Tuesday, December 6, 2011


The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that the website of the Palestine Authority Mission to the UK was misleading.
The violations of the CAP Code included an interactive graphic showing Palestine covering the whole territory from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, erasing Israel from the map. The website also described Jaffa as “a Palestinian Arab city … military occupied by Israel since 1948”. There were also misleading statements regarding Jerusalem, Hebron and Bethlehem.
The website was changed shortly before the ruling was confirmed.
Alan Aziz, Director of the Zionist Federation said:
“We welcome this finding and thank the members of the ZF who submitted complaints. It is vitally important that the British public receives accurate information about the Middle East.”
Jonathan Turner, Head of the ZF’s legal group, said:
“The ASA should be congratulated on its careful and impartial scrutiny. Too often we are on the defensive against attacks on Israel and Israeli organisations. As this ruling shows, those who attack us should pay more attention to failings in their own camp. We will examine the revised website as well as other advertising and if necessary make further complaints.”
We have images from the website prior to it being changed available upon request.
The Zionist Federation has spokespeople available for comment at your disposal both in the UK and in Israel. During office hours please email Stefan@zfuk.org or call 020 8202 0202. For out of office times please call Stefan Kerner on 07767 370 620 or Alan Aziz on 07768 946 868.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


There is much debate over what words and lines are effective when discussing the Israel Palestinian conflict and how an advocate for Israel can put their case in the most favourable manner.

Recently, ‘The Israel Project’ has run a number of focus groups to find out what messages work with the general public and how best to present Israel’s case. The most recent research was carried out with British University students and the preliminary results may come as a surprise to some readers.

Although the general anti-Israel message does seem to have had an effect in the overall perception of the conflict, the specifics of roadblocks, settlements and other such activities were not brought up those being surveyed as reasons for this sentiment; more it was a general sense that Israel had committed humanitarian violations which had, in turn, disenfranchised the Palestinians. Yet despite this, there was no consensus of one side being right and the other being wrong. Those surveyed saw things in shades of grey rather than black and white.

Perhaps reassuringly, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) did not appear to have made much traction with any students beyond those attending particularly aggressive campuses; and boycotts, particularly academic ones, had very little support both as a concept and as an effective technique to pressurise Israel.

What we can learn from this is that we do not necessarily need to be overly concerned about dealing with specific attacks and accusations made against Israel by our opponents and should concentrate on delivering a simple, positive message about Israel in order to counter them.

The strongest messages appeared to be centred around the inclusivity of Israeli society and Israel’s leading position in alternative energy and technology advancements. Among the students surveyed, the fact that Muslim and Christian Arabs have the right to vote and serve in the parliament proved both surprising and very encouraging. And although the students did not see Israel’s scientific strengths as reason to become supportive of the state, the issue does allow the discussion to become broader based.

The weakest message for this particular group seemed to be the religious one that G-d gave the Land of Israel to the Jews and they have lived there for thousands of years.

Also, there is a consideration to be made about discussing the advances and contributions Israel has made to the world in such a strong manner, as the natural response to this was that if it was so good then it must be able to solve the conflict if it really wanted to.

Overall, what we can take from the focus groups is that students who may not instantly become pro-Israel are open to discussion and that the BDS movement have been quite successful in creating a general negative image of Israel without the use for specifics.

Moving forward, although the focus group, where these result emanated, concentrated on university students and its findings are very preliminary, there is no reason to limit the conclusions to just this demographic group. These ideas can be conveyed in debate with other groups as well and should be used as a guide rather than the rule for all cases.

With thanks to ‘The Israel Project’ for organising the focus groups and for producing the results.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


November 11, 2011

Ahead of 26th anniversary of Jonathan Pollard's arrest, an exclusive
look at year-old clemency request reveals how his case was mishandled.

Following the release of Gilad Schalit from the clutches of Hamas in the
Gaza Strip, one of the questions most often asked to spokesmen for
Israel who address audiences in the United States is why Israeli agent
Jonathan Pollard remains in an American federal prison.

Pollard will enter his 27th year in captivity on November 21, even
though the median sentence for those convicted of passing classified
information to an ally is just two to four years.

No one else in American history has ever received a life sentence for
this offense.

Successive Democratic and Republican regimes in Washington can be blamed
for not commuting Pollard's sentence. Some hold American Jewish leaders
responsible for not taking a public stand on Pollard until recently and
still not taking enough action.

The last seven prime ministers of Israel undoubtedly could have each
made Pollard a higher priority.

But an exclusive look at Pollard's request for clemency from US
President Barack Obama, which he submitted a year ago, tells a deeper
story of intrigue, legal misconduct and the interference of an American
defense secretary known for being anti-Israel.

Pollard filed his request for clemency last October and over the past
year added seven supplemental filings with letters to Obama calling for
his release from many current and former senior American and Israeli
officials. After a plea from Pollard's wife Esther, Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu followed up with his own formal request three months

A White House spokesman confirmed in May that such requests tend to be
answered within six weeks. He has not said why Obama has been dragging
his feet.

Clemency requests were also filed in 1992 to thenpresident George Bush,
in 1993 to then-president Bill Clinton, and in 2008 to then-president
George W. Bush. The first two announced that they had denied the request
to commute Pollard's sentence.

George W. Bush left office without responding to the request at all.

While the US Board of Prisons web site lists a "presumptive parole date"
in 2015, following 30 years of Pollard's sentence, the US Justice
Department is expected to oppose parole, so Pollard is unlikely to
apply. If he did apply and was rejected, it could bar him from
requesting parole for another 15 years and harm chances of persuading a
president to grant clemency.

Those close to Pollard warn that due to his poor health, he may not
survive four more years in prison. His clemency request reveals for the
first time his long list of ailments: Diabetes, nausea, dizziness,
blackouts and ongoing issues with his gall bladder, kidneys, sinuses,
eyes and feet. He also suffers from Meniere's disease, which causes him
to lose consciousness and fall without warning.

Despite an exemplary prison record, applying for parole is also not an
option for Pollard because of a severe impediment unilaterally imposed
by the US Justice Department preventing his pro bono attorneys, Eliot
Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, from seeing key documents that were
submitted to the judge before he was sentenced in 1987.

Requests for the lawyers to have access to Pollard's file have been
rejected even though both lawyers obtained the appropriate "top secret"
security clearances.

Since the lawyers have not seen their client's entire court file, those
opposed to parole have free reign to say anything about Pollard without
the risk of being contradicted by the documents.

Explaining that their client was not seeking to exonerate himself via a
pardon, Pollard's lawyers wrote in the clemency request that "while
there are serious and substantial issues surrounding the sentencing
process, Mr. Pollard has exhausted his remedies in the US court system.

His sole remaining avenue of relief from his life sentence is executive

The request lists Pollard's offense as "conspiracy to deliver national
defense information to a foreign government," but Pollard stressed in
his own words: "I was never charged with, nor did I plead guilty to
harming the United States or aiding a foreign government that is an
enemy of the US."

Pollard has expressed his remorse for his crime on multiple occasions
and also made a point of reiterating his remorse in the document. The
loyalty that he expresses to the US sounds surprising from a man who
hasn't exactly been treated well by American institutions.

"I have never, to this day, lost my love, respect, and gratitude for
everything this country has given me," Pollard wrote. "I deeply regret
what I did.

While my intention at the time I committed this offense was only to help
protect Israel and never to cause damage to the US, I have long since
come to understand that what I did was wrong and that I should have
acted on my concerns in a more appropriate, legal manner."

Pollard received a life sentence on March 4, 1987, despite a plea
agreement he signed a year earlier in which he committed to plead guilty
and cooperate fully with the investigation against him in return for a
commitment by the American government not to seek a life sentence.

Prior to the sentencing, the Department of Justice which revealed that
no concrete harm had been done to the US as a result of Pollard's

But then-American defense secretary Caspar Weinberger submitted a
46-page classified declaration two months before the sentencing that
apparently claimed the opposite. Just one day before the sentencing he
submitted another, shorter letter to the judge in which he falsely
accused Pollard of causing at least as much harm to American national
security as had spies for the Soviet Union who were given life

Portions of the Weinberger declaration that are in the public record
indicate that it consisted largely of projections of possible future

Pollard's lawyer at the time, who had full access to the document,
responded to it by saying that "Secretary Weinberger nowhere alleges
that the US has lost the lives or utility of any agents, that it has
been obligated to replace or relocate intelligence equipment, that it
had to alter communication signals, or that it has lost other sources of
information, or that our technology has been compromised.

Indeed the memorandum only discusses the possibility that sources may be
compromised in the future."

Years after other agents were convicted of revealing information that
Pollard was accused of leaking, his current lawyers wrote in the
clemency request that it is likely that many of Weinberger's projections
never came to pass and that scrutinizing his declaration would confirm

"The passage of nearly a quarter century has demonstrated that the
anticipated harm to the US has not materialized and never will," the
lawyers wrote. "Inasmuch as Mr. Pollard's life sentence was premised, in
substantial measure on these projections, commuting of the sentence
would be just and appropriate."

Weinberger's downplaying of Pollard's case in a 2002 interview with
journalist Edwin Black substantiated the lawyers' belief that the harm
Weinberger projected did not materialize.

"The Pollard matter was comparatively minor," Weinberger told Black.
"It was made far bigger than its actual importance."

Weinberger's deputy at the time of the Pollard affair, Lawrence Korb,
who is currently one of the most outspoken advocates for Pollard's
release, recently said that "Weinberger had an almost visceral dislike
of Israel."

If Weinberger's declarations were so damaging, why didn't Pollard object
to the last-minute submissions, rebut them or request a hearing at which
the government would have had to prove Weinberger's charges or withdraw
them? The apparent answer is that Richard Hibey, the lawyer of Lebanese
descent whom Israel paid to represent Pollard, did not tell him that he
was entitled to any of those approaches.
Pollard's clemency request includes a lengthy opinion written by former
federal judge George Leighton of Chicago in which he blamed Hibey for
not preventing the life sentence Pollard received.

"The evidence shows that the government engaged in serious misconduct
that went unchecked by an ineffective defense counsel, Richard Hibey,
and that these constitutional violations severely prejudiced Mr.
Pollard and resulted in his life sentence," Leighton wrote. "He was
deprived of effective assistance of counsel as a result of his counsel's
failure to deal competently with unproven, highly damaging eleventh hour
factual assertions made by the government in a supplemental declaration
of secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger submitted the day before

The most problematic mistake by Hibey, who later represented the
Palestinian Authority in American courts, was that after the sentencing,
he did not file a onepage request for an appeal within the required 10
days. This barred Pollard from ever appealing his life sentence, and as
a result, there has never been any direct appellate review of the

Lauer and Semmelman, who became Pollard's lawyers in 2000, have
attempted unsuccessfully to bring the case back to courts, but their
efforts have been rejected on procedural grounds, leaving clemency by an
American president as the only way Pollard can leave prison alive.

"After nearly 25 years, we respectfully suggest that further
incarceration of Mr Pollard would serve no purpose," Lauer and Semmelman
wrote Obama. "Any deterrent effect on others based on the sentence's
severity has been accomplished."


Thursday, November 10, 2011


In the autumn if 1917, the British War Cabinet, desperate to persuade the Jews of Russia to urge their government to renew Russia’s flagging war effort, saw a future Jewish Palestine as an inducement and stimulus to the patriotic zeal of Russia’s Jews. To this end, Britain, encouraged the possibility of an eventual Jewish majority in Palestine, even if – with the population then being some 600,000 Arabs and 60,000 Jews – such a majority might take many years to emerge.
On 24 October 1917, the Foreign Secretary, A.J. Balfour told the War Cabinet: ‘The vast majority of Jews in Russia and America, as, indeed, all over the world, now appeared to be favourable to Zionism. If we could make a declaration favourable to such an ideal, we should be able to carry on extremely useful propaganda both in Russia and America.’ On November 1, a senior Foreign Office official noted that the Zionist leaders then in Britain were prepared to send ‘agents’ to Russia and America ‘to work up a pro-ally and especially pro-British campaign of propaganda among the Jews.’
The Balfour Declaration was issued the next day, November 2. To secure the results hoped for by the Foreign Office, Vladimir Jabotinsky agreed to go at once to Russia, to stimulate Russian Jews to urge their government not to pull out of the war, and leave Britain and France in danger of defeat at the unfettered hands of Germany. Weizmann agreed to go first to the United States and then to Russia, to rouse pro-war sentiment among the Jewish masses in both countries. But on November 7, before Jabotinsky or Weizmann could set off, the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd and withdrew Russia from the war.
Publication of the Balfour Declaration had been delayed a week so that it could first be published in the weekly Jewish Chronicle on November 9. It was thus issued too late to affect the Bolshevik triumph. It did, however, encourage American Jews, especially those born in Russia, to volunteer to fight in Palestine against the Turks as part of the British Army. Yitzhak Rabin’s father was among those volunteers.
The Balfour Declaration had nothing in it about Jewish statehood. On 31 October 1917, Balfour told the War Cabinet that while the words ‘national home … did not necessarily involve the early establishment of an independent Jewish State’, such a State ‘was a matter for gradual development in accordance with the ordinary laws of political evolution’.
On 3 January 1919 agreement was reached between Weizmann and the Arab leader Emir Feisal, stating that that all ‘necessary measures’ should be taken ‘to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlement and intensive cultivation of the soil’. In taking such measures, the agreement went on, ‘the Arab peasant and tenant farmers shall be protected in their rights, and shall be assisted in forwarding their economic development.’
On February 27, in Paris, Weizmann presented the Weizmann-Feisal Agreement to the Allied Supreme Council of the victorious powers, which wanted to know if a Jewish ‘nationality’ would involve eventual statehood? Weizmann told them: ‘Later on, when the Jews formed the large majority, they would be ripe to establish such a Government as would answer to the state of the development of the country and to their ideals.’ On July 5, Balfour informed the British general then in charge of Palestine that land purchase could continue ‘provided that, as far as possible, preferential treatment is given to Zionist interests’.
When Winston Churchill was asked, in 1937 by the Royal Commission on Palestine, whether a Jewish majority had been intended by those who, like himself while Colonial Secretary in 1922, had been responsible for the evolution of the Mandate, he replied: ‘Certainly we committed ourselves to the idea that some day, somehow, far off in the future, subject to justice and economic convenience, there might well be a great Jewish State there, numbered by millions, far exceeding the present inhabitants of the country and to cut them [the Jews] off from that would be a wrong.’

Thursday, October 20, 2011


The Jewish Community turned Hendon’s Brent Street into a little bit of Israel tonight as they celebrated the release of Gilad Shalit from 5 years of captivity at the hands of Hamas.
Singing and dancing were interspersed with speeches from a variety of people, all of whom represented different parts of the community who have campaigned for all these years for the safe return of Gilad.
The Zionist Federation of the United Kingdom, who organised the event introduced Hemda Garelick who is a close family member of Gilad Shalit and who told the cheering crowd how Aviva Shalit, Gilad’s mother, had told her just a short while earlier how they had just enjoyed their first proper family meal together in more than 5 years.
Michael Brodsky, the Director of Public Affairs at the Embassy of Israel, spoke of the emotions that the entire State of Israel was feeling and the high price that had been paid to bring Gilad Shalit home.
Oliver Mayemba, representing the Christian Friends of Israel, expressed his joy at Gilad’s release and told of how his prayers and those of so many Christians throughout the UK and Israel had finally been answered.
Alan Aziz, the Zionist Federation’s Executive Director said’ “This was a wonderful way to end an emotional day. Israel has paid a heavy price but has brought home one of its children. Our message is clear, we celebrate the return of an innocent citizen while Hamas celebrate the return of murderers and terrorists.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


The Zionist Federation of the United Kingdom welcomes the release of kidnapped Israeli Gilad Shalit.
Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and held illegally for over 5 years with no access to his family and even the International Red Cross have failed to make contact. Israel values all life as precious and has shown this with the news that it has agreed to the release of a thousand convicted Palestinians for the safe return of Gilad Shalit.
Gilad’s captivity has been in the hearts and minds of every Israeli citizen and supporter around the world; and we await his release and return to freedom. We also hold this as a further symbol of Israel’s willingness to make painful concessions in order to achieve its dream of peace.
The Zionist Federation hopes that this news is confirmed and is the start of a period of renewed hope that will bring a peaceful solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.


With the news that kidnapped Israeli Soldier, Gilad Shalit, is due to be released from captivity after more than 5 years, the Zionist Federation UK are holding a rally to celebrate this news. Although we recognise the very high price that Israel has had to pay to ensure his release, Israel has once again shown the value it places on each and every one of its citizens. We look forward to seeing Gilad safely in the arms of his loving family.
ZF supporters will be gathering on the corner on Brent Street and Bell Lane in Hendon from 6.00pm tomorrow, Tuesday 18th October.
The Zionist Federation hopes that this is the start of a period of renewed hope that will bring a peaceful solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict and that positive news will be forthcoming regarding the additional six Israeli MIA's - Zecharya Baumel, Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Ron Arad, Guy Hever and Majdy Halabi.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The Zionist Federation of the United Kingdom welcomes the news that a deal for the release of Israeli Gilad Shalit has been agreed between Israel and Hamas.
Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and held illegally for over 5 years and had no access to his family.  Even the International Red Cross have failed to make contact. Israel values all life as precious and has shown this with the news that it has agreed to the release of a thousand convicted Palestinians for the safe return of Gilad Shalit.
Gilad’s captivity has been in the hearts and minds of every Israeli citizen and we join them in calling for his swift release and return to freedom. We also hold this as a further symbol of Israel’s willingness to make painful concessions in order to achieve its dream of peace.
The Zionist Federation hopes that this news is confirmed and is the start of a period of renewed hope that will bring a peaceful solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
The Zionist Federation has spokespeople available for comment at your disposal both in the UK and in Israel. During office hours please email Stefan@zfuk.org or call 020 8202 0202.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Meeting at Hammersmith Thursday 6th October
Observer Feedback

The event, held in a Methodist Church of God in which a Palestinian flag was draped across the preachers lectern, was sadly misleading. Much was made of Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes and schools, the Apartheid Wall and buses, the Palestinians paying taxes to live in East Jerusalem and only benefitting from 8% of investment, but no context given. The constant referral to the Apartheid Wall was left without any reference as to why it had to go up in the first place. The endless loaded descriptions of Israel’s military occupation of the territories was presented without referencing how it came to be. And in a final admission by one white British woman: she stated Israel has no right to exist and that the concept that Jews had lived in Israel for 4000 years was, “a load of twot.”

There was a historic presentation to begin with in which facts were misrepresented and inaccurate. Dates given were wrong, events were incorrectly expressed and misleading. Words such as force, control, and creeping expansionism, were frequently used. No-one would discuss the fact there was no such place as Palestine until 70AD when the Romans attempted to wipe out all evidence of the Jewish homeland of 2000. No mention was made that a remnant of Jews has always lived in the land.

An interesting comment was, “it doesn’t matter about Israel’s religious beliefs but only international law.” This statement epitomised for me, the man with a plank in his own eye trying to remove the speck from another. No mention was made of the Arab claim to Jerusalem as their religious site, or that the thousands of Grad rockets launched into Israel were a violation of international law. No mention was made of the Palestinian people embracing militant Islam with its desire to drive Israel into the sea. No recognition given to Israel’s existential threats and addressing them - to work together to find peace.

A British civil servant stood up and talked about law, used phrases like illegal possession, he stated that Palestinians were treated as second class citizens, had to have Jerusalem residency permits, experienced discrimination in receiving access to public services, that their rights to residency could be revoked if they left Jerusalem and that this was why they build illegally to accommodate their expanding families. He stated discrimination was demonstrated by the delivery of poor roads, lack of sewage and water, disparity in building laws and that the residents of West Jerusalem get away with more than those in the East when it comes to building permits.

He went on to say that any Israeli who marries a Palestinian cannot have their spouse live with them in Israel, or their children. He stated the annexation was illegal under international law - yet failed to address any of Israel’s concerns about security and the restraining of militant groups operating within the territories.

No mention was made that Israel had always accepted a two state conceptually, but that the Palestinians had refused it.

A Church leader, Stephen Sizer, spoke of the misinterpretation of the Bible and how Zionism had become a new mission for many Christians. He said they were wrong. He stated Israel had become a Christian theme park and that the set itinerary for most groups was to see only what Israeli authorities want them to see. That the wall, they called Haffrodah (!) was in Dutch, the Afrikaans equivalent for segregation based on race, hence the Apartheid theme.
He made no mention of the 1.2 million Arabs who want to live in Israel, nor the jobs, medical benefits and aid given to thousands of Palestinians.

He used an interesting analogy of Israel being like a child who puts his hand in a cookie jar and wants to take out three biscuits at once – but cant. The three biscuits are called Israel, Democracy and Occupied Territories. He stated Israel cannot take all three, only two.

He used quotes from various international figures about South Africa as a comparison and the removal of apartheid, but failed to point out that since then, South Africa now has a major crime epidemic with many leaving the country. He talked of East and West Jerusalem being autonomous, but didn’t explore the problems as for example seen in East and West Berlin, where it failed and those left in the East had a torrid existence.

Finally, a lady stood and talked about the systematic destruction of Palestinian homes and schools, which was an effective speech. I could not respond because I do not know what is happening there – but would like to.

Overall it was disappointing and misleading. All the good that Israel does was never mentioned of course. They exploit emotive words such as apartheid, evictions, ethnic cleansing, segregation, colonisation and war crimes (Gaza). Never do they talk about the militants that operate from schools and community centres in Gaza, the butchering of a Jewish family a few months ago, and the thousands of Grad rockets that land on Israeli soil - and the rest.

They complain that the borders of Gaza are unfair, discriminatory and restrictive, yet what do they expect to happen if they gain independence? The phrase wanting to have ones cake and eat it springs to mind.

My overall view was that they talk a good talk and have certainly mastered the exploitation of emotive language and narrative. Israel has much catching up to do in the PR game and needs to do so soon.

Howard Stern is a Christian Zionist Federation Spokesman for Israel and works as a professional negotiator and mediator. Howard is also organising a conference on12th November 2011 entitled ‘Israel’s Future and Ours’ on the challenges facing Israel today. If you wish to attend please contact go to www.hagoshrim.org,uk.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Sunday 18th September

9pm Meet & greet at the Carlton hotel

Monday 19th September

8 – 9 Breakfast
9.15am Welcome briefing by Gil Hoffman,
Jerusalem Post. Magenta Hall.
10.15am Depart for Independence Hall
11am Guided tour of Independence Hall
12pm Free time/lunch in Nachalat Benyamin/Shenkin
1.20pm Meet group
1.30pm Depart for Old City Hall
3.10pm Depart for Bar Ilan University
3.45pm Tour of University
5.30 pm Depart back to the hotel
6 – 7pm Break
7.10pm Walk to the Old Port
7.30pm Group dinner at Badolina
8.30pm Walk back to Hotel

Tuesday 20th September

7.45-8.45 Breakfast
9.00am Guided tour by Miri Eisen to Kfar Kassem & nearby settlements on the green line.
11.30am Depart for Zichron Yaacov
12.30pm Group lunch at Bistro de Carmel
1.45pm Tour of Baron de Rothschild wine cellars
2.50pm Depart for Daliat el Carmel
3.15pm Visit the Mohraka Monastry
4pm Depart for Market in Osfiya
4.10pm Free time at the Shuk
4.45pm Meet back at the coach
5pm Briefing on the history of the Druze community
6pm Group dinner with a Druze family
7pm Depart for Tel Aviv
8.30pm Arrive back at the hotel

Wednesday 21st September

7.15–8.15 Breakfast
8.30am Depart for Jerusalem
10.00am Tour of Herzl Museum + Herzl’s graveside
11am Meeting with Mark Regev
12 noon Group lunch in Ein Karem
1pm Depart for Gilad Shalit tent
1.20pm Show solidarity with Shalit family
1.50pm Depart for Kotel
2.10pm Free time at Kotel
3pm Meet at Dung Gate
3.10pm Depart for Knesset
3.30pm Meet MK’s plus VIP access tour of the Knesset
5.30pm Depart for Tel Aviv
6.30–8pm Free time for dinner
8pm Israel Update with David Horovitz – former
Editor of The Jerusalem Post. Carlton Hotel

Thursday 22nd September

8.30–9.30 Breakfast
9.45am Depart for Rabin Centre
10.30am Welcome by the Director
10.45am Tour of the Centre
1pm Visit Bakery 29 – where all the profits go to helping IDF soldiers
2pm Depart for Design Museum Holon
2.30pm Tour of Design Museum
4pm Depart for Jaffa
4.30pm Meet Frank Meisler at his workshop in Jaffa –
one of Israel’s leading artists
6.30pm Group dinner at Dr Shakshouka in Jaffa
8.00pm Arrive at the Nalaga’at Theatre
8.30pm Watch ‘Not by Bread Alone’

Friday 23rd September

8am Breakfast with & briefing by lone soldiers.
9.30am Check out of rooms
10.30am Walk to Ben Gurion house
11am Guided tour of Ben Gurion’s house
12pm Programme ends

Important Numbers: Police 100 Ambulance 101 Fire 102
Dalia Israel Mobile 0544 453 181 Carlton Hotel 03 – 520 1818

As always, the itinerary had to be tweaked until the last moment,
but it promises to be a truly inspiring five days in Israel. 
We hope you have an enjoyable and informative trip!



Bring modest clothing for Kotel.

09.00 Welcome & Israel Update
Overview of programme, meet the group.
Speaker: Update on current political situation by Israeli spokesperson

11.00 Fruit Picking / Volunteering
Through Project Leket, volunteers, through the support of farmers, go into fields to pick and gather fruits and vegetables that were left and not harvested at the end of the season. All of the collected produce is distributed to non-profit organisations serving people in need of food, located throughout Israel.
An ideal way to get to know the rest of the group in an informal, fun and different setting!

12.50 Lunch

15.00 Tree Planting
Plant a tree in the Lord Sacks Forest in Jerusalem.
Did you know? Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st Century with more trees than it began the 20th Century with. This was achieved in a country that is more than half desert.

16.30 Gilad Shalit Tent
Gilad Shalit is an Israeli IDF who was captured on the 25th June 2006 by Hamas in a cross-border raid. He has been held hostage at an unkown location in Gaza by Hamas since then, with no access allowed by his family, the Red Cross, or anyone. His family (father Noam and mother Aviva) has set up a tent utside the residence of the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem to demonstrate for their relative's release.

17.30 Kotel
The Western Wall, or the Kotel, is known as the most significant site in the world for the Jewish people.

20.30 Dinner in Tel Aviv

22.00 Tel Aviv by night
A chance to let your hair down and get to know the group. Experience Tel Aviv’s incredible night life whilst overlooking the sea.


Down South!
Bring your swimming costume!

08.45 Leaving Hotel

10.00 Sderot Indoor Recreation Center
Over the past few years, the Israeli communities on the border with Gaza have endured continual Kassam rocket attacks. These attacks are untargeted, but some have hit residences and schools, killing 11 citizens and hurting hundreds more. The city of Sderot, located on the border with Gaza, has been hardest hit — its children growing up in the shadow of violence, fear, and uncertainty. To directly impact the lives of the children of Sderot and provide them with the chance to simply be kids the largest indoor playground in Israel in Sderot has been built. The all-inclusive Indoor Recreational Center opened on March 10, 2009 to provide Sderot’s youth with a place to have fun, connect with friends, enjoy stimulating classes, and be children, beyond the conflict. A place to feel strong and free, away from their daily helplessness and anxiety. And parents can have peace of mind knowing that their children are playing and learning in an environment that is safe and secure.

12.15 Halutzit
A remarkable community of pioneers at Halutzit in the Northern Negev who have seen their communities dismantled twice in the name of peace, first at Yamit in Sinai, and then at Atzmona, Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip. Now they are building again from nothing, for a third time. In plastic greenhouses they are growing superb sweet peppers and lettuces that you can find on the shelves of top-quality supermarkets and stores in the UK.

13.45 Lunch & Swimming Pool – Kibbutz Tze’elim

17.15 Ayalim Centre
Built in the middle of the Negev desert, 20 miles south-east of Beersheva, Yerucham was established as a development town in 1951. It has one of Israel's highest unemployment rates, few facilities and is a very challenging place to live. Yet young people are moving here, through an organisation called Ayalim. They are true 21st Century Zionists.

18.00 Dinner at Yerucham
We will spend the evening with the residents getting to know more about them and the project.

22.00 Tel Aviv by night


08.45 Leaving Hotel

09.45 Dialogue in the Dark
Dialogue in the Dark has been presented in over 30 countries and more than 160 sites in over 110 cities throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and America since it’s opening in 1988. So far, over 6 Million visitors have experienced Dialogue in the Dark worldwide, and over 6,000 blind candidates have found employment through Dialogue in the Dark.

12.30 Lunch at IDC
IDC Herzliya has attracted 850 students from over 50 countries to its International School (RRIS), the only academic institution in Israel that offers three-year Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Master's Programs taught entirely in English. Known for their programmes on National Security and Counter-Terrorism we will see what makes IDC so special, and have a briefing from a top lecturer.

14.30 Rich Confections
Netta Korin grew up in a family that had to be careful with their money. She thought to be happy you had to have money, and thus was determined she would be a millionaire. By 25 she was a investment banker on Wall Street , and was a millionaire. Few years later following a break up with her boyfriend, she realised money wasn’t everything. She wanted to help. She visited the Friends of IDF and heard how some had to stay on base during their leave because there was no food for them at their homes. Now she runs a bakery, with all profit supporting Friends of IDF.

15.15 Free time for shopping/leisure/beach in Tel Aviv

18.30 Dinner in Tel Aviv

20.00 Briefing by David Horovitz - with Zionist Federation Israel Trip Group
David Horowitz is an Israeli journalist, author and speaker, and the former Editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post – one of the biggest newspapers in Israel; widely read around the world.

21.30 Tel Aviv by night
A chance to let your hair down and get to know the group. Experience Tel Aviv’s incredible night life whilst overlooking the sea.


Up North!

08.30 Leaving Hotel

10.00 Navy Base
Israel has four Navy bases – one of the key bases being in Haifa. The Haifa Navy base were responsible for stopping the flotilla in May 2010. A chance to have a tour around the Navy base, and see a different side to Israel’s defence.

12.30 Ein Hod
Ein Hod is a picturesque artists’ village, the only one of its kind in Israel and one of the few such villages in the world. Nestled in natural vegetation and bordered by an ancient olive grove, it lies on the western slopes of Mt Carmel, in a breathtaking landscape looking out toward the sea and the Crusader fortress of Atlit.
Be sure to visit the pub: Danny’s Beer!

14.30 Google Israel
Israel has more companies quoted on the high-tech NASDAQ stock exchange in New York than any other country outside the United States. In innovation it outshines all its neighbours. Between 1980 and 2000 Egyptians registered 77 patents in the US. Saudis registered 171. Israelis registered 7,652.
A chance to visit Google Israel, to see how Israel is competing in the international market, and why Google decided to set up an R&D centre in Israel.

16.30 Wine Tasting at Carmel Winery
A new Center for Wine Culture has opened at Carmel Winery’s Zichron Ya’acov Wine Cellars. At Carmel’s Zichron Ya’acov Wine Cellars, it is possible to see winemaking on both a large and small scale. It is the largest winery in Israel, yet there is also a small state-of-the-art facility for making the upper level wines. Visitors will learn about the history of Israeli wine from the 1880’s right up to the recent quality revolution. The winery provides a fascinating glimpse into the ancient, old and new world of winemaking, all in one setting.

20.00 Dinner at the Winery
’Bistro de Carmel’ is a Mediterranean style diary restaurant situated in the historic house where the winemaker used to live until the 1970’s.

21.30 Tel Aviv by night
A chance to let your hair down and get to know the group. Experience Tel Aviv’s incredible night life whilst overlooking the sea.


09.30 Breakfast with Lone Soldiers
The IDF defines a lone soldier as one who has no immediate family in Israel, primarily made up of those that made aliyah. A chance for discussions with soldiers – a chance to learn about their motivations and challenges, whilst meeting Israeli’s of similar age.

10.45 Rabin Centre
On November 4 1995 the Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated at the close of a peace rally entitled, “Yes to Peace, No to Violence” in Tel Aviv. An Israeli Jew shot the Prime Minister three times in the back. The assassination took place at the height of a difficult political struggle centred on the character and future of the State of Israel, a struggle that was accompanied by incitement against the Prime Minister and against the political process he led. The Center is the national institute dedicated to improving the shape of Israeli society by ensuring that the legacy of Yitzhak Rabin continues to impact the youth and people of Israel.

12.45 Sikkum and Goodbyes

13.30 End of Programme

Contact Phone Numbers in Israel
If you are dialing or texting from your British mobile phone, you will need to enter as below.
If dialing from an Israeli phone, replace the digits ‘00972’ with a ‘0’.

Gary Sakol Israel Mobile (from Sunday 18th, PM) 00972 54 793 1126
Melanie Lax Israel Mobile (From Sunday 18th, PM) 00972 54 242 6321
Alan Aziz (emergency only) 00972 52 600 0444
Taxi number in Tel Aviv 00972 3 546 6222
Hotel: Grand Beach Hotel, 250 Hayarkon St., Tel Aviv, 63113 00972 3 543 3333
Police 100
Ambulance 101
Fire 102


The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
The Office of the Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

Dear Prime Minister,

RE: Durban III Conference 22nd September 2011

As a supporter of true principles of human rights and equality, I urge you to oppose the U.N.’s ‘Durban III’ gathering scheduled to be held in New York later this month. It is intended to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 2001 World Conference of Racism held in Durban, South Africa which became a forum to attack America, the West and, in particular, Israel. The conference not only failed to combat racism but has become the worst international manifestation of anti-Semitism in the post-war period.

The result of the 2001 conference was the notorious ‘Durban Declaration’ that charged only Israel with racism, out of 192 member states, and singled out ‘the plight of Palestinians under foreign occupation’. The U.N. sponsored NGO Forum of the Conference formally declared Israel a ‘racist apartheid state’ guilty of ‘genocide’.

The European Union is the most influential bloc of democracies at the U.N. and it must not give legitimacy to a conference that will be dominated by enemies of democracies and human rights, such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has regularly called for the destruction of Israel and denied the Holocaust.

I urge you to follow the USA, Canada, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Italy, Germany and Israel by withdrawing both Britain’s support and presence at this forthcoming event and to openly condemn Durban III.

Yours sincerely,

Harvey Rose

Thursday, September 8, 2011


On 20th September, the Palestinian Authority will go to the United Nations and request UN membership and international recognition of an independent state of Palestine based on the 1967 borders. The United States of America have announced that they will use their veto against any motion of this kind at the Security Council, meaning that the PA will most likely then turn to the General Assembly to ask for its status to be upgraded from ‘UN Observer’ to a ‘Non-Member State.’ This will require a two-thirds majority to pass but it is felt that there is a strong possibility that this will be achieved. As nothing will change ‘on the ground’, this move by the PA is seen as an attempt to isolate Israel on the international stage and detract from their refusal to negotiate directly with Israel to come to a peaceful resolution to the long running issue.

“Unilateral actions taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations, and will not be recognized by the international community.”

Joint statement by the United States, European Union, Russian Federation and United Nations, 26th June 2009

Why is it Wrong?

Any unilateral act is in direct contravention of the Oslo Accords of both 1993 and 1995 which specifically called for a negotiated resolution to the permanent status of Palestinian statehood. The Accords, signed by the PLO on behalf of the PA, explicitly forbids either side from acting in the manner that the Palestinians are now threatening. If the PA violates these agreements the whole premise of future negotiations will be undermined and even the legitimacy of the PA itself will be called into question.

“A final agreement has to be precisely final and that is why it must be reached by negotiation between the parties. Anything else will be a dangerous mirage for the Palestinians.”

Former Spanish PM Jose Maria Aznar, 6th September 2011

Is It Legal?

The Palestinian’s actions are also a direct violation of UN Resolutions 242 and 338, the main resolutions pertaining to the 1967 borders, as they both call for negotiated agreements leading to ‘secure and recognized boundaries’. The 1967 lines was also never seen as an international border, rather an armistice line from 1948, and thus a PA unilateral declaration of statehood based on the 1967 lines is in defiance of these UN Resolutions.

If this motion was to pass the UN General Assembly, it is widely accepted that future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians become significantly more difficult and complicated as it makes it harder for the Palestinians to compromise on their positions. The Palestinians will also have less incentive to achieve a negotiated settlement while continuing to attempt to isolate Israel in the international arena.

“A unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians at the United Nations can lead to a stalemate between the sides especially when a peace agreement can be achieved through direct negotiations.”

Israel President Shimon Peres, 4th September 2011

What are the Consequences?

It is feared that the UN motion will lead to violence as expectations of statehood on the Palestinian streets will not be met. Expectations of ‘changes on the ground’ that turn out to be clearly false are likely to lead to anger and demonstrations with the real threat of another Intifada.

“It is not going to be a dramatic result and I do not believe it will be right to continue, for there to be preoccupation about something dramatic happening.”

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, 29th June 2011

What is the Alternative?

Israel regularly and openly calls for a resumption of faced to face negotiations between the two sides and that Israel has two main principals that must be agreed for any deal to be made. Firstly, Israel’s security needs must be met and these include a more defensible border than the 1967 lines and a non-militarisation of a Palestinian state. Secondly, Palestinian acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian state, with the implication that there can be no Palestinian ‘right of return’ to Israel as this would end the Jewish majority in the state.

“Now is the time for the international community to tell the Palestinian leadership what it refuses to tell its own people: there are no shortcuts to statehood. They will have to get off the bandwagon of unilateralism and back to the hard work of direct peacemaking.”

Israel Ambassador Ron Prosor Speaking to the UN Security Council, 11th June 2011

What can you do?

The United Kingdom has yet to decide which way it will vote in the United Nations Assembly so there is still time for you to help.

Please write to your local MP urging them to support peaceful negotiations and reject unilateral UN resolutions. Take the time to write, encourage your friends and family to write. Write to your local newspaper or national newspapers making the case for the UK to support peaceful negotiations and reject unilateral UN resolutions.

With thanks to Beyond Images, The Jerusalem Post and BICOM for information in this document


Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment despite never having stood trial for the charges made against him that included spying for Israel. He has never been indicted or charged with treason and those found guilty in a court of law with similar offences to his have been sentenced, on average, for up to four years only. Why is Jonathan Pollard being treated so differently to other US citizens? Despite many years of campaigning for his release, which include personal requests from numerous Israeli Prime Ministers, Pollard remains behind bars. Read the article by internationally renowned lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, which helps to explain the injustices that Jonathan Pollard has had to face.

Pollard's sentence should be commuted to time served
Alan M. Dershowitz - The Jerusalem Post - August 21, 2011

There are several reasons why justice demands that Jonathan Pollard's sentence be commuted to time served and that he be immediately released.
The first is a legal and constitutional argument. Pollard waived his right to trial by jury in exchange for a promise by the government that it would not seek life imprisonment. The government broke that promise. It submitted a perjured affidavit by then Secretary of Defense Weinberger demanding life imprisonment and overstating the damage that Pollard had caused. This was a direct breach of the plea bargain. Unfortunately Pollard's appeal was argued to a panel that included two Jewish judges, at least one of whom aspired to the Supreme Court. The two of them wrote a scandalously inept opinion affirming the sentence, while the third, non-Jewish, judge declared it to be a gross violation of due process and basic fairness. The non-Jewish judge, who had no fear of being accused of dual loyalty, was correct. The two Jewish judges were dead wrong.
I know of no other case in American jurisprudence in which a plea bargain has been so blatantly violated and the violation approved by an appellate court. The legal remedy is enforce the plea bargain as written and impose the sentence that the government promised it would seek. If Pollard had served that sentence, he would be free by now.
Even if the law did not require Pollard's immediate release, principles of fairness and equal justice surely would. The typical sentence imposed on an American who spies for an ally of the United States is in single digits. Such sentences have been imposed on Americans who spies for Egypt and other countries that are American allies. There is no reason in justice or fairness for Pollard to have received the double digit sentence for spying for Israel. The prosecutor in this case tried to justify this sentencing disparity by arguing that since so many Americans support Israel, the need for deterrence is greater. This is an unacceptable double standard.
Finally, there are the humanitarian considerations. Pollard has served longer than any American convicted of spying for an American ally. He is very sick having undergone several surgeries. He will die in prison unless his sentence is commuted.
Why, it might be asked, is he still in prison? The answer is that two groups of people have worked hard to keep him in prison. The first is the intelligence community, led by former CIA Director George Tenet. President Clinton was apparently prepared to release Pollard toward the end of his term when Tenet, former head of the CIA, threatened to quit. This threat violated the law, which expressly prohibits a CIA Director from making policy. Tenet's illegal threat made policy and kept Pollard in prison.
The other group that worked hard to keep Pollard in prison was a group of Jewish senators who wrote to President Clinton insisting that Pollard's sentence not be shortened. President Clinton personally told me that this letter from influential Jewish senators affected his decision. Now even several of these senators are calling for Pollard's release.
Pollard's continued imprisonment, in violation of law, equality, justice and compassion, is a stain on America. This stain can be removed if President Obama commutes Pollard's sentence to time served. A commutation is different than a pardon. A pardon erases the conviction, whereas a commutation simply reduces the sentence, without in any way suggesting that the defendant was not guilty of a serious crime. Pollard has admitted his guilt, not once but several times. The first time was when he pleaded and was sentenced. More recently he has apologized, as has the Israeli government. By pleading guilty and cooperating with the investigation, Pollard spared the government the embarrassment and difficulties inherent in a spy trial. Had he not confessed his guilt, it is unlikely he would have been convicted of the most serious charge of spying, since the only direct evidence outside of his confession was the fact that he had unauthorized possession of classified material.
For helping the government in this way, he was promised that he would not have to spend the rest of his life in prison. But now he is likely to die in prison, a broken and sick man, unless President Obama does the right thing. The time has come, indeed it is long overdue, for Jonathan Pollard to receive proportional justice.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


The Zionist Federation is appalled at Turkey’s expulsion of Israel’s Ambassador and suspension of military agreements in the aftermath of the publication of the UN's Palmer Report. The Turkish Government is playing a very dangerous political game at Israel’s expense and has proved its complete hypocrisy with its recent treatment of the Kurdish population - highlighting its own abysmal record on human rights.
Israel and Turkey have shared strong relations for many years and it is worrying that the relationship has deteriorated under the Erdogan Government. Calls by Turkey for Israel to issue public apologies are shown by the Report to be completely unwarranted. Indeed they represent unhelpful and potentially dangerous political gains.
The Zionist Federation welcomes the conclusions of the Palmer Report that the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip is both legal and justified. The report confirms that Israel has the right to defend itself and its border and acted accordingly during the Flotilla crisis last year.  The organisers of the flotilla were criticised in the Report as reckless for attempting to break the blockade. The Report also questioned the true motives of the IHH.


The boorish behaviour displayed by the PSC (members of whom tried to interrupt last night’s Israel Philharmonic Prom) was vigorously countered by members of the ZF - who were there in force.  More than 100 pro-Israel advocates counter-demonstrated outside the Albert Hall and leafleted members of the audience. After the performance the advocates were outside the stage door with Israel flags to say “kol ha’kovod (well done!) to conductor Zubin Mehta and the members of the IPO. This was greatly appreciated by the IPO as was the rapturous reception they received from 99.9% of the audience.
The PSC yet again foolishly “shot itself in the foot” with Culture Minister Ed Vaizey tweeting "Demonstrators seem to have turned [the] entire audience pro-Israel".  The demonstrators were greeted by boos from almost every member of the audience when they triesd to protest, and were drowned out by the orchestra as the music got louder and were then removed by the venue security.
The ZF advocates waved flags and held banners saying 
Alan Aziz, Chief Executive of the ZF said “It is a disgrace that people who do not want to understand Israel’s challenges choose to obsessively try to disrupt cultural and educational events in the UK. The ZF’s presence here tonight was to counter this ignorant and ill-conceived protest. We will always be there to counter Israel hate and we thank all our allies last night - especially our Christian friends - for supporting Israel”.  The performance will be broadcast again on the BBC on 7th September at 14.30. 
The Zionist Federation thanks StandWithUsUK and the British Israel Coalition for helping advertise the pro-Israel demonstration, and attending. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Written by Solon Solomon, former Member of the Knesset Legal Department, in charge of international and constitutional issues
Back then, in the early days of President Obama in office, U.S. foreign policy seemed to enter a new era. Withdrawal from Iraq, closure of Guantanamo, in other words, recoil from all the “sins” that seemed to stigmatize the Bush administration. Yet, Guantanamo did not close, the Iraq withdrawal has not been total and American presence still exists in Afghanistan. Like the end of history that Francis Fukuyama hailed to predict, yet never came to be, so seems to be the case with U.S. unilateralism in foreign policy.
On the contrary, the Obama administration got entangled in a military operation in Libya on a unilateral base, without congressional approval. True, that unilateralism was an agreed one, stemming from a U.N. Security Council Resolution, whose binding character all U.N. members accept. Still- even agreed- it remains the unilateral imposition of the will of the Security Council’s majority.
If this is so, it brings us back to the 9/11 world reaction, when the world powers appeared determined to pronounce the right to self-defense, not against a particular enemy, but against a particular phenomenon, namely the terrorist attacks. Also then, through an agreed mode-a U.N. Security Council Resolution-the U.S. in particular launched unilaterally what came to be known as a “war on terror.”
This agreed unilateralism served the interests of U.S. foreign policy for almost a decade. Yet, recent events, such as the Arab spring, depicted also its limits. Because, if agreed unilateralism is let to expand in an unrestrictive way, where is the room for bilateralism? What is the point of international agreements and coordination, in the final line, what is the point of international law itself?
Agreed unilateralism -no matter how agreed it maybe- still remains unilateralism. And as such, it does not always work. In the case of Libya, it did not bring to Qaddafi’s fall and the arrest warrant against him, issued by the International Criminal Court, was not executed. Not surprisingly, the international community opted for a more bilateral approach in the case of Syria, based on exerting pressure to Assad to resign, rather than military measures against the country.
Also on a regional level, agreed unilateralism ultimately met its limits. The Egyptian demand for an increase of the Egyptian military presence in demilitarized Sinai was answered positively by Israel’s government on an exceptional basis, yet on blurry-if not non existent- legal grounds. Ultimately, this agreed unilateralism was thwarted by the Knesset Speaker’s request for an advisory opinion on whether the Israeli Parliament should also approve such Egyptian requests.
True, the recent terrorist attack where infiltrators from Sinai caused Israeli casualties coupled with the repeated blowing up of the pipeline carrying gas to Israel, seemingly confirm agreed unilateralism. If Israel had consented to the Egyptian demand, these violent incidents would not have occurred, the argument goes.
But, even if this is true, agreed unilateralism’s application can not be overstretched in order to in essence trample on bilateral agreements. International order is based on coordination. If international diplomacy is translated as unilateral responses to unilateral requests, then it is not negotiations that shape international landscape, but the influence of the side which exerts more efficient pressure. If nowadays, criticism is headed towards international law as the law of the strong, all the more in case of unrestricted agreed unilateralism.
This brings us back again to the United Nations and September. The Palestinians have already announced their intentions to unilaterally quest for a U.N. Resolution acknowledging their status as a state. Their quest will probably be granted. The international community will agree on this.
Yet, the question is if this agreed unilateralism should be harnessed for the interests of international stability and legality. Would a U.N. proclamation of a Palestinian state create also an economically and politically viable one, a real state which could stand to the legitimate Palestinian aspirations? And what message would the international community transmit regarding international law, when previous Security Council Resolutions, such as 242, as well as the Oslo Accords, explicitly endorse a bilateral, negotiations stance?
Ten years after the 9/11 response Resolution endorsing agreed unilateralism, the United Nations is called to define now also its limits. This is how it is after all; from September to September. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The Zionist Federation has announced that it will be organising a counter demonstration outside the Royal Albert Hall in support of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance as part of the BBC Proms.
While other groups will be protesting outside the Hall and calling for boycotts and chanting words of hatred, Israel will be represented inside the Hall by music and culture. We believe it is vital that stand up for the only democracy in the Middle East and are calling on everyone to support the IPO.
The Zionist Federation will be demonstrating between 6pm and 8pm on Thursday 1st September and are proud that Israel is represented at the Proms by such a wonderful orchestra.
For further information please contact the Zionist Federation on 020 8202 0202 or by email at Stefan@zfuk.org

Thursday, August 18, 2011


18th August 2011

The Zionist Federation is shocked and saddened at the news of the terror attacks that have been carried out in Southern Israel today, including on an Egged bus near Eilat. As we wait to learn the full extent of the casualties we can only hope and pray that it is as low as possible.

We call on the Palestinian Authority to condemn this terrorist attack on innocent civilians in the strongest possible terms.

Zionist Federation Chairman, Harvey Rose, stated, “This cowardly attack once again shows the constant threat of terrorism that Israel faces. My thoughts are with the family and friends of those hurt and killed.”

The events of this morning have highlighted, once again, the need to find a long term and secure solution that will bring peace to both Israel and the Palestinians. A negotiated solution must be found and unilateral acts by the Palestinian Authority only hinder the possibility of finding a mutually acceptable agreement that must include the acceptance of Israel as a Jewish State.

The Zionist Federation have spokespeople available for comment and analysis.

Please contact Stefan Kerner, our Director of Public Affairs, on 020 8202 0202 or by email at Stefan@zfuk.org.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Lush Cosmetics – Support for ‘Freedom for Palestine’

Lush Cosmetics are running a campaign on their website in support of OneWorld’s song ‘Freedom for Palestine’. The article on the company’s website includes some appalling bias and falsehoods which need to be addressed.

Below is a link to the relevant section of the company’s site and some highlighted parts of the article. We have also listed a few very simple retorts to these false accusations that have been made.

We are calling on our supporters to contact the company to dispute the stance that they have chosen to take and call for them to withdraw their support for OneWorld. Relevant contact details for the company are listed at the end of this document. When you write your letter please consider the points below but please do not copy and paste them into your draft. It is much more effective if they receive individual letters rather than many with the same wording.


“Israel’s siege of Gaza has condemned its 1.5 million inhabitants to levels of poverty more commonly associated with sub-Saharan Africa – a humanitarian disaster with no end in sight.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross declared that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza – April 2011

Israel sends in thousands of tonnes of supplies into Gaza every single week.

The life expectancy of someone living in Gaza is actually longer than someone living in Glasgow.

“A third generation of Palestinian children is now being brought up in refugee camps inside and outside Palestine”.

Why are there still refugee camps after 60 years?
Why are Lush not calling for Arab countries to help these children?
The economy of the West Bank is one of the fastest growing in the world.
The West Bank receives the second highest amount of economic aid in the World (http://www.nationmaster.com/country/we-west-bank/eco-economy)

“All the above actions are illegal under International Law”

No they are not. Israel adheres fully to the Geneva Convention on all matters regarding the Palestinians.
Why is there no call in the Lush campaign for Hamas to stop its terrorist activity?
Why is there no comment in the Lush campaign of the Hamas Charter that calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews?

The OneWorld campaign supported by Lush equates Israel with Apartheid South Africa.

This is a pernicious accusation that is completely false. Israel’s democracy provides for more rights for its minority citizens than most of the neighbouring countries allow for their majority citizens.

Israel has an Arab sitting on the Supreme Court. It has Arab political parties and Members of the Knesset. Israel has no legal restrictions on and allows complete freedom of religion. Israeli Arab citizens are allowed to and do volunteer to serve in the IDF.

How to Contact Lush:

Chief Executive and Founder:
Mark Constantine
18-20 Market Street
Dorset BH15 1NF

Lush Press Office:
Tel: 020 7434 3948
Email: sean.gifford@lush.co.uk

Customer Care
18-20 Market Street
Dorset BH15 1NF
Tel: 01202 641 006

Thursday, July 14, 2011


SAR-EL July 2011

IDF Volunteers

When the first Lebanon war broke out in 1982, reservists from the north of Israel were called up and as a result, the shortage of manpower on farms became a problem. General Aharon Davidi (former head of the IDF Paratroopers and Infantry Corps) decided to send Shlichim, Israeli representatives to the US to try and recruit volunteers. It was an immediate success and 650 volunteers arrived in Israel. In 1983 Sar-El was born, the name is the Hebrew acronym for Service for Israel. The organisation has grown from strength to strength and today around 4000 volunteers a year come to help the Israeli Army with civilian duties. There are also special youth programmes organised during the summer holidays.

Volunteers come from all four corners of the world: people of all ages, secular and religious, Jews and Christians from every conceivable background. All are committed to doing their share for the Israeli army on a one, two or three week programme, but probably their biggest contribution is the moral support they give to the young soldiers who very much appreciate their presence on camp. Often they ask volunteers the question: “We have to do this, but you?” the answer is that many Jews in the Diaspora feel the need to help support Israel in defending their Jewish homeland. The soldiers also realise that, despite what they hear and see in the world media, they are not alone and that, in their own words: “not everyone hates us”. How sad that some young people who know how much their country contributes to the good of humanity, should feel that way.

I always had a soft spot for the young Israelis who, immediately after having finished their secondary education, were called upon to serve their country. Volunteering to help the IDF was what I wanted to do and I first joined Sar-El in 2002. My doctor had no problem confirming that I was physically fit but had to be convinced that, joining Sar-El at my age, was not a sign a mental disorder. After my security status was approved, I joined my group in Israel at a designated meeting point. I spoke to new apprehensive ‘recruits’ and to some returning Sarelnicks and thought that it was a good sign if people kept coming back.

We were soon divided into groups and sent to our respective bases. Some camps have better facilities than others but one cannot pick and choose because ‘you are in the army now!’ Every group is escorted by soldiers, Madrichim who are in charge of the volunteers for the duration of the programme. After boarding our coach and a short introduction, we were read the Army Rules. The four most important rules are: No alcohol. No drugs. No proselytising. Boys and Girls sleep in separate quarters.

Patience and a well developed sense of humour are a must! On the base, we were first shown to our barracks which usually sleep 4 to 6. We could choose any of the 2 ft 6in wide beds with a 2 ½ inch thick mattress. Oy Vey! But who cares, you only sleep there anyway! No time for unpacking as we are rushed off to get our uniforms – the highlight of the day. Uniforms are laundered but not ironed and they come in four sizes only: too short, too long, too big and too small! Back at the barracks, we slip on our uniform and hope it will fit. Finally, we put on our adjustable belt and secure our cap under the epaulette. Suddenly, a change of mood comes over us, we now stand upright and proud, our laughs are fading and emotions take over – we now really feel part of the country!

The main meal is ‘served’ lunchtime, food is plentiful and usually reasonably tasty, with the compulsory tomato chunks, cucumber slices, humus or tehina and a variety of salads. When at morning or evening mealtime, yogurt is on the menu and no spoons are available, don’t fuss about it. I took advice from a clever young soldier who told me: “don’t struggle with a fork, just drink your yogurt”. Also remember to clear up after yourself, it’s every man for himself.

The work varies from folding uniforms to checking gas masks, from painting to sorting out medical supplies, depending on what is needed at the time. The work can sometimes be repetitive and boring but it needs to be done. The more demanding physical jobs are usually given to strapping young men.

We were to remain on the base all week and there would be no wandering out on shopping expeditions. Back at the barracks, unpacking is quick as there is very little storage space. I found my padlock, enabling me to lock away my valuables when the cleaners would come to do the room – I soon discovered we were the cleaners.

The next morning, we joined the regular soldiers on the parade ground. We stood at ease, then to attention, then at ease again and I was honoured with raising the flag. I was overwhelmed. I could hear my heart beat as I ran up the flag. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I felt a knot in my throat when we sang the HaTikvah while I stood to attention next to our flag.

On another base, the project for our group of ten was to paint certain areas and re-arrange the plants to produce an instant manicured garden ready for the welcome reception for the new base Commander. It worked like a military operation! The next day, the officer in charge called us together around a table bedecked with drinks, biscuits and fruit. He thanked us profusely in Hebrew and finished with “Atem tsevet min haShamaim”, “You are a team from Heaven”.

When my friend Renata heard that the volunteers had to share one nearly bald broom, she immediately donated her brand new one to the IDF. As I returned to base, carrying the broom on my shoulder as one would carry a rifle, an appropriate Yiddish saying came to mind: “Az Gott vill, schiest a Beizim!”, “If God wills it, even a broom can shoot!”

Each time spent at Sar-El is a different ‘adventure’, has a different ‘flavour’ and awakens different emotions, but the ‘good-feeling’ for the Neshama, the soul, the camaraderie and the good humour never change.

Yom HaAtzmaut – May 2011

Today I am a seasoned volunteer and my yearly stint at Sar-El is a privilege. The apprehension of the unknown is replaced by far more important thoughts, such as, will the kitbags we are filling or the medicines we are packing, be used on active duty?

We, Sar-El volunteers support the IDF because WE ARE PART OF “AM ISRAEL”.

Michèle Katz

If you think you would like to partake in the Sar-El experience, please visit their website at www.sar-el.org where you will find all the necessary information or contact Jennie Goldstone on sarelvolunteers@btinternet.com

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Flotilla Violates International Law,
Intends To Provoke Violent Confrontation

Last year, anti-Israel extremists and Turkish jihadists organized a flotilla to violate Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. The Israeli Navy redirected five of the boats to the Israeli port of Ashdod without incident. However, those on the sixth boat refused to cooperate. When Israeli officers boarded the ship, the Turkish jihadists brutally attacked them with knives, metal bars, and guns. Nine jihadists were killed.

This year, the same anti-Israel extremists are planning another international flotilla battalion. They plan to set sail at the end of June with an estimated 10 to 15 ships with 1,000 to 4,000 passengers from 32 countries, purportedly to bring humanitarian goods to Gaza. International leaders, from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the EU, have urged the organizers to cancel the flotilla. (You can read some of their comments below.)

Nine basic facts about the flotilla:

1. The flotilla organizers blatantly violate international law by trying to breach a legal maritime blockade. According to international and customary law, Israel has the legal right to impose a land and naval blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza. Hamas is openly dedicated to Israel’s destruction, has been in an ongoing state of armed conflict against Israel, and has fired over 10,000 rockets into Israeli civilian centers. Israel has the legal right and responsibility to protect its citizens by inspecting goods entering Gaza to prevent weapons from reaching Hamas.

2. The flotilla organizers intend to aid and support Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organization by members of the international community, including the U.S., Canada, Israel, the EU, Japan, and Jordan. Hamas’ founding document calls for the murder of Jews, the “obliteration” of Israel, and Israel’s replacement with an Islamist theocracy.

3. The flotilla organizers are trying to provoke a violent confrontation. If they were sincerely concerned about humanitarian aid for Gazans, they would deliver it through official Israeli entry points. Israel has repeatedly offered to deliver goods after officially inspecting them for weapons. The organizers have refused to comply. Instead, they hope their provocative, hostile breach of the blockade will compel Israel to use force and make Israel look like an aggressor.

4. Gazans are not facing a humanitarian emergency that justifies breaching the blockade. Humanitarian and consumer goods enter Gaza on a daily basis. UN officials repeatedly confirm that there is an ample supply of food and consumer goods. Israel only limits the entry of dual-purpose goods that could be used for weapons. International statistics indicate that Gazans have a higher standard of living than people in nearly all of Africa, including South Africa, as well as parts of Asia and the Middle East. In fact, Gaza faces a glut of goods, not a shortage of goods, according to recent press reports.

5. Hamas, not Israel, has caused the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. Hamas has chosen war against Israel instead of peaceful coexistence. It has imposed a repressive, dictatorial, fundamentalist regime on Gaza residents and has murdered its political rivals.

6. Flotilla organizers claim to be “nonviolent peace activists” and “human rights activists.” They are not. They are members of extremist organizations that support terrorist groups and are dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The Free Gaza Movement is an affiliate of the International Solidarity Movement, which opposes the existence of the Jewish state. The IHH (Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation) is a Turkish Islamist organization with links to jihadist organizations in Bosnia, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere.

7. If flotilla organizers really were peace and human rights activists, they would not go to Gaza but to Libya or Syria, where the brutal Assad regime has arrested, tortured, and murdered thousands of nonviolent, freedom-seeking demonstrators and has caused thousands of others to become refugees.

8. The flotilla organizers are violating, not upholding, one of the most fundamental human rights—a nation’s right and responsibility to protect itself from enemies bent on murdering its citizens and destroying its state.

“As a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens.” —U.S. President Barack Obama, May 1, 2011

9. International leaders oppose the flotilla.

U.S.: “[G]roups and individuals who seek to break Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza are taking irresponsible and provocative actions. … We want to just reiterate that there are established and efficient mechanisms for getting humanitarian assistance through to Gaza.” —U.S. State Department Spokesman Mark Toner, June 1, 2011

UN: “The secretary-general called on all governments concerned to use their influence to discourage such flotillas, which carry the potential to escalate into violent conflict.” —Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, May 27, 2011

Canada: “Unauthorized efforts to deliver aid are provocative and, ultimately, unhelpful to the people of Gaza. Canada recognizes Israel’s legitimate security concerns and its right to protect itself and its residents from attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including by preventing the smuggling of weapons.”
— Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, May 28, 2011

France: “[T]he boarding of any naval vessels which are known to have the intention of breaking the naval blockade imposed on Gaza is strongly discouraged, given the security risks associated with such an undertaking.” —Official Statement

EU: “I don’t consider a flotilla to be the right response.” —Catherine Ashton, EU High Commissioner for Foreign Policy

Turkey: “We are reconsidering our plans [about participating in the flotilla]. … From our point of view, the developments in neighboring Syria are critically important.” —IHH Board Member Hüseyin Oruç, June 14

With thanks to ‘StandWithUS’

Thursday, June 2, 2011


The Zionist Federation is disgusted by UCU's attempt to redefine the definition of antisemitism. Under the MacPherson Definition of 'Racism', every minority has the right to identify what constitutes racism against it.
The ZF further condemns UCU's illegal and discriminatory "Threats to academic freedom in Israel and Palestine" motion passed on 29th May, promoting an academic and cultural boycott of Israel and prompting the circulation of pro-boycott materials.  As noted by Academic Friends of Israel, the motion is "in breach of discrimination and equality legislation and also outside the aims and objects of the union".
By passing this motion, the University and College Union has confirmed that it is institutionally antisemitic.
We note the lengths that the Union will go to in order to pursue its highly questionable political agenda
The ZF urges University Vice-Chancellors to withdraw from negotiations with UCU until this blatantly racist vote is rescinded.
For further information / quote / spokesperson:
Zionist Federation
020 8202 0202
Outside of office hours:  urgent@zfuk.org

Friday, May 20, 2011


Click image to enlarge.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


After many years of traditional Yom Ha’atzmaut Concerts, the ZF decided to host a huge party at Alexandra Palace for ISRAEL 63.  This enabled guests to be able to sing and dance in a true 'CHAGIGA' style event -
just like the events that happen all over Israel on Yom Ha’atzmaut. 
Einat Sarouf, who is known in Israel as the energy queen in Israel, headed up the entertainment assisted by 4 other singers and a choir of 100 children from Matlida Marks, Akiva and Sinai Schools. 
Over 1000 people attended this sell out event. 
Alan Aziz, ZF Director and executive producer of the event said "I am delighted that the new style of event was such a success - It is so important during these difficult times that we celebrate Israel’s Birthday properly and with pride”. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011


At the ZF’s annual gala awards dinner last week, Harvey Rose - Chairman of the Zionist Federation, announced Gary Sakol as new Deputy Director of the ZF. In addition, Gary is currently the Director of Israel Connect – the young professionals wing of the ZF. The promotion came as a result of the ZF’s increased focus on Young Professionals and students. Alan Aziz, director of the ZF said:

“Life on campuses around the UK is becoming increasingly difficult, with more incidents than ever before. The ZF is increasing its activities in this area. In addition, the ZF is shifting more and more of its attention towards its younger leaders and as such, Gary is the best person to take on this new role within the ZF This is an extremely important arena for us, and will not neglect it”.

Gary Sakol said “At Israel Connect we provide students and Young Professionals with training, so as they can become a better and more confident advocate for Israel. This may be in the workplace or on campus. There is a great framework for Young Jewish people on campus and before – with both UJS and Youth Movements. However time and again we experience people leaving University with no framework for them to continue their involvement and educational continuation – unless they want to join a fundraising committee”.

Gary, originally from Glasgow and a graduate of Leeds University, previously worked for the youth movement Habonim Dror, where he served as Camps Organiser and Mazkir.


Richard Goldstone, who chaired the U.N. fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict, wrote in the Washington Post last Friday that had he known what he knows today about the Gaza war of 2008-09, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.

He has now concluded that the crimes committed by Hamas were intentional and that their rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets whilst Israel’s actions indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.

He also criticized Israel’s lack of cooperation, (which was due to the one sided mandate of the enquiry).

Goldstone wrote that Israel has investigated its own actions with transparency to a significant degree whilst Hamas has done nothing and that regrettably, there has been no effort by Hamas in Gaza to investigate the allegations of its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

Such war crimes continue to this day with no condemnation from the UNHRC.

Alan Aziz, Chief Executive of the ZF said: “We are saddened that this retraction has barely been reported in the mainstream media who all went to great lengths to report on the original report and notes once again that this type of selective reporting highlights the manner in which Israel is singled out for special and biased treatment”

Goldstone concluded that the U.N. Human Rights Council should condemn the heinous acts of Hamas in the strongest terms and that the Human Rights Council should also condemn the inexcusable and cold-blooded recent slaughter of a young Israeli couple and three of their small children in their beds (which the ZF notes was also largely ignored by the mainstream media).

The Goldstone report has been one of the most damaging libels ever produced against the State of Israel. Whilst the re-assessment by Goldstone is very welcome the ZF hopes this is just the beginning of his efforts to undo the enormous damage he has caused


The 2011 annual Israel Connect European Young Leadership group met in Copenhagen at the beginning of April 2011 for the second seminar of the programme. The guest speaker for the seminar was Miri Eisen.

Eisen served in the Israeli intelligence community and retired from active duty at the rank of full colonel in 2004. Over her twenty year career in the military she served as the deputy head of the combat intelligence corps, the assistant to the director of Military intelligence and as the intel officer in combat units and research departments. She was appointed as a special spokesperson for the IDF during operation "defensive shield" in spring 2002, and became the first military intelligence high ranking officer to be fully exposed to the public eye.

During the time with the group, Miri ran three in depth sessions covering The Zionist Narrative;The history of the Jewish national movement, Israeli politics and society – the approaches toward the conflict and a session focused on practical advice about Working with the Media.

In addition, the group focused on the technique of Asking Questions in order to develop a conversation, and had a session sharing (in depth) initiatives that five members of the group were working on. This session was a real eye opener to the group as they realised how involved everyone was in their own programmes, and how much potential there is for impact when the group works together.

The seminar was finished with a talk from Dan Oryan – the deputy Israeli Ambassador to Denmark – who talked about Israeli Perception in Denmark, and the challenge Israel has within Europe.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Last Friday terrorists entered Itamar (a settlement) and knifed to death a family of 5 whilst they slept. The mother and father and 2 sons aged 11 and 4  had their throats slit and a 3 month old baby girl had her head cut off.
The news of this appalling crime was greeted in Gaza with celebrations (similar to the celebrations on hearing the news of 9/11).
You would not have seen this incident fully reported in much of the mainstream media (and certainly not on the BBC) - most of whom chose to major on the decision to expand the settlement.
That weekend saw the launch of some 63 mortar shells and four rockets from the Gaza Strip into Southern Israel, representing an unprecedented increase in projectile fire from the Gaza Strip since the end of Operation Cast Lead. Today, terrorists in the Gaza Strip continue to fire mortars and rockets at Israel. Whilst fortunately no one was killed, the barrage brought terror to hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens.
Yesterday a terrorist bomb exploded at a crowded bus stop opposite the central bus station, killing a 58 year-old British woman. Clearly intended to harm innocent civilians, this appalling and criminal attack injured more than 40 people, some of whom are in a critical condition.   
Earlier today, terrorists in Gaza fired two Grad-type Katyusha rockets at Be'er-Sheva, the largest city in Southern Israel (home to more than 200,000) and  a Grad-type Katuysha rocket that landed in close proximity to Ashdod (a city of more than 200,000).They also launched some eight mortars into the areas of Eshkol and Sha'ar Hanegev in Southern Israel.
The BBC coverage of all these incidents has been selective,inaccurate and misleading, prompting Louise Bagshawe MP to protest in the Telegraph today.
We call on the BBC to put aside their obvious anti-Israel bias and to report fully and fairly, as the BBC Charter requires. We also call upon the BBC to issue the Balen Report it commissioned (on its Middle East bias), rather than spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to obstruct its release.

If you wish to interview a ZF spokeman in the UK or in Israel please contact
urgent@zfuk.org (outside of office hours)
020 8202 0202


Thursday, March 10, 2011


If you are in London, and in need of a taxi, look out for this special taxi driving around. The taxi driver, who is a member of Christian Friends of Israel and the ZF, has dedicated her taxi advertising to helping raise awareness of Gilad Shalit at no extra charge at all.

Friday, March 4, 2011


The Zionist Federation has been contacted by many people – both Jewish and non-Jewish – who were upset and infuriated by “The Promise” on Channel 4. The ZF is horrified by this latest demonisation of Israel on the Channel, in the context of an increasingly hostile and ill-informed discourse about Israel in UK media, and asks OFCOM to bring to account the management of a TV Channel that in 2008 also thought it appropriate for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to give the Christmas message.

Jonathan Hoffman, co-Vice Chair of the ZF, said: “Channel 4’s “The Promise” gave a misleadingly partial and sometimes false impression of both the history of Israel and the country today. Its theme was that the Jews deserved their own State because of the Holocaust but that they then very quickly began to behave like their tormentors. Israeli Jews were depicted either as living in California-style houses with swimming-pools or as heartless soldiers who mistreat Arabs and protect the most extreme settlers. Even though this was a drama and not a documentary, many viewers would have taken it as historic fact – particularly in view of the lavish realism of the production – and Channel 4 therefore has an unquestionable obligation to at least attempt to be balanced and accurate.”

A number of demonising falsehoods were included, for example that all Arab refugees fled in 1948 because of fear of Jews (the truth is that the Mayor of Haifa begged them to stay and that many were told to flee by their leaders, in anticipation that the massing Arab armies would annihilate the Jews and that they could then swiftly return); that the IDF uses children as ‘human shields’; and that Israel was created purely because of Western guilt about the Holocaust.

The bias of the series is clear from Director Peter Kosminsky’s own article in the Guardian. The researchers interviewed members of the International Solidarity Movement - a group whose antithetical views about Israel are well known – as well as Combatants for Peace and Breaking the Silence, both organisations representing the small minority of dissident soldiers. There is no indication that less extreme organisations were consulted in the making of the series.

While Kosminsky insists that the series included certain events for ‘balance’ and that he based everything on actual incidents, the overall combination, selection and ordering of the events was deliberately anti-Israel and the series clearly set out to demonise Israel.

The ZF will be writing in the strongest possible terms to Channel 4 and OFCOM.