Thursday, December 17, 2009


Embassy of Israel
Media Affairs

Yesterday afternoon (15/12/2009), the Israeli Ambassador HE Ron Prosor met with the Foreign Secretary David Miliband, to voice concern at the direction of relations between the two countries, in light of the attempted issuing of an arrest warrant to Tzipi Livni.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Prosor said:
“The current situation is absurd and unacceptable in equal measure.

Israelis cannot continually be held hostage by fringe groups of anti-Israel extremists, preventing politicians, businessmen and officers from visiting the United Kingdom.

Both our countries are on the frontline fighting terrorism, and this fight is too important to allow it to be hijacked by anybody.

I emphasised to the Foreign Secretary that following similarly troubling events in recent years, this should now act as a wake-up call. The British Government must take a firm stand to prevent British courts becoming a playground for anti-Israel extremists.

The friendship between Israel and the UK is of crucial strategic importance to both our democracies, and Israel welcomes Britain playing a key role within the Middle East peace process. Yet such a role will be impossible if senior Israeli figures cannot enter the UK without fear of arrest.”


For further information, please contact Eliot Pollak on 020 7957 9540

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The ZF was appalled to see the DEFRA guidelines (published on 10 December) on labelling of goods produced in the West Bank. About eight months ago the ZF led a delegation to the British Ambassador in Israel. This included representatives of the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel, the Histradrut and COHAV (an international Israel advocacy organisation). At that meeting the Ambassador was asked which consumers had requested the labelling transparency which the government claims as a reason for issuing the guidelines.

The answer was Oxfam and War on Want– two of the most viciously anti-Israel NGOs. The government should listen to those 30,000 Palestinians dependent on settlements for their income. Local Palestinians have repeatedly said that they do not want a boycott and that a boycott would increase unemployment and hinder economic development in the Palestinian territories. The economy of the West Bank is growing very rapidly and this guidance will be bad for growth and therefore bad for peace.

The Zionist Federation asks whether these mythical British consumers are more concerned about products from the West Bank than products from other disputed areas, such as Tibet, Kashmir, northern Cyprus, Chechnya, Kosovo, parts of Bosnia or even places like Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands and Northern Ireland.

As the British Jewish leadership lights the Menorah in Downing Street this week, they should reflect on the Maccabees and what they stood for and then compare that to their own roles. The ZF does not believe it is a coincidence that a few days ago the Treasurer of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the constitution of which states categorically that the Board is required to ‘advance Israel’s security, welfare and standing’, publicly expressed regret that the settlement freeze announced by PM Netanyahu did not include Jerusalem. One can surmise that the British government, which has been reflecting on the labelling issue for over a year, would take this as a sign that the Board’s leadership is lukewarm in its support of Israel.

The British Jewish Community has to face the fact that this Government is the most anti-Israel Government in many years and (together with the Swedish government) is the most anti-Israel Government in the EU. This is demonstrated by its recent actions over the Goldstone Report, the UNHRC meeting in Geneva, its support for the original Swedish Resolution on East Jerusalem and now by its stand on labelling.

Andrew Balcombe
Chairman ZF
11December 2009


An IDF review of the 36 incidents that Richard Goldstone called the 'worst' of Operation Cast Lead has concluded that 30 of those incidents are 'baseless.'
The other six were found to relate to genuine instances, where operational errors and mistakes were involved.

The IDF is currently finalizing a report in response to the allegations leveled by the Goldstone mission on behalf of the United Nations Human Rights Council. It is expected to be completed and submitted to Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi for review in the coming weeks. The army has yet to decide what it will do with the report and whether it will be released to the public.

The IDF has, however, already launched a diplomatic campaign to present some of the results of its probe.

On Wednesday, Military Advocate-General Brig.-Gen. Avihai Mandelblit met in New York with representatives of 10 different countries, as well as with officials from the UN secretariat and the Obama administration, to present some of Israel's findings.

Read the whole thing

If it can possibly be done, the IDF ought to release the report to the public. While it will not reduce the furor over Goldstone in countries that will never give us a fair shake, it might help on the margins in some of the European countries, in Latin America and in some Western countries other than the US (which is already in our court on this).


Read article here

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Ha’aretz yesterday reported that Sir John Sawers, the British Ambassador to the UN, supports the findings of the Goldstone Commission. The Independent today quotes him as saying “This investigation was led by a serious figure, Richard Goldstone, a South African Jew with long experience in justice. It’s not as if he was in any way biased.”

The Goldstone Mission was created by a biased mandate which went a long way to assuming the major conclusion of the Report – that Israel was guilty of War Crimes. Its composition was not even-handed - for example Professor Christine Chinkin (LSE) signed an open letter (11 January 2009) in The Sunday Times in which she wrote " Israel 's actions demonstrate aggression, not self-defence". No more than two of the 575 pages are devoted to the fact that 12,000 missiles and Quassam rockets were fired at Israelis for eight years prior to the action in Gaza . There is no mention of Israel ’s right to self-defence.

The ZF calls on the UK Government:

(i) to reject the Goldstone Report when it is discussed in the UN Human Rights Council in March (or sooner in the Security Council) and to lobby other relevant members of the UN to do likewise;

(ii) to recognise that a referral of Israel to the International Criminal Court (a recommendation of the Report) would be widely seen as official endorsement of Hamas terrorism and could set back the fight against terrorism elsewhere – including in the UK .

The ZF deplores the reported comments of Sawers about Goldstone's religion. There are numerous anti-Zionist Jews and Goldstone's religion is irrelevant.

The ZF notes that in only five days, nearly 1,750 have signed a petition to the Prime Minister calling on the UK to reject the Goldstone Report.

The ZF calls on the UK government to clarify Sawers' comments and to confirm that acceptance of the Goldstone Report - together with its recommendation that Israel should be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court - is not its policy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

British Jews Stand Squarely with Israel

The Zionist Federation was bemused to read the ‘open letter’ to Gordon Brown in today’s Times informing the Prime Minister that British Jews do not speak with ‘one voice’ about Israel. It would be astonishing if the Prime Minister believed that 270,000 Jews spoke with ‘one voice’ about anything. He will appreciate that most of the 1,000 or so signatories have little connection with Jewish organisations and only self-identify for the sole purpose of public vilification of Israel.

It is breathtaking to read that Richard Goldstone is “an internationally acclaimed jurist who has made a substantial contribution worldwide to the development and maintenance of international humanitarian law” and that his co-authors are “distinguished”. As reported in the Huffington Post, Goldstone cut his judicial teeth on the bench of South Africa's Supreme Court under the apartheid regime. During this period between 1980 and 1989 -- some of apartheid South Africa's most violent years -- Goldstone ruled on cases which pitted human rights against South African statutory law, legal precedence, and judicial convention. In 1986, Goldstone sentenced a 13 year old black boy to prison for the “crime” of possessing a tape recording of Oliver Tambo’s voice. Goldstone was severely criticised by South African human rights organisations. Christine Chinkin – Goldstone’s co-author – was clearly far from impartial. She signed an open letter (11 January 2009) in The Sunday Times in which she wrote "Israel's actions demonstrate aggression, not self-defence".

The signatories - who want Gordon Brown to support the Goldstone Report in the UN - clearly have not done their due diligence - let alone read the Report. The Goldstone Mission was created by a biased mandate; its composition was not even-handed; the 12,000 missiles and Quassam rockets fired at Israelis for eight years prior to the action in Gaza get hardly a mention; and there is no mention of Israel’s right to self-defence.

More than 3,600 people have signed a petition to Gordon Brown to reject Goldstone. The signatories who support Goldstone represent a tiny idiosyncratic publicity-seeking fringe which takes its cue from Iran, Libya and Zimbabwe (who voted for the Report in the UN).

The vast majority of British Jews accept that Israel’s action was both necessary and proportionate and salute the skill of those who carried it out. As Colonel Richard Kemp - former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan said: “During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare”.

Indeed the ZF is delighted to announce that Colonel Kemp has accepted our invitation to speak directly to the large community of Israel supporters in the UK, at the ZF's Annual Dinner in February.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


By Ofri Ilani

Israel ranks fourth in the world in scientific activity, according to data compiled for by the Council of Higher Education.

The data, which dates to 2005, puts Israel behind Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark in terms of the number of scientific publications per million citizens.

The report was released at a conference at Bar-Ilan University yesterday.

In 2005, Israeli scientists published 6,309 essays in foreign scientific journals. Following Israel were Finland, the Netherlands and Canada. The United States placed 12th, and Germany, 15th.

Of all the scientific articles published in 2005, 0.89 percent were by Israeli scientists. In 1997, 1.03 percent of all scientific articles in the world were by Israelis.
Israel's role in global scientific activity is almost 10 times larger than its percentage of the world's population.

Even more significant is the number of times the articles were cited by other scientists.

One of the most productive and cited scientist is Professor Avram Hershko of the Technion, Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry in 2004, according to the report. Hershko published 148 articles and was cited more than 16,000 times.

Dr. Meir Zadok, director of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, said Israel's scientific success is due to the strict criteria by which scientists are judged here.

"Competition for positions is growing in Israel, and the promotion processes are very rigorous, so people publish a lot to get ahead," he says. "In addition, there are very strong traditions of quality in Israeli academe."

The Council for Higher Education's Planning and Budgeting Committee yesterday warned that new research centers around the world are threatening Israeli universities' status.

The reason for the relative decrease in Israel's scientific activity is the fast growth of research centers in developing countries, especially China and India, while the number of scientists at Israeli universities is dwindling, officials on the committee said.

"Israelis have written about 1 percent of the scientific articles in the world, and that is very respectable," says Professor Yehudit Bar-Ilan, head of the Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University, who headed the conference.

"The decrease in public funding for research will lead to a reduction [in scientific activity] in the coming years," she added.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


On Tuesday the US House of Representatives approved by a majority of 344 to 36 a motion calling on the President and the Secretary of State to “oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the “Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict” [the Goldstone Report] in multilateral fora”.

On Thursday the UK government failed to join the 18 States who opposed the Goldstone Report in the UN General Assembly (Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Poland, Slovakia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United States).

The ZF applauds these 18 States but deplores the action of the UK government in failing to oppose the Goldstone Report and believes David Miliband is being duplicitous after his statement that the government believed that the Goldstone Report should not be endorsed.

The ZF calls on its members to write to their MPs to protest at this unprincipled action by the UK government.

Behind the Headlines: Iranian-exported weapons seized by Israel Navy

Israel and European Union sign agricultural agreement

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


From The Times
September 29, 2009

A farcical attempt to paint Israel black

The UN Human Rights Council’s report into the Gaza conflict is a shamefully biased document

Ron Prosor
In the history of international organisations it is hard to conceive of an institution less fit for purpose than the absurdly titled UN Human Rights Council.

Since its inception in 2006, the UNHRC has included such champions of liberal values as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Cuba. There is no doubting the comic value of such membership. Analogies spring to mind of Jack the Ripper leading a disciplinary inquiry at Scotland Yard, or Dr Harold Shipman chairing a panel discussion on medical care for the elderly. Yet for Israel, on the receiving end of this surreal hypocrisy, it is no laughing matter.

The latest example of its hypocrisy is the 575-page Goldstone report into the Gaza conflict at the beginning of this year. Israel, a democracy with an unquestionably free press and meticulously independent judiciary, faces a threat from terrorism unique in its intensity. Yet its obligations to defend its citizens from terror are being scrutinised, delegitimised and condemned by states in which the routine price of dissent is imprisonment without trial, torture or execution.

It is impossible to escape the obsession of the Human Rights Council (and I chuckle every time I write its name) with Israel. In three years, it has issued 25 resolutions against individual states: 20 of them targeted Israel. Basic maths suggests that Israel, a tiny democracy permanently threatened by dictatorships and terrorists, is guilty of 80 per cent of the world’s human rights offences. This is ridiculous, as is a human rights body with member states that still view public beheadings as a wholesome leisure activity.

The UNHRC’s glaring spotlight on Israel blinds it to its official purpose: it is oblivious to the one million displaced people in Somalia, one million displaced in Pakistan or the 300,000 Tamil civilians currently languishing in Sri Lanka. In Darfur Sudan is responsible for at least 400,000 deaths. Yet the council has never condemned the Sudanese Government, and in fact praised it for its “co-operation”.

The UNHRC also remains silent over the systematic rape and torture of pro-democracy activists protesting against the stolen election in Iran. That’s unsurprising. Last week, President Ahmadinejad once again spewed out an anti-Semitic rant at the UN General Assembly. But in April he was the keynote speaker of the UNHRC in Geneva. As the UN passes Mr Ahmadinejad the microphone, his regime recently silenced the leader of the Iranian bus workers’ union by quite literally slashing his tongue.

The Goldstone report’s lack of credibility has not gone unnoticed in all quarters. Canada, Japan and the EU all refused to support Justice Richard Goldstone’s mission from the start. Even Switzerland, which has often lavished red-carpet treatment on tyrants, acknowledged that the anti-Israel bigotry of Goldstone’s team made it unsupportable. Mary Robinson, the former Irish President and a fierce critic of Israel, described Goldstone’s mandate as “guided not by human rights but by politics”.

It is no surprise, therefore, that the report wilfully ignores the context of Operation Cast Lead. Israeli civilians were battered for eight years by thousands of missiles from Gaza. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, hoping the missiles would stop. Instead, the attacks increased, escalating further when Hamas seized power in a brutal coup in 2007. With a million Israelis under fire, and Hamas’s range increasing, Israel did what any democratic state would do. It defended its citizens.

Israel did its utmost to direct Palestinian civilians out of harm’s way. But the report overlooks the Israeli Army’s warning leaflets, text messages and daily humanitarian pauses in the fighting.

Most shamefully of all, the UNHRC has whitewashed the illegal tactics of Hamas. Hamas used mosques as arsenals, playgrounds as rocket launch pads and hospitals as battle command centres. Despite a wealth of video and eyewitness evidence, Goldstone failed to condemn these crimes. Ludicrously, Goldstone defines members of Hamas’s police force as “civilians”, despite their role in implementing and enforcing Hamas’s bloody takeover of Gaza.

The Goldstone report’s assertion that the Israeli courts cannot be trusted is as dishonest as it is insulting. Israel’s legal system holds its army to account at least as thoroughly as any in the free world. Israeli courts have scrutinised previous military operations, and mistakes or wrongdoing have been punished at the highest levels. Legal investigations into the war in Gaza are already under way. Difficult issues, including the use of white phosphorus, as reported by The Times, will not be ignored. But Israel does not need lectures in transparent, democratic legal process from a report mandated by dictatorships.

This report undermines the challenges faced anywhere in the world where accountable armies of democracies confront unaccountable terrorists shielding behind civilians. Nato forces in Afghanistan face a similar problem. On this occasion, it is Israel that has been singled out. But British soldiers on the front line against terror in Afghanistan might also find themselves pursued by a deranged Gaddafi, an unhinged Ahmadinejad or their friends at the UN Human Rights Council.

The UNHRC will meet in Geneva today to congratulate itself on its latest triumph in hypocrisy. For the world’s worst dictators and terrorists, the UNHRC is nothing but a fancy-dress party with a judicial theme. Sadly, on this occasion Richard Goldstone was willing to lend them his costume.

Ron Prosor is the Israeli Ambassador to the UK

The Times


Herald Scotland


Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the right of the Jews, an ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland.

I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.

The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events.

Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.

Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942, after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews. Is this a lie?

A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler’s deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered. Is this too a lie?

This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie?

And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie? One-third of all Jews perished in the conflagration. Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own. My wife's grandparents, her father’s two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by the Nazis. Is that also a lie?

Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries.

But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?

A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state.

What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations! Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews. You're wrong.

History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.

This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries. In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others. Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times.

Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women, minorities, gays or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated. The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against faith nor civilization against civilization.

It pits civilization against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death.

The primitivism of the 9th century ought to be no match for the progress of the 21st century. The allure of freedom, the power of technology, the reach of communications should surely win the day. Ultimately, the past cannot triumph over the future. And the future offers all nations magnificent bounties of hope. The pace of progress is growing exponentially.

It took us centuries to get from the printing press to the telephone, decades to get from the telephone to the personal computer, and only a few years to get from the personal computer to the internet.

What seemed impossible a few years ago is already outdated, and we can scarcely fathom the changes that are yet to come. We will crack the genetic code. We will cure the incurable. We will lengthen our lives. We will find a cheap alternative to fossil fuels and clean up the planet.

I am proud that my country Israel is at the forefront of these advances – by leading innovations in science and technology, medicine and biology, agriculture and water, energy and the environment. These innovations the world over offer humanity a sunlit future of unimagined promise.

But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons, the march of history could be reversed for a time. And like the belated victory over the Nazis, the forces of progress and freedom will prevail only after an horrific toll of blood and fortune has been exacted from mankind. That is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction.

The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Are the member states of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom?

Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?

Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?

The people of Iran are courageously standing up to this regime. People of goodwill around the world stand with them, as do the thousands who have been protesting outside this hall. Will the United Nations stand by their side?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not encouraging. Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here have condemned their victims. That is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating the terrorists with those they targeted.

For eight long years, Hamas fired from Gaza thousands of missiles, mortars and rockets on nearby Israeli cities. Year after year, as these missiles were deliberately hurled at our civilians, not a single UN resolution was passed condemning those criminal attacks. We heard nothing – absolutely nothing – from the UN Human Rights Council, a misnamed institution if there ever was one.

In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza. It dismantled 21 settlements and uprooted over 8,000 Israelis. We didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent.

Finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was finally forced to respond. But how should we have responded? Well, there is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country's civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II. During that war, the allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties. Israel chose to respond differently. Faced with an enemy committing a double war crime of firing on civilians while hiding behind civilians – Israel sought to conduct surgical strikes against the rocket launchers.

That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing missiles from homes and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in ambulances. Israel, by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas.

We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy's civilian population from harm's way.

Yet faced with such a clear case of aggressor and victim, who did the UN Human Rights Council decide to condemn? Israel. A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.

By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of truth. What a perversion of justice.

Delegates of the United Nations,

Will you accept this farce?

Because if you do, the United Nations would revert to its darkest days, when the worst violators of human rights sat in judgment against the law-abiding democracies, when Zionism was equated with racism and when an automatic majority could declare that the earth is flat.

If this body does not reject this report, it would send a message to terrorists everywhere: Terror pays; if you launch your attacks from densely populated areas, you will win immunity. And in condemning Israel, this body would also deal a mortal blow to peace. Here's why.

When Israel left Gaza, many hoped that the missile attacks would stop. Others believed that at the very least, Israel would have international legitimacy to exercise its right of self-defense. What legitimacy? What self-defense?

The same UN that cheered Israel as it left Gaza and promised to back our right of self-defense now accuses us –my people, my country - of war crimes? And for what? For acting responsibly in self-defense. What a travesty!

Israel justly defended itself against terror. This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?

We must know the answer to that question now. Now and not later. Because if Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All of Israel wants peace.

Any time an Arab leader genuinely wanted peace with us, we made peace. We made peace with Egypt led by Anwar Sadat. We made peace with Jordan led by King Hussein. And if the Palestinians truly want peace, I and my government, and the people of Israel, will make peace. But we want a genuine peace, a defensible peace, a permanent peace. In 1947, this body voted to establish two states for two peoples – a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted that resolution. The Arabs rejected it.

We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people. The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel. This is the land of our forefathers.

Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more." These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem.

We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland. As deeply connected as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there and want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two free peoples living in peace, prosperity and dignity.

But we must have security. The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel.

That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized. We don't want another Gaza, another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.

We want peace.

I believe such a peace can be achieved. But only if we roll back the forces of terror, led by Iran, that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and overthrow the world order. The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront those forces or accommodate them.

Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the "confirmed unteachability of mankind," the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them.

Churchill bemoaned what he called the "want of foresight, the unwillingness to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking, the confusion of counsel until emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”

I speak here today in the hope that Churchill's assessment of the "unteachibility of mankind" is for once proven wrong.

I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history -- that we can prevent danger in time.

In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, let us be strong and of good courage. Let us confront this peril, secure our future and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come.

PM Netanyahu: On the Record for Peace

Tuesday, September 22, 2009



Despite representations from ZF members, trade unionists and others, the British Trades Union Congress  today approved the following statement on Israel:

The statement contains numerous factual inaccuracies and distortions.


It refers to “Israeli military aggression and the continuing blockade of Gaza”. The ZF believes that Israel has the right to defend itself and indeed the British government and opposition leaders all accept this. The TUC did not dispute the obligation of the British government to defend its citizens from the IRA. There is no “blockade of Gaza” - the reason there are restrictions on imports into Gaza is for security, so that materials which can be used by Hamas terrorists cannot enter.

The TUC calls on the British government to end arms sales to Israel. The ZF is astonished to need to point out to the TUC that if Israel has the right to defend itself, then an arms embargo cannot be right.

The TUC calls on the British Government to seek EU agreement to impose a ban on the importing of goods produced in the illegal settlements and to support moves to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement.  The ZF reminds the TUC that there is no legal decision on the status of the settlements so they cannot be termed ‘illegal’. The US government for one does not hold that they are illegal.


The TUC statement calls for a selective goods boycott:  “To increase the pressure for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories, and the removal of the separation wall and the illegal settlements, we will support a boycott  ….. of those goods and agricultural products that originate in illegal settlements - through developing an effective, targeted consumer-led boycott campaign working closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign - and campaign for disinvestment by companies associated with the occupation as well as engaged in building the separation wall”


The ZF reminds the TUC that successive Israeli governments have shown that they are prepared to return land taken in the defensive War of 1967 but only in exchange for recognition of Israel and a commitment to peace. Even though neither Hamas nor Fatah has agreed to this, Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and Sinai before that. The separation fence has saved lives because it has prevented suicide bombers entering israel – would the TUC prefer to have seen more maimed and dead victims? The ZF deplores the TUC’s call for this selective boycott, which will be taken by opponents of Israel as a green light for a general boycott. The ZF calls on consumers throughout the UK to step up their purchases of Israeli goods in protest at the TUC’s action and points out that goods boycott will be economically damaging for many Palestinians as well as many Israelis.


The TUC “reiterate(s) our encouragement to unions to affiliate to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and to raise greater awareness of the issues.” The ZF points out that the PSC is a discriminatory organisation.

The ZF deplores today’s TUC General Council Statement on Israel; calls on trade union members to protest to their union executives; and calls for increased cooperation between the TUC and the Histadrut, for the benefit of peace in the interests of both Palestinian and Israeli workers.

The ZF welcomes the JLC/BoD statement which can be read here:

read here

Friday, September 4, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009


The ZF joined forces with State of Israel Bonds to bring a group of devoted Israel supporters to meet with Ron Prosor, the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, at his home in London.
There was food, drinks and Israeli wine to welcome the guests and a good opportunity for them to mix and exchange pleasantries.
Some of the Christian supporters came from as far afield as Edinburgh, Manchester, Halifax and Liverpool.
Also present was Robert Szaniawski, the 'Press Counsellor' of the Polish Embassy.
There were almost one hundred Christians from various affiliates of the CFI such as Christian Friends of Magan David Adom, The ICEJ (UK) (International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem), Christians and Jews Together, Operation Exodus, the Good Shepherds Movement and others too, not noted.
Notably, and deserving of mention was Dorothy Hechabarria, a delightful elderly Christian lady, formally a nurse who had worked with the IDF for several years before retirement. There were also members and associates of the ZF.
Moti Besser, of Israel Bonds, welcomed everyone and introduced the Ambassador.
The Ambassador spoke of how thrilled he was to be able to welcome such wonderful friends to his home and briefly touched on some current problems in Israel and his appreciation for the work that Israel's Christian friends were continuing to do.
There was an impromptu address from John Stone of Christians and Jews Together. John expressed delight at having been invited and further extolled the virtues of investing in Israel Bonds.
He then led the guests in a rousing rendition of a song in Hebrew.
Alan Aziz thanked everyone for their unstinting work and support for the ZF and introduced a short film on the work of the ZF.
The evening was a very friendly and brotherly affair and the guests continued to wine and dine and chat with each other until it was time to go home. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Dear friends,

On behalf of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), I express our appreciation for your humanitarian concern regarding Gilad Shalit and stress that we share your concerns, and the concern of countless others in Israel and around the world, for his safety and well-being.

The ICRC has tried by every means available to obtain information on Mr Shalit's condition and to gain direct access to him. In its humanitarian capacity, the ICRC took an active role immediately upon notification of the capturing of Gilad Shalit on 25 June 2006, and since then, has never for a moment allowed his case to drop from its agenda. The issue of ICRC access to Gilad Shalit to ensure respect for his life and dignity and to transmit news from his family is repeatedly brought up at high-level meetings between the ICRC and the Hamas, both in Gaza and in Damascus.
In addition, we have been constantly reminding his captors of their obligations under international humanitarian law.

The ICRC has made public its concerns regarding Mr Shalit's situation.
18.06.09 the ICRC issued a News Release in this regard, which can be found on the ICRC's website, at!OpenDocument.

Earlier statements by the ICRC's president and other senior officials can be found on our website (in December 2008,;
in May 2008,;
in June 2007,

We have also been in contact with Mr Shalit's family. Both they and the authorities have been kept informed of our actions. Last summer, Mr Shalit's parents Noam and Aviva agreed to be interviewed for the ICRC website (

The ICRC will do everything in its power to gain access to Mr Shalit.
However, as in all such cases, the responsibility for Mr Shalit's treatment and living conditions lies entirely with the people holding him. The implementation and enforcement of international humanitarian law is primarily the responsibility of parties to armed conflicts, be they States or other entities.

From its headquarters in Geneva and through its different delegations in the region and worldwide, the ICRC continues to follow up on any leads that may present themselves with the hope of bringing to the family, friends and supporters of Gilad Shalit the good news that they so desperately seek.

Yours sincerely,

Pierre Dorbes,
ICRC Deputy Head of Delegation
Israel, Occupied and Autonomous Territories

The ICRC - working to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict Find out more: (Embedded image moved to file:
pic06334.gif)Our world is in a mess.
time to make your move.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Welcome to the first newsletter from TULIP - Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine.

This week was an interesting one, to say the least.

In the UK, the giant public sector union UNISON passed a motion at its National Delegate Conference calling for a boycott of Israel and for a review of relations between British unions and the Histadrut. This followed a very successful fringe meeting organized by Trade Union Friends of Israel at which TULIP was represented.

The leader of the German national trade union centre DGB, Michael Sommer, expressed his support for TULIP at a public meeting held with Histadrut leader Ofer Eini. German unions have a long history of cooperation with the Israeli trade union movement.

In Australia, the national trade union centre ACTU has returned to a moderate, balanced view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a unanimous vote, the ACTU decided to focus on all workers in the region, and not only on the Palestinians.

Reports issued by two global bodies -- the International Labour Office and the International Trade Union Confederation -- confirm the importance of cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian national trade union centres.

TULIP's expose of the UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) for its hypocritical denunciation of a map showing Israel without the green line (when it uses the exact same map in its logo) got media attention and provoked a response from the PSC. Nineteen British trade unions are currently affiliated to the PSC.

To continue with our work, and to expand upon it, we need your help:
Please forward this message on to friends and colleagues - encourage them to join

website to your bookmarks and visit the site - which is now updated every day - frequently
If you're on Facebook, join our group there
If you use Twitter, sign up as a follower of TULIP there
Download and print out this poster and hang it up in your workplace
Thanks very much!
Eric Lee


Monday, April 27, 2009


State of Israel's 61st Independence Day

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Message to Diaspora Communities
|April 2009

Today, Israel celebrates its 61st birthday. Each year that we mark the rebirth of the Jewish state after long centuries of exile is a great cause for celebration.

After centuries of powerlessness, the Jewish people returned to the stage of history and to their rightful place among the nations. With the rebirth of Israel, we were once again able to chart our own destiny and determine our own future.

The past 61 years show just what a free and independent Jewish nation can achieve. With scarce resources, we brought a barren land back to life and absorbed millions of immigrants. Through innovation and determination, the genius of our people has made us a leader in agriculture, medicine and science, while our creativity spawned a high-tech industry that continues to amaze the world. We have achieved peace with Egypt and Jordan and we will continue to seek peace with all our neighbors.

All this has been achieved even though Israel has lived under constant threat for 61 years. Unfortunately, Israel remains under threat. An Iranian regime that is feverishly pursuing nuclear weapons brazenly calls for our destruction. Terror organizations on our southern and northern borders grow stronger by the day. And a rising tide of anti-Semitism is sweeping the civilized world.

To address these challenges in the years ahead, unity among our people, both inside and outside Israel, will be more important than ever. That is why it is vital that we continue to strengthen the bonds between Israel and the Diaspora. These bonds are a source of mutual strength and a powerful reminder of the unique role that Israel plays in the world and in the history of our people.

On this Independence Day, let us take pride in all we have accomplished and let us look forward to a time of security, prosperity and peace. If we stand together as brothers and sisters, if we stand together with courage and conviction, that time will surely come.

Chag Sameach!


Benjamin Netanyahu


By Barry Rubin*
April 25, 2009

Ring! Ring! The Israeli prime minister's alarm clock went off. He quickly sat up in bed and immediately shouted out: "Yes! I'm for a two-state solution!"
At breakfast, lunch, and dinner, during his talks and all his meetings, in greeting his staff as he walked down the corridor to the office, endless he repeated that phrase.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what the world seems to want from Israeli policy.
But the fact is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the two-state solution back in 1997 when he took over in the midst of the Oslo agreement peace process and committed himself to all preceding agreements.
This is not the real issue. The real issue is this: much of the world wants Israel to agree in advance to give the Palestinian Authority (PA) what they think it wants without any concessions or demonstration of serious intent on its part.
The first problem is that the demand is totally one-sided. Does the PA truly accept a two-state solution? That isn't what it tells its own people in officials' speeches, documents of the ruling Fatah group, schools, the sermons of PA-appointed clerics, and the PA-controlled media.
The second problem is that PA compliance with its earlier commitments is pretty miserable, though this is a point that almost always goes unmentioned in Western diplomatic declarations and media.
More often than not the PA's performance could be called one of anti-confidence-building measures. In other words, what it does makes Israel and Israelis less certain that it is ever going to make a stable and lasting peace.
The third problem is that this leaves no room for asking the question: what does Israel want in exchange for accepting a Palestinian state, leaving West Bank territory, or even agreeing to a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem.
How about recognizing Israel as a Jewish state since, after all, the PA Constitution defines its country-to-be as an Arab Muslim state and the PA makes clear that all Jews who have come to live there since 1967 must leave. These stances don't bother me in principle only the hypocrisy of doing one thing and demanding Israel do another.
How about agreeing-which any nationalist movement should be eager to do-that all Palestinian refugees be resettled in the state of Palestine.
How about accepting that a two-state solution would permanently end the conflict?
How about stopping daily incitement to kill Israelis and destroy Israel in PA institutions?
How about being open to border modifications or security guarantees like not bringing foreign troops onto Palestinian soil?
Aid to the PA is conditioned on absolutely nothing of the sort. These points aren't even mentioned and Western diplomats and journalists don't wax indignant about the PA's intransigence.
In short, Israel is asked to give without getting in return.
The foreign policy of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni often consisted of ritual confirmations that yes indeed they favored a two-state solution and couldn't wait until a Palestinian state came into existence.
That behavior didn't bother me, though they should have raised Israeli demands more often as well. Still, the problem is-and every Israeli saw this-that it brought little benefit. Hamas's takeover of the Gaza Strip, criticism of Israel in defending itself against Hizballah attacks in2006, and the general growing hostility of the Western intelligentsia all took place during the era of "We-favor-a-two-state-solution" repetition.
In the longer-term, the growing demonization of Israel has taken place after it pulled out of the Sinai Peninsula, south Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, and large parts of the West Bank; offered to accept a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem; let the PLO come in to govern the West Bank and Gaza Strip (including bringing 200,000 Palestinians with it); and provided or permitted the arming of its security forces.

Remember that recent history the next time you hear someone say that more Israeli concessions will bring it peace, security, and a good image.
In recent weeks we have still another myth born, that supposedly the Netanyahu government said  progress with the Palestinians depends on action against Iran's nuclear program. This never happened. As Deputy Foreign Ministry Danny Ayalon made clear, this government policy has three themes: negotiations with the PA, stopping Iran's nuclear program, and improving relations with moderate Arab states. 
There's also a third myth regarding the Arab peace plan. Israeli governments welcomed the plan as a step forward but pointed out two problems preventing them from accepting it. Most important is the demand that any Palestinian who lived or whose ancestors ever lived on what is now Israeli territory can come and live in Israel. This is correctly seen as a ploy to destroy Israel. The other is that borders must be precisely those of 1967. If there's room for discussion t Israel will discuss this plan; if it's take-it-or-leave-it, there's no alternative but the latter.
Finally, the fact that Hamas rules the Gaza Strip is no Israeli rationale for refusing concessions but a huge fact of life. How can Israel make peace with "the Palestinians" when the PA has no such mandate? And how could Israel make peace with a Fatah-Hamas PA regime when such a coalition's effect would not be to moderate Hamas but to make Fatah even more radical.
It's silly to assure Israel that peace will bring it greater security when it's unclear whether the Palestinian government would be taken over by Hamas; wage another round of warfare; fire missiles and be "unable to stop" cross-border attacks; and invite in Iranian or Syrian troops. That king of two-state solution would be far worse than the status quo.
So let's say it again: If the PA shows itself ready to make and keep a reasonable two-state peace agreement there can be a deal. Let them get two dozen billion dollars of international "compensation" Let the Palestinian people live happily ever after in their Arab, Muslim state with rising living standards.
OK, now what's in it for Israel?

*  Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books, go to His blog, Rubin Reports is at

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Chaverim, shalom –

Yom Ha'atzmaut is always a cause for celebration, but this year, with the holiday coming in the wake of the "Durban II" debacle in Geneva, the day takes on added significance. It is hard to believe that 61 years after its establishment, the very legitimacy of a Jewish state is still being challenged - and not only in the Arab world but also among some in the West. On the one hand, it is gratifying that so many protested the travesty of a conference that perpetuated the very racism, genocide, prejudice, intolerance and violation of human rights that it was intended to condemn. On the other hand, it is frightening that those who deny the Holocaust and are prepared to step into the shoes of those who perpetuated it, could be given any stage at all some 65 years it came to an end.

As on every Yom Ha'atzmaut, we pray that the day will soon come when we will be able to concentrate all of our efforts on the positive aspects of the Zionist endeavor, striving to fashion Israel as an idyllic society and through it - and by its achievements - making the world as a whole a better and more humane place. Unfortunately, however, the reminders that we must also continue investing in our security and the well-being of the Jewish people everywhere continue to be as frequent and as compelling as ever.

As a member of the Zionist Executive and as Head of the Department for Zionist Activities of the World Zionist Organization, I want to say that it is a privilege to be serving in a capacity that allows me to be involved in both aspects of an undertaking that is so important to us all, and that also provides me with the opportunity to be working with so many others for whom there is no cause more dear.

With great appreciation for all of your efforts on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people, I remain


Dr. David Breakstone
Head of the Department for Zionist Activities
World Zionist Organization

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The ZF welcomes the walkout of the UK Ambassador at the UN Durban Review Conference in Geneva after Iran's president started his antisemitic rant against Jews and Israel.
The ZF believes that the applause give to Ahmadinejad by many of the delegates indicates that the Conference is a lost cause and therefore reiterates its call (17 March) for the UK to withdraw from the Conference. The ZF notes that the following 11 countries have all now withdrawn: Israel, Canada, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, US, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand.
The fact that five EU countries including the Presidency have withdrawn makes a unified EU stance impossible, thereby removing one of the reported obstacles to a UK withdrawal.
The ZF can be contacted on 020 8343 9756

Sunday, April 19, 2009


BBC Israel coverage: Findings of the BBC Trust’s ESC

Attached are decisions by the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee (ESC) in response to complaints made by Jonathan Turner (a ZF member) about the coverage of Israel by Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East Editor. Please respect the BBC’s embargo of 11am on 16 April.

The decisions will be included in the March/April edition of the BBC Trust’s monthly bulletin “Editorial Standards Findings” published at the following address:

1: “How 1967 Defined the Middle East” – BBC Website, 4 June 2007

An article “How 1967 Defined the Middle East” by Jeremy Bowen was posted on the BBC Website on 4 June 2007 (it is still there) :

The ESC found that the article breaches the BBC’s guideline on impartiality.

It found that the article breaches the BBC’s guideline on accuracy in three respects:

· It wrongly says of the settlements that Israel is “in defiance of everyone’s interpretation of international law except its own.”

· In the imprecise use of the phrase “unfinished business” in the statement “The Israeli generals, hugely self-confident, mainly sabras (native-born Israeli Jews) in their late 30s and early 40s, had been training to finish the unfinished business of Israel's independence war of 1948 for most of their careers”;

· It wrongly refers to Zionism’s “innate instinct to push out the frontier”.

A similar decision in response to a complaint by a representative of the ‘Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America’ will be published at the same time.

2: BBC Radio 4 “From Our Own Correspondent” – 12 January 2008

The ESC found that the statement that the Har Homa settlement was considered illegal by the United States breached the BBC’s guideline on accuracy.
The finding that Mr Bowen's article on the Six Day War breaches the guideline on impartiality is particularly significant, since he has written a book about this episode (“Six Days: How the 1967 War Shaped the Middle East”), which he regards as fundamental to understanding the Middle East. Indeed, that book is frequently cited by the BBC as a defence against complaints about Mr Bowen’s reporting, even though it had already given rise to questions about Mr Bowen’s objectivity - in his submission to the BBC, Mr Turner noted that in July 2005, Professor Efraim Karsh (Head of Mediterranean Studies at Kings College, London) described the book as "rife with standard anti-Israel prejudice, namely, the portrayal of Israel as the source of the ME conflict and the whitewashing of Arab-Palestinian rejection of Israel’s legitimacy and decades of relentless violence against the Jewish state.”

Mr Bowen’s position as Middle East Editor of a public service broadcaster is untenable in the light of the ESC’s findings.

Mr Bowen's submissions in the complaints procedure only add to concerns. For example, he said: "if Zionism didn’t have ‘an innate instinct to push out the frontier’ it’s hard to make sense of how the yishuv (the pre-state Jewish community in Palestine) grew from a handful of immigrants on a few patches of land into the powerful and rich regional superpower Israel has become". In fact, the yishuv included, inter alia, a very longstanding Jewish majority of the capital city, Jerusalem. And it is difficult to see why Mr Bowen referred in this connection to Israel being "rich", if not out of prejudice. Israel's economic success in recent years has been largely based on its high-tech industries which cover only a very small area of the country. In contrast Mr Bowen seems to think that Jews can only become rich by taking other people's land.

The BBC Trust took an inordinate length of time to address these complaints. The complaint about the Six Day War article was first made by Mr Turner in June 2007, over 1¾ years ago. The complaint about the Har Homa report was made in January 2008, nearly 1¼ years ago. Even now the BBC Trust has not recommended any remedial action in the light of its findings, despite the fact that Mr Bowen's article has been on the BBC website throughout the investigation period and was advertised for months by a prominent button on the main Middle East News Page.

These delays have allowed Mr Bowen and his colleagues to continue their biased coverage of Israel. The ZF believes this has been a significant contributor to the recent rise in antisemitic incidents in the UK to record levels. The ZF also regrets the BBC Trust’s refusal to consider a more general complaint that Mr Bowen is biased (on the grounds that Mr Turner’s Appeal was 3½ weeks out of time). The ZF calls on the government to bring the BBC under the full regulation of OFCOM, like all other broadcasting media.

The ZF calls on the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee to hold the BBC to account in this matter and in others relating to its coverage of the Middle East, for example its continuing refusal to publish the Balen Report despite a recent Law Lords decision. In the view of the ZF, the Committee also needs to examine in the light of this case whether the BBC’s complaints procedure is fair and meets contemporary standards in public sector governance.

Jonathan Turner can be contacted for further information, at any time on Skype (JonathanDCTurner) or by email ( or

Until 15 April Mr Turner can be contacted on 00 972 54 261 5149 or 020 3286 6624.

From 16 April Mr Turner can be contacted on 020 7831 4445 (office) or 07801 337157 (mobile).

The ZF can be contacted on 020 8343 9756 except on 13thApril, the afternoon of 14th and 15th and 16th (the 7th and 8th days of Passover). However in Israel Passover finishes on 15th and on 16th the ZF office there can be contacted on Israel mobile number 00 972 544 48 50 74 or (Vonage) 0208 455 8610.


·         BBC News tried to minimise the seriousness of the Trust’s findings by saying that the Six Day War happened over 40 years ago. But as Jeremy Bowen himself wrote “To understand what is happening between Israel and the Palestinians now, you have to understand what happened in the Middle East war of 1967."
·         BBC News says “Clearly there is no consensus view of history and it is self evident that there are others who have different analysis - which of course they are entitled to.”  Precisely. It was Jeremy Bowen’s failure to refer to the existence of “different analyses” which led the Trust ESC to find him in breach of impartiality.
·         BBC News refers to the Thomas Report which gave its Middle East coverage a clean bill of health. But the Israel coverage during the assessment period for the Thomas Report was distorted in favour of a ‘no bias’ result, because the BBC announced the review in advance and journalists, editors and managers bent over backwards to avoid anti-Israel bias during the assessment period.
·         Why does the BBC continue to resist publishing the Balen Report – even after the House of Lords decision?

The website article 1 has been changed. But not in accord with the Trust’s findings:

·         The article now contains the phrase “the tendency within Zionism to push out the frontier”. The Trust said that the earlier phrasing (“Zionism’s innate instinct”) should have been qualified - but instead BBC News has simply replaced it by “tendency within Zionism”.
·         The article states that the settlements are “in defiance of almost all countries’ interpretation of international law except its [ie Israel’s] own”. The Trust noted that the US (for one) does not hold that the settlements are illegal and several other countries have not adopted an official stance.
·         Pre-change Jeremy Bowen’s introduction read “To understand what is happening between Israel and the Palestinians now, you have to understand what happened in the Middle East war of 1967".  That text has now been downgraded in importance: “To understand what is happening between Israel and the Palestinians now, it is important to understand what happened in the Middle East war of 1967.” (Our underlining). Why has this statement been downgraded in importance?
The ZF again asks the BBC what action it intends to take to restore public confidence, following the Trust’s very serious findings. It is no wonder that the BBC receives so many complaints about anti-Israel bias.
The ZF can be contacted on 020 8343 9756

Friday, March 27, 2009


David Horovitz came to the UK for a 2 day speaking tour which included a ZF event with Kinloss Shul, speaking to City of London Boys School, an Israel Connect Event a Breakfast briefing and a ZF reception.
David  spoke about the contrast between the invasion of Lebanon in 2006 and the recent Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. In 2006 the government was over-confident and the Chief of Staff – who was from the Air Force – overestimated what could be achieved from the air. In 2006 there was not enough food and equipment for the army.  In Gaza the situation was much better. The operation was well planned with a day by day timetable (which included the retaking of Gaza but that was rejected by the Cabinet). The incidence of rocket fire has been much reduced.
He moved to the portrayal of the operation in the foreign media. The Guardian and The Independent are the most hostile newspapers in the world. The Guardian had given an op-ed to Khaled Mashal four months before Hamas violently put down Fatah in Gaza.  The Independent had run Israel-bashing front pages for two successive days. David Horovitz also expressed incredulity that Ahmadinejad had been asked to give the alternative Christmas message on Channel 4. He noted that the Islamic world had not reacted when Israel attacked six mosques in Gaza, suggesting that they appreciated that Hamas was using them as military sites.  He thought that Israel did not have enough presence in the media in the UK. He said it was a mistake to ban Western media from Gaza. The IDF spokesperson Avi Benayahou was good but he did not see advocacy in the international press as important.
He moved to the election. There were 34 parties for 7.5 million people, including one party that was a coalition of Holocaust Survivors and ‘Legalise marijuana’. The threshold for representation was 2%. The electorate had moved to the ‘right’, they said they wanted a Palestinian State but that the Palestinians were not yet ready. David Horovitz thinks a broad coalition including Kadima is needed.
H spoke about Iran and about how serious the threat is - many are very pessimistic saying for example that far from being a deterrent, ‘mutually assured destruction’ is an inducement for the Iranian regime.

In the wide-ranging Q+A sessions David Horovitz was asked how he had voted. He declined to answer because he wanted to position the Jerusalem Post in the middle ground. When it was the Palestine Post it was linked to Labour. Then with Shamir it moved to Likud. Now it is not linked to either side.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The ZF is pleased to announce the appointment of Gary Sakol as Assistant Director of the Zionist Federation. The Zionist Federation was founded in 1899 and helped create support for the establishment of the State of Israel.  Today we promote Israel's case and defend our common future.

Gary is also director of the ZF’s young professional branch ‘Israel Connect’, which organises cultural, social, educational and advocacy events relating to Israel, as well as tours to the country. The group is comprised of young professionals ages 20-35 from across Europe who wish to take a proactive stand in support of Israel.

Gary, originally from Glasgow and a graduate of Leeds University, has worked for two years at the youth movement Habonim Dror, where he served as Camps Organiser and Mazkir. He said: “I was always involved in the work that Israel Connect and the Zionist Federation did whilst I was a movement worker, and am absolutely delighted to become part of the team behind it. This is an extremely exciting time to be joining the organisation.”

Alan Aziz, the ZF’s Executive Director, said: “This past year has seen a huge increase in the ZF’s activities in support of Israel. Gary has done a great job developing the Israel Connect group, and we look forward to having him more involved in the ZF”

For more information about the Zionist Federation or Israel Connect, please email or call 020 8343 9756.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Yesterday, Israel proudly celebrated International Women's Day - in contrast to the Arab world.

In recent years, women have made notable advances in Israeli society. For example, over 50 percent of doctors qualifying in Israel are now women. In the recent Knesset elections, a party headed by a woman (Kadima) garnered most votes and a record number of twenty-one women (including Arab women) were elected to the Knesset.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said yesterday: "Even though Israel is proud of the accomplishments it has made towards the advancement of women, there is still much to be done, including putting an end to violence against women, trafficking in women and discrimination in various fields. We still need to struggle to ensure women gain complete equality in the workplace."


The Israeli public has voted for a Jewish-Arab duo to represent Israel in the Eurovision song contest in May.

Achinoam Nini, a Jewish singer better known outside Israel as "Noa," and Mira Awad, a Christian Arab Israeli, will perform a peace song. They received the most votes in text messages from the Israeli public after a contest was held on Israel's state-owned Channel One television.

The song has lyrics in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

Awad has been criticized by some Palestinians, both for singing with a Jew and for being a woman. Fundamentalist Islamists have banned singing by women.

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition in which countries across Europe and beyond participate and is one of the most-watched non-sporting events in the world. This year's Eurovision will be held in Moscow.

Awad, 33, who was born in the Galilee and now lives in Tel Aviv, appeared to enthusiastic reviews in a popular Israeli television sitcom last year. She will be the first Arab to represent Israel at Eurovision. Arab Israelis have previously represented Israel at Miss World and other competitions.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Buenos Aires, 25th. February 2009
Dear Mr. Andrew Balcombe,
We really appreciate your mail where we can notice your fear about our Community in Argentina.Graffitis on the walls of the cities streets, songs against Israel and against Jewish people,poisoned articles in the web -sites and flyers,meetings raising Hezbolla and Hamas´ flags.
Step by step we´ve been working on these antisemitic demonstrations with a section of Argentina National Government named INADI ( National  Discrimination Institute) and with another people of the Government as well.
As you know all Latin America has made a notorious change because of the last political machines in the region(Venezuela-Hugo Chavez;Bolivia-Evo Morales etc.) whose policy represent a potential dangerous in every way.This huge antisemitic wave is spreading all the time,everywhere.
In Argentina we had had two terrorist attacks inspired by Iran terrorist regime.Iran,the best Hugo Chavez friend.
In 1992 :The Israeli Embassy in Argentina
In 1994 :A.M.I.A.(Argentina Israeli Social Assistance Headquarters)120 years in Argentina giving assistance,resources and jobs to everybody, jewish or not. 
After the end of the Second World War there were many antisemitic acts in Argentina.64 years went by!!!
OSA (Argentina Zionist Organisation) and some more jewish organisations were always defending the rights of Israel State and doing many demonstrations:different events,marchs with Israeli flags,newspaper advertisments,magazines,speeches,hasbara,etc, as the Jewish Community has been always unconditional with Medinat Israel.
Best Wishes
Carlos Frauman
President  of  AZO (Argentina Zionist Organisation) -   Buenos Aires - Argentina CABA                                                                                                                                           

Monday, February 23, 2009


His Excellency Mark Sofer, Israeli Ambassador to India and Sri Lanka, gave series of fascinating talks on 19-20 February, under the auspices of the ZF. He began by looking back at the dreadful terrorist attacks in Mumbai on 26-9 November 2008. Of the ten terrorists, 2 were dedicated to finding a small out-of-the way house used by Chabad – a horrific demonstration of the extent of the attackers’ hatred. The terrorists had very sophisticated equipment, indicating that they had help -- from whom, remains unclear.
But such are the bonds between the two nations, the attack was unlikely to prove a ‘defining moment’. Total trade (imports plus exports, excluding defence) amounts to some $4,4 billion annually, for example, and it is reasonably balanced. Delhi is the biggest Israeli Embassy in Asia with 120 staff.
The two countries have much in common. Both are former British Mandate areas; the results of divisions into areas including a Muslim one; both experienced wars on the road to Independence; are democracies in Asia; both were ‘nonaligned’ nations during the Cold War period. Note that the Muslims in India are Sufi Muslims and very different from the Shi’ites and Sunni. They are not militant. They are a long established community.
Yet bilateral relations were not always so close and good. In November 1947 at the UN, India voted against the establishment of Israel. The reasons can be found in the war with Pakistan and the Muslim minority (around 12%). Also Nehru’s partner in leading the nonaligned movement was Nasser (along with Tito).  As recently as 1991, Indian passports specified that their bearers could not travel to Israel. Secularism was important to the Indian government and Israel was seen as a theocratic State.
In 1992 after the collapse of Communism, things changed. ‘Nonaligned’ lost its meaning and there was no longer any ideological barrier to capitalism. Also no Muslim nation (with the strange exception of Saddam’s Iraq) supported India over Kashmir. Israel changed too.
The Ambassador emphasised the enormous scale of the swing in the early ‘90s in the relationship – it is hard to fully explain.
Indians have great regard for Israel’s technological achievements, especially in the agricultural and irrigation field – they speak of ‘making the desert bloom’. There is no antisemitism – they do not know what the word means.
Nevertheless there remain pragmatic obstacles to the extent to which the interests of the two countries can converge. India for example is wholly dependent on oil imports and there are around 6m Indian expatriates living and working in the Gulf. No Indian Foreign Minister had made an official visit to Israel or the Palestinian areas for seven years. The new US Administration has a difficult balance to preserve. On the one hand, India is a natural ally but on the other, there are major concerns about stability in Pakistan – which has nuclear capability.


Read more



The agenda can be read here

Two of the speeches can be read here:
Speech 1

Speech 2

Monday, February 16, 2009


Baroness Deech (Crossbench) | Hansard source

My Lord, I recently heard a speech by President Peres of Israel. He said
that if we look back 50 years, who would have imagined then that the Soviet
Empire would have ended, that the South African system of apartheid would
have been dismantled and Mandela would have become president, that the
Berlin Wall would have come down and that there would be a black president
of America? He said that we should look forward 50 years from now in the
same spirit. I want to start on that optimistic note because I believe that
if we wait that long*no doubt beyond our lifetimes*there will be change for
the better. I want to emphasise that because inevitably much of my speech
will be rather gloomy.

No one can accuse this House of not focusing on the distressing situation in
Gaza. In the past 12 months, there have been 161 Questions and Statements
about Israel, Gaza and the Palestinians compared with, for example, 33 on
Sri Lanka and 24 on Tibet. I mention Sri Lanka in particular because noble
Lords will be aware that recently there was a well attended protest in
Parliament Square about the terrible attacks on the Tamils, the hospitals
under siege, the killing of 70,000 people and the many more thousands who
are trapped and displaced from their homes. This has attracted little
opprobrium and no calls for the obliteration of Sri Lanka or talk of its

I raise that because I am interested in the particular focus on the Middle
East that is expressed in this country. Part of the reason is that the war
in Gaza has not been seen in perspective, but only as a minute fragment of
what is, in truth, a larger picture. There is a wider war, of which Israel
and Gaza are figureheads, and there is also a civil war. The talk about what
is proportionate*I prefer the word "necessary"*has to be seen in the context
of a response to an attack from Hamas designed not just to launch rockets at
Israel*5,000 rockets deliberately aimed at Israeli civilians and
schoolchildren at 7.45 in the morning*but to end the state of Israel.

Hamas has vowed to have an Islamic state over Gaza, the West Bank and Israel
as part of a wider Islamic empire. Israel has a 20 per cent Arab population,
but not one Jew is to be allowed to live in this Islamic state. We can well
imagine the fate planned for the millions of Israelis were this to come
about. The response from Israel was, if anything, as restrained as it
possibly could be. We should recall the detailed precautions taken by the
Israeli army to avoid wherever possible harm to civilians, bearing in mind
the use of mosques, schools and hospitals, as has been referred to earlier

The charges of "disproportionate" were not made in relation to other wars
that we have recently experienced; Kosovo, Georgia, Iraq or even
Afghanistan, where people have died in their thousands. In fact, there has
been some praise for the restraint that Israel has shown in trying to avoid
civilian casualties. There is also a civil war in Gaza, which makes the
prospects of peace unrealistic. The military dictatorship there did nothing
to protect its own subjects, but took the opportunity of war to eliminate
many of its Fatah political opponents. Other noble Lords have referred to
the very cruel details of this. Even the Palestinian Authority's President
Abbas said:

"Hamas has taken risks with the blood of Palestinians, with their fate and
dreams and aspirations for an independent Palestinian state".

The wider war is one of destruction of Israel, and those who criticise
Israel's attack on Gaza must realise that they are unwittingly giving
succour to that plan.

Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas all share that same aim of destroying
Israel entirely and, indeed, Hamas has thanked Iran for its support in the
Gaza war. As others have mentioned, the result has been that Jews all over
the world have suffered for this. The attacks on Jews that have taken place
here in the UK and elsewhere illustrate my theme of a wider war. It is Jews
and synagogues in London and Venezuela, in universities, to their shame, and
streets, that are attacked, with Gaza as the excuse, not Israelis. It is not
Jews who see all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism; it is some of the
critics of Israel who vent their displeasure on Jews in general. The hatred
of Israel, and sometimes Jews, is almost unique in international politics.

Then there is the propaganda war. I urge noble Lords not to believe all that
they read in the newspapers about damage and killings in Gaza. We do not
have the evidence. I cite just one case. The tragic killing of the three
daughters of the respected Gazan doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish now seems to have
been by Gazan rockets, not Israeli fire, according to the post-mortem
examination of the fragments of their bodies.

On the humanitarian front, of course, it is exacerbated, because Hamas
wanted civilian deaths to increase its worldwide exposure and sympathy.
Humanitarian aid is another area where the wrong and pessimistic view has
been taken. I noted with interest and approval that the BBC refused to
screen the advertisement for aid and that it was backed by its own NUJ
branch of journalists. It is not so good to hear talk of a Zionist lobby and
Jews mugging protests and stemming disquiet in the United States, when you
consider the very small numbers that there are. The United Nations Relief
and Works Agency has a huge budget. We do not yet know what happened to the
millions that Arafat salted away and took to his death. We note the failure
of other Arab countries to come to the aid of their brothers. The oil
revenue of the Gulf states in 2008 was $562 billion; in Saudi Arabia it was
$260 billion*one day's oil revenue would work a miracle for the West Bank
and Gaza, but this is not forthcoming.

On the humanitarian front, Israel's Supreme Court in the past few days, a
court known for its robustness, has examined the application of the Geneva
conventions on humanitarian law and found them not to have been breached.
Other Arab countries have not only not helped but have literally turned
their backs on the Palestinians, as one can read regarding Syria in the
report in the Times today.

What of the future? Gaza could have had a future. Every Israeli soldier and
civilian was removed from there. Everything was ready for the Gazans a few
years ago to start a new period of economic development. There was no
blockade, and it remains true that Egypt could open its crossing if it
wanted to. It does not, of course, because it no more wants an Iranian state
on its borders than Israel does. Instead the rockets and the tunnels came,
and the sad destruction of the very greenhouses where flowers and fruit were
grown and could have continued to be grown.

What can the UK do? It can support Egypt, which is acting very well in this
crisis, albeit for its own reasons of survival. It can help block Hamas from
smuggling more arms by sea. It can press for the release of Gilad Shalit,
who has been a hostage in Gaza for two and a half years with no access to
the Red Cross or any other international agency. It can persuade Hamas to
change the charter and remove mention of destruction. Above all, your
Lordships should lend your voices to the end of the demonisation of Israel
and to calm down the surging anti-Semitism. Your Lordships should recognise
the need of Israel to exist and its legitimacy. It is no more arriviste in
the Middle East than the other 22 Arab states to be found there. There can
be no further removal of six million Jews from the Middle East. We must do
nothing to feed the hatred that surrounds this issue and we must do
everything to look to the future.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Friday, 6th February 2009   Melanie Phillips
I am hearing ever more alarming accounts of the deepening attrition against British Jews in the wake of the incitement against Israel provoked by the war in Gaza. In addition to the record number of attacks upon Jewish individuals and institutions and murderous incitement displayed on the anti-Israel demonstrations and riots as reported by the Community Security Trust, Jewish parents report that their children – some as young as eight – are now running a gauntlet of attack from their Muslim classmates at school who accuse them of 'killing Palestinian children'. Comments by adults about 'Jews controlling all the money/the media/the BBC' (yes, really! All because it allowed Israel's spokesman to put the case for Israel from time to time) are now commonplace in both private and public discourse. Today's Jewish Chronicle reports that a 12 year-old Birmingham schoolgirl was terrorised by a mob of 20 youths chanting 'Kill all Jews' and 'Death to Jews' on her way home from school last week:
She said: 'One of my friends said an Asian girl from the year above asked her why she was talking to me because I am Jewish. I asked the girl in a friendly manner if she had a problem with me being Jewish. She said "yeah, I do". I managed to punch her before she hit me but then she grabbed me by the hair and swung me around shouting "f****** Jews, I hate Jews". But then another Asian girl rounded up a whole gang. They were all in school uniform and they came running towards me shouting "death to Jews" and "kill all Jews."'
A reader has sent me the following account of what happened to him when, travelling on the Tube in London, he started to read a copy of The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz:
After a time, I became aware that a man sitting diagonally in front of me near the doors at the end of the carriage was looking a bit agitated and had a disgruntled expression on his face. However, he didn't meet my eye, so I thought nothing more of it and continued reading as before...When the train reached St Paul's, the man I had noticed stood up to get off. But instead of leaving by the end doors, he made to pass me. In the process of doing so, he deliberately shoved into me and made to crush me against the side of the carriage and the passengers sitting behind me. Despite already knowing exactly what had actuated this behaviour, I asked the question anyway - and received the following response: 'You shouldn't be reading that, you f***ing [indecipherable].'...The whole confrontation had taken place in the time it took for the tube doors to wheeze open and shut.
Other than in the Jewish press, such incidents are barely being reported. Last week, for example, there was virtually no coverage of the violent demonstration organised by the Stop the War coalition which prevented the deputy commander of Israel's Gaza operation from speaking at London's Jewish student centre, Hillel House, when a crowd of about 60-80 students attempted to storm the building.
One of the most troubling developments is the way in which the universities have become an extension of the Middle East conflict, with a simulacrum of the aggression, intimidation and violence from which Israel is under attack by the Arabs being directed at Jewish students on British campuses, who now routinely run a gauntlet of intimidation and abuse from Arab and Muslim students. But even more worryingly, some universities are spinelessly choosing to give in to such bullying.
Throughout last week, after the cease-fire was declared in Gaza, there was a series of anti-Israel sit-ins and demonstrations organised by the STWC at some 17 universities: in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the London School of Economics, Queen Mary College and King's College, as well as at Bradford, Sheffield Hallam, Warwick, Leeds, Oxford, Cambridge, Sussex, Essex, Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan and Strathclyde. Some of these protests led to criminal damage and forced the universities to pay thousands of pounds to deal with the disruption, rearrange lectures, hire extra security guards and repair the damage.
The demonstrators took control of lecture halls and made a series of demands: that the universities should issue a statement condemning Israel's actions in Gaza; offer scholarships to Palestinian students; send surplus educational materials to help rebuild Gaza (presumably its Islamic University, said by Israel to be a fount of terror); dedicate some of their time to fund-raising for Gaza; and take no action against the demonstrators.
Some of these universities responded robustly to such disorder and intimidation. Manchester Metropolitan, Birmingham, Nottingham and, after some delay, Leeds and Cambridge reportedly refused to accept any of these demands.  At Nottingham and Sheffield Hallam, the demonstrators were forcibly evicted.
But the LSE, King's College London, SOAS, Bradford, Strathclyde and Oxford reportedly gave in to some or all of these demands. According to the JC, the LSE agreed to waive application fees for Gaza and West Bank students 'directly affected by the conflict', while Bradford
agreed to investigate the 'ethical background' of food and drink served on campus, and promised to 'explore the feasibility of a twinning link with the Islamic University of Gaza'.
Strathclyde agreed among other things to cancel a contract with an Israeli water-cooler company.  Oxford – which fined each demonstrator the princely sum of £20 – nevertheless started negotiations with them with indecent haste, and a mere few hours later had agreed to pretty well everything. In a craven letter to colleagues the Vice-Chancellor, John Hood, having stated that
unlawful action of this kind cannot be condoned
proceeded to reward it by giving the perpetrators what they had demanded.
The Oxford demonstrators also demanded that the title of the series of lectures on 'world peace' at Balliol, recently inaugurated by Israeli President Shimon Peres and named in his honour, be changed; the Senior Proctor, Professor Donald Fraser -- who oversees disciplinary matters and who recommended 'a relatively lenient course of action against the demonstrators '--  duly wrote to Balliol drawing its attention to the students' concerns.
Thus the trahison des clercs as they crumble in the face of criminality, violence and intimidation.
And so now at British universities --which should be the most protected of all environments for free discourse and inquiry -- British Jews no longer feel safe. At Nottingham, one such student said:
The sit-in has created an atmosphere where we do not feel comfortable going into shared buildings on campus.
At King's, another Jewish student said:
Someone from my course wrote 'kill the Jews' on my Facebook profile. Later he said he didn't know I was Jewish. In public someone said to me, 'I think all the Israelis are crazy and so are the f***ing Jews'.
And at Oxford, the JC reports:
One University Reader reportedly told a meeting that 'within five years, Oxford will be a Jew-free zone'
and a student wrote to Professor Fraser warning that
for Jewish students, the university and the city have developed a toxic atmosphere in which I and many others feel increasingly alienated and unwelcome.
Meanwhile, of course, as Sky's Tim Marshall pointed out the other day on his blog, the government of Sri Lanka is also attempting to eradicate terrorism by a military campaign in which, according to the UN, 'many civilians are being killed', thousands made homeless, hundreds of thousands trapped, and to which, as food shortages grow, the government refuses to allow access to journalists. Yet there are no sit-ins on campus against the Sri Lankans, no violent riots outside its High Commission, no calls to boycott Orange Pekoe tea. As Marshall observed:
And yet somehow the lives of the 1,300 Palestinians killed by the Israelis causes far more outrage, in certain quarters, than the 2 million dead in Congo, the tens of thousands of Iraqis killed by Sunni and Shia terrorists, or the growing number of Sri Lankan dead to add to the 70,000 killed over the past 25 years (far more than the number of Palestinians and Israelis killed in the same period).
Of course – because the protests in Britain have nothing to do with humanitarian concerns for the innocent. They are part of the jihad against the Jews – and those in the universities and other parts of the establishment who are capitulating to or even endorsing this are accomplices to a great evil that is now consuming British public life.