Politics Theory Other – Hil Aked: The backlash against Palestine solidarity

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Hil Aked joins PTO to talk about their new book, Friends of Israel: The Backlash Against Palestine Solidarity, the first book length treatment of the pro-Israel lobby in Britain.

We talked about the strategies that Israel and pro-Israel organisations in Britain have adopted to deflect criticism of the ongoing occupation and the dispossession of the Palestinian people, and their efforts to undermine the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. Hil explained why they characterise contemporary Zionism as a “social movement from above” and how apartheid-era South Africa was a forerunner for some of the public relations techniques adopted by Israel and its outriders.

We also talked about John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt’s 2007 book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign policy and where Hil’s analysis differs from theirs. We also discussed the pitfalls of writing on this topic at a time of increasing anti-semitism. And finally, we talked about why parliamentary support for Israel was once stronger within the Labour party than the Conservatives, and what the role of the Labour and Conservative friends of Israel groups is today.


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