Thursday, July 29, 2010


The Israeli Defence Forces have a duty and a right to defend the civilian population of Israel, who are the victims of frequent acts of terrorism. In particular, the Israeli men, women and children living in southern Israel have to endure ongoing and indiscriminate rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. Rockets are still being launched at an average rate of one every week.
Those on board the Mavi Marmara sought to challenge a known naval blockade intended to stop weapons being imported into Gaza. Many previous attempts to smuggle arms into Gaza have been made, and also stopped by the IDF. A rocket that arrives in Gaza on one day will be launched towards the civilian population of Israel the next. This is what is ‘unacceptable’, not the efforts of the Israeli Navy to defend the lives of Israelis.
The UN agrees with Israel that those wishing to send aid to Gaza should do so by land. UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky stated last week, "there are established routes for supplies to enter by land. That is the way aid should be delivered to the people of Gaza… Our stated preference has been and remains that aid should be delivered by established routes, particularly at a sensitive time in indirect proximity talks between Palestinians and Israelis,"
As the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Ron Prossor has said, “the people of Gaza are the prisoners of the terrorist organisation Hamas. The situation in Gaza is the direct result of Hamas’ rule and priorities.
“We know that the Prime Minister would also share our grave concerns about our own prisoner in the Gaza Strip, Gilad Shalit, who has been held hostage there for over four years, without receiving a single Red Cross visit”.
Jonathan Sacerdoti
Director of Public Affairs
The Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland
020 8202 0202

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The Zionist Federation welcomes the statement by the Secretary of State for Justice, the Rt Hon. Kenneth Clarke, that it is his intention to amend the legislation relating to war crimes.
We note he has tabled a written statement in the House of Commons confirming that UK War Crimes legislation will be amended at “the first opportunity” in order to rectify the anomaly that has enabled campaign groups to obtain arrest warrants against visiting Israelis on the basis of unfounded War Crimes charges.   We congratulate him and the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon. William Hague, together with the Coalition Government, for taking this early opportunity to honour their commitment to rectify this situation which has damaged international relationships and caused considerable embarrassment.
We strongly support the view it is important to retain legislation that will safeguard against proven war criminals being allowed to enter the UK, but agree with the proposal that the matter of issuing arrest warrants should rest solely in the hands of the Director of Public Prosecutions and is not open to abuse due to frivolous requests for warrants being presented to inexperienced magistrates by manipulating individuals.
We concur with the conclusion of the Justice Minister that the abuse of the current legislation has hindered the government’s ability to help in conflict resolution and welcome the proposed changes, which can only be beneficial to the role the United Kingdom can play in advancing the Middle East peace process.
We look forward to the proposed amendment being put before Parliament and trust it will receive widespread support.
Joy Wolfe MBE
ZF Co President

Monday, July 19, 2010


Hudson New York
Four Hamas political figures facing expulsion from Jerusalem have expressed their readiness to do almost anything to remain in the city under Israeli sovereignty, including renouncing their ties to the radical Islamist movement.
The Israeli Ministry of Interior had revoked the status of the four Hamas representatives as permanent residents of Jerusalem, paving the way for their expulsion from the city. These representatives who are fighting to retrieve their Israeli ID cards belong to the same organization whose leaders used to send young men and women to blow themselves up in Israel, killing hundreds of innocent civilians -- including Arabs.
The four men ? three legislators and a former minister -- have good reason to put up a good fight to stay in Jerusalem. The last thing they would want is to be deported to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip or any Arab country.
To prevent their expulsion, they have even chosen to appeal to courts of the country that they do not recognize and would so much like to destroy: Israel. Moreover, they have written to the Israeli authorities letters arguing that they do not represent Hamas, but the people who voted for them in the January 2006 parliamentary election.
The Hamas men's campaign is not about being allowed to stay with their families in Jerusalem -- or even to spy, which the Israelis would find out -- as much as fear of what awaits them under Fatah in the West Bank, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and dictatorships in the Arab world, where there is no democracy, and rule of law is capricious at best.
Once they arrive in the Gaza Strip, they will discover that their government, the Hamas government, has imposed a reign of terror and intimidation on the local population and is even confiscating much of the humanitarian aid, including food and medicine, that is being dispatched to the area.
In the West Bank, they are likely to be chased by Palestinian Authority security forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad. These forces have long been waging a ruthless campaign against Hamas representatives and supporters in the West Bank.
Hundreds of Hamas followers are being held in Palestinian-run prisons without trial. Most are denied family visits and the right to consult with a lawyer. At least three Hamas detainees are believed to have died as a result of torture in the prisons controlled by Abbas and Fayyad.
In the Gaza Strip, the four Hamas representatives will have to join 1.5 million Palestinians whose living conditions have only deteriorated since Hamas seized control of the area exactly three years ago.
In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Hamas operatives would not enjoy many of the privileges they are entitled to as residents of Jerusalem and holders of Israeli ID cards:
As permanent residents of Jerusalem, the four Hamas men enjoy the same rights as every Israeli citizen, with the exception of voting for the Knesset: freedom of movement; social welfare, and free education and healthcare. They can vote for the Jerusalem Municipality and travel around the country freely and without having to obtain special permission.
They can get into their cars, which have Israeli license plates, and drive any time of the day to eat fish in Jaffa or swim in the Kinneret in Tiberias.
They have unlimited access to Israeli hospitals and free education for their children; and are entitled to many social and economic benefits that many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip do not have.
The Hamas representatives know that in most of the Arab countries they would be dealt with as a "security threat," and would most probably find themselves under house arrest. That is, of course, if any of those countries agrees to host them in the first place.
Now, however, the Hamas men are willing to humiliate themselves by publicly disowning the Islamist movement. If the choice is between membership in an Islamist movement and life in Israel, to the Hamas leaders, the latter option seems more attractive.


Jews in Britain strongly identify with and support Israel.  They are ready to see Israel swap territory for peace and to talk with Hamas if it will advance the cause of peace. At the same time, they are concerned about Israel’s security, support the separation barrier/security fence and viewed the 2008/09 operation in Gaza as “a legitimate act of self-defence.”
These are the central findings of the most definitive study ever conducted of the attitudes of Jews in Britain towards Israel.  The study, entitled Committed, concerned and conciliatory: The attitudes of Jews in Britain towards Israel, is published today by the community’s leading research institute, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR).
Based on over 4,000 individual responses, with fieldwork conducted by Ipsos MORI and with the support of several leading experts in Jewish demography and sociology, the findings show that:
More than nine out of ten Jews have visited Israel, and a similar number consider it their ‘ancestral homeland’. 
Four-fifths of respondents say Israel plays a central or important role in their Jewish identities, and one in five says they are very or fairly likely to live there in the future.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

EDO Factory

The ZF regards the acquittal of the seven who admitted causing £180,000 of criminal damage in the EDO factory in Brighton as an utter disgrace.
(The seven argued that they were seeking to prevent ‘Israeli war crimes’).
It seems that the ‘rule of law’ in the UK has effectively broken down,
since it varies according to the political bias of the Judge deciding on an individual case.
The ZF:
-          calls on the UK Government to censure Judge George Bathurst-Norman who directed the Jury to a “not guilty” verdict.  
-          hopes that the prosecution refers the case to the Court of Appeal for clarification of the law.

-          Is complaining to the Office of Judicial Complaints and calls on its supporters to do the same

The form can be found from this link



Christian Friends of Israel (UK) and the Zionist Federation, which together represent thousands of individuals - including members of the Methodist Church -  the length and breadth of these islands, were appalled that on 30th June the Methodist Conference overwhelmingly accepted a report on the Israel/Palestinian conflict that reeks of 'supercessionism' (the strain of Christian belief that denies the Biblical claim of the Jewish people to the land of Israel).
Not only that: as organisations working together to bring about closer ties between our two faith communities, we totally deplore the completely biased and one-sided nature of the report and the conclusions drawn from it.
There is no justification for the boycott, that the Methodist Conference approved, on goods grown or made by Jews in Judea and Samaria, nor will a move like this improve the lives of the many hundreds of Palestinians whose livelihood depends upon employment in these areas.
In remaining in Judea and Samaria for security reasons, in areas occupied as a result of the defensive war of 1967, Israel is acting perfectly legally. UN Resolution 242 says that withdrawal from these areas should be in exchange for security. The reality is that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, only to be rewarded with unceasing terrorist attacks.
The ZF and CFI (UK) call upon all right-thinking people to protest to the leadership Council of the Methodist Church at this blinkered, flawed report and the recommendations flowing from it.
The ZF and CFI (UK) believe that interfaith dialogue between Jews and Christians on the one hand, and those Methodists who supported the motion on the other, is impossible until this report is withdrawn in its entirety, and a more balanced approach to this extremely difficult subject is adopted.