Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category.

Response to TUC General Council statement

responding to the TUC General Council’s statement on Gaza today, a spokesman for Fair Play, the anti-boycott unit of the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council, said:

“The TUC is being led by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign into further supporting boycotts and sanctions on Israel. Today’s decision will mean that the TUC will provide the infrastructure of the anti-Israel boycott movement, funding and organising its conferences and coordinating its campaigns.

Today’s General Council statement condemns antisemitism while speaking positively about the antisemitic Hamas, and doesn’t even mention rocket attacks on Israel. It supports a two-state solution, but refuses to work to make the two-state solution a reality by, for example, supporting cooperation and peace-building projects. The TUC’s actions are instead focused on pulling Israeli and Palestinian workers further apart.”

Conflict with Hamas: Communal Leaders Express Solidarity with Israel

This is a cross post from the Jewish Leadership Council

In light of the continuing rocket attacks on Israeli towns from Gaza, and the ongoing Operation ‘Pillar of Defence’ response, Jewish community leaders from a broad cross section of major organisations have sent an open letter of support and solidarity to the Government of Israel via Ambassador Daniel Taub. The full text of the letter can be found below.

A number of our member organisations have been responding to the situation over the past twenty-four hours. For authoritative real time information and analysis about the situation we would also encourage you to visit the special ‘spotlight’ session on the BICOM website which was launched earlier today. This can be found here.

CST have warned that the escalation of the conflict may lead to an increase in antisemitic incidents. Their latest guidance for the community can be found here.

The latest statement from the Board of Deputies is available here.

To see a blog article on the current situation written by JLC CEO Jeremy Newmark for The Times of Israel, click here.


HE Daniel Taub
The Israel Ambassador
Embassy of Israel
2 Palace Green
W8 4QB

15 November 2012

Dear Ambassador,

At this difficult and challenging time for the State of Israel and its citizens we wanted to send you an important message of support and solidarity from leaders and key institutions of the UK Jewish community.  These sentiments prevail across all sections of our community, reflecting the national consensus within Israel itself.

Over the past decade we have rallied together in support of Israel under the banner of ‘Yes to Peace, No to Terror and No to Hamas’. The current Operation Pillar of Defence is an entirely understandable response to the intolerable assault upon the citizens of Southern Israel and the continued provocations of Hamas – an antisemitic terrorist organisation.

We take pride in the commitment of Israel’s political and military leadership to leave no stone unturned in seeking to avoid civilian casualties and remain true to the Jewish ethical ethos that underpins the doctrine of the IDF.

We also take this opportunity to commend you personally on the admirable manner in which you stepped up to take an important lead in advocating for Israel so effectively across the UK national media over the past twenty-four hours. This is a difficult and often hostile arena. You have done your country proud.

Your Excellency, please convey to your Government the support and sentiments of the leadership of this community.

Yours in solidarity,


Mick Davis – Chair of the Board of Trustees, The Jewish Leadership Council (JLC)  & Chairman, UJIA
Vivian Wineman – President, Board of Deputies of British Jews & Chairman, JLC
Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks – Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner – Movement Rabbi, Movement for Reform Judaism
Rabbi Danny Rich – CEO, Liberal Judaism also on behalf of Liberal Judaism Rabbinic Conference
Jon Benjamin – CEO, The Board of Deputies of British Jews
Jeremy Newmark – Chief Executive, The Jewish Leadership Council
Frank Baigel – President of Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester & Region
Kate Bearman – JLC Political Oversight Group & Former Director of Labour Friends of Israel
Bill Benjamin – Member, JLC
Linda Boxer – Chief Executive, WIZO UK
Alex Brummer – Vice-President of Board of Deputies (Chair International Division)
Paul Charney – Chair, Zionist Federation
David Chinn – Member, JLC Political Oversight Group
Sir Trevor Chinn CVO – Vice President, JLC & Chair of  JLC Political Oversight Group
Adrian Cohen – Chair, London Jewish Forum & Member of JLC
David Cohen – Vice President, JLC
David Dangoor – President, Board of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews’ Congregation
Judith Flacks – Campaigns Director, UJS
Nick Gendler – Co-chair, Masorti Judaism
Jonathan Goldstein – Chair, PaJeS
Lord Young of Graffam – Chairman, Jewish Museum & Member, JLC
Alex Green – Chair, Union of Jewish Students and Member, JLC
Henry Grunwald OBE QC – Vice President, JLC & Past President, Board of Deputies
Robert Halfon MP
Andrew Heller – Chairman, Executive Board of Conservative Friends of Israel
Lucian J Hudson – Chairman, Liberal Judaism
Jeremy Jacobs – CEO, United Synagogue
Lord Janner of Braunstone – Vice-President, JLC
Isaac Kaye – BICOM & JLC Political Oversight Group
Dermot Kehoe – CEO, BICOM
Brian Kerner – Co-chair, Fair Play Campaign Group & Member of JLC
Debbie Klein – Chairman, JCC for London
Douglas Krikler – Political Oversight Group, JLC
Nigel Layton – Chairman, LEAD
Howard Leigh – Vice President, JLC
James Libson – Trustee, JLC
Howard Miller – CEO, Spanish & Portuguese Jews’ Congregation
Edward Misrahi – Vice Chair, BICOM & Chairman, ‘We Believe in Israel’
Leo Noé – Vice President, JLC
Stephen Pack – President, United Synagogue
Jenny Pizer – Chair, Movement for Reform Judaism
Stuart Polak – Director, Conservative Friends of Israel
Ben Rich – CEO, Movement for Reform Judaism
Jo Rosenfelder – Board Member & Trustee, Tzedek & Member of JLC Political Oversight Group
Jill Shaw – Chair, WIZO UK
Clive Sheldon – Co-chair, Masorti Judaism
Rebecca Simon – Board Member, Labour Friends of Israel
Gavin Stollar – Chairman, Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel
Nick Viner – CEO, JCC for London
Michael Weiger – Chief Executive, UJIA
Joy Wolfe MBE  - Chairman, StandWithUs UK & President, Manchester Zionist Central Council
Poju Zabludowicz – Chairman, BICOM

Fair Play Statement on TUC Vote

Yesterday, on the 11 September 2012, trade union delegates at the TUC’s Congress voted in favour of a motion calling for TUC to organise a
delegation to Gaza in conjunction with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign ‘to determine how the TUC may most effectively contribute to the end of the blockade.’ The motion can be found here.

The TUC’s decision to singularly focus on Gaza again is bizarre. There is no motion on Syria, at a time when hundreds are dying every week, or on anywhere else in the Middle East, still reeling from the aftershocks of the Arab Spring.

A visit to only Gaza, ignoring the West Bank, Israel and the Sinai, is a distorted snapshot of a complex situation; it would be the sort of trip which
conceals as much as it reveals.

More concerning, though, is the TUC’s decision to visit Gaza with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. PSC trips are necessarily biased and one-sided, meeting only those parts of Palestinian society that support their views. In particular, PSC trips to Gaza usually include meetings with terrorist leaders from Hamas. The PSC makes no secret of its agenda.

We believe that the trip should not go ahead as envisaged in the motion. However, if it does, we call upon the TUC to take the opportunity and have a more balanced visit to the wider region, organised by neutral and fair organisations, and to guarantee that they will not meet with the terrorist leaders of Hamas.


Statement on al-Quds Day Adverts on TfL Buses

Following our complaint last week, we welcome Transport for London’s (TfL) commitment to remove the Al Quds Day March adverts from the TfL network in the next few days. The adverts were promoting a rally in which people call for the destruction of Israel and show support for terrorists. Further, TfL’s promise to undertake a thorough policy review to prevent similar adverts being placed again is also positive.

It is unfortunate that such adverts were placed on buses, and we trust that TfL will ensure that similarly offensive materials do not appear on the network in the future.

You can read our original letter of complaint here and TfL’s response here.

Jeremy Newmark                                                                           Jon Benjamin

Chief Executive                                                                            Chief Executive

Jewish Leadership Council                                                     Board of Deputies of British Jews

Fair Play complaint regarding al-Quds Day adverts

6 August 2012

To Whom It May Concern,

It has come to our attention that the al-Quds Day March is being advertised on Transport for London buses. As an advert for a political event, this advert contravenes section 3.1 (p) of the TfL Advertising Policy which states 3.1 Advertisements will not be approved for, or permitted to remain on TfL’s services if, in TfL’s reasonable opinion, the advertisement falls within any of the following categories.’ (p) ‘The advertisement relates to a … a political cause.’

Quds Day is an annual political rally introduced by Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. In creating the day, Khomeini said “I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join together to sever the hand of this usurper [Israel] and its supporters.”

More recently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Iranian State news that “The Quds Day is not merely a strategic solution for the Palestinian problem, as it is to be viewed as a key for solving the world problems; any freedom lover and justice seeker in the world must do its best for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the path for the establishment of justice and freedom in the world”

The particular advert, apparently placed by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), directs people to that organisation’s website for details. The IHRC website’s details on the event make it clear that this is an explicitly political rally.

Their page on the Quds Day rally[1] includes the following quote “Oh Muslims and deprived of the world, rise up in unity and take your destiny in your hands. Lets start from where we live. We should sanction their economy and puppets in our countries. We should deny them any breathing space until we free our nations of their perfidy. It should ever remain in our minds that we can free Quds only when we free our nation of its corrupt elements.”

At previous al-Quds Day Marches in London the flag of the Hezbollah, a proscribed terrorist organisation, has proudly been on display by participants alongside signs stating “We are all Hezbollah now!” Speakers at previous rallies made inflammatory political speeches calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.

We appreciate that this might not have been apparent when the advertising was first accepted in good faith. However, in light of the explicitly political nature of the event being advertised on TfL buses, we are sure that you will take this opportunity to apply your Advertising Policy consistently and remove the adverts.


Yours sincerely,



Jeremy Newmark                                                                           Jon Benjamin

Chief Executive                                                                          Chief Executive

Jewish Leadership Council                                                Board of Deputies of British Jews