The Israeli government, not Britain’s pro-Israel lobby, is engaged in an unprecedented push to capture the hearts and minds of the Conservative Party’s younger members. The evidence I present below is not a “Jewish conspiracy theory”, which David Cameron has in recent speeches rightly denigrated as dangerous and factually incorrect speculation. This story is collated mainly from public sources, including direct quotes from those involved with the project.
It should also be said that these arrangements are in many respects akin to the covert influence on British politics exerted by City financiers, soft drinks manufacturers, trade union officials or tobacco lobbyists. Like the corrupting influence of Saudi Arabia, China or Russia on British politics, and given the scale of what is described below, it is high time for the influence of Israel on Westminster politics to be discussed seriously.
Conservative Future is the youth wing of the ruling Conservative Party, and the largest youth political organisation in Britain. It boasts 15,000 members, all aged under thirty and many at university.
Following the visit of 15 Conservative Future members to Israel in June this year, organised by the lobbying group Conservative Friends of Israel, a second, much larger group trip has now been announced. Up to 300 young activists and parliamentary hopefuls are expected to be flown to Israel and courted by the state.
While not all members of Conservative Future will go on to become MPs, it is worth nothing that the number of delegates is almost equal to the number of seats that the Conservative Party currently holds in parliament. It is by far the biggest trip of its kind yet to be organised. The expansion has been agreed on because the June trip was reportedly oversubscribed; around 450 young Conservatives applied for just 15 places.
– Read more: Israel is Making an Unprecedented Push into the Youth Wing of Britain’s Conservative Party – Alastair Sloan, Middle East Monitor