Blair accused of employing Israeli intelligence officer


July 23, 2013
Sarah Benton

Telegraph breaks story, 1); zoominfo’s collation of web references to Ms Pollak, 2);Guardian tracks Tony Blair 3). Notes and Links on Tony Blair Associates and Press TV.

Lianne Pollak, former Israeli intelligence officer, was recruited as a private consultant on economic development and security matters by Tony Blair Associates between October 2012 and April this year. That office says he also hires Palestinians.

Tony Blair hired ex Israeli army intelligence officer despite envoy role
Tony Blair has hired a former Israeli army intelligence officer to work in his private office, despite his role as Middle East peace envoy.

By Edward Malnick, and Robert Mendick, Daily Telegraph
July 07, 2013

Lianne Pollak, who has led intelligence teams in the Israel Defence Forces, was recruited as a private consultant between October 2012 and April this year.

The 30-year-old was previously a policy adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, working with security agencies and senior officials.

Mr Blair has been involved in sensitive negotiations between the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority. The former prime minister is the unpaid envoy to the Middle East for the Quartet – the group that represents the US, Russia, the United Nations and Europe.

His role includes encouraging development in Gaza and the West Bank and helping to forge a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, having been appointed when he left Downing Street in June 2007.

The disclosure of Miss Pollak’s appointment follows calls for the former prime minister to be more transparent about his complex business network.

Peter Kilfoyle, a former Labour minister who was Mr Blair’s leadership campaign manager, but is now a critic, said: “If you have got someone close to the so-called negotiator who is so partial in these matters [the Palestinians] are going to look even more sceptically at Mr Blair than they do currently.”

Miss Pollak’s public profile on the Linkedin website states: “She recently finished a project as a consultant at the Office of Tony Blair, where she managed processes on Economic Development, improving the business environment, and security related topics.”

Under “experience” she writes that she was a consultant in Mr Blair’s office, listing as her duties: “Strategy and Management Consulting for a major client overseas.

“Managing work processes on Economic Development, improving the business environment and security-related topics.”
Describing her professional experience before her work for Mr Blair, the profile states: “Before joining the team, she worked for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office in the negotiation team with the Palestinians during the Annapolis process and with the Foreign Affairs Department at the National Security Council.

“She specialized in Economic Development and capacity building for the Palestinian population.

“Lianne was also an officer in the Israeli army in the area of intelligence analysis, and led intelligence teams and intelligence processes in volatile periods, working with senior generals on a daily basis.”

According to Linkedin she served as an officer in the IDF between November 2001 and May 2004, before going on to work for the Israeli prime minister’s office in September 2008, for just under three years.

During her time in the Israeli government she provided strategic planning for the prime minister and worked “hand in hand” with “diverse stakeholders” including high ranking officials and security agencies, her profile states.

A spokesman for Mr Blair said Miss Pollak, who has an MA in public management from the London School of Economics, worked on “public service reform” on a project not related to the Middle East, adding: “There are Palestinians who work for Tony Blair. So the idea of a conflict of interest on this basis is absolutely absurd.”


Miss Lianne Pollak

Zoominfo, web references
Lianne Pollak, who has led
www.khilafah.com, 7 July 2013 [cached]

Lianne Pollak, who has led intelligence teams in the Israel Defence Forces, was recruited as a private consultant between October 2012 and April this year.

The disclosure of Miss Pollak’s appointment follows calls for the former prime minister to be more transparent about his complex business network.

Miss Pollak’s public profile on the Linkedin website states: “She recently finished a project as a consultant at the Office of Tony Blair, where she managed processes on Economic Development, improving the business environment, and security related topics.”

“Lianne was also an officer in the Israeli army in the area of intelligence analysis, and led intelligence teams and intelligence processes in volatile periods, working with senior generals on a daily basis.”
According to Linkedin she served as an officer in the IDF between November 2001 and May 2004, before going on to work for the Israeli prime minister’s office in September 2008, for just under three years.
During her time in the Israeli government she provided strategic planning for the prime minister and worked “hand in hand” with “diverse stakeholders” including high ranking officials and security agencies, her profile states.
A spokesman for Mr Blair said Miss Pollak, who has an MA in public management from the London School of Economics, worked on “public service reform” on a project not related to the Middle East, adding: “There are Palestinians who work for Tony Blair.
Lianne Pollak Office

legacyheritage.org, 1 April 2009 [cached]
Lianne Pollak Office of the Prime Minister,

Lianne Pollak was born in Israel. During her army service, she served as an intelligence officer and was an outstanding soldier of the battalion in officer’s course. She was also a counselor for Birthright and for an Australian group of young politicians. She pursued her B.A. in Government, Diplomacy and Strategic Studies at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. In her second year she was a member of the “StandWithUs” advocacy fellowship. In her last year of studies she joined the Argov Fellows Program in Leadership and Diplomacy, and was an intern for the Israeli Palestinian Negotiating Partners. She speaks Hebrew, English and German fluently. For her fellowship, Lianne is working within the office of the Prime Minister in Jerusalem.
Lianne …
legacyheritage.org, 1 April 2009 [cached]
Lianne Pollak Office of the Prime Minister, Jerusalem



Graphic by guardian.co.uk

Tony Blair’s empire mixes business and philanthropy

Ex-PM uses some of the millions made from advising governments on subsidising his work promoting dialogue between faiths

By Nicholas Watt, guardian.co.uk
June 21, 2013

Tony Blair’s Middle East post was just the first step in building up an empire that now encompasses six areas and ensures that the former prime minister spends most of his life criss-crossing the globe in a chartered private jet.

Friends say one reason, among many many others, explains Blair’s drive. He believes an unfortunate rule means leaders run out of political capital just as they have mastered the challenge of governing, and that he was forced out of office by Gordon Brown’s supporters while he still had much to offer. “Tony basically thinks he should still be prime minister and is convinced he towers over his two successors,” one ally said.

Blair insists he is not driven by vanity. He was keen to work as the Quartet’s envoy, which has helped him recover some of his reputation in the Arab world after the Iraq war, because he has believed for years that extremism will never be defeated until the Israel/Palestine dispute is resolved.

The former prime minister goes to great lengths to ensure there is a separation between his work for the Quartet and the most controversial part of what he calls his “portfolio” – earning millions of pounds advising governments through Tony Blair Associates. He does no business in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Egypt or Jordan.

But these self-imposed rules leave plenty of scope to do business in the Gulf, where Blair’s influence is enhanced as the Quartet’s envoy. He is a regular visitor to Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, where the prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad al-Thani, is rapidly emerging as a major player in the Middle East.

Blair’s business interests 2,000 miles to the north-east of the Gulf – in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan – have prompted some of the strongest criticism of his work in recent years. Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been president since Kazakhstan’s last days in the USSR, won the presidential election in 2011 with 95% of the vote, prompting criticism from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

The former prime minister defended his work in Kazakhstan, saying he offered important advice on judicial reform and local government. “The purpose of this is not to make money, it’s to make a difference,” he told the FT.

Blair uses such earnings to subsidise his philanthropic work in four areas. These are the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which promotes dialogue among faiths; the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, which continues the work of his Commission for Africa set up before Britain’s G8 presidency in 2005; the Tony Blair Sports Foundation, which helps aspiring young sportspeople in the north-east of England, where he served as an MP for 24 years; and Breaking the Deadlock, a foundation that tackles climate change.

But his earnings also fund a prime ministerial lifestyle. There is the house in Connaught Square, London, where properties now sell for £6.5m and his own country retreat, the 17th-century South Pavilion of Wotton House in Buckinghamshire, which was once owned by the late Sir John Gielgud.


Notes and Links
Tony Blair Associates
Tony Blair Associates is the umbrella organisation for our commercial operations.

We work with governments on the path of reform providing advice and support on key areas of governance, modernisation and implementation.

We provide geopolitical and strategic advice to multinational corporations.

We bring together institutional investors with potential investment opportunities.

Tony Blair’s commercial activities provide important funding for his philanthropic work.

Tony Blair Associates is entirely separate from the Foundations which are independent charitable entities accountable to their own boards and trustees and subject to applicable charity regulations.

Press TV

The Telegraph’s story was seized on with delight by Press TV and slotted into its show, The Monarchy, which it claims reveals information that the mainstream media will not publish. It was posted on July 22, 2013 and you can watch it here. The material about Lianne Polack is about 15 minutes in. Press TV is funded by the state of Iran and is a division of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

Blair office response to UKDesk’s story  July 15, 2013

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