Daily Mail

Daily Mail and Telegraph turn boastful dinner chatter into an “Israeli plot”


Al Jazeera on Sunday published “bombshell footage” covertly filmed in a West London restaurant involving Shai Masot, a political officer at the Israeli embassy, and Maria Strizzola, a civil servant and former aide to Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.

As you can see from the video, and a statement by Ms. Strizzola reported by the Guardian, the dinner was social, she clearly had no idea initially what Masot was referring to and is not currently in a position to exert any influence over Mr. Duncan or anyone of influence.

The boastful chatter, in which Masot fished (unsuccessfully) for information on Sir Alan Duncan, Boris Johnson’s deputy at the Foreign Office, was turned into a something akin to a conspiracy to destroy Mr. Duncan by reports in the British media.

Indeed, despite the fact that Israeli embassy last night issued a formal apology and explained that his employment will end “shortly”, some media outlets framed the story as a dark Israeli “plot” against Duncan – which is quite ironic given that Duncan himself was widely criticised for a 2014 speech which evoked classic anti-Israel conspiracy theories.

As Stephen Pollard, the editor of The Jewish Chronicle, put it, “boastful idiots do not a plot make”.

The worst offenders were the Daily Mail and The Telegraph.  The Daily Mail actually used the term “Israeli plot” in their headline, whilst one Telegraph report included a headline erroneously claiming that the “plot” was hatched by Ambassador Mark Regev himself. 

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11 replies »

  1. An excellent article from Brendan O’Neill
    Covering the scandal the mainstream British media proudly demonstrates it’s antisemitism by speaking about a “secret plot” to take down British democracy based on the words of a bragging embassy employee..
    And the good Owen Jones – the favorite of the Jew hating left: “A foreign power threatening to ‘take down’ elected politicians”. He forgot the long arms of the you know which octopus…

    • peter you are correct that there are those who are using chit-chat during a meal to fashion a stick to beat Israel with.
      Not a surprise, and very soon we can expect our resident conspiracy theorist to come in with a link to his excruciatingly boring blog BumBitersRuS to add his view.

      But one thing struck me about this, the recording took place during a private meal in a restaurant without the knowledge or agreement of two of the participants. In the Human Rights Act 1998 in Article 8, it clearly states that you have the right to “respect for privacy when one has a reasonable expectation of privacy”
      Surely to covertly record, then sneak away like a thief in the night with your illicit recording, during a private meal in a restaurant is a breach of that right?

      • What amazes me is that on the one hand, Israel is powerful enough to influence UK govt policy. On the other, it’s not powerful enough to prevent its dastardly schemes being rumbled by Al-Jazeera #schroedingersconspiracytheory

            • James I am not attempting to highlight anything other than the fact that nobody appears to know what the policy of the UK Government is anymore.
              Not the Civil Servants, not the politicians, and I seriously doubt that the Prime Minister herself knows what the policy is supposed to be from one day to the next.

  2. I’m not familiar with the relevant laws, but I have a feeling that in similar circumstances I would punish this “investigative reporter” myself.

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