International Advocacy


Marie van der Zyl calls out ‘moral bankruptcy’ of international court

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has criticised the decision of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into alleged war crimes by the Israelis. Marie said: “The decision made by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda yesterday to open a formal investigation into “alleged war crimes in the Palestinian Territories” goes to […]

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Condemnation for treatment of China’s Muslim minority

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb has condemned the treatment  of China’s Uighar Muslims by the country’s government. She said: “These reports of psychological torture and brainwashing are just the latest in a series of disturbing and sinister revelations about the treatment of Uighur Muslims by the government of China. Because of our […]

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Condemnation for desecration of Jewish graves in Denmark

Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb has condemned the desecration of Jewish graves in Denmark. Sheila said: “The desecration of up to 80 graves in a the 200-year old Jewish cemetery in Denmark over this past weekend, on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, is another example of the worrying and dangerous growth of antisemitism throughout Europe. We […]

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Board of Deputies condemns decision to host Malaysian Prime Minister at Cambridge

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb has condemned the decision of the Cambridge Union to host Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Sheila said: “The decision by Cambridge University Union to host Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a notorious antisemite who has made no secret of his distaste for Jews and Israel, is deeply disheartening. “By inviting this […]

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Condemnation for violent assault on Argentinian rabbi

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb has reacted to an attack on Argentinian Rabbi Elyahu Shaman. Sheila said: “The violent assault on Rabbi Elyahu Shaman, who is also a cantor at a synagogue in the Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Palermo, has deeply upset us. It’s not the first time that the Argentinian Jewish […]

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Board of Deputies shocked by violent attack on Argentinian Chief Rabbi

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb has reacted to an attack on the Argentinian Chief Rabbi during a break-in at his home in Buenos Aires. Sheila said: “The violent attack on the Argentinian Chief Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich at his home has deeply shocked us. It’s not the first time that the Argentinian Jewish […]

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Condemnation for ‘antisemitic’ Malaysian Prime Minister 

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb has condemned Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for his latest antisemitic outburst. Sheila said: “Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is a purveyor of antisemitic and antiquated tropes. While the rest of Malaysia is moving forward, he makes it look like the country is moving backward, which is a […]

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Milah UK welcomes Icelandic decision to drop circumcision bill

Dr Simon Hochhauser, the Co-chair of Milah UK which promotes and protects the right of the Jewish community to carry out religious circumcision, has welcomed Iceland’s decision to drop its proposed bill to ban circumcision. He said: “We welcome the common sense decision of the Icelandic Parliament to drop this bill which would have criminalised […]

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Concern at campaign messages of Hungarian election winner Orban

Responding to the victory of Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party in the Hungarian elections, Board of Deputies Chief Executive Gillian Merron said: “We are very concerned at some of the messages at the heart of Viktor Orban’s election campaign, including his comments about ‘Muslim invaders’ and calling migrants ‘poison’. “There were also worrying antisemitic undertones in […]

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Condemnation for French supermarket attack

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Richard Verber has condemned the terrorist attack against civilians at a French supermarket. He said: “The Board of Deputies condemns the horrific attack against innocent people in Trebes, France. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of all those affected.”

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Deep concern over far-right involvement in Austrian coalition

The Board of Deputies is deeply concerned by the coalition agreement reached in Austria which sees the Freedom Party (FPO) return to government with the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP). Senior Vice President Richard Verber said: “The far right brought unprecedented misery on Austria and other European countries in the past. It is up to all […]

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‘Grave concern’ over Trump’s Britain First retweets

Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl has condemned President Donald Trump’s retweets of videos posted by Britain First Deputy Leader Jayda Fransen. Marie said: “It is of grave concern that the President of the United States would retweet videos from the deputy leader of Britain First. They are a nasty far-right group […]

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Jonathan Arkush reacts to Austrian election result

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has reacted to the victory in the Austrian elections of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP)  under the leadership of Sebastian Kurz. He  said: “While extending congratulations to Sebastian Kurz, who has a good record of engaging with the Jewish community, we are deeply concerned at the success of the […]

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Board of Deputies at AJC Global Forum 2017

Chief Executive Gillian Merron and International Relations Officer David attended AJC (American Jewish Committee) Global Forum 2017 in Washington this week as world leaders, Israeli and US politicians and media personalities came together for a range of sessions covering issues from Muslim-Jewish engagement to the diaspora’s relationship with Israel, geopolitical alliances to youth leadership. Speakers […]

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Board of Deputies thanks UK Government for stand against WHO on Israel

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Richard Verber has praised the UK government for voting against a hostile World Health Organisation (WHO) resolution on Israel. He said: “Thank you to the UK Government for taking a principled stand by voting against a resolution condemning Israel at the World Health Assembly of the WHO. The only […]

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Congratulations to new French president Macron

Richard Verber, Senior Vice President of the Board of Deputies, said: “We congratulate Emmanuel Macron on his clear victory in the French Presidential election. While the far right did alarmingly well in this election, it is a relief to see the force with which the French people have rejected the politics of division and despair. […]

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Board of Deputies welcomes adoption of IHRA antisemitism definition

The Board of Deputies of British Jews warmly welcomes the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism by the Austrian Government. The definition was adopted at the initiative of its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Sebastian Kurz. Senior Vice President Richard Verber said: “This is a very important step taken […]

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Jonathan Arkush supports government rejection of UNESCO Jerusalem motion

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has expressed support for the UK government, which today voted against a UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem: He said: “I noted with appreciation that the UK Government voted against another unacceptable UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem. The resolution, against all historical evidence, seeks to deny or diminish the central connection between […]

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Statement on Egypt attacks targeting Christians

The Board of Deputies of British Jews forcefully condemns the appalling terror attacks on Coptic Christian churches in Tanta and Alexandria, Egypt. These attacks, which took place as people gathered to pray on Sunday, strike at the fabric of Egyptian society and are particularly concerning given the situation faced by Christians and other religious minorities […]

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Board of Deputies President condemns Trump ban on refugees

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has condemned Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees. He said: “As I stated yesterday, bans based on national origin are indiscriminate and unjust. They would be unlawful in U.K. law. While we all understand the need to properly check those who enter our countries, this needs to be balanced […]

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Jonathan Arkush condemns attack on mosque in Quebec

Speaking from Bradford, where he is on a visit to promote Muslim-Jewish relations, Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush condemned yesterday’s attack on a mosque in Canada. Jonathan said: “I am horrified by last night’s senseless terrorist attack against the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre. There can be no justification whatsoever for the wanton slaughter of […]

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Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush criticises Paris Conference

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has criticised the Paris Conference on the Israel-Palestine conflict, to which neither Israelis nor Palestinians were invited. Jonathan Arkush said: “Last week at my meeting with Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood, I expressed my strong belief that the Paris Conference would not further peace process if it did not stress […]

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Board of Deputies expresses solidarity after terror attacks

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has expressed solidarity with the victims of terrorist attacks which were perpetrated around Europe. In a week which saw the murder of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, the lorry attack which killed shoppers at a Berlin Christmas market and a shooting at a Zurich mosque, Senior Vice President […]

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Statement on attack targeting Coptic Christians in Egypt

F0llowing the terror attack in Egypt on Sunday 11th December 2016 in which 25 people lost their lives, the Board of Deputies of British Jews has issued the following statement: Senior Vice President Richard Verber said: “The murderous twin-bomb attack on Egypt’s Coptic community once again heightens the precarious situation faced by minorities in many […]

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Richard Verber condemns Istanbul terror attack

Following the deaths of 44 people including police and civilians in Turkey’s most populous city Istanbul on Saturday 10th December 2016, the Board of Deputies of British Jews has issued the following statement: Senior Vice President Richard Verber said: “We strongly condemn the terror attack which took place in Istanbul on Saturday evening. The Turkish […]

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Board of Deputies welcomes rejection of far-right in Austria

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Richard Verber has welcomed the rejection of far-right candidate Norbert Hofer by the Austrian electorate in yesterday’s re-run of the country’s presidential elections. He said: “While feeling a sense of relief, we must also express our concern that such a significant number of people were prepared to forget the […]

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Board of Deputies thanks countries which assisted Israel in tackling fires

The Board of Deputies  has written to the ambassadors of countries which have provided assistance and aid to Israel as it tackled fires across the country to express its gratitude on behalf of the Jewish community. Senior Vice President Richard Verber said that the response of countries including Italy, Russia and Turkey would ‘not be […]

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Board of Deputies responds to letter on Trump statement

After the USA elected its new President, the Board of Deputies put out a statement congratulating the victor, Donald Trump, but noting that there was much to do after a divisive campaign, including building bridges and ensuring that America’s standing as a beacon of progress, tolerance and free thinking remains strong. Following the statement some […]

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UK Government reaffirms support for Holocaust restitution

The British government has reaffirmed its commitment to help Holocaust survivors whose property was unjustly taken during the Holocaust and its aftermath. In a letter last week to the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Baroness Anelay, declared Britain’s […]

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UNESCO Temple Mount vote is “disgraceful”

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Richard Verber has condemned a UNESCO motion which omits any reference to the Jewish heritage of Temple Mount and other holy sites in Jerusalem. He said: “The motion passed at a UNESCO Executive Board meeting today is a disgraceful and frankly ridiculous attempt to erase thousands of years of […]

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Board of Deputies and AJC sign association accord

The Board of Deputies of British Jews and AJC have signed an association agreement. The accord marks a new chapter in an increasingly close relationship between the two organisations. AJC CEO David Harris said: “Our organisations share a vision and commitment to ensuring the well-being of Jews worldwide, and for the state of Israel, through […]

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Crispin Blunt must apologise for sharing a platform with Ismail Patel

Board of Deputies Vice President  Marie van der Zyl said: “Crispin Blunt MP’s defence of his decision to chair an event alongside Ismail Patel is itself indefensible. Patel has endorsed Hamas, which fires missiles on innocent civilians and enshrines antisemitism in its charter. We call on Mr Blunt to apologise and commit not to share a […]

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International Advocacy

The Board of Deputies maintains relationships with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development and the Prime Minister’s Envoy on Post-Holocaust Issues in order to promote issues of concern to Jews both in our country and beyond. We are the credible point of contact for London’s diplomatic and international community, meeting with dozens […]

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Board of Deputies condemns Tosh McDonald’s Hitler comparison

Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl has condemned Aslef President Tosh McDonald for making an inappropriate comparison between Hilary Benn and Adolf Hitler. Marie said:  “Hitler comparisons like this are lazy, ignorant and offensive. But then, what can one expect from someone who says that Daesh – a totalitarian theocracy that crucifies […]

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Priti Patel letter over funding to Hamas welcomed

The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council welcome the response of International Development Secretary of State Priti Patel, to our letter regarding the funding of World Vision and allegations of funds being diverted to Hamas. We strongly welcome the assurances we have received from the Secretary of State that DFID are not supporting World […]

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A Better Way than Boycotts: The Board’s Response to BDS

We are pleased to present the Board’s response to Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS). The document effectively addresses and counters the fundamental issues raised by the BDS campaign, explaining its various motivations and divisive consequences. The document advocates the approach of positive investment into the region, emphasising the ways in which people who […]

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