A SENIOR Israeli diplomat has been seen and photographed with zionist protesters defending a Manchester shop picketed by Palestine supporters, the Morning Star can reveal.
Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs adviser Ishmael Khaldi was recognised by an activist who had seen a video of him in Edinburgh, where students chased him from Edinburgh University campus, at which he had been due to speak.
Kedem in King Street, Manchester, sells cosmetics using minerals from the Dead Sea in Palestine and has been picketed daily for the last two weeks by protestors against Israel’s assault on Gaza.
“Khaldi was originally in the shop talking to the manager, then he came out and stayed for around 45 minutes,” said Terry Gallogly of York Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
“I told Ishmael I knew he was an Israeli diplomat. He asked how I had recognised him and I explained that I had seen the video of him being booted out of Edinburgh University.
“I asked what he was doing and he just shrugged. We spoke for a while about the bombing of Gaza and I was called away. ”
“I think this is a significant development which completely explodes the shop’s ‘injured party’ stance.”
Mr Khaldi, a Bedouin Arab and ardent supporter of Israel, has served in the Israeli Ministry of Defence, police and Defence Forces.
In August, 2009, he was appointed a policy adviser to Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Leiberman, a founder of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu.
Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign has been staging “rolling pickets” of city-centre businesses with links to Israel.
It has succeeded in closing two branches of Barclays bank and the Kedem store.
The daily demonstrations outside Kedem have prompted counter-protests by zionists, who have been handed “goody bags” of products by shop staff.
Manchester Council has issued statements in support of the picketed businesses.