BBC journalist deletes tweet about UK’s ‘corrupt’ relationship with Israel
From Middle East Monitor, 10 Nov. A prominent BBC journalist has deleted a tweet in which a senior Conservative MP can be seen complaining about the British media turning a blind eye to the corrupt relationship that has allowed Israel to “buy access” in Westminster.
The tweet was posted by the BBC’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg on Wednesday while the Scottish journalist was covering the build up to the resignation of Priti Patel. The Secretary of State for International Development had taken part in undisclosed meetings in Israel organised by the powerful Conservative Friends of Israel lobby (CFI) last summer.
Kuenssberg’s Twitter posts on the day were full of tweets on the Patel story including comments about Number 10 denying the allegation made by the Jewish Chronicle that Prime Minster Theresa May had been made aware of the 12 meetings Patel had had during her “family holiday” in Israel.
In her deleted tweet, which MEMO has been able to grab as a screenshot, Kuenssberg reported a comment made by a “senior” Tory MP who, enraged by the debacle, called for Lord Polak, honorary president of CFI and the person thought to be behind Patel’s Israel trip, to be sacked.
“Strong words,” tweeted Kuenssberg, “Senior Tory says Lord Polak should be chucked out of the party, claiming ‘the entire apparatus has turned a blind eye to a corrupt relationship that allows a country to buy access’.”
MEMO contacted Kuenssberg to ask why she had deleted the tweet but has not received a reply from the journalist.
The BBC has often been accused of pro-Israel bias and it would appear that this was yet another example of the broadcaster censoring criticism of Israel or senior BBC journalists enforcing self-censorship when it comes to Israel.
While it’s not absolutely clear what the senior Tory meant by the “entire apparatus”, it would appear that the concerns raised by the Conservative politician echo similar complaints made by Israel’s critics over the influence of CFI and other pro-Israeli lobby groups on the entire British establishment including the media.
Kuenssberg’s decision to delete the tweet it seems is further proof that the “entire apparatus” is reluctant to shed light on the “corrupt relationship” between the UK and Israel, which critics say is the reason why the BBC and other media corporations have turned a blind eye, and allowed Israel through the CFI and organisations like the Labour Friends of Israel to “buy access”.
Photo: BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg [Policy Exchnage/Flickr]