by Jonathon Blakeley
Atlantic Bridge was set up as the name suggests to bridge across the Atlantic; as an Atlanticist think tank. To foster and maintain that “special relationship” between the US and UK. Founded by Liam Fox in 1997 Atlantic Bridge was ostensibly a charity but failed to meet the basic guidelines for a charity and was booted off in September 2011 by the Charity commission. It was supposed to have an educational role but failed to do so and spent all its donated money on travel, accommodation and social events for its supporters. BICOM – (The British Israel Communications and Research Centre)was one of its primary sources of donations.
BICOM lists its activities as:
- Providing daily, expert news summary and analysis of events in Israel and the region through our online publications.
- Taking British journalists, opinion formers and policy makers to Israel and the Palestinian territories to learn about the issues first-hand.
- Bringing analysts, journalists and politicians from the region to Britain, to share their insights with their British counterparts.
- Promoting a balanced discourse about Israel in the British media by creating opportunities for a wide range of voices to be heard.
- Organising events and seminars in the UK aimed at deepening the discussion about Israel in Britain.
- Engaging in dialogue with British opinion formers, policy makers and the media on issues of importance to Israel and the Britain-Israel relationship.
- Providing resources to individuals and organisations in Britain who share BICOM’s agenda to promote a better understanding of Israel.
Bicom has been keen to foster close relationships with all media people as can be seen here by this interesting leaked email. As well as the media interests Bicom has close links and donates large amounts to all three political parties in the UK; but this is not directly. Bicom donates to CFI (Conservative Friends of Israel) & the LFI (The Labour Friends of Israel) as well and many other Political organisations. It is through these mediator organisations that money is channeled to the politicians themselves.