Tomorrow, a Labour party branch in the Midlands of England will hold an election. Party members will decide on their candidate for Member of Parliament in the 2015 general election.
One of those aiming for Stoke North, a safe Labour seat, is Ruth Smeeth.
But unmentioned in any of this is her role in the Israel lobby’s end of the PR industry, or as a source of intelligence the US embassy has considered one to “strictly protect.”
Israel lobby links
In its last issue, parapolitical magazine Notes From the Borderland detailed Smeeth’s history as part of a huge and detailed article on “How Far Right Labour Hijacked the Hope Not Hate Campaign.”
This week they published some of their research into Smeeth’s career on their website, stating “the following leaflet has been distributed far and wide in the constituency.” The editorial collective are arguing that Labour members should not select Smeeth.
Among other issues, the leaflet argues that if Smeeth “becomes your MP do you really think she will be genuinely open-minded on important foreign policy matters such as war and peace … or subordinate to the whims of those making policy in Washington and Tel Aviv rather than Tunstall [an area of Stoke-on-Trent]?”
Starting in 2005, Smeeth did a stint as director of public affairs and campaigns for BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre. There she was reportedly charged with strengthening the group’s relations with the “Foreign Office, party leaders, think-tanks and academia.”
The group arranges for influential figures such as journalists to take trips to Israel. These have included trips to the Herzliya conference, a major “security” event at which powerful business and political figures discuss how to reinforce Israeli occupation and apartheid.
Smeeth herself is listed on the conference’s website as having attended in January 2007, apparently in her BICOM capacity. Speaking that year was current prime minister, then leader of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu.
In 2003, with ugly racism, he told the conference that Palestinian citizens of Israel were a “demographic threat.”
US embassy links
Speaking to the Telegraph in 2011, Smeeth admitted to being at a breakfast meeting in the embassy but said “I have no recollection of saying what has been attributed to me. I would not consider myself to be a source for the US government.”
Ruth Smeeth did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment, but this article may be updated if she does.
Update, 6 April
The local press reported yesterday that Smeeth was selected by the party and will thus stand as Labour candidate in next year’s election.