The media are buzzing with the on-again/off-again sacking of Foreign Aid Minister Priti Patel in the ongoing saga of the damaging revelations that Ms Patel had a series of undisclosed meetings in Israel, including with Israeli PM Netanyahu. News has broken moments ago that there were in fact two more meetings than had already come to light.
It’s clear that Ms Patel committed a serious breach of the ministerial code and most journalists are giving her from minutes to half a day before she is sacked or forced to resign.
But it appears that a breach of the code may not be anywhere near the end of the matter.
Ms Patel’s secret meetings took place during a ‘holiday’ in Israel that her office says she funded personally.
However, those meetings took place while Ms Patel’s subordinate Alastair Burt was also in Israel on an official visit – a fact that Sky News political editor Faisal Islam considered bizarre and noteworthy:
Yesterday, the government admitted that Ms Patel had tried to obtain UK foreign aid funding for the Israeli military’s ‘humanitarian’ work in the Golan Heights, a disputed area between Israel and Syria.
The ‘humanitarian’ work
In June, the Times of Israel (ToI) published an article with a bombshell admission that attracted relatively little attention here:
The Wall Street Journal had earlier published claims that this was the case, but they were furiously denied by Netanyahu. However, at the end of the month, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon admitted that they were true: Israel was treating wounded Syrian fighters to facilitate their return to fight in Syria.
Including ISIS fighters.
According to the ToI, those helped by this ‘humanitarian’ action are:
forces that are fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad
Forces ‘fighting to overthrow…Assad’ include, of course, so-called Islamic State.
The net effect
The net result of all this is that Priti Patel held unauthorised, undisclosed meetings in Israel, then came home and tried to channel UK aid funds to Israeli military ‘humanitarian’ work that consists of treating Syrian fighters and returning them to the Syrian conflict. Including, possibly, ISIS and Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra.
Ms Patel’s resignation is only sufficient for this if a breach of the Ministerial Code is all that she has committed. It must be urgently investigated whether this is in fact the case, as it is at least possible that it was far, far worse – and the ‘MSM’ must ask this question publicly if they’re to do their job.
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