Boris Johnson has become Prime Minister of Great Britain and has now assigned Priti Patel as UK Home Secretary. Media outlets, social media and of course anti-Semitic Israel haters are smearing her name with information about her past “secret” meetings with Israel.
The truth, however, is that Priti Patel helped stop British taxpayer money going to Palestinian terrorism, she strengthened Britain’s relationship with Israel and visited an IDF field hospital that helped wounded Syrian civilians. Because of this, the anti-Israel lobby wanted her gone and used a technicality to oust her whilst smearing Israel’s at the same time. Her appointment today is vindication.
Here is the truth:
In 2017, PriPriti Patel resigned from her position as the International Development Secretary after it emerged she held unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials.
At the time, we argued that anti-Israel attitudes, and indeed, anti-Semitic attitudes, were at the heart of the outrage surrounding her dealings with Israel. Patel was a prime target of the anti-Israel lobby, including key Labour figures, since she took active steps to limit the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) funding of terrorism. They made it clear they wanted her out long before it happened and they managed to get her on a technicality whilst smearing Israel, a win-win for the anti-Semites.
Why did they hate her so much? Well, in late 2016, Priti Patel ordered a freeze on the Department for International Development (DFID) funding to the Palestinians and ordered an investigation to take place. Why? Because the Palestinian Authority has long been paying money to terrorists and openly admitting to the practice. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas even vowed he will never stop.
The UK gives millions of pounds each year to the Palestinians and the result of the investigation changed how Britain’s aid was given in the future. Consequently, Britain’s aid now focuses “solely on vital health and education services”. The PA can no longer do as it pleases with the money. This is a good thing.
On the Monday before her resignation, Patel issued a statement to clarify the situation of her unauthorised meetings. Along with her explanation, she listed the meetings she made while in Israel and apologised for not informing the Foreign Office beforehand. Theresa May accepted the apology and because “no damage had been done”, the issue should have been over.
However, the media, opposition politicians and anti-Israel lobbyists created mass hysteria about the situation. It is worth questioning if this was a country other than Israel, would the criticism have been the same?
Sir @EricPickles on Priti Patel: "I cannot imagine there would be this kind of fuss if she had met various people of influence in Belgium, if that is not a contradiction in terms"
— John Stevens (@johnestevens) November 8, 2017
Phrases such as, “secret meetings with Israel” and “dealings with a foreign power” were used to paint Israel some sort of rogue state and that the meetings had sinister motives. There were even accusations that Patel was a “double agent”. It is important to point out that Israel is our closest ally in the Middle East. The intelligence-sharing relationship between Israel and the UK is one of the closest partnerships in the world today, and there are few more reliable allies we have than Israel.
Despite this, back in 2017 (and even today), media outlets are choosing to push this warped narrative. This is disappointing, especially since of the biggest anti-Semitic conspiracy theories around is that “Jews control the world”. Whether they realise it or not, they are playing into this anti-Semitic sentiment held by too many on the Left of British politics.
To be clear, these meetings were not sinister and they were not “secret“.
Patel’s meetings were made public on Social Media, with tweets and Facebook posts containing pictures of Ms Patel meeting with the various Israeli charities and ministers. Ms Patel was accompanied by Lord Polak, the chair of Conservative Friends of Israel, in almost all the meetings and he is pictured alongside her several times. The only mistake Ms Patel made was that she didn’t follow protocol and inform the Foreign Office before she had the meetings. If she had done that, these meetings would not have come under scrutiny.
Great to meet with Priti Patel, UK Secretary of State for International Development, today. A true friend of Israel. pic.twitter.com/8q9qSeX7YZ
— יאיר לפיד Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) August 24, 2017
One of the visits Ms Patel made has been particularly distorted. Patel visited a military facility in the Golan Heights where Israel treated thousands of wounded Syrians – men, women and children – who have been injured in the catastrophic Syrian Civil War.
Unfortunately, Israel’s valiant effort to help wounded civilians in Syria has been twisted by those who hate Israel, suggesting Israel has an ulteria motive. They are allowing their hatred to cloud the reality that Israel is helping more Syrian civilians than any other country in the region.
Priti Patel was visiting the IDF field hospital to see if Britain could help Israel treat Syrian civilians. The media were keen to remind us that British aid could not be given because Israel was treating these wounded people in the Golan Heights, an area that is considered to be “occupied territory” by our government.
Other meetings Ms Patel had been for development cooperation between Israel and Britain and how they could work together to help needy people in various countries around the world. These are efforts that would bring about real change for needy people. However, the Israel haters simply don’t care. They only care about smearing Israel and anyone who supports Israel.
To prove how “secret” these “secret meetings” were, one took place in the “secret” location of the Houses of Parliament.
Patel even posed for a picture on social media. You can see it is taken on the grounds of Parliament with the London Eye in the background. It is hardly a “secret” when it happens in a place that all other politicians can see them and is posted to social media. And if it was so sinister, why are those two British police officers in the background not taking action?
All of Patel’s meetings had good intentions and were with Israel, Britain’s cherished ally. The only mistake Priti Patel made was that she did not inform the Foreign Office (although some reports suggest that they were aware of some of the meetings). And this technicality was pounced on by the anti-Israel lobby, who whipped up the media into a furore.
It is intriguing how Priti Patel’s meetings were subject to such hostile and obsessive coverage when, in the week before Patel’s resignation, the media was silent when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was the keynote speaker of MEND, a radical Islamic group that is “actively working against British counter-terrorism measures” and even sent a video message to the anti-Balfour protesters. This, surely, should have been more dangerous to our nation and of much higher concern for the British public, yet we heard nothing.
As one commentator pointed out, “They are baying for Priti Patel’s blood, you’d think she did something really bad, like defend the IRA or call Hamas and Hezbollah her friends”.
It is shameful that sections of our media have fuelled this anti-Semitic sentiment and it is disappointing that Priti Patel was forced to resign under these circumstances with what appeared to be very little support from her own Government at the time. Fortunately, it now seems this wrong has been corrected and her new position as Home Secretary in Boris Johnson’s government is indeed a promotion.
Priti Patel is a true friend of Israel and we pray for wisdom and favour for her in this new role.