Israel & The Middle East

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Board of Deputies reacts to ‘crass and offensive’ Orla Guerin report on BBC news

Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman has condemned BBC International Correspondent Orla Guerin for linking the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a report on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Amanda said: “In an otherwise moving report on the experiences of a Holocaust survivor, Orla Guerin’s attempt to link the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the […]

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Condemnation for Erdogan over Holocaust comments

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb has condemned Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan for comparing the situation in Gaza to the Holocaust. Sheila said: “The comparison between the situation in Gaza and the horrors of the Shoah, the systematic murder of six million people, is vile. Turkey’s President Erdogan should apologise for the comments […]

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Board of Deputies condemn Galloway over ‘Israel flags’ tweet

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has reacted to a tweet by George Galloway’s in which he wrote that Tottenham’s defeat in the Champions League final meant “no Israel flags on the cup”. Marie said:  “We would like to thank Tottenham Hotspur FC for calling out the ‘blatant antisemitism’ in George Galloway’s tweet. […]

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Condemnation for fatal Hamas rocket attacks

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has reacted to the Hamas rocket attacks against Israel over the weekend. She said: “We utterly condemn the terrorism of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who have fired 450 rockets in to Israel from Gaza so far. Our hearts go out to the family of Moshe Agadi and […]

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Board of Deputies reacts to Israeli election results

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has reacted to the results of yesterday’s Israeli elections. She said: “Benjamin Netanyahu has registered a significant achievement in winning a record fifth election as Prime Minister in this hotly contested election. After a polarising campaign, with some deeply alarming rhetoric, politicians from all sides need to […]

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Board of Deputies condemns ‘disgusting video’ made by IsraelMK

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has condemned the recent comments and campaign video of MK Oren Hazan. She said: “Oren Hazan’s video is disgusting. Depicting  murder is beyond despicable. This, from the same person who we had to condemn after he spoke approvingly about China’s use of concentration camps against its Muslim […]

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Board of Deputies condemns terrorist murders

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb has reacted to the terrorist shooting which has claimed the lives of two Israelis. She said: “Terrorism has claimed more civilian lives. I am deeply saddened  to hear that Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, a father of 12 from the settlement of Eli, died of his injuries on Monday, […]

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Board of Deputies President calls on Thornberry to give guarantees on Israel’s security following letter on Iran clashes

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has responded to a letter sent by Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry to  Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt following clashes between Israeli and Iranian forces in Syria. “Emily Thornberry’s recognition of Iran’s belligerence and state-backed antisemitism is inconsistent with her call to deprive Israel of the means to […]

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Board of Deputies condemns Airbnb decision on Israel

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has condemned a decision by Airbnb to remove listings from Israelis living in the West Bank. A spokesperson said: “The Board of Deputies condemns the decision by Airbnb to single out the Jewish state of Israel from all the territories in the world that are under dispute. I’m […]

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Board of Deputies condemns Quakers’ Israel divestment policy

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has condemned the decision of Quakers in Britain to divest from, in its words, “any companies profiting from the occupation of Palestine”. Marie said: “The appalling decision of the Friends House hierarchy to divest from just one country in the world – the only Jewish state – […]

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Board of Deputies condemns rocket attacks against Israel

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has reacted to rocket attacks on Israel launched from Gaza. She said: “I am deeply concerned about the escalation of violence and the more than 150 rockets fired at Israel. I utterly condemn the ongoing rocket salvo from Hamas that has wounded more than 11 Israelis. Our strong commitment […]

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Board of Deputies deplores ongoing rocket attacks on Israel

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl and Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb said: “Israel – as every other sovereign nation state  – has the right to defend and protect her citizens and its borders. We strongly deplore the ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza on Southern Israeli communities, which make the lives of so […]

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Board of Deputies reacts to Israel’s Nation State law

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb has reacted Israel’s newly passed Nation State Law.   She said: “Whilst we celebrate Israel’s Jewish-ness, there is concern that some of the measures in this law are regressive steps. Among Israel’s great strengths are its democracy and diversity. Being Jewish is a wonderful thing, but this should […]

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Board of Deputies condemns rocket strikes on Israeli town

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Richard Verber said: “We condemn in the strongest terms the rocket attacks fired from Gaza at Israeli population centres. These were fired at innocent civilians and one landed just outside a kindergarten. This is the attempted murder of Israeli children, pure and simple.”

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Board of Deputies condemns murder of Israeli soldiers

Senior Vice President Richard Verber shas reacted to the murder of two Israeli soldiers on Friday. He said: “We utterly condemn the terrorist attack that took the lives of two Israeli soldiers on Friday, and seriously injured two others. Our hearts go out to the families of Netanel Kahalani, who was just 20 years old, and Ziv […]

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Board of Deputies condemns intimidation of students at King’s College London

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has condemned the anti-Israel demonstration which took place before a talk at King’s college London by former Israeli minister Dan Meridor. Jonathan said: “While the Board of Deputies supports the right to demonstrate peacefully, we were appalled at the scenes last night at King’s College London where those attending […]

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New ‘Invest in Peace’ events announced

More local events have been announced for the Israeli-Palestinian ‘Invest in Peace’ initiative organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). Invest in Peace invites Christian and Jewish communities in Britain to come together in support of Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding projects. The events provide the opportunity to hear from two bereaved parents, […]

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Board of Deputies calls for condemnation of terrorist murders

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Richard Verber has called for the Palestinian Authority and the international community to condemn the terrorist murders of three Israelis.  He said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the three Israelis brutally murdered at Har Adar. We welcome efforts led by the […]

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Board of Deputies welcome European Court ruling on Hamas

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Richard Verber has welcomed the European Court of Justice decision affirming that Hamas remains designated a terror organisation. He said: “As the Board of Deputies has long argued, it is imperative that all responsible international actors ensure that there is no daylight between their positions on an organisation which deliberately targets civilians and consistently violates the […]

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Board of Deputies condemns ‘depraved’ murders

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has reacted to the brutal terrorist murders of three Israelis on Friday night. Jonathan said: “The Board of Deputies utterly condemns the depraved murders of Yosef, Chaya and Elad Salomon, as they celebrated the Sabbath and the birth of a new grandchild in Halamish. Such a terrorist attack must […]

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Board of Deputies welcomes Sadiq Khan’s call to ban Hezbollah

Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl has reacted to Sadiq Khan’s call for the Home Secretary to fully ban Hezbollah. She said: “This is a welcome step by the Mayor which is fully supported by the Board of Deputies. Hezbollah itself does not distinguish between its military and political wing which, is […]

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BLOG: Reject bigotry and invest in peace

As Methodist Conference convenes, a number of motions related to the Balfour Declaration are due to be debated. Marie van der Zyl reflects on the importance of the centenary of Balfour for the Jewish community There has been a huge public outcry over recent years about the terrible plight of refugees seeking sanctuary in Europe. The Jewish community […]

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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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Hamas policy document is a PR stunt, says Board of Deputies

Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Richard Verber has described the new policy document produced by Hamas as “nothing more than a PR stunt aimed at detoxifying its image abroad”. He added: “In reality, the document does nothing to rid Hamas of its inherent antisemitism. The group continues to refuse to recognise the right of […]

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Middlesex University invitation to ‘noxious’ Richard Falk is withdrawn

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has expressed satisfaction that a scheduled appearance at Middlesex University by disgraced former UN Rapporteur on Human Rights Richard Falk has been cancelled. Jonathan said: “Yesterday, the Board of Deputies and Jewish students made urgent representations to the authorities at Middlesex University about the planned talk by Richard Falk. […]

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Jewish community responds to UCL report on October disturbances

Joint statement from The Board of Deputies of British Jews, Community Security Trust, Jewish Leadership Council and the Union of Jewish Students On 27 October 2016 there was a serious disturbance on the campus at University College London when pro-Palestinian demonstrators, most of whom were students, mounted an aggressive and intimidating protest at a meeting […]

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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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Jonathan Arkush condemns UN Security Council vote at London rally

This is Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush’s speech to the London rally against UN Security Council Resolution 2334. You can watch the full speech here (from eight minutes) or read the transcript below.   On 16.12.16 this is what UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said about his own United Nations body: “Over the last decade I have […]

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Board of Deputies ‘deep disappointment’ at ‘biased and unbalanced’ UN Security Council resolution

Board  of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has expressed ‘deep disappointment’ at a ‘biased and unbalanced’ UN Security Council resolution: He said: “The UN has once again chosen to demonstrate its hostility to Israel. The Security Council resolution passed on Friday is destructive to peace because it encourages Palestinians to believe that they can maintain their refusal […]

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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 condemns Jerusalem Sephardi Chief Rabbi over comments about Reform Jews and LGBT community

Board of Deputies Vice President Richard Verber has condemned Jerusalem’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi for his bigoted remarks about Reform Jews and the LGBT community. In an interview, Chief Rabbi Amar described Reform Jews as “evil” and homosexuality as “a cult of abomination”. Richard commented: “Chief Rabbi Amar’s disgusting comments on Friday put a bitter taste […]

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Jewish community leaders share ‘strong concerns’ with UCL Provost

Jewish community leaders today met with Professor Michael Arthur, Provost of UCL, to emphasise the community’s strong concerns over the intimidating and aggressive protests that took place on 27 October. The delegation, led by Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush, included representatives from the Union of Jewish Students, Jewish Leadership Council, University Jewish Chaplaincy, the […]

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Jonathan Arkush reacts to Western Wall skirmishes

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has reacted to the skirmishes which broke out at the Western Wall in Jerusalem yesterday. He said: “The undignified and sometimes violent scenes at Judaism’s holiest site do no credit to the Jewish people as a whole. The Israeli Government came to a very positive, historic compromise in January. […]

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Board of Deputies statement on intimidation at University College London

Following the disruption of an event organised by UCL Friends of Israel Society and King’s College London’s Israel Society with speaker Hen Mazzig by anti-Israeli activists, the Board of Deputies has issued the following statement: Vice President Marie van der Zyl said: “Last night a hate-filled mob supporting the worst kind of extremism in the […]

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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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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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Board of Deputies President pays tribute to Shimon Peres

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has paid tribute to Israel’s former president and prime minister Shimon Peres, who has died aged 93. Jonathan said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Shimon Peres. One of Israel’s founding generation, Peres was a towering statesman and a humanitarian, who served Israel from the […]

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Israel & The Middle East

The British Jewish community has a very strong attachment to the State of Israel. A 2010 survey by the Institute of Jewish Policy Research (JPR) showed that 95% of UK Jews have visited Israel and that 90% view Israel as the “ancestral homeland of the Jewish people”. Seventy eight percent of the Jewish community supports a […]

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Board of Deputies ‘disappointment’ at Methodist Church exhibition

Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl  has expressed disappointment at an exhibition to be held Hinde Street Methodist Church, Marylebone, which features a reconstruction  of  a border control point between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. She said: “We are disappointed that a church is looking to host what looks like a one-sided exhibition, which puts unwelcome and […]

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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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