Secret filming of Shai Masot's indiscretions leads to embassy row


The secret filming of an Israeli embassy employee has led to a major row between pro-Israel groups and diplomats over how an undercover reporter was able to infiltrate private meetings.

Shai Masot was recorded discussing his intention to “take down” British MPs including Sir Alan Duncan, the Foreign Office Minister.

The JC understands senior communal figures had warned the embassy that Mr Masot was regarded as “a liability”, and concerns about his conduct had repeatedly been raised before news of the filming broke last weekend.

“Shai was an idiot,” said one leading Jewish Westminster source.

The first episode of the four-part series, The Lobby, broadcast on Wednesday, focused on young pro-Israel activists working at Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement.

Clips secretly recorded at an LFI event in Parliament and a JLM barbecue showed staff discussing how best to challenge the anti-Israel boycott movement and expressing concerns about Malia Bouattia’s presidency of the National Union of Students.



Further episodes cover the Israeli embassy delegation at last year’s Labour Party conference and allege that antisemitism accusations were been fabricated to attack politicians, aswell as revealing Mr Masot’s comments.

The undercover reporter, using the name “Robin Harrow”, befriended Mr Masot by claiming he was a German-born pro-Israel Labour supporter. The embassy aide then introduced the reporter to figures in London-based pro-Israel groups.

“Robin” gained access to some private meetings and dinners, but is thought to have been largely rebuffed by the organisations.

One senior figure said: “There was something about ‘Robin’ — I didn’t know he was a ****ing Al Jazeera spy, but thankfully we kept our distance.”

In the past month, Al Jazeera contacted the pro-Israel organisations it had filmed with a list of allegations it claimed to be exposing in the programme.

One of the main allegations put to the JLM regarded the employment of Ella Rose as the group’s director. A former Union of Jewish Students president, Ms Rose had also worked as a public affairs officer at the Israeli embassy in London.

Al Jazeera claimed her move to the JLM was a sign of Israel’s “infiltration” into British politics. A source described the allegation as “outlandish”.

UJS said it had a “productive working relationship” with the embassy, but was “of course neither funded nor in any way directed by the Israeli embassy”.

One communal figure said the documentary series revealed an “antisemitic mindset” among those who made it.

The Labour Party did not respond to a request for an explanation of how the undercover reporter had gained security clearance to attend its annual conference in Liverpool last September under a false name.

Applicants — including politicians, journalists and activists — wishing to attend the conference have to provide substantial identity and security details, including passport details.

An Israeli embassy spokesman said: “I cannot comment on internal issues between us and other organisations.”

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