Conservative Friends of Israel, abbreviated to CFI, is a British parliamentary group affiliated to the Conservative Party, which is dedicated to strengthening business, cultural and political ties between the United Kingdom and Israel. CFI is an unincorporated association.
According to the Channel 4 documentary Dispatches — Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby, around 80% of Conservative MPs are members of the CFI. In 1995 Conservative politician Robert Rhodes James called it “the largest organisation in Western Europe dedicated to the cause of the people of Israel”.
In 2007 the Political Director stated it had over 2000 members and registered supporters. In 2009, at least half of the shadow cabinet were members of the group according to a Dispatches documentary. Its membership includes:
David Cameron, Iain Duncan-Smith, Liam Fox, William Hague and Malcolm Rifkind.
David Cameron, then newly elected leader of the Conservative Party, addressed the CFI annual business lunch on 30 January 2006, whose audience included half of the Conservative Parliamentary Party. As part of his speech, he stated “I am proud not just to be a Conservative, but a Conservative friend of Israel ..”
The Dispatches documentary claimed members of the group and their companies have donated over £10 million to the Conservative party between 2001 and 2009. Dispatches described the CFI as “beyond doubt the most well-connected and probably the best funded of all Westminster lobbying groups”.