Union in fully banning the Gaza-based Palestinian Resistance group, which plays a significant role in defending Palestinian rights against frequent Israeli regime aggression.
London has since 2001 banned the group’s military wing, known as the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, across the UK. The country did the same with the political wing of Hamas last week.
This UK move of blacklisting Hamas has drawn many condemnations in the region.
To shed light on the issue, we reached out to Turkish researcher and expert Deniz Caner.
How do you assess the influence of the Zionist lobby in the British government’s move in introducing Hamas as a terrorist?
In fact, the Israeli Embassy in London plays a leading role in Israel’s lobbying activities. For several years, Israeli politicians have been preparing the ground for blacklisting Hamas in UK.
The UK’s decision comes a week after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett asked his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, at the UN climate summit in Glasgow, to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Following this request, British Home Secretary Priti Patel made a visit to Washington and announced that this decision has been taken.
Everyone witnessed that the UK, on the one hand, did not withhold its humanitarian aid to Palestine through Department for International Development (DFID), on the other hand, it revealed a double-standard and ambivalent policy towards the Palestinian issue.
Hamas has been one of the most influential movements in the failure of the project to normalize relations with the Israeli regime. Will the decision of the British government affect the dynamism of this movement in preserving the Palestinian cause?
First of all, the efforts of British Home Secretary Priti Patel in bringing Hamas blacklisting to the agenda should not be overlooked.
While she was International Development Secretary in 2017, she met with high-ranking Israeli officials who came to the UK for summer vacation without informing his own government, and Patel’s pro-Israel policy cannot be ignored.
In October 2016, she called for a review of the funding process, and after due diligence, Patel temporarily blocked about one-third of British aid to the Palestinians.
Patel was critical of DFID’s decision to invest in Palestine, and in October 2016 called for a review in financing Palestine and finally froze about a third of UK aid to the Palestinians.
Considering that Patel took many steps against Palestine even though she was not yet the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, it would not be wrong to say that she personally contributed to this decision.
To what extent do you consider the prevention of the growing trend of supporting the Palestinian cause in the United Kingdom to be influential in the decision of the British government?
From time to time, we witness that some people in the UK stage many protests in support of the Palestinians’ right to resist and struggle for their freedom and independence.
In addition, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) provides funds to support the Palestinian territories through UN agencies and the Palestinian National Authority.
Conscientious politicians in the UK are also making efforts on this issue. For example, Emily Thornberry, who is a member of the Labour Party, calls on her country to recognize Palestine.
However, these voices remain ineffective because of the dominant Israel lobby in the UK government.