Friends of Israel

Friends of Israel:The Backlash Against Palestine Solidarity

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Is there such a thing as ‘the Israel lobby’, and how powerful is it?

Friends of Israel provides a forensically researched account of the activities of Israel's advocates in Britain, showing how they contribute to maintaining Israeli apartheid. The book traces the history and changing fortunes of key actors within the British Zionist movement in the context of the Israeli government's contemporary efforts to repress a rising tide of solidarity with Palestinians expressed through the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Offering a nuanced and politically relevant account of pro-Israel actors' strategies, tactics, and varying levels of success in key arenas of society, it draws parallels with the similar anti-boycott campaign waged by supporters of the erstwhile apartheid regime in South Africa.

By demystifying the actors involved in the Zionist movement, the book provides an anti-racist analysis of the pro-Israel lobby which robustly rebuffs anti-Semitic conspiracies. Sensitively and accessibly written, it emphasises the complicity of British actors - both those in government and in civil society. Drawing on a range of sources including interviews with leading pro-Israel activists and Palestinian rights activists, documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests and archival material, Friends of Israel is a much-needed contribution to Israel/Palestine-related scholarship and a useful resource for the Palestine solidarity movement.


  • Friends of Israel is a meticulous study of the organizations seeking to reverse widening support for the Palestinian cause in Britain. On a topic that is fraught with exaggeration, distortion, and propaganda, Aked proceeds with precision and nuance, giving us a much-needed, authoritative analysis. Grounded in anti-racism, Friends of Israel paints a complex picture of Zionism in Britain, giving readers the tools to oppose both anti-Semitism and Israeli apartheid.

    Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims Are Coming! and What Is Antiracism?
  • This book expertly maps out the key figures supporting and defending the Israeli apartheid regime in Britain whilst also illuminating how the British government remains deeply complicit in the oppression of Palestinians. It is an invaluable addition to the literature and whilst it focuses on pro-Israel actors, Aked explains that Israeli regime and supporters strategies are a direct response to over a century of Palestinian resistance. This book thus not only makes an important academic contribution but also a political one to a struggle that is ultimately for freedom and justice.

    Yara Hawari, author of The Stone House
  • At last, a thoughtful, meticulously-researched study of the well-organised disinformation campaign against Palestinian rights, BDS and for supporting Apartheid Israel in Britain. In a work comprising the multiplicity of aspects of the Israel Lobby work in the British public and political spheres, Hil Aked offers the means for deconstructing Zionist myths, innate in British discourse since the Balfour Declaration, if not before. A must for anyone interested in understanding and countering this oppressive influence.

    Haim Bresheeth-Zabner, author of An Army Like No Other