Israel Is a Rogue State
By John Wight
January 11, 2017
That Israel is a Rogue State has long been beyond dispute in
In light of the recent revelation that an Israeli official, working for
the country’s embassy in London, was plotting ways to “take down”
various British politicians over their opposition to Israeli
settlements and support for a Palestinian state, it is now becoming
increasingly apparent within the mainstream.
Or at least it should be given that this latest scandal comes as only
the latest exposure of such nefarious activity on the part of a state
that has long operated with scant regard for international law at
home and overseas.
Indeed rather than a state operating in accordance with
international law and diplomatic norms, Israel increasingly evinces
the character of a rogue state making up its own rules and norms as
it goes along.
Whether the on-going illegal military occupation of the West Bank,
the expansion of illegal Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian
land, or the siege of Gaza, which comes under rubric of collective
punishment and is therefore illegal, we are talking here a country
that believes it can act with impunity.
The Israeli official in question in this instance, Shai Masot, was
secretly filmed during a meeting he attended a London restaurant
with a British civil servant and former Conservative Party official,
and a man he thought worked for the pro-Israel pressure group
Labour Friends of Israel.
This individual, known as Robin, was in truth an undercover
reporter with Al Jazeera.
The most high profile object of Masot’s ire within the British
political establishment was Alan Duncan MP, the country’s Minister
of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
In a 2014 speech Duncan described Israel’s on-going policy towards
the Palestinians thus:
“Settlements are illegal colonies built in someone else’s country.
They are an act of theft, and what is more something which is both
initiated and supported by the state of Israel.”
He goes on:
“Settlement activity is not carried out by some minority group
outside the orbit of the Israeli state. Settlement activity is
systematically initiated, implemented and supported by the Israeli
Government, who authorize, implement and protect the relentless
illegal expansion of the borders of Israel. This is reprehensible.”
Duncan then makes the key point that “It is no exaggeration to say
that many settlers are state-supported militia, defying international
law, driving out the rightful inhabitants from their land, and
creating an illegal economy at the expense of those who have been
According to the Israeli embassy in London, Masot was a junior
official. Yet his business card described him as a ‘senior political
officer’. He is also believed to hold a position within the Israel
Defense Forces (IDF) as ‘deputy head of the international
The political backlash in response to the exposure of this shocking
violation of diplomatic protocol has involved the leader of the
Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, calling for a full investigation.
In this he is being supported by MPs from both sides of the political
divide. Corbyn has previously come under huge criticism in the
mainstream media for his long record of support for justice for the
Regardless, the British Government is intent on kicking the issue
into the long grass, more concerned with shielding the Israeli
government from criticism taking a harsh view of the actions of
the agent of another country plotting to “take down” ministers
within Her Majesty’s Government.
Consider the official statement issued by the foreign office
in response to the uncovering of this plot.
“The Israeli ambassador has apologized and is clear these
comments do not reflect the views of the embassy or government
of Israel. The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and
we consider the matter closed.”
If this scandal involved Russian officials does anybody doubt for a
second that mass expulsions of Russian embassy staff would follow?
The Israeli embassy in London has of course distanced itself
from Masot’s actions.
Whether we actually believe their denial of any involvement
in this affair is another matter.
In this regard we should never make the mistake of underestimating
some people’s capacity for naivety.
The fact that Israel is able to engage in these types of shenanigans
and go unpunished or without sanction is impossible to deny.
And when it comes to its UK friend and ally, this is not the first
time its officials and institutions have treated it with contempt.
Back in 2010 Mossad agents used the stolen identities of British
citizens to forge UK passports, which they used to travel to Dubai
to carry out the assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-
The British government’s response was given by the country’s then
foreign secretary David Miliband in the UK parliament, who
described the use of stolen British identities as an “outrage” while
pledging to “get to the bottom” of the incident.
What followed was…well nothing very much. Israel
apologized and that as they say was that.
What this latest incident exposes is the fact there are British
politicians acting as de facto agents for the state of Israel.
For far too long their ignoble role in this regard has gone
unremarked except among pro Palestinian activist circles
or by a few dissenting journalists.
What else is the function of Conservative Friends of Israel or Labour
Friends of Israel if not to cover and justify Israel’s brutal system of
apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and illegal military occupation.
Most recently members of both groups have been active in
attacking BDS in the UK, resulting in the Government introducing
new guidance on the procurement of goods and services by local
authorities and public sector bodies, designed to make it illegal to
stand on the side of justice by boycotting goods and services from
Israel, even Israeli settlements, despite the fact they are utterly
One of the most highly regarded politicians to ever hold the
position of British foreign secretary was Henry John Temple,
more commonly known as Lord Palmerston.
He held the post in the mid 19th century and is best known for an
analysis of a state’s foreign policy that has stood the test of time.
“We have no eternal allies,” Palmerston said, “and we have no
perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and
those interests it is our duty to follow.”
When it comes to the determination of the successive recent British
government to support Israel despite Tel Aviv repeatedly treating it
with unalloyed contempt, who can doubt that Palmerston will be
waiting for some time to come before he can finally stop spinning in