The Board of Deputies, Gary Mond, Samuel Hayek and the JNF

TG the Texas hostages are safe and their Muslim attacker dead ברוך השם
A British terrorist wanted to murder Jews … But Virtue Signalling Deputies vilify Sam Hayek for telling the truth about Muslim antisemitism

Gary Mond has been forced to resign as a Deputy and the Senior Vice President of the Board because – first – in 2017 he ‘liked’ two posts by Pamela Geller. David Collier notes here that merely ‘liking’ a post is an absurdly low threshold for disciplinary action. I would add that it is utterly ridiculous to regard ‘liking’ a social media post about the result of the French election in 2017 as a sackable offence! Do Mond’s Leftist power-crazed detractors think that every one of the 34% of the French electorate (10.6 million voters) who voted for Le Pen should also be sacked? The second supposedly offensive ‘like’ was for a Geller tweet welcoming free speech. Something with which the Leftists on the Board clearly have a problem.

Second, Mond responded to a Facebook post by Barry Shaw. In September 2014 Parliament voted for air strikes against Isis in Iraq, 524-43: Labour backed the Conservative government. One Labour MP, Rushanara Ali (an Israel hater), resigned from the Labour front bench in order to abstain. The Israel-based commentator Barry Shaw hypothesised that the higher the number of Muslim MPs and the higher the Muslim population, the less likely would it be that Parliament would support action against ISIS (he termed it ‘Britain’s essential security interests’). To which Mond answered:

When this happens – and the odds are that it will – the Britain that we knew will have gone forever.  

The increase in the Muslim proportion of the population is a fact. According to the 2001 Census there were 1.6 million Muslims in England and Wales, or 3% of the population.  By 2011 it had risen to 4.8%. In 2013 the respected US-based Pew Survey was quoted as projecting 8.2% by 2030. The correlation between constituencies with high Muslim populations and anti-Israel MPs is also a fact which I noted in this blog. Hardly controversial to ‘complete the circle’ by hypothesising  that such MPs are more likely to oppose UK intervention in the Muslim Middle East.

Finally in immediate response to the horrific Islamic terror attacks on the Bataclan in Paris on 13 November 2015 (130 died,have we forgotten the horror?), Mond responded thus to his own post:

The post (his own) to which he was responding called the attackers ‘fanatical Muslim terrorists’ – a description to which no-one can possibly object. A reasonable person might therefore simply conclude that when he wrote ‘Islam’ he meant ‘Islamism’ or ‘Islamic terror’. A slip of the pen at a very distressing time for us all. But his accusers and judges are not reasonable people.

Update 19/1: Neither the Jewish News nor (worse) the JC reported this context. Harpin in the JN maliciously just printed the quote with zero context. Kaplan in the JC was even worse, leaving readers with the implication that Mond called ALL Muslims ‘evil bastards’.

Jewish News’ claim that it discovered these social media artefacts is patently absurd.  They were almost certainly discovered by leftist online archaeologists – bent on smearing Mond and the JNF – who then passed them to Lee Harpin of the Jewish News.  Ex-Mirror, he makes no secret of his leftist allegiance.  

Equally despicable is the vilification of Samuel Hayek, the Chair of JNF UK, merely for identifying the prevalence of antisemitism among Muslims –a phenomenon for which there is ample statistical evidence and which is recognised by many Muslims. Particularly offensive was the comparison of Hayek’s comments with ‘the Great Replacement Theory’.  White Supremacists in the US have used demographic trends to ‘justify’ racism against non-whites. To suggest that similar motivations underlay Hayek’s comments is shameful and insulting.

Samuel Hayek also said that Jews have no future in England. The communal leadership – including the Chief Rabbi – hit the airwaves to denounce him. Of course they did. You think they would talk themselves out if a job? Do turkeys vote for Christmas?  

But is Hayek right?

Yachad Jews might have a future here but openly and genuinely pro-Israel Jews do not. In many careers – the humanities in academia, much of media including the BBC, teaching – being openly pro-Israel is a career killer.  Displaying an Israel flag at a counter-demo is positively dangerous. The violence experienced by counter-demonstraters in May 2021 was so great that they decided it was in their best interest and that of the police to stay off the streets. Indeed one perpetrator, Jed Zia-Hughes, has pleaded guilty to the charge of Violent Disorder. He is a Muslim.  He was inches away from putting me in a wheelchair. Most of the anti-Israel demonstraters were visibly Asian.

Why would unashamedly pro-Israel Jews want to live in a country where there is a high risk of life-changing injuries simply for holding an Israel flag in the street?

The response to Hayek’s comments from the Jewish Left has been completely over the top. See here and here.

Particularly obnoxious and offensive was the suggestion that Hayek’s comment that “the white Christian majority is shrinking” echoes ‘the Great Replacement Theory’.

Let’s look at the facts. Census data show that the percentage of the population of England and Wales that identifies as White British is indeed declining: from 2001 to 2011 it decreased from 87.4% to 80.5%. The 2001 Census found that 72% identified as Christian. In 2011 that had fallen sharply, to 59%. It is perfectly possible that the results of the 2021 Census will show a minority identifying as Christian.

In the language of social sciences these statements are simply ‘positive’ – factual, with no judgment as to whether they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’.  But Hayek’s Jewish Left critics jumped on them, giving them a ‘normative’ spin: equating them to the ‘Great Replacement Theory’.  This is simply intellectually dishonest. White Supremacists in the US have used demographic trends to ‘justify’ racism against non-whites. To suggest that similar motivations underlay Hayek’s comments is simply libellous and shameful.


In 7 days’ time – 23 January – the Board of Deputies will vote on a motion to suspend JNF UK’s membership until Samuel Hayek resigns. The President (Standing Order 20 of the Board’s Constitution) has the power to disallow the motion. Despite its offensiveness and despite the fact that the JNF’s Deputy (one Gary Mond) will not be there to rebut the lies, she has not thus far showed the slightest inclination to disallow it.

Only 41 voting Deputies signed the anti-Hayek letter, fewer than 15% of the total.  117 signed the second ‘Young People’s’ letter but they are highly unrepresentative of the relevant Jewish Community.  Of those showing an affilation to a synagogue movement, 89% show affiliation with Reform/Liberal/Masorti.  Latest data show that only 32% of Synagogue members are in those movements (JPR July 2017, Mashiah and Boyd).

Signatories to the Deputies’ letter included Amos Schonfield who called three Jews (Yochy Davis, Martin Hizer, Esther Chayes) ‘fascist sympathisers’ simply because they disagreed with his view that Donald Trump was evil personified.  A complaint to the Board under the Code of Conduct went nowhere – yet Gary Mond was disciplined for ‘liking’ those two posts. Utterly inconsistent.

Another signatory was Tommer Spence.  He recently appeared to call the Israel Ambassador a racist (he wrote that she has ‘a record of racism’). He claimed that she said that the Naqba was an Arab Lie. She never said that. A complaint to the Board under the Code of Conduct (for bringing the Board into disrepute) went nowhere – yet Gary Mond was disciplined for ‘liking’ those two posts. Utterly inconsistent.

A third signatory was Nina Morris-Evans.  She said Kaddish (the prayer for the dead) for dead Hamas terrorists who wanted to murder Israeli Jews. This occurred on 16 May 2018. A complaint to the Board under the Code of Conduct went nowhere – because the incident happened just 19 days before she became a Deputy – yet Gary Mond was disciplined for ‘liking’ those two posts. Utterly inconsistent.

A fourth signatory was Joe Millis, whom the late great Isi Leibler called ‘a rabid demoniser of Israel’ and a ‘far left extremist’

Let’s look at the Young People’s letter. The first thing to note is that there are not 117 names there. There are 114.  Because three names appear twice (Adam Tuck 48+79; Joshua Sadie 88+107; Sophia Ballin 51+80).  The second is the duplication of names with the Deputies’ letter. Of the 41 voting Deputies, 11 or 27% also appear on the Young People’s letter (Keiles, Lubner, Mindel, Baker, Rosen, Felstein, Katz, Strauss, Hasenson, Kunin and Spence).  (Additionally Mautner appears on both but as an U35 Observer he cannot vote).

Signatories include Jack Lubner, one of the Leftists who infiltrated the ZF National Council (Mautner is another).  He defended a Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Shaista Aziz who claims to have gone on ‘Jihad’ to ‘Palestine’.

And Tommer Spence (see above).

And Gabriel Kanter-Webber who libelled me last year. I wrote this blog critiquing an article in the JC. He disagreed with me but instead of stating his reasons (which would take a scintilla of intellectual ability …..), he smeared me as a serial harasser of young women:

Webber will soon become the Rabbi of Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue. G-d only knows what they have done to deserve him! He also likes to tweet private posts from a Facebook group. ‘Private’ means ‘private’. If I was a congregant  I wouldn’t trust him with sensitive information.

By contrast an Open Letter supporting Mond and Hayek has now been signed by 118 UK Jews. It remains open for signature. Most are the ‘Silent Majority’, horrified by the treatment of these two stalwarts.

Back to the Board of Deputies by way of a conclusion.  It’s clear that leftist entryists hold sway. Many things have gone wrong in recent years – the Mond/Hayek disgrace is just the latest.  The rejection last year of the 95-year old Manchester-based Zionist Central Council needs to be added to the catalogue of leftist idiocy.

The Board’s USP has always been ‘democratic legitimacy’.  But it’s hardly democratic:

  • Some Deputies – eg those representing the United Synagogue – are not elected by all the members of the organisation. Many others continue for years, unopposed or with a rock solid majority often due to apathy.  On the basis of a random sample of some 40 who were Deputies when I was one in 2012, nearly two-thirds remain Deputies 10 years later: I challenge the Board to publish a full breakdown of membership by length of service. 
  • The President is elected by Deputies but once elected s/he can virtually act as a dictator for six years.
  • The President’s job is unpaid. How many people can afford to take time out of their careers unpaid for six years? A position that is only open to the wealthy is hardly ‘democratic’.
  • It is impossible to know how a Deputy has voted – there’s no democratic accountability for the electorate.

If the Mond/Hayek disgrace accelerates a rethink of UK Jewish community organisations then at least some good will have come of it.


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Update (19 January)

Melanie Phillips: The real lesson of the Texas synagogue attack

Update (24 January)

Appallingly the Board of Deputies voted 133-75 to pass the motion “The Board of Deputies hereby censures the Jewish National Fund UK (JNF UK) for failing to disavow the inflammatory and bigoted remarks of its Chair Samuel Hayek.

Thanks to three Deputies who spoke brilliantly in opposition: Maurice Lawson (Reading Hebrew Congregation) who opposed; Josh Lee (UJS) and Paul Jacobus (Bushey United).

(The motion to suspend JNF until Hayek goes was dropped).