The chief executive of a British pro-Israeli lobby group has been condemned for making inflammatory comments flouting democracy and international law at a high-profile conference in Israel.
Lorna Fitzsimons, CEO of Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) - a group which lobbies on behalf of Israel in Britain - was addressing the Herzliya conference on the state of the Jewish nation.
Former Labour MP Ms Fitzsimons is reported to have told the conference that "public opinion does not influence foreign policy in Britain. Foreign policy is an elite issue."
Veteran Middle East reporter Robert Fisk described this as "one of the most distressing moments" of the conference.
"Deal with the elite and the proles will follow - that was the implication," he interpreted.
Ms Fitzsimons then went on to say: "Our enemies are going to international courts where we are not supreme."
It is believed that this was a reference to the ongoing attempts in Britain and elsewhere to have key Israeli figures such as former foreign minister Tzipi Livni arrested for war crimes over the invasion of Gaza.
The comment was condemned as misguided by human rights campaigners.
Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said: "Lorna Fitzsimons's reported remarks on international justice are misguided. It's not a question of any nation being 'supreme' in the realm of international justice, but of all countries - including Israel - living up to international obligations on human rights and humanitarian law.
"There are numerous credible allegations that during the Gaza conflict both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups violated international humanitarian law and caused the deaths - in Israel's case - of hundreds of civilians.
"We still need to see independent investigations into how this happened, and if neither Israel nor Hamas is prepared to allow their own investigations then the international judicial route is the best hope we have."
BICOM is bankrolled by its chairman Poju Zabludowicz, a billionaire property magnate with interests in the illegal settlements on the West Bank.
Latest Electoral Commission figures show that over several months last year he donated Â£100,000 to the Tory fighting fund and he has also reportedly made donations to the Conservative Friends of Israel group.
The Morning Star contacted BICOM but they did not respond.
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