Friday, March 21, 2014


The ZF this week called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to re-double his efforts to find a satisfactory conclusion to the current labour dispute with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). In an open letter to the PM, the ZF cites the “tireless work” of the Israeli Embassy in the UK, work which is “crucial” for the promotion and defence of the Jewish state in one of the most influential arenas in the world.
The letter is co-signed by a variety of groups and individuals, including Christian Friends of Israel and Lord Palmer of Childs Hill, who describe themselves as being “proud and privileged” to work alongside the diplomats in the Embassy, including in “vital” outreach to numerous cultural and political groups.
ZF Chairman Paul Charney also criticised those organisations that had failed to co-sign the letter:
“At a time when the delegitimisation campaign poses an increasing threat not just to Israel but to the Diaspora, it’s a real shame that community organisations are unwilling to back this letter, which endorses the tremendous work the embassy does. All of these organisations state they support Israel, and many argue that they should still be free to critique the actions of the Israeli government – backing this letter would give them the perfect opportunity to do both.”

The full text of the letter, alongside co-signers, is below.
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
As organisations and individuals committed to working to advance the interests and understanding of Israel here in the United Kingdom, we are writing to convey the importance of the work of the Israeli Embassy and its diplomats here in Britain.
As you will be aware, the United Kingdom is an important arena for Israel. As a member of the Security Council, NATO, the G8 and other international bodies, it is of key strategic importance, while as Israel's second largest trading partner it carries considerable economic weight. Moreover, with BBC and other world media based in London, it has a disproportionate impact on the perception of Israel and the Middle East throughout the world.
In all these fields, the tireless work of Israel's diplomats is absolutely crucial to protecting and advancing the cause of Israel. We are proud and privileged to work alongside them and to witness their tireless commitment to representing Israel in every arena, from briefing the country's most influential leadership and appearing on the media, to travelling the length and breadth of Britain to speak at often hostile university campuses, union meetings and faith and cultural groups. We have also been pleased to partner with them in important outreach programs increasing understanding of Israel through culture, innovation, and education.
Without wishing to become involved in internal labour disputes, we consider it important that you know what vital work Israel's representatives are doing on a daily basis. We urge you to use all your efforts to ensure that this crucial work can continue.
West Midlands Friends of Israel. Bridges for Peace in the UK
ZCC Manchester
Lord Palmer of Childs Hill
Christian Friends of Israel
Wizo UK
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem - UK
Liverpool Israel support Team
The Israel Salon network for young Israelis in the UK
The Congregation of United Synagogues
Habonim Dror UK