Friday, November 25, 2011

Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM)

The Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) is a United Kingdom based organization which claims to act to create a more supportive environment for Israel in the UK. To achieve this objective BICOM issues materials on the history, economy, culture and politics of Israel, the Middle East peace plan, Arab terrorism (!) in the Middle East, UK-Israel relations and foreign policy and the future of Arabia. An article in the European Jewish Press described it as "a pro-Israel British lobby group". An article in Haaretz described it as "a pro-Israel advocacy group".
BICOM lists its activities as:
-Operating a fully functioning media center.
-Providing real-time briefings and high quality in-depth research.
-Publishing daily briefings, which give coverage to all Israel-related news as reported in the British and Israeli print and online media, as well as analysis of the main stories of the day.
-Organizing and delivering visitor programs for key politicians, academics and journalists.
BICOM's chief executive, until July 2006, was Danny Scheck, a high-level official of the Israeli foreign ministry on a two year leave of absence. He was previously the chief spokesman and director of the press division of Israel’s foreign ministry. He left to become the Israeli ambassador to France.
The current Chief Executive Officer is the former Labor Member of Parliament Lorna Fitzsimons. In 2010, when addressing the Herzliya Conference, Ms. Fitzsimons told the conference that "public opinion does not influence foreign policy in Britain. Foreign policy is an elite issue."
BICOM anniversary dinner is held every year in November and the 10th was held in 2011 which Bernard Henry Levi had a speech. There were tributes to Bicom by the UK's Israel envoy Matthew Gould and from the Quartet's Middle East envoy Tony Blair.
Mr. Netanyahu was the keynote speaker at the annual dinner of Bicom, the Israel lobbying organization, in London, 2010.
In 2011 Lorna Fitzsimons; CEO of BICOM, mistakenly sent an internal email to members of the press that was subsequently leaked on the Internet. The shocking contents of that email have barely even been mentioned by any mainstream media source since its release.
In the email, Fitzsimons reveals how BICOM officials regularly meet with editors and journalists from the BBC, Sky News and the Financial Times to ‘brief’ them on how to frame issues relating to Israel in order to ensure that, “the most objectively favourable line was taken.” Check the entire story at Lorna Fitzsimons Document. 
Other news on BICOM can be tracked through: THE JEWISH CHRONICLE ONLINE website 
In 2011 The BICOM heads are listed as:
Poju Zabludowicz the Chairman.
Ben Overlander the Head of media.

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