Monday, September 23, 2013


The ZF hosted a breakfast meeting this morning with Hilik Bar, MK, who was in the country for the Labour Party Conference 

The event, in association with the Sussex Jewish Rep council, was attended by 30 people including ZF patrons, leaders of the Jewish and Christian communities, and Israeli activists.

Hilik, who at 38 is one of the youngest MKs, is a Member of Knesset for the Israel Labour Party, the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, and the Secretary General of the Labor Party – the youngest person ever to have held the position. Bar has played a crucial role in leading the rehabilitation of the Israeli Labor Party.

He briefed the audience on a number of issues, including the current status of the peace talks. Bar, who is the chair of the Caucus for Ending the Israeli-Arab Conflict, described how in the Knesset today there is a clear majority of MKs (70 out of 120) who favour a two state solution.

Bar also argued that, although Aliya is important and should be encouraged, Israel will always need its Diaspora Jewish communities.

Alan Aziz said that the ZF is extremely proud to have been able to host as high-calibre a speaker as Hilik Bar, who is as passionate an advocate for Israel as he is for peace, and delighted to be able to reach out to different communities and activists across the UK in order to inform and empower those who care deeply about Israel.

Friday, September 13, 2013


The Zionist Federation today condemned in the strongest terms the latest campaign by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). The campaign, which debuted in Oxford and Islington this week, focuses on the negative impact of security precautions on Palestinian patients seeking to enter Israel for medical treatment, without providing any necessary context, or mentioning that thousands are admitted every year. The subject of Palestinian violence is wholly absent from MAP’s campaign, giving an incomplete picture as to why Israel maintains security checkpoints, or refuses to grant a minority of Palestinians permits to enter from Gaza and the West Bank. Instead, leaflets, mobile billboards and full-page adverts in papers used emotive imagery and highly selective information to suggest that Israel is deliberately and maliciously trying to prevent Palestinians gaining access to adequate medical support. The truth is the exact opposite, as Paul Charney, ZF Chairman, explained:

“I’m sure many people would be surprised to learn that, despite their history of conflict, thousands of Palestinians travel into Israel every year in order to receive medical treatment. Whilst fringe activists abroad like to demonise Israel for being somehow “racist”, Palestinians in the region know the reality: in Israel they will be treated just like any other patient, irrespective of political differences. Only last year, for example, the brother-in-law of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was one of the many admitted from Gaza for emergency surgery – despite Hamas’ longstanding commitment to violence against Israel. But rather than highlight the positive examples of Israeli-Palestinian interaction, MAP would rather vilify the Jewish state instead.”

The ZF is investigating a variety of avenues to counter the campaign, and will continue to empower its supporters to combat anti-Israel propaganda.