UK Prime Minister Theresa May Rejects Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Call for Probe Into Israeli Political ‘Interference’
JNS.org — United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May has rejected Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s call for an investigation into the reported “improper interference in this country’s democratic process” by Israeli officials.
A government spokesperson said Britain’s relationship with the Jewish state remained “strong,” following Corbyn’s letter to May citing the claims of a controversial four-part documentary by Al Jazeera about the influence of the so-called Israel lobby on UK politics.
Corbyn — whose party has been mired in an antisemitism scandal and dogged by allegations of being anti-Israel — was referring to an undercover reporter’s footage of an Israeli embassy employee, Shai Masot, discussing his intention to “take down” several British politicians, including Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Alan Duncan, and calling Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson an “idiot.”
Masot was fired days after the video was released and the embassy has renounced his statements, with Israel’s ambassador to London, Mark Regev, issuing a direct apology.
But Corbyn said the film revealed “unacceptable” Israeli power that “undermines the integrity” of the UK government. He wrote to May, “I would therefore ask that you treat the matter as such and launch an inquiry into the extent of this improper influence.”
The British premier’s spokesperson said the government “consider[ed] the matter closed.”
Al Jazeera‘s claims have been met with severe criticism by Jewish community leaders, as well as concern by major pro-Israel groups over how an undercover journalist was able to infiltrate private meetings.