There is no starker proof of the golden chains
in which Israel has entangled the British political
class, than the incredible fact that “diplomat” Shai
Masot has not been expelled for secretly conspiring to
influence British politics by attacking Britain’s Deputy
Foreign Minister, suggesting that he might be brought
down by “a little scandal”. It is incredible by any
normal standards of diplomatic behaviour that immediate
action was not taken against Masot for actions which
when revealed any professional diplomat would normally
expect to result in being “PNG’d” – declared persona
Obama has just expelled 35 Russian diplomats for
precisely the same offence, with the exception that in
the Russian case there is absolutely zero hard evidence,
whereas in the Masot case there is irrefutable evidence
on which to act.
To compare the two cases is telling. Al Jazeera
should be congratulated on their investigation, which
shames the British corporate and state media who would
never have carried out such actual journalism. By
contrast, the British media has parroted without the
slightest scrutiny the truly pathetic Obama camp claims
of Russian interference, evidently without reading them.
When I was sent the latest
“intelligence report” on Russian hacking a couple of
evenings ago, I quite genuinely for several minutes
thought it was a spoof by the Daily Mash or similar,
parodying the kind of ludicrous claims that kept being
advanced with zero evidence. I do implore you to read
it, as when you realise it is supposed to be serious it
becomes still more hilarious.
The existence of a natural preference in Russia to
see a US President who does not want to start World War
III is quoted as itself evidence that Russia interfered,
just as the fact that I could do with some more money is
evidence I robbed a bank. The fact that Russia did not
criticise the electoral process after the result is
somehow evidence that Putin personally ordered electoral
hacking. Oh, and the fact that Russia Today once hosted
a programme critical of fracking is evidence of a
Russian plot to destroy the US economy. Please do read
it, I promise you will be laughing for weeks.
In passing, allow me to destroy quickly the “we have
smoking gun evidence but it’s too secret to show you”
argument. Given the Snowden revelations and the
whistleblowing of the former NSA Technical Director Bill
Binney, for the US government to claim to be hiding the
fact that it can tack all electronic traffic in the USA
is risible. This is like saying we can’t give you the
evidence in case the Russians find out the sky is blue.
If there were hacks, the NSA could identify the precise
hack transmitting the precise information out of
Washington. Everybody knows that. There were no hacks so
there is no evidence. End of argument. They are internal
The two stories – Russian interference in US
politics, Israeli interference in UK politics – also
link because the New York Times claims that it was the
British that first suggested to the Obama administration
that Russian cyber activity was targeting Clinton.
Director of Cyber Security and Information Assurance in
the British Cabinet Office is Matthew Gould, the UK’s
former openly and strongly pro-Zionist Ambassador to
Israel and friend of the current Israeli Ambassador Mark
Regev. While Private Secretary to David Miliband and
William Hague, and then while Ambassador to Israel,
Regev held eight secret meetings with Adam Werritty, on
at least one occasion with Mossad present and on most
occasions also with now minister Liam Fox. My Freedom of
Information requests for minutes of these meetings
brought the reply that they were not minuted, and my
Freedom of Information request for the diary entries for
these meetings brought me three pages each containing
only the date, with everything else redacted.
I managed to get the information about the
Gould/Werritty meetings as a result of relentless
questioning, where I was kindly assisted by MPs
including Jeremy Corbyn, Caroline Lucas and Paul Flynn.
The woman with whom Shai Masot was conniving to
undermine Alan Duncan, was Maria Strizzolo, who works
for Tory Minister Robert Halfon. It was Halfon who
repeatedly tried to obstruct Paul Flynn MP from asking
questions of Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell that
threatened to get to the heart of the real Adam Werritty
Both Robert Halfon and Adam Werrity
received funding from precisely the same Israeli
sources, and in particular from Mr Poju Zabludowicz.
Halfon also formerly had a full time paid job as
Political Director of the Conservative Friends of
Israel. Halfon’s assistant is now caught conspiring with
the Israeli Embassy to attack another Tory minister.
House of Commons Publc Admininstration
Q Paul Flynn: Okay. Matthew
Gould has been the subject of a very serious
complaint from two of my constituents, Pippa
Bartolotti and Joyce Giblin. When they were briefly
imprisoned in Israel, they met the ambassador, and
they strongly believe—it is nothing to do with this
case at all—that he was serving the interest of the
Israeli Government, and not the interests of two
British citizens. This has been the subject of
In your report, you suggest that there were two
meetings between the ambassador and Werritty and
Liam Fox. Questions and letters have proved that, in
fact, six such meetings took place. There are a
number of issues around this. I do not normally fall
for conspiracy theories, but the ambassador has
proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has
previously served in Iran, in the service. Werritty
is a self-proclaimed—
Robert Halfon: Point of order,
Chairman. What is the point of this?
Paul Flynn:> Let me get to it. Werritty is a
self-proclaimed expert on Iran.
Chair:> I have to take a point of order.
Robert Halfon:> Mr Flynn is implying that the
British ambassador to Israel is working for a
foreign power, which is out of order.
Paul Flynn:> I quote the Daily Mail: “Mr Werritty
is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran and has made
several visits. He has also met senior Israeli
officials, leading to accusations”—not from me, from
the Daily Mail—“that he was close to the country’s
secret service, Mossad.” There may be nothing in
that, but that appeared in a national newspaper.
Chair:> I am going to rule on a point of order.
Mr Flynn has made it clear that there may be nothing
in these allegations, but it is important to have
put it on the record. Be careful how you phrase
Paul Flynn:> Indeed. The two worst decisions
taken by Parliament in my 25 years were the invasion
of Iraq—joining Bush’s war in Iraq—and the invasion
of Helmand province. We know now that there were
things going on in the background while that built
up to these mistakes. The charge in this case is
that Werritty was the servant of neo-con people in
America, who take an aggressive view on Iran. They
want to foment a war in Iran in the same way as in
the early years, there was another—
Chair:> Order. I must ask you to move to a
question that is relevant to the inquiry.
Q Paul Flynn:> Okay. The question is, are you
satisfied that you missed out on the extra four
meetings that took place, and does this not mean
that those meetings should have been investigated
because of the nature of Mr Werritty’s interests?
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I think if you look at some
of those meetings, some people are referring to
meetings that took place before the election.
Q Paul Flynn:> Indeed, which is even more
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I am afraid they were not the
subject—what members of the Opposition do is not
something that the Cabinet Secretary should look
into. It is not relevant.
But these meetings were held—
Chair:> Mr Flynn, would you let him answer
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I really do not think that
was within my context, because they were not
Ministers of the Government and what they were up to
was not something I should get into at all.
Chair:> Final question, Mr Flynn.
Q Paul Flynn:> No, it is not a final question. I
am not going to be silenced by you, Chairman; I have
important things to raise. I have stayed silent
throughout this meeting so far.
You state in the report—on the meeting held
between Gould, Fox and Werritty, on 6 February, in
Tel Aviv—that there was a general discussion of
international affairs over a private dinner with
senior Israelis. The UK ambassador was present. Are
you following the line taken by the Secretary of
State for Communities and Local Government who says
that he can eat with lobbyists or people applying to
his Department because, on occasions, he eats
privately, and on other occasions he eats
ministerially? Are you accepting the idea? It is
possibly a source of great national interest—the
eating habits of their Secretary of State. It
appears that he might well have a number of
stomachs, it has been suggested, if he can divide
his time this way. It does seem to be a way of
getting round the ministerial code, if people can
announce that what they are doing is private rather
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> The important point here was
that, when the Secretary of State had that meeting,
he had an official with him—namely, in this case,
the ambassador. That is very important, and I should
stress that I would expect our ambassador in Israel
to have contact with Mossad. That will be part of
his job. It is totally natural, and I do not think
that you should infer anything from that about the
individual’s biases. That is what ambassadors do.
Our ambassador in Pakistan will have exactly the
same set of wide contacts.
Q Paul Flynn:> I have good reason, as I said,
from constituency matters, to be unhappy about the
ambassador. Other criticisms have been made about
the ambassador; he is unique in some ways in the
role he is performing. There have been suggestions
that he is too close to a foreign power.
Robert Halfon:> On a point of order, Chair, this
is not about the ambassador to Israel. This is
supposed to be about the Werritty affair.
Paul Flynn:> It is absolutely crucial to this
report. If neo-cons such as yourself, Robert, are
plotting a war in Iran, we should know about it.
Chair:> Order. I think the line of questioning is
very involved. I have given you quite a lot of time,
Mr Flynn. If you have further inquiries to make of
this, they could be pursued in correspondence. May I
ask you to ask one final question before we move on?
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> One thing I would stress: we
are talking about the ambassador and I think he has
a right of reply. Mr Chairman, I know there is an
interesting question of words regarding Head of the
Civil Service versus Head of the Home Civil Service,
but this is the Diplomatic Service, not the Civil
Q Chair:> So he is not in your jurisdiction at
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> No.
Q Paul Flynn:> But you are happy that your report
is final; it does not need to go the manager it
would have gone to originally, and that is the end
of the affair. Is that your view?
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> As I said, some issues arose
where I wanted to be sure that what the Secretary of
State was doing had been discussed with the Foreign
Secretary. I felt reassured by what the Foreign
Secretary told me.
Q Chair:> I think what Mr Flynn is asking is that
your report and the affair raise other issues, but
you are saying that that does not fall within the
remit of your report and that, indeed, the conduct
of an ambassador does not fall within your remit at
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> That is absolutely correct.
Paul Flynn:> The charge laid by Lord Turnbull in
his evidence with regard to Dr Fox and the
ministerial code was his failure to observe
collective responsibility, in that case about Sri
Lanka. Isn’t the same charge there about our
policies to Iran and Israel?
Chair:> We have dealt with that, Mr Flynn.
Paul Flynn:> We haven’t dealt with it as far as
Chair:> Mr Flynn, we are moving on.
Paul Flynn:> You may well move on, but I remain
very unhappy about the fact that you will not allow
me to finish the questioning I wanted to give on a
matter of great importance.
It is shocking but true that Robert Halfon MP, who
disrupted Flynn with repeated points of order,
receives funding from precisely the same Israeli
sources as Werritty, and in particular from Mr Poju
Zabludowicz. He also formerly had a full time paid job
as Political Director of the Conservative Friends of
Israel. It is not surprising that Shai Masot evidently
views Halfon as a useful tool for attacking senior
pro-Palestinian members of his own party.
But despite the evasiveness of O’Donnell and the
obstruction of paid zionist puppet Halfon, O’Donnell
confirmed vital parts of
my investigation. In particular he agreed that the
Fox-Werritty-Gould “private dinner” in Tel Aviv was with
Mossad, and that Gould met Werritty many times more than
the twice that O’Donnell listed in his “investigation”
into the Werritty affair. The truth of the Werritty
scandal, hidden comprehensively by the mainstream media,
was that Werritty was inside the UK Ministry of Defence
working for Israel. That is why it was so serious that
Defence Minister Liam Fox had to resign
Of the eight meetings of Fox-Gould-Werritty together
which I discovered, seven were while Fox was Secretary
of State for Defence. Only one was while Fox was in
opposition. But O’Donnell let the cat much further out
of the bag, with the astonishing admission to Paul
Flynn’s above questioning that Gould, Fox and Werritty
held “meetings that took place before the election.” He
also referred to “some of those meetings” as being
before the election. Both are plainly in the plural.
It is evident from the information gained by Paul
Flynn that not only did Fox, Gould and Werritty have at
least seven meetings while Fox was in power – with no
minutes and never another British official present –
they had several meetings while Fox was shadow Foreign
Secretary. O’Donnell was right that what Fox and
Werritty were up to in opposition was not his concern.
But what Gould was doing with them – a senior official –
most definitely was his concern. A senior British
diplomat cannot just hold a series of meetings with the
opposition shadow Defence Secretary and a paid Israeli
All of this underlined the pernicious influence that
Israel has in the political class, which is founded on
the Israeli lobby’s shameless use of cash for influence
– as witnessed in the discussion between Shai Masot and
Labour Firends of Israel and his flaunting of a million.
Attitudes towards the plight of the Palestinians are an
extreme example of the disconnect between public opinion
and the views of the political class, and Al Jazeera
should be congratulated heartily on giving us a peek
No further evidence is required. There could be no
more conclusive evidence of Israel’s undue and
pernicious influence than the astonishing fact that Shai
Masot has not yet been expelled.
Murray is a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, and
was the Rector of the University of Dundee.
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