Jonathon Blakely – Zimoz News Oct 9, 2011
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.
Gifts are not Payments
The LFI and CFI are -”Unincorporated associations” therfore they are not required to open the books to the public or the UK Tax Man.
- not subject to Tax
- is not a legal entity
- is an organisation of persons or bodies (more than one) with an identifiable membership (possibly changing),
- has a membership who are bound together for a common purpose by an identifiable constitution or rules (which may be written or oral),
- is an organisation where the form of association is not one which is recognised in law as being something else (for example, an incorporated body or a partnership),
- must have an existence distinct from those persons who would be regarded as its members,
- the tie between the persons need not be a legally enforceable contract.
Because an unincorporated association is not a legal entity, it can not be sued, taxed or subject to a criminal enquiry.Well that bit does have an exception, if one of the members breaks rule regarding donations and their ‘distribution’ and is grassed on to the police, then a criminal enquiry may begin. Nice…I am sure all this is perfect legal. I am just not sure whether it is ethically right?
Atlantic Bridge had links to various neo-con organizations in Washington most notably:
Atlantic Bridge was effectively an Anglo/American/Jewish think tank, or at least that was the cover story. What becomes clear is that Bicom , Liam Fox and Adam Werritty were are closely linked and often at the same conferences. One wonders whether Adam Werritty was employed by BICOM itself. There is no direct evidence that I can find, however Adam Werritty (Dr. Adam Werritty, Advisor, Office of Shadow Defense Secretary; UK Executive Director, The Atlantic Bridge listed as an international participant) and Poju Zabludowicz (BICOM) as a sponsor at the same conference regarding Israel’s security.
Israel’s premier global policy gathering, the Herzliya Conference exclusively draws together international and Israeli participants from the highest levels of government, business and academia to address the most pressing national, regional and global issues.
Tamares Hotels, Resorts and Spas is part of the Tamares group which was founded nearly 60 years ago, and currently owned solely by Poju Zabludowicz. Tamares is a private investment group with significant interest in real estate, technology, manufacturing, leisure and media in many parts of the world. For additional information: www.tamareshotels.co.il
Poju Zabludowicz is the billionaire chairman of BICOM; ranked 18th wealthiest man in the UK, with friends such as Madonna & collector of artist Tracy Emin. Zabludowicz is an avid art collector and has many contemporary pieces in his collection. It was also interesting to discover that Zabludowicz held secret talks with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas & Israeli President Shimon Peres in his Kitchen so the Jewish Chronical later reported. Well, it is nice that they popped round for a chat and a cup of tea.
So in a nutshell, Atlantic Bridge and many other people in power, including all the UK political parties are and have been receiving money as gifts through third party unincorporated associations. But the money was and is not payments or bribes, because that would be illegal. What they purport to be is gifts… Perfectly plausible.
So back to Atlantic Bridge, well the story keeps on changing and this one really seems to have legs. Safe to say whether or not Liam Fox and Adam Werritty were ‘close’ or not is just irrelevant. What is relevant is that Adam Werritty had access to the inner corridors of power at the highest levels, We know that Atlantic Bridge had donations from BICOM, Bicom was representing Israel’s interests therefore Adam Werritty was – “Engaging in dialogue with British opinion formers, policy makers and the media on issues of importance to Israel and the Britain-Israel relationship.” at the highest levels of power.
Image Map has all the links…