Britain’s opposition Labour Party has called for an investigation into an "extremely disturbing" plot by an Israeli diplomat against pro-Palestinian MPs.
The party’s foreign affairs spokeswoman, Emily Thornberry, slammed Tel Aviv Sunday after release of a video, in which an Israeli embassy official is heard plotting to “take down” some of UK lawmakers.
"Can I give you some names of MPs (members of Parliament) that I would suggest you take down?"Israeli senior political officer Shai Masot is heard asking Maria Strizzolo, a former aide to a British Conservative lawmaker, at a London restaurant.
The regime initially shrugged off the video, secretly recorded by a journalist for Qatari-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera, but announced later that Masot would finish his mission “shortly.”
The Israeli ambassador to Britain, Mark Regev, also apologized to one of the MPs on the “hit list,” asserting that the matter is considered closed.
The move failed to silence the outraged shadow foreign secretary, who described Masot’s action as “improper interference in our democratic politics.”
“The exposure of an Israeli embassy official discussing how to bring down or discredit a government minister and other MPs because of their views on the Middle East is extremely disturbing,” Thornberry said. “It is simply not good enough for the Foreign Office to say the matter is closed. This is a national security issue.”
The video also provoked anger among some Conservative politicians.
“For years the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) have worked with – even for – the Israeli embassy to promote Israeli policy and thwart UK government policy and the actions of ministers who try to defend Palestinian rights,” wrote a Conservative former minister for the Mail on Sunday anonymously. “Lots of countries try to force their views on others, but what is scandalous in the UK is that instead of resisting it, successive governments have submitted to it, take donors’ money, and allowed Israeli influence-peddling to shape policy and even determine the fate of ministers.”
The former minister further called for a probe into the matter, asserting that “This opaque funding and underhand conduct is a national disgrace and humiliation and must be stamped out.”
The recordings form the basis of four half-hour documentaries that Al Jazeera is to broadcast from January 15.