“The Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre is an independent research centre producing research and analysis about Israel and the Middle East.”
The quote above, the first sentence on the BICOM website ‘About’ page, was changed from an earlier version:
“The Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre is an independent British organisation dedicated to creating a more supportive environment for Israel in Britain.”
The FAQs on the BICOM website are a deluge of lies, misrepresentations and fraud. The answer to the question ‘Why are there settlements in the West Bank?‘ asserted that
“As Arab states refused to recognise Israel prior to the Six Day War, permanent borders were never fixed.”
BICOM should check with the UN or look at a map.
The answer continued with a claim that
“Most of the settlers in the West Bank went to a small number of large settlement blocs, which are located along the Green Line and around Jerusalem.”
So, the violent expulsion of Palestinians from their lands and the daily destruction of homes of Palestinian people to make way for gated settlements are an invention are they?
The answer to the question ‘How does Israel avoid harming innocent people in conflict?‘ was sickeningly dishonest and shamelessly brutal.
“The IDF considers itself bound by international humanitarian law and makes use of all available measures to distinguish combatants from non-combatants and to act with proportionality. “
“[Before carpet bombing civilian buildings in Gaza the Israeli military] issued widespread warnings to civilians with leaflet drops and telephoned residents of individual buildings to warn them they were going to be targeted.”
“In 2013 Israel announced it was all but stopping the use of white phosphorous, except for a very limited number of specific situations.”
The use of white phosphorus is illegal.
There are many, many questions on the FAQ list and every response is packed with lies and disdain.
The blogs by BICOM contributors are no less far away from any truth. For example, in Ahed Tamimi James Sorene blamed Tamini’s family for the constant attacks on them by the Israeli soldiers.
“From a very young age Ahed was sent out to take part in violent attacks on Israeli soldiers as her parents encouraged her and filmed her. As a young child, she was in no position to consent to being used in this way and the constant filming and grooming to perform violent attacks, is nothing short of abusive.”
Translation: A child objected to soldiers invading her family’s property; she shouted at them and slapped one of them.
BICOM is a British think-tank and it would be antisemitic to suggest that the government of Israel directs BICOM’s philosophy, analysis and commentary.
BICOM’s director Richard Pater “joined BICOM from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, where he spearheaded the engagement with the foreign press. Following the Second Lebanon War, he received the Prime Minister’s prize for excellence. Richard served in the IDF armoured brigade, where he twice received commendations, and continues to serve in the reserves. He regularly briefs British audiences on Israeli politics and security issues.”
BICOM’s Director of Research Calev Ben Dor “worked for several years in the Policy Planning Division of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and additionally as a senior analyst in the National Security team of the Reut Institute, a non-partisan Tel Aviv-based strategy group. Prior to moving to Israel in 2005, Calev worked in the Public Affairs Department of the Israeli Embassy in London.”
Senior visiting fellow Michael Herzog “served as head of the Strategic Planning Division of the IDF and worked with four defence ministers as senior military aide and advisor, and as chief of staff. From June 2009 to March 2010, he served as special emissary for Israel’s prime minister and minister of defence.”
The BICOM website ‘About’ statement concluded with a claim that “BICOM is funded through private UK philanthropy.” Some details to back up that claim would be helpful.
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks
- Institute For Free Trade
- Centre for Policy Studies
- Countryside Alliance
- Policy Network
- Tax-Payers’ Alliance
- Progress Online
- Industry and Parliamentary Trust
- Royal United Services Institute
- Bruges Group
- Human Security Centre
- Freedom Association
- Policy Exchange
- Migration Watch
- Henry Jackson Society
- Institute of Economic Affairs
- Centre for Social Justice
- Adam Smith Institute
- Bow Group
- British Foreign Policy Group
- Legatum Institute
- Due Process
- The Free Speech Union
- Orthodox Conservatives