s director of the BBUK Bureau of International Affairs, I promote the interests and welfare of Jewry worldwide and tackle the scourge of antisemitism wherever it arises. I raise concerns about how Israel is perceived and talked about, requesting fairness, accuracy and balance in place of more misguided opinion. Concerns about human rights are raised and links established with representatives of other minority groups. I have written and distributed the research papers below to ensure that we are well informed in all of our meetings.
UNRWA: An institutional barrier to Middle East peace
There is clear and increasing evidence of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias within the international community. This prejudice takes many forms including a clear attempt to isolate Israel politically within the United Nations. This prejudice is in many cases born out of a lack of understanding of the issues involved and a lack of awareness of what is really going on in the Middle East.
International diplomacy is of vital importance in establishing the rights of the Jewish people and the preservation of the State of Israel. London is a pivotal centre for international diplomacy and is a strategic centre in relations between the USA, Europe and the Middle East.
The status of the West Bank under international Law – 1967 – 50 years on
Executive Summary: 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War when Israeli forces took control of Sinai, Gaza, The West Bank and The Golan Heights in 6 days. For many today, the West Bank is seen as being occupied by Israeli forces in defiance of International Law. Israel is depicted as a colonialist power that seized the territory illegally and which continues to hold it to the detriment of regional peace and stability. Israel control of this territory is held up as the prime barrier to peace. In fact, Israel took control of this territory in a legitimate act of self defence and continues to hold it lawfully until a peace agreement changes its status. Israel is not required to return the territory unilaterally, nor to return it in its entirety. Moreover, handing this territory back to Palestinian control would not be a guarantee of peace as recent events have shown.
Spreading the hate: How UK funded NGOs pursue a radical anti-Israel agenda
The aim of this paper will be to reveal the many ways in which UK based NGOs have been actively pursuing a hostile anti-Israel agenda in recent years. These organisations have disproportionately singled out Israel for attack, often during times of heightened Middle East conflict, and made repeated allegations of war crimes and apartheid. At the same time, they have systematically ignored Palestinian terror and rejectionism, crucial factors in the continuing impasse. Such an agenda contradicts their claims to impartiality or to holding progressive, enlightened and peaceful values. Among the organisations examined are Amnesty, Christian Aid, War on Want, World Vision, The Amos Trust, Oxfam and Save the Children.
These NGOs have built up a formidable reputation for promoting justice and human rights. They are usually treated with automatic deference and respect, as if they were beacons of moral enlightenment guiding us towards a more civilised world. In many ways, they do valuable work in uncovering abuses of international law and human rights – but not when it comes to Israel and the conflict in the Middle East. On this subject, they have become highly politicised, promoting a view so critical of Israel and so one sided in approach as to betray a complete lack of impartiality. They have become part of the propaganda war against the Jewish state.
All except Save the Children are registered organisations with the Charity Commission. The Commission has issued specific guidance for campaigning and political activity by registered charities. Such campaigning is legitimate provided that it is carried out to help deliver its charitable purposes. Even emotive or controversial material can form part of a campaign, provided this is lawful or justifiable, but charities must ensure that the material used is ‘factually accurate’ with a ‘legitimate evidence base.’[i] The evidence collected here casts doubt on whether all the material collected by charities is factually accurate, though more often, the claims made about Israel are more politically biased or legally dubious, problems that are not covered by the Commission’s guidance. More importantly, charities cannot have a political purpose and political activities can only be undertaken in the context of a wider purpose. The Charity Commission has already investigated War on Want following a complaint that it is an explicitly political organisation, and it may be hoped that other investigations may follow.
[i] ‘Speaking Out: Guidance on campaigning and political activity by charities’ part 1.