Henry Jackson Society
The Henry Jackson Society is a leading exponent of neoconservatism in the UK that is grounded in a transatlantic tradition deeply influenced by Islamophobia and an open embrace of the 'War on Terror'.
- See HSJ "Signatories to the Statement of Principles" for more. The DuckSoap list is almost def. out of date.
- Nikita Malik, director of the centre for the response to radicalisation and terrorism at the Henry Jackson Society
... Stelzer's activities in Britain have not been limited to consulting with elite policymakers. In Mar.2005, Stelzer — along with an eclectic group of British scholars, journalists, and politicians — signed the statement of principles of the neoconservative-inspired Henry Jackson Society, a British advocacy organisation that promotes a “forward strategy” of assisting democratisation across the globe. The strategy includes ensuring the maintenance of a strong US military, giving “two cheers to capitalism," and promoting the idea that "any international organization which admits undemocratic states on an equal basis is fundamentally flawed." Among the group's "international patrons" are well-known neoconservatives , editor of the Weekly Standard; , president of the Project on Transitional Democracies; , cofounder with Kristol of the Project for the New American Century; of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies; , former Defense Policy Board chairman and coauthor with David Frum of the 2003 book "An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror"; , a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; and former CIA director . ref
What is clear is that the personal conflicts that accompanied Mendoza’s transformation of the HJS from a Cambridge-based academic ginger group to a professional London think tank were accompanied by a pronounced ideological shift towards the hard conservatism of Murray at the expense of more liberal figures like Hoare.
Corresponding with the merger, the society also decided in 2011 to incorporate as a new charity, transferring all assets from the Henry Jackson Society Project for Democratic Geopolitics to the newly registered Henry Jackson Society Limited and subsequently removing the former from Charity Commission records. The new charity reported its trustees as follows: Alan Mendoza; Brendan Simms; Lord William David Trimble; David Rasouly; Damien Noel Collins, Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe; Gisela Gschaider Stuart, Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston; Lady Caroline Dalmeny; and Stuart Leonard Caplan. Lady Caroline Dalmeny reportedly became a trustee of HJS in 2010 and in 2012 was also appointed as associate director.308 Marko Attila Hoare has alleged that Dalmeny’s husband, Lord Harry Dalmeny, who is the UK deputy chairman of Sotheby’s, donated interest-free loans totalling £250,000 to HJS in 2011.309 p.41
One significant area of expansion at this time was in the United States. Henry Jackson Society, Inc., the US-branch, was incorporated as a non-profit entity New York in 2012.314 Its founding chief executive, Ilana Decker, was previously a director of AIPAC for the North-Eastern United States, to which she returned after 11 months.315 HJS’s American operations have focused on the Israel lobby in particular, both for funding and personnel.317 Indeed, in 2013, the HJS funded conservative MP Priti Patel’s trip to Washington to participate in ‘the AIPAC Homeland Security Forum’ (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), a trip which included planning ‘a programme with HJS in Congress pursuant to UK and allied interests in the economic and security spheres’.318 In early 2014, HJS sent Conservative MP Jonathan Djanogly to Washington to participate in the ‘AIPAC/US-Europe-Israel National Security Forum’.319 Samer Libdeh, formerly a senior research fellow at HJS, even tweeted in November 2014 that the society is the UK proxy of AIPAC.320 p.42
The HJS was launched online on Mar.11.2005. Its Westminster launch on Nov.22.2005 was hosted by Tory and Labour MPs Michael Gove and Gisela Stuart in the Jubilee Room of the House of Commons. The society’s Organising Committee consisted mainly of academics affiliated to Peterhouse College in Cambridge, led by Brendan Simms as President and Alan Mendoza as Executive Director. Its original homepage said "The Henry Jackson Society is a non-profit organisation that seeks to promote the following principles: that liberal democracy should be spread across the world; that as the world’s most powerful democracies, the United States and the European Union – under British leadership – must shape the world more actively by intervention and example; that such leadership requires political will, a commitment to universal human rights and the maintenance of a strong military with global expeditionary reach; and that too few of our leaders in Britain and the rest of Europe today are ready to play a role in the world that matches our strength and responsibilities.".
Twenty-eight luminaries were among the initial signatories to the Henry Jackson Society’s Statement of Principles.103 These included 4 Conservative MPs: Michael Ancram, Michael Gove, Ed Vaizey, and David Willetts. Two other signatories joined the Conservative benches in 2010, Robert Halfon, the Director of Conservative Friends of Israel, and Nick Boles, the Director of Policy Exchange, a think tank chaired by Michael Gove.
A somewhat smaller Labour representation consisted of Rotherham MP Denis MacShane, Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart, and the former Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Jackie Lawrence.
With the exception of the writer and historian Andrew Roberts, all the journalists among the signatories were associated with The Times: including assistant editor Gerard Baker, and columnists Oliver Kamm and Stephen Pollard. Gove had also been a senior Times journalist until his election to parliament in 2005, and continued to write for the paper. Another signatory, the Hudson Institute's economist Irwin Stelzer, was a columnist for The Sunday Times, and a close advisor of Rupert Murdoch.
The Henry Jackson Society’s initial list of international patrons was deeply rooted in the neoconservative tradition fostered by its namesake. Indeed, several of the patrons had worked closely with Senator Henry Jackson. Like the British signatories, many of the mostly American patrons were associated with the campaign for war in Iraq, particularly through lobbying organisations such as the Project for a New American Century and the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.
Between 2007 and 2010 the Henry Jackson Society witnessed a considerable transformation. From 2007 onwards, the society began centring its activities in and around London at a time when decision-making in the charity started to become more concentrated in the hands of HJS founder and Executive Director Alan Mendoza. This geographical move corresponded with membership changes, both departures and new arrivals, that reflected a more hard-line, Eurosceptic, pro-Israel and often anti-Islam politics, in which ties to US neoconservatives were entrenched. This was also embodied in side-projects and associated groups, including Just Journalism, Student Rights and the Friends of Israel Initiative.
There are neocons all around Cameron – notably George Osborne, Michael Gove and Ed Vaizey – and a recent article by Gabriel Glickman on the website of the neocon Henry Jackson Society suggests that the whole Cameron campaign was a neocon infiltration. Cameron denies this and says he has never heard of the society – something I found incredible in view of the fact that his friends Gove and Vaizey were both involved in its British launch. But he does say that he talks to both Gove and Douglas Hurd, Witney's last MP, former foreign secretary and an old-style pragmatist opposed to all neocon adventurism, especially in Iran. Bryan Appleyard, ‘What's he got to look forward to?’ The Sunday Times, 5 March 2006. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/whats-he-got-to-look-forward-to-lp36n0z8gg0
The anti-Islam #Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) merged with the Henry Jackson Society in Apr.2011, with CSC director Douglas Murray joining the society as an associate director. one of Murray’s former colleagues at the CSC, James Brandon, had described his time there as ‘a constant struggle to "de-radicalise" Murray and to ensure that the centre's output targeted only Islamists – and not Muslims as a whole.’284
The evolution of HJS into a right-wing think tank also indicates that it does not exist for the public benefit when it has increasingly embraced an illiberal approach domestically towards British Muslims in particular. This trend is especially pronounced in its support for limiting the civil liberties of Muslim charities in the name of the ‘War on Terror’.
The fact that HJS refuses to publish its list of donors also highlights its own illiberal tendencies. Far from promoting democracy both domestically and abroad, like the original founders intended, the society has joined the ranks of the transatlantic Islamophobia network by relying on the financial support of strident pro-Israel elites and their grant-making foundations.
p.59. table on p.61. ... it is clear that the society’s development from Cambridge ginger group to Westminster think-tank has been accompanied by a dramatic growth in donations. ... ... Subsequently, the Traditional Alternatives Foundation, which was set up by Lord Stanley Kalms and his wife Pamela in 1990, started funding the CSC, donating £195,000 in 2009, £125,000 in 2010 and £222,500 in 2011, the last year the foundation filed any reports with the Charity Commission. In 2013, the Stanley Kalms Foundation, established in 1989, became a donor of the HJS, giving £100,000. Lord Kalms along with his wife Pamela and son Stephen, are currently listed as trustees of this foundation. Lord Kalms is the son of Charles Kalms, who founded and owned the British store Dixons, one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in Europe. Lord Kalms is the life president and former chairman of Dixons, and served as the director of the Thatcherite Centre for Policy Studies, from 1991-2001.
The Wigoder Family Foundation is a London-based charity registered in 2000. Although the foundation’s resources are quite significant, to date only £20,000 has been allocated to the Henry Jackson Society. The current trustees of the foundation are Martin Rose, Charles Francis Wigoder and his wife Elizabeth. The Hon. Charles Francis Wigoder is a telecoms millionaire who served as chief executive officer of Telecom Plus until 2010. Son of former Lord Basil Wigoder QC, Liberal chief whip in the House of Lords from 1977 to 1984,532 he is a known contributor to the Conservative Party and has made campaign contributions to Conservative MP Liam Fox.533 The Wigoder Family Foundation has donated the following amounts to pro-Israel and Zionist causes between 2008- 2012: £75,000 to Community Security Trust, £96,000 to One Family UK, £132,000 to United Jewish Israel Appeal, and £4,000 to Youth Aliyah. p.71
In addition to the support of UK trusts and foundations, some of the funding for the Henry Jackson Society has come from the USA. When the society was established in 2006, it received a grant of $23,900 from the Henry M Jackson Endowment, associated with the Henry M Jackson Foundation in Seattle, Washington. In 2012, the foundation donated another $24,000 to HJS to ‘produce a foreign policy series in honour of Henry M Jackson’s centennial anniversary’, suggesting at least some kind of link between the HJS and the older eponymous US-based foundation. By 2011, the HJS had created a US fund-raising arm, the American Friends of the Henry Jackson Society, based at the Alexandria, Virginia address of the Charities Aid Foundation of America. more p.72
Centre for Social Cohesion
The CSC was established in 2007 by Civitas, a right-wing London think tank, which provided it with £274,669 and £284,673 in 2008. Former donors to the Centre for Social Cohesion accounted for a significant proportion of HJS's income in the years after the CSC merged with the HJS, in Apr.2011. ref, p.64. See also WikiSpooks, Douglas Murray, ref, DDG. The Gatestone Institute + Right Web has pumped out reams of dangerous anti-Muslim propaganda, and its ties to UK groups deserve close scrutiny. Others in the UK — who similarly style themselves as 'anti-extremists' yet apparently see no irony in associating with this extremely Islamophobic (but also extremely well-funded) think tank—have forged links with the Gatestone Institute. The Henry Jackson Society is known to have received funding from the same source as Gatestone. The woman behind all this money is Nina Rosenwald, who has been dubbed the 'sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate' by journalist Max Blumenthal. She funds Gatestone, where she is also president, via her New York-based mega-foundation the Abstraction Fund. Through Abstraction, she has channeled money to HJS via its US fundraising arm.
In light of these connections, the growing interest in Islam displayed by HJS and, in particular, the work done by its own university watchdog arm Student Rights, to smear Muslim students on British campuses, fits a clear pattern in line with the Campus Watch/Canary Mission model. Many of these neoconservative Gatestone-linked groups also co-operate among themselves: for example Student Rights has reportedly worked 'closely' with Quilliam Foundation. Another UK group associated with Gatestone, less well known than Quilliam or HJS/Student Rights but equally destructive in its use of American-style attack-politics, is the ironically named "Stand for Peace" (seems to be now defunct). SFP founder Sam Westrop, 26, is also listed as a 'distinguished senior fellow' of the Gatestone Institute, alongside fellow Britons Douglas Murray of HJS, right-wing activist Denis MacEoin, Daily Telegraph journalist and MI6 conduit Con Coughlin, the zealous Christian Zionist and ex-British army officer Richard Kemp and former British ambassador Charles Crawford. Westrop also regularly contributes articles to Gatestone.
See Companies House, Charities Commission and archive.org
- Alan Mendoza, Executive Director
- Douglas Murray, Associate Director
- Katie Parrettt, Chief Operating Officer
- Andrew Foxall, Director of Research
- http://www.strategic-analysis.org/, https://web.archive.org/web/20140922014011/http://www.strategic-analysis.org/,
In 2013, the HJS announced the launch of its own political risk consultancy, Strategic Analysis.336 This had been incorporated as a separate company a year earlier, presumably in part because of the HJS’s charitable status.337 The company’s website nevertheless states that it ‘leverages the unique specialist capabilities of the Henry Jackson Society Research Division’. 'Who we are', Strategic Analysis, n.d. www.strategic-analysis.org/about-us/who-we-are/ - accessed 18 September 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20170806212318/http://www.strategic-analysis.org/ (company number 07996855) p.44
Although none of the following are visible on the current website, the Wayback Machine tells a different story as recently as Mar.2018.Who we are
- Note: the list of projects has changed since 2014, is now:
- The Centre for the New Middle East is a one-stop shop designed to provide opinion-leaders and policy-makers with the fresh thinking, analytical research and policy solutions required to make geopolitical progress in one of the world’s most complicated and fluid regions. Established following the fallout from the “Arab Spring,” the Centre is dedicated to monitoring political, ideological, and military and security developments across the Middle East and providing informed assessments of their wide-ranging implications to key decision makers. archive.org, HJS
- The Global Britain Programme is a research programme within The Henry Jackson Society that aims to educate the public on the need for an open, confident and expansive British geostrategic policy in the twenty-first century, drawing off the United Kingdom’s unique strengths not only as an advocate for liberalism and national democracy, but also a custodian of both the European and international orders.
- The Centre for the Response to Radicalisation and Terrorism is the first-of-its-kind institute providing top-quality, in-depth research coupled with the execution and implementation of targeted, tangible and impactful activities to combat the very real threat radical Islam poses to our society.
- The Russia and Eurasia Studies Centre - was plain vanilla Russia Studies Centre, see below.
- The Asia Studies Centre attempts to provide an in-depth understanding of the structural shifts, regional complexities, and historic tensions that exist alongside the tremendous economic and social growth that traditionally characterize the “rise of Asia”. With some predicting that the region will account for 40% of global GDP by 2050, a post-Brexit Britain must develop a foreign policy posture for the region that navigates British economic interests and British cultural and political values on the one hand, while maintaining strong support for regional liberal democracies and international law on the other.
Student Rights is a Henry Jackson Society project. It claims to be a non-partisan group dedicated to supporting equality, democracy and freedom from extremism on university campuses. Student Rights was set up in Jun.2009 as a reaction to increasing political extremism and the marginalisation of vulnerable students on campus.
Conservative anxiety about universities has a long history. A SpinWatch report noted that British cold warriors stressed the need for counter-subversion in universities, spaces from which left-wing movements have historically emanated.
Govt strategy has echoed these think tanks’ views that universities are at risk of being ‘terrorist breeding grounds’, even though the Home Affairs Select Committee declared that the PREVENT agenda’s focus on higher education institutions was ‘disproportionate’. Equally clear is the overlap with the discourse of the far-right. In early 2013, Student Rights’ alarmist material about allegedly extremist Muslim speakers was picked up by members of the English Defence League and a similar proto-fascist street gang called Casuals United, leading to several campus events being cancelled amidst fears for student safety. While Student Rights condemned the threat of violence, it was an embarrassing illustration of the extent to which its aim of censoring Islamic 'extremists' corresponds with the EDL’s, although it uses different tactics.ref, p.33 The affair provoked a student counter-campaign which eventually saw the National Union of Students condemn Student Rights; the HJS eventually came clean about its links to the group, listing it under "Our Projects" on its website.
Friends of Israel Initiative
- Friends of Israel Initiative
- https://web.archive.org/web/20140922014011/http://henryjacksonsociety.org:80/people/who-we-are/, http://friendsofisraelinitiative.org/, http://friendsofisraelinitiative.org/about
- The UK arm was removed from the Charity Commission on Apr.15.2018 because it "ceased to exist". http://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity-details/?regid=1140457&subid=0
- The company was dissolved on Mar.20.2018, https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07463018/filing-history
- Right Web, http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/friends_of_israel_initiative/
- DDG search, a few possibly interesting things.
In July 2010, the Henry Jackson Society hosted the UK launch of the Friends of Israel Initiative at the House of Commons with Conservative MP Robert Halfon, who at the time was the political director of Conservative Friends of Israel. It was attended by former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, former president of the Italian Senate Marcello Pera and British historian and HJS signatory Andrew Roberts – all co-founders of the initiative.267
The Friends of Israel Initiative was launched internationally in Paris on 31 May,268 269 the same day that Israeli troops attacked the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish vessel attempting to break the blockade of Gaza, killing nine (civilian) activists. In a 17 June 2010 article for The Times, Aznar (who was a board member of News Corporation Inc, the owner of the paper at the time) 270 blamed the ship’s sponsors for the attack, which took place in international waters. (p.35)
In addition to Andrew Roberts, David Trimble, another signatory of the HJS, was also a co-founder of the #Friends of Israel Initiative. Some of the others include John Bolton, hawkish former US representative to the UN; Alejandro Toledo, former president of Peru, George Weigel, senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Centre; Fiamma Nirenstein, Italian politician, journalist and author; and Carlos Bustelo, the Spanish Industry Minister from 1977 to 1980.275
The initiative’s sources of funding have not been disclosed, but another founding member is Italian-American billionaire Robert Agostinelli, who made his fortune working in mergers and acquisitions in London in the 1980s before co-founding private equity firm the Rhone Group.
William Shawcross, another founder of the Friends of Israel Initiative, was appointed a member of the board of directors of the Henry Jackson Society on 19 October 2011.347 This subsequently embroiled the HJS in a controversy one year later when Shawcross was appointed chair of the UK Charity Commission. His book "Allies: The United States, Britain, Europe and the War in Iraq", a trenchant defence of the war that praised Tony Blair’s ‘consistent courage’ in pushing for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as the ‘right thing to do’, and concluded ‘he is correct but we are seeing how immensely difficult the task now is’.349 Despite his continuing admiration for Blair, Shawcross had become a strong critic of New Labour by the time of the 2010 general election. ‘Labour boasts that 3 million new jobs have been created – but most went to immigrants,’ he claimed in an April 2010 National Review Online article. He continued by saying that ‘Labour’s bullying “multicultural” ideology has been a catastrophe’ and concluded ‘only the Conservatives can rescue us from such humiliations.’ Several years earlier, in an opinion piece for The Jerusalem Post, he had argued that the West is ‘threatened by a vast fifth column – that there are thousands of European-born people, in Britain, in France, in Holland, in Denmark, everywhere – who wish to destroy us,’ and whom he referred to as Islamo-fascists.356
...HJS’s activities increasingly appear to have shifted away from promoting liberal democracy to attacking Islam, both domestically and internationally. ... p.48
After the brutal attack on 7 January 2015 against Charlie Hebdo, Murray himself blamed Islamists for being behind anti-Semitic hate crime in Europe, asking ‘Why do they always target the Jews?’, this question following a reference to the Muslim ‘population who came to Europe since the Holocaust’.396 Speaking on a BBC debate, Murray called the attack in Paris a ‘bloody attempt to impose Islamic blasphemy law around Europe’ and argued that more newspapers should publish the offensive cartoons about the Prophet Mohammad in order to protect free speech.397 Six months earlier, Murray called demonstrators in London protesting against Israel’s military campaign against Gaza ‘a disgusting anti-Semitic spectacle’.398
... This is a microcosm of a wider trend. Just as the neoconservative movement created an empowered conservative bloc, Islamophobia today appears to be facilitating a ‘realigned right’ across Europe.390 And rather than spreading conspiracy theories about the state’s collusion with radical Islam – as is common in parts of the counterjihad movement391 – the tactics of these types of alliances are to invoke state power to ‘put into place legal and administrative structures that discriminate against Muslims’.392 p.48
While in recent years the Henry Jackson Society has expanded to include side projects such as the Inclusive Capitalism Initiative and Strategic Analysis, as a result of its merger with the Centre for Social cohesion much of the society’s activities appear increasingly focused on confronting what the society perceives as the ‘threat of Islam’, both at home and abroad, politically placing the charity firmly on the right. UK government guidelines clearly state that ‘a charity cannot exist for a political purpose, which is any purpose directed at furthering the interests of any political party.’414 However, with former HJS board member William Shawcross reappointed in January 2015 as the head of the Charity Commission for another three years, it is questionable whether or not the society will face the same kind of scrutiny that Muslim charities are currently facing. p.51
Ideologically, most members of the society’s APPGs share pro-Israel views. Bew is chair of the hawkish Anglo-Israel Association while Trimble helped to establish the Friends of Israel Initiative (HJS hosted the launch). There are many members of Labour Friends of Israel, including Anne McGuire (chair since May 2013), Michael McCann (vice-chair), Fabian Hamilton (former vice-chair),420 Eric Joyce (former executive council member), Lord (Gus) MacDonald, Gisela Stuart, Derek Twigg,421 John Spellar and Huw Irranca-Davies, as well as Conservative Friends of Israel, including James Arbuthnot (former chair),422 Robert Halfon (officer and former political director), Tobias Ellwood,423 Stephen Hammond, Richard Ottoway and Greg Hands. (There is little transparency about membership of CFI so the overlap may be greater.) Yet despite this general tendency, critics of Israel are not entirely absent. Labour’s Yasmin Qureshi, formerly a member of the Homeland Security APPG, has spoken out against Israeli attacks on Gaza, while Tory MP Julian Brazier, who remains on both APPGs, has openly criticised settlements and condemned the ‘brutal blockade’ of Gaza, chiefly motivated by the belief that anger about Israeli policies endangers British troops in the Middle East.424, p.52
Perhaps even more consistent than support for Israel, however, is a demonstrable interest in defence and security, particularly in the Middle East. Baron (John) Gilbert is a former Defence Minister, and Julian Brazier was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence in July 2014.425 As of October 2014, Baroness Nihcolson, John Spellar, George Howarth, Julian Lewis and Lord Harris were all sitting on the Tackling Terrorism APPG;426 the qualifying members listed for the Armed Forces APPG include James Gray, Mark Pritchard, Bob Ainsworth, Bob Stewart, Lord Moonie, Derek Twigg and Gisela Stuart; meanwhile, Julian Lewis, Fabian Hamilton, Julian Brazier, Bob Stewart and Gisela Stuart all sit on the APPG for Defence and Diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa; and the last three, along with Twigg and Gray, are involved in the Commons Defence Select Committee. That members of these two APPGs tend to share a militaristic understanding of security is unsurprising given the worldview that HJS promotes.
TRANSATLANTIC AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY APPG, Baroness Nicholson perhaps best typifies the HJS approach to politics, marrying a commitment to foreign military intervention with the promotion of neoliberal economic policies. A former Tory MP who defected to the Lib Dems in 1995, she was appointed trade envoy to Iraq by David Cameron and served simultaneously as executive chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council and honorary advisor to former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. On the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, she penned an article for Lib Dem Voice entitled 'Was the war worth it?’, a question she answered with ‘a resounding yes’, despite acknowledging the ongoing violence in the country. Citing economic growth figures, her tone was triumphalist because, she said, the free market, which had been 'stifled' under Saddam Hussein, was now flourishing—she was 'proud to say’ that oil industry growth, which she singled out as an example, was being ‘led by British company BP’. p.55
HOMELAND SECURITY APPG. As well as involving a number of powerful British politicians, it had an ‘advisory board’ comprised of two-members. The first was Sir David Omand, an ex- director of Britain’s signals intelligence spying agency GCHQ. The second was Michael Chertoff, former US secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under George W Bush. In this role, he co-authored the USA PATRIOT Act, counter-terrorism legislation widely criticised by civil liberties groups. Later, he co-founded the security consulting company Chertoff Group – which employs ex-CIA head Michael Hayden among others – and was, in Apr.2012, appointed as chair of the board of board of British company BAE Systems, the world’s 3rd largest arms producer. These strong links to the transatlantic defence and intelligence establishment chime with the group’s vision of Britain’s future safety, which is no less foreboding than the picture its Henry Jackson Society counterpart painted of the security prospects for ‘the West’ as a whole. p.56
it is nonetheless highly unlikely that HJS would have willingly ceased to co-ordinate these groups, given the opportunities they provided. Not least among these was physical access to parliament; records from February 2013 show that at least three HJS staff members (political director Davis Lewin, and events managers Hanna Nomm and Christiana Hambro) were in possession of parliamentary passes as a result of the think tank’s role in these APPGs (though this system was later scrapped).442 But in mid-2014 the HJS stopped providing the secretariat for both APPGs and by early January 2015 the groups had been discontinued.443 This came about after changes to the regulations governing APPGs had come into effect in July 2014, prompting Spinwatch to re-examine whether HJS was abiding by the rules of the House. An important paragraph on financial transparency stated that a not-for-profit organisation wishing to act as the secretariat for an APPG must: agree to making available, on request, a list citing any commercial company which has donated to the charity or not-for-profit organisation more than £5,000 either as a single sum or cumulatively in the course of the 12 months prior to the month in which the request is made.444 p.57 Accordingly, Spinwatch made a request for a list of these donors from the HJS but it was not forthcoming. in December 2014 and made clear the previously obscure reasons behind HJS’s departure. It quoted Bernard Jenkin MP’s response to a question from the commissioner about the reason that HJS withdrew its services (on 8 August 2014), in which Jenkin had quoted an email he had received (on 4 August 2014) from the society. It read: ‘We do not intend to make our donors public, so will cease serving as the Secretariat for any APPGs.’446 Although without HJS support the APPGs were discontinued, by mid-January 2015 it became clear that three HJS staff, including Alan Mendoza and Davis Lewin, still had parliamentary passes – sponsored, according to the Register of Lords Interests, by Lord Stanley Kalms and Baroness Margaret Eaton - though it was not immediately clear whether these were longstanding or newly granted.447 What is clear is that the society continues to be able to host events in parliament, calling into question the efficacy of the rules intended to ensure transparency.
Inclusive Capitalism Initiative
- Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism Ltd: Companies House, The Fund for Inclusive Prosperity: Companies House
p.42. the defence of capitalism on behalf of the City of London
In 2011, the HJS undertook a project on 21st Century capitalism, initially entitled 'Better Markets, Better Values'.321 Much of the funding for the project came from the financial sector. "The temptation in such times is for govts to confuse the need for reasoned and rational change in the way that financial and business transactions are conducted with the desire to punish those deemed responsible for having caused the crisis. This simple depiction of capitalism and corporate excess does not provide for a coherent explanation of the way capitalist transactions underpin society, their relation to trade, prosperity and the political freedoms associated with them. Without research that can clearly analyse and denote a more nuanced view of society and the exchanges that generate its income, the capitalist model is liable to have the freedoms and ideology essential to its success corroded.323 The project had already confirmed financial support from McKinsey & Company, Inc, with further interest from KPMG, and Clifford Chance. The report stated "The project will be led by a high level working group whose co-chairs will be Lady de Rothschild, CEO of EL Rothschild and Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director of McKinsey. Other members include the former Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Lord John Hutton, Monetary Policy Committee Member Adam Posen, Director of the neoconservative Irwin Stelzer (advisor to Rupert Murdoch) and former Editor in Chief of the Wall Street Journal Europe Baroness Wheatcroft".325 The report called for the private sector to do more to educate workers, support small and medium-sized businesses and to promote long-term decision-making. It acknowledged the growth of inequality in recent decades, but nevertheless stated: ‘We are cautious about regulatory solutions because the recent crisis occurred in the context of a rules-based system; most of what went wrong did not involve illegal activity. Accordingly, we believe companies and individuals must work to make our capitalist system more inclusive and therefore more sustainable.’327 The focus on ‘companies and individuals’ underlined the implication that for all its acknowledged flaws, capitalism should be left to get its own house in order without too much intervention from any public or collective agencies other than business itself. The conference was sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation ($160,000) and Ford Foundation ($150,000), both based in New York; Tony Elumelu Foundation, which promotes capitalism in Africa; Lord Sainsbury's Gatsby Charitable Foundation, based in the UK; Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group, a renewable energy company in China; Blavatnik Family Foundation, founded by American businessman Len Blavatnik; Entrepreneurial Citizenship Institute (ICE), a civil society organisation based in Brazil; Edelman, the largest public relations agency in the world; and Wiggin Osborne Fullerlove, a firm of solicitors based in Cheltenham that provides expertise in the ‘protection of privately-owned wealth’ for clients, ‘both in the UK and offshore’.
Of the US foundations that sponsored HJS’s May 2014 conference on Inclusive Capitalism, the Blavatnik Family Foundation is of particular interest. Although the foundation lists its headquarters in New York, it does not appear to have registered as a charity and has not filed any 990 IRS tax records. This means that not only is the full extent of its income and activities not public, but also that any donations to the foundation are not tax deductible. In 2014, The Sunday Times ranked Blavatnik as the fourth wealthiest man living in Britain. According to The Telegraph, after the financial crash, British taxpayers wrote off a £2.5 billion loan granted to one of his chemical companies by the Royal Bank of Scotland.545 The New Yorker magazine profiled Blavatnik in January 2014, detailing how his rise to financial power was not dissimilar to other Russian oligarchs of the time, earning his fortune in the privatisation of Russia’s aluminium and oil resources after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Russia Studies Centre
The Russia Studies Centre is a research and advocacy unit operating within the Henry Jackson Society. It is dedicated to analysing contemporary Russian political developments and promoting human rights and political liberty in the Russian Federation.
Director of the Russia Studies Centre, Dr Andrew Foxall, is a leading Russia expert with a DPhil from the University of Oxford. Dr Foxall regularly contributes to publications including TIME, World Affairs and The Moscow Times and appears on major news channels. He has given briefings to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe on the situation in the North Caucasus. He is the author of a forthcoming book, Ethnic Relations in Post-Soviet Russia: Russians and Non-Russians in the North Caucasus (Routledge; London and New York) and numerous academic articles.
Dr Foxall’s full biography and list of recent publications can be accessed via his profile page, https://web.archive.org/web/20140911113557/http://henryjacksonsociety.org/people/professional-staff/russia-studies-centre/andrew-foxall/
- Apr.08.2018: Terrorists ‘plot in shadows of the dark net’, report warns. Authorities must deny extremists use of ‘safe havens’ in cyberspace. The report’s recommendations include a new internet regulatory body with the role of scrutinising tech companies’ efforts to remove extremist content, along with extra resources for the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre to accrue darknet intelligence. Linkback: Telegram (Telegram (service)), Lord Trimble, Lord Griffiths. The Guardian, Mark Townsend.
- Nov.08.2017: We can't ignore Priti Patel's background in lobbying. Britain's now former international development minister sits in the centre of the UK's dark money-funded think tank-lobbying industrial complex. Having been caught holding secret meetings with the Israeli govt, it looks like Britain's Brexit-backing International Development Secretary is in a pickle. Key context is missing from much of the coverage: Priti Patel’s vital role in 'thinktankistan': Britain’s dark-money funded nexus of think tanks, corporate PR, and lobbying. And in particular, the lobbying and business group links relevant to her controversial trip to Israel this summer. Before being elected an MP in 2010, Patel worked for the PR company Weber Shandwick. Two years ago, Jamie Doward at the Observer revealed that one of her clients in this period was British American Tobacco. British American Tobacco have long been main funders of Britain’s nexus of right wing, mostly Brexit-backing, think tanks. Tobacco Tactics have revealed both the Institute for Economic Affairs and the Adam Smith Institute – perhaps the two most important right-wing ‘think tanks’ in the UK – have received regular funding from British American Tobacco over decades. ... Israel, Bahrain, Gulf. Rimon Cohen, Promoseven ... In 2014, the right wing British ‘think tank’, the Henry Jackson Society, paid for Patel to attend a conference in Washington DC organised by the powerful (AIPAC) on security in the Middle East. The Henry Jackson Society are so secretive about their funding that they pulled their support for two parliamentary groups rather than reveal where they get their cash from (Dec.2014)). The Charity Commission announced in Feb. that it was investigating the HJS amidst allegations that it had been paid by the Japanese govt to spread anti-China propaganda. Patel's "fammily holiday" to Israel this summer: the meetings were arranged by Stuart Polak, the honourary president and former director of Conservative Friends of Israel. In 2009, Peter Oborne wrote a comprehensive report on the extensive power that CFI exerts within the Tory party. It’s worth reading in full. openDemocracy, Adam Ramsay.
- Feb.15.2017: Charity Commission looking into the Henry Jackson Society. The regulator says it is assessing whether it has any regulatory role after a newspaper reported the charity was paid £10,000 to promote anti-China propaganda. The Japanese embassy reportedly paid the charity to promote anti-China propaganda. Third Sector, Rebecca Cooney.
- Dec.19.2015: Henry Jackson Society The HJS is an extremist imperialist pressure group that promotes the complete hegemony of capitalist exploitation backed by military force. Keeping the welfare system for the arms industry well-funded is the main objective of the HJS. The HJS is a PR lobbying group for violent military action against any state that does not conform to capitalist control. HSJ Signatories include: Nicholas Boles, Damian Collins, Stephen Crabb, Michael Gove, Stephen Hammond, Robert Halfron, Greg Hands, Edward Vaizey, Fabian Hamilton, Chris Bryant, Gisela Stuart, Hannah Stuart, Robin Symcox, Tom Wilson, Douglas Murray is the mouthpiece for HJS. DuckSoap.
- Jun.11.2015: The Henry Jackson Society and the Degeneration of British Neoconservatism: Liberal interventionism, Islamophobia and the ‘War on Terror'. This report examines the history, activities and politics of the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), which we argue is the leading exponent of neoconservatism in the UK today grounded in a transatlantic tradition deeply influenced by Islamophobia and an open embrace of the ‘War on Terror’. SpinWatch, Tom Griffin, Hilary Aked, David Miller, Sarah Marusek.
- Dec.31.2014: Transparency rules force Henry Jackson Society off APPGs. ... the Henry Jackson Society has rescinded its secretariat role on the two all party parliamentary groups on which it serves, Homeland Security and Transatlantic Relations, after refusing to comply with new rules imposed by the parliamentary Standards Committee on transparency. The Guardian reveals the outcome of a complaint lodged by Professor David Miller, co-author of "The Cold War on British Muslims", which extensively detailed the pro-Israeli orientation of many of HJS funders as well as the society’s contribution to a virulently anti-Muslim discourse following its merger with the #Centre for Social Cohesion and its spawning of an offshoot organisation, #Student Rights. According to the parliamentary commissioner, HJS refused to comply with the requirement to “make available on request a list citing any commercial company which had donated more than £5,000 either as a single sum or cumulatively in the last 12 months”. The HJS has revoked its secretariat role as a result but not without important questions remaining unanswered as to why such a lack of transparency was ever permitted when major concerns have surfaced in recent years about the use of APPGs for lobbying purposes and the parliamentary passes that have been made available to officers of think tanks with clear policy interests operating at the heart of Westminster. more.... Mend.
- Mar.09.2015: White supremacists at the heart of Whitehall. Behind the facade of concern about terrorism is a network of extremist neoconservative ideologues, hell-bent on promoting discrimination and violence against Muslims and political activists who criticise Israeli and Western govt policies. Before joining HJS in 2011, Douglas Murray was head of the #Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), a counter-extremism outfit founded in 2007. CSC’s output on terrorism issues was widely used and cited in govt counter-terrorism strategy and policy documents. CSC company records show that one of its directors was Baroness Cox, a former deputy speaker of the House of Lords and special representative for the Foreign Office Freedom of Religion Panel. Cox’s anti-Muslim views are no secret. The year before inviting Wilders to Britain, Cox began hosting and attending events at the Henry Jackson Society. And a few years on, Cox’s protégé, Douglas Murray, had also shifted to HJS in a more formal capacity. HJS’ international patrons and supporters amount to a veritable “who’s who” of Anglo-American neocons. They include Paul Beaver, special advisor to the Parliamentary Defence Committee; Irwin Stelzer, Rupert Murdoch's former right-hand man; Col. Tim Collins, CEO of private defence contractor security, New Century Consulting; Sir Richard Dearlove, head of MI6 during the Iraq war WMD farce; former secretary of state for education Michael Gove; culture minister Ed Vaizey; minister for universities and science, David Willetts; Wall Street Journal chief editor Gerard Baker; NATO deputy assistant secretary general for emerging security challenges Jamie Shea; former US homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff; Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED); Robert Kagan and William Kristol, co-founders of the (PNAC); General Jack Sheehan, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic; , former chairman of the Pentagon's Defenxe Policy Board under Bush; and ex-CIA chief . HJS thus has significant connections in Washington, and holds considerable weight in Whitehall. It has also regularly hosted “risk analysis” conferences on corporate and business interests in the Middle East, particularly around oil and gas investment potential, with the participation of senior British govt officials. But Murray’s 2011 move was less a step up the career ladder, than an effort to save himself. Earlier that year, as revealed by former Tory politician and commentator Paul Goodman, Murray had been sidelined by the Conservative Party front-bench over various inflammatory comments he had made about Muslims in Europe. The principal cause of the abolition of “white Britons,” Murray wrote elsewhere, is the “startling rise in Muslim infants”. In 2006, Murray told the Dutch parliament in an extraordinarily revealing speech, the full text of which Murray has now removed, the following fascistic prescription for targeting Muslims in Europe: “It is late in the day, but Europe still has time to turn around the demographic time-bomb which will soon see a number of our largest cities fall to Muslim majorities. It has to. All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop. In the case of a further genocide such as that in the Balkans, sanctuary would be given on a strictly temporary basis. This should also be enacted retrospectively. Those who are currently in Europe having fled tyrannies should be persuaded back to the countries which they fled from, once the tyrannies that were the cause of their flight have been removed. Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition. We in Europe owe - after all - no special dues to Islam. We owe them no religious holidays, special rights or privileges.” Murray’s rancid ideology had a profound impact on the HJS, according to one of its founding members, former director Dr Marko Attila Hoare, a historian at Kingston University, who complained that the Society: "… has become an abrasively right-wing forum with an anti-Muslim tinge, churning out polemical and superficial pieces by aspiring journalists and pundits that pander to a narrow readership of extreme Europhobic British Tories, hardline US Republicans and Israeli Likudniks." Hoare points out that while HJS is obsessed with Islamist extremism, it has “shown no equivalent concern with white or Christian extremism,” it has done no work on groups like “the British National Party or EDL.” When Hoare himself published an article on the HJS website condemning the massacres by Anders Behring Breivik and his links to “the European anti-Islamic far-right,” that article was “immediately removed” and Hoare’s “right to post articles directly to the HJS website revoked.” Murray’s statements are not surprising when you consider the company he keeps. “I respect , he’s a very brilliant scholar and writer.” Spencer, whom Murray has proudly shared speaking platforms with several times, was banned from Britain by the Home Office (along with Pamela Geller) for promoting “anti-Muslim hate groups”. “I have written on numerous occasions that there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists,” wrote Murray’s idol. Currently, Murray is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Gatestone Institute, a necon think tank chaired by former Bush official, John Bolton. Gatestone’s board includes Murray’s longtime mentor Baroness Cox and longtime Conservative Party adviser, Times columnist Lord Daniel Finkelstein, former executive editor and chief leader writer of the paper, as well as previously chairman of the right-wing London think tank, Policy Exchange. Murray himself sat on Gatestone’s board of governors until as late as Oct.2014. On Gatestone’s largely neocon advisory board sits former CIA director – also an HJS patron. Woolsey is former vice president of giant US defense contractor (which employed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden) and chair of another neocon policy group, the . After Snowden’s revelations, Woolsey called for the whistleblower to be “hanged” for treason. He previously played a key role in the Bush-era think tank, PNAC, which promoted the drive for a war on Iraq irrespective of evidence for WMD. The Gatestone Institute’s founding president is , whom journalist Max Blumenthal describes as the “sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate”. A report by the Center for American Progress found that through a philanthropic foundation, Rosenwald and her family have donated more than $2.8m since 2000 to “organisations that fan the flames of Islamophobia”. Unsurprisingly, Murray’s Henry Jackson Society happens to be another grant beneficiary of the “Abstraction Fund” owned by Gatestone’s Rosenwald. Despite the abhorrent remarks of the people Murray supports and considers his friends, despite the abhorrent activities of his own paymasters, and despite his own abhorrent remarks, Murray’s HJS has been increasingly courted by the so-called counter-extremists at the illustrious Quilliam Foundation... Middle East Eye, Nafeez Ahmed.