“I saw Jackie Walker on Saturday and thought, you know what, I could take her, she’s like 5’2 and tiny,” Ella Rose unwittingly told an undercover reporter working for Al Jazeera in September.
“That’s why I can take Jackie Walker. Krav Maga training,” she said, referring to the Israeli army hand-to-hand fighting technique. “Yeah. I’m not bad at it. If it came to it I would win, that’s all I really care about.”
Her comments can be seen in episode two of Al Jazeera’s film The Lobby which was broadcast on Thursday evening and can be watched above.
Walker is a long-time anti-Zionist Jewish activist in the UK’s main opposition Labour Party.
The conversation took place only a month after Rose had become director of the Jewish Labour Movement.
The JLM functions as a pro-Israel lobby within the Labour Party; it has promoted a discredited definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel’s state ideology Zionism.
As The Electronic Intifada revealed in September, immediately prior to Rose taking the JLM job, she had worked as an officer at the Israeli embassy.
The Al Jazeera film shows Rose reacting angrily to The Electronic Intifada’s exposure of her embassy employment. Using expletives, she refers to her critics as “anti-Semites, the lot of them.”
Speaking to the undercover reporter, who she knew as pro-Israel activist “Robin,” Rose lashes out in vulgar terms at Asa Winstanley, the author of the article that exposed her embassy role.
“Look, at the end of the day these people are sad, sad tossers,” Rose says. “They’re completely pathetic, and leave them in their corner where they belong. I’m very over them and their existence. As far as I’m concerned they can go die in a hole.”
In the film, Rose also reveals that during her time at the embassy she worked directly with Shai Masot, the senior political officer at the center of the embassy’s covert efforts to influence British politics in an even more pro-Israel direction.
“Do not let it go”
In the film, Masot is heard calling Jackie Walker “problematic,” indicating she was on the Israeli government’s radar. Asked by the reporter Robin what can be done about Walker, Masot responds, “Do not let it go.”
Walker is a long-time anti-racism activist who has been hounded – and has had her membership suspended – in the context of the baseless charges of pervasive anti-Semitism in the party leveled by pro-Israel groups.
The campaign to falsely tar the party as rife with anti-Semitism – based on fabricated charges and exaggeration of a handful of incidents – was part of an effort to discredit its left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been a vocal advocate for Palestinian rights.
Walker tells Al Jazeera that she would be making a formal complaint in the Labour Party against Rose and the JLM, and says: “she is speaking about another Jewish Labour member in this way. I think that’s breathtaking. It is absolutely breathtaking. I am just stunned.”
Winstanley responds in the film: “They know they can’t win when the debates are open, so they have to do these things behind closed doors. So when I’m outing her as an officer at the Israeli embassy and she didn’t want that to be publicly known, yeah she’s not gonna like that, she’s gonna lash out.”
“She’s worked for the Israeli state. The Israeli state talks about a war against organizations like us … it is a threatening thing to hear about, absolutely,” Winstanley adds.
Not surprisingly, Israel lobby advocates have gone into damage control mode, attempting to portray the journalistic exposure of Rose’s work with the Israeli government as “harassment.”
In one such effort, The Jewish Chronicle’s Marcus Dysch refers to The Electronic Intifada as an “anti-Israel hate site,” and accuses Al Jazeera of a “disgraceful set-up” with an “Orwellian nature.” But Dysch fails to show any inaccuracy in the reporting.
Al Jazeera’s six-month undercover investigation of the influence of the UK’s Israel lobby has brought to light a number of highly damaging revelations. Among them are an Israeli embassy plot to “take down” UK lawmakers, including a deputy foreign minister, deemed hostile to Israel.
In response, the Israeli government has attempted – implausibly – to distance itself from Masot and his activities.
The Lobby has also laid bare the extent to which nominally independent pro-Israel organizations such as Labour Friends of Israel are operated in effect as extensions of the Israeli embassy.
Ella Rose was a former president of UJS before she took a job at the embassy and then went on to her current role as director of the Jewish Labour Movement.
The JLM has been actively promoting Rose. For example, it has celebrated her involvement in a program that aims to get more women elected to Parliament – an indication that ambitions for her political future are high.
The third episode of The Lobby has just been released online and will be broadcast Friday evening. It offers startling evidence of how the Israel lobby is making false allegations of anti-Semitism.
The entire series is being aired this week and can be watched at the Al Jazeera Investigations website.