A prominent group promoting relations between Britain and the Arab world has again been shown to have a social media focus on Israel – just a year after it was criticised for having “an obsession” with the Jewish state.
The Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU), based in London, has sent three times more tweets about Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2017 than it has about Syria, despite the imminent defeat of Islamic State and the breakthrough ceasefire deal reached between Russia and the United States.
Last year, the group was chastised for the majority of its tweets being about Israel-Palestine, and this year, despite a fall in the overall proportion, Israel-Palestine still made up the majority of its country-specific posts, with 59 tweets, compared to 21 about Syria, seven about Yemen and only one about Iraq.
In April 2016, CAABU director Chris Doyle said: “Our work as a whole is not summed up by our Twitter feed. We probably spend more time on Syria than anything else. We have a small team, focusing on conflict zones like Yemen and Libya, the issue with refugees… We don’t pretend to cover all of the Middle East – we can’t.”
Zionist Federation chairman Paul Charney said: “It is ridiculous and misguided that CAABU are still unjustly obsessing over Israel whilst great tragedy is hitting the Arab world. If the only way CAABU are able to achieve their aim of ‘advancing Arab-British relations’ is by criticism and negative focus on the single functioning democracy in that region, then it leaves a typically bleak horizon ahead for them.”