Labour Friends of Israel
Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) is a parliamentary group affiliated to the Labour Party promoting support for a strong bilateral relationship between Britain and Israel. It also seeks to strengthen ties between the British and the Israeli Labour party. Labour Friends of Israel supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Israel recognised and secure within its borders and the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.
Founded in October 1957 at a public rally at the Labour Party Conference, it has developed into one of the largest special interest groups in the Labour Party, drawing wide support from Members of Parliament and Government Ministers. Labour Friends of Israel has a large membership, organised into local branches. Seeking to strengthen the bond between the British Labour Party and the Israeli Labor Party, it organises meetings in both the UK and Israel between senior figures. In 2003 it described itself as "a Westminster based lobby group working within the British Labour Party to promote the State of Israel".
In 2011 Labour Friends of Israel adopted a new strategy of becoming a wider membership organisation and operating under the slogan "Working Towards a Two-State Solution". In 2010 Jennifer Gerber, previously director of Progress, had been appointed Director, and in 2011 John Woodcock was appointed Chair.
They have been described as "less unquestioning in its support of the Israeli government than the Conservative Friends of Israel". Between 2001 and 2009 they paid for more than 60 MPs to visit Israel, more than any other group.
Members of LFI
In alphabetical order, former and current members of Labour Friends of Israel include:
- David Abrahams - former Treasurer 
- Lord Archer of Sandwell
- Sir Stuart Bell MP 
- Luciana Berger MP, Former Director of LFI
- Tony Blair former MP and Prime Minister
- Lord Janner of Braunstone Q.C. Former MP for Leicester West, Former President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews & Current Chair of the British Israel Parliamentary Group.
- David Blunkett MP and former Home Secretary
- Gordon Brown MP and former Prime Minister
- Chris Bryant MP and former Minister for Europe
- Stephen Byers former MP and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
- Wayne David MP
- Andrew Dismore 
- Louise Ellman MP, Vice Chair of LFI 
- Derek Foster MP
- Lord Foulkes MSP and former MP
- Mike Gapes MP - former Vice Chair of LFI (2004)
- Anthony Greenwood MP, first Chair of LFI (1957)
- Andrew Gwynne MP, Chair of LFI (2010)
- Fabian Hamilton MP
- Joan Humble MP
- Baroness Hayman
- Barbara Keeley MP
- Jane Kennedy MP - Chair (2007)
- Ivan Lewis MP, former Vice Chair of LFI 
- Lord Macdonald of Tradeston
- Denis MacShane MP
- Jonathan Mendelsohn - former Chair of LFI (2002)
- Alun Michael MP, former Leader of the Welsh Labour Party
- Andrew Miller MP
- Jim Murphy MP - former Chair of LFI (2001), former Secretary of State for Scotland 
- Dan Norris former MP
- Nick Palmer MP
- James Purnell former Chair of LFI, MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 
- Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale
- John Reid former MP and Home Secretary (2007)
- Terry Rooney MP
- Dari Taylor MP
- Gary Titley MP
- John Woodcock MP, Chair of LFI (2011)
- Glenis Willmott MEP, Vice Chair of LFI
- Lord Winston
- Iain Wright MP, former Chair of LFI (2006)
- Lord Young of Norwood Green
- Conservative Friends of Israel
- Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel
- Northern Ireland Friends of Israel
- European Friends of Israel
- Friends of Israel Initiative
- Peter Oborne and James Jones (2009-11-16). "Friends in high places". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
- Labor Friends of Israel (December 8, 2008). "Labor Friends of Israel - 50 Years".
- "Labour Friends Of Israel website - about us". 2003-08-01. Archived from the original on 2003-08-01. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- Marcus Dysch (7 September 2010). "New strategy for Labour Friends of Israel". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Martin Bright (13 January 2011). "Israel friends change tack and relaunch". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Marcus Dysch (19 October 2011). "Labour Friends go to Israel". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Black, Ian (16 November 2009). "Pro-Israel lobby group bankrolling Tories, film claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
- "Yigal Allon Educational Trust". Stone Ashdown Trust. Archived from the original on 2009-11-09. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
- Yigal Allon Educational Trust, Registered Charity no. 327009 at the Charity Commission
- Symons, Leon et al. "David Abrahams gave in secret ‘to quell conspiracy fears’". Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2007-12-09.
- "Who We Are". Labor Friends of Israel. Archived from the original on 2008-07-27.
- Bell, Stuart (January 30, 2008). "Sir Stuart Bell MP, Biography". Archived from the original on January 30, 2008.
- "Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson could run for parliament in Liverpool". Liverpool echo. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Assaf Uni, Finance scandal has local community worried, Haaretz, December 10, 2007.
- Ned Temko, Behind-the-scenes group's unerring knack of backing the right man, The Guardian, December 2, 2007.
- Brown, Gordon (September 25, 2007). "Speech by Gordon Brown to the LFI Annual Reception". Labor Friends of Israel.
- Gapes, Mike (July 4, 2001). "House of Commons Hansard Debates". House of Commons, UK.
- H.M. Cabinet Office (2003). "Speaker Biographies, Ivan Lewis MP".
- Hope, Christopher (February 9, 2007). "Jon Mendelsohn profile: a real Mr Fix-It". Daily Telegraph.
- Mulholland, Hélène (October 3, 2008). "Profile - Jim Murphy". The Guardian.
- "Five days in Israel -- James Purnell MP, chairman of Labour Friends of Israel, visits a kibbutz, meets Ehud Barak and attends a peace conference in Tel Aviv". The Guardian. December 12, 2002.
- Kite, Melissa and Hennessy, Patrick (January 5, 2005). "David Blunkett to return to the Cabinet in major reshuffle". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on November 23, 2007.
- Official website
- Labour Friends of Israel, 1997 General Election information, 1 May 1997
- Foreign Secretary Jack Straw (2 November 2005). "United Kingdom and Israel Share the Same Democratic Values". Labour Friends of Israel event speech. Archived from the original on 2005-12-28.
- Speech by PM Tony Blair to LFI Annual Reception, Prime Minister Tony Blair, 26 September 2006
- Speech by Gordon Brown to the LFI Annual Reception, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, 25 September 2007