The Zionist Federation was founded in 1899, 123 years ago. It was the Federation of Zionist Societies in the UK and Ireland – the coordinating body in other words. One might have imagined that the ZF would have dissolved on May 14 1948 – ‘Mission Accomplished’. But thanks to dynamic, resourceful volunteers and professional staff, it continued as an Israel advocacy and educational organisation. I became involved some 40 years ago, first as a factfinder for the late Eric Moonman MP, then as Co-Vice Chair with the estimable visionary Andrew Balcombe as Chair. I remained a National Council Member for many years after.
However the ZF’s Constitution never changed. It remained a Federation. When Israel won the Six Day War in 1967, the price was growing hostility from the Left. Frustrated by their inability to mobilise the proletariat in the First World, they fixed upon the proletariat of the Third World, in particular the Palestine Liberation Organisation (see Robin Shepherd’s book). Elements in the ZF’s Federation – all from the non-Orthodox synagogue movements – went with the flow. They could have taken over the policy-making ZF National Council years ago and destroyed the organisation – but they were slow. However the Putsch came with the National Council elections on 24 January last year (the ZF ‘Biennial’). (The 2020 debate around declaring sovereignty in part of Judea and Samaria may have woken them up).
The election results are shown in this Chart.
I was kicked off and the ‘Progressive’ (joke) Left members of the Federation combined to ‘Occupy’ the National Council. (All but two of the organisations newly represented were present in a 2020 ‘youth letter’ protesting against resumption of sovereignty over parts of Judea/Samaria).
Key to the Chart: Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), Liberal Judaism, LJY-Netzer (LJYN), Meretz UK (Me), Masorti Judaism (MM) and Pro Zion – Arzenu (PZ).
Let’s take a closer OSINT look at 13 Cuckoos on the National Council – from left to right in the Chart.
Jonathan Black signs Yachad petitions. (Yachad was kept out of the ZF thanks to me).
Daniel Mautner recently signed both letters traducing JNF Chair Samuel Hayek (which I fisked here).
Esther Craven works for Yachad.
At the January 2021 ZF Biennial Yachad signatory Ruth Nyman successfully proposed a motion (incredibly 69% voted for, 25% against, 6% abstained) gagging the ZF Executive (Paul Charney hadn’t yet quit, he left in May), obliging it to get signoff from the National Council for any ZF ‘political’ statement (ie everything).
Professor John Strawson (and here) represents the far Left MeretzUK which campaigned against the US Peace Plan. Strawson regards Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria as ‘colonial’ and the settlements as ‘illegal’. Both are lies – and are completely at odds with the ZF’s ethos which is to support the elected government of Israel. Strawson is a Yachad signatory. And here he is in 2008 voicing the Apartheid Lie:
Jonathan and Mike Fenster are both Yachad signatories
Sam Alston publicly mourned Hamas terrorists on 17 May 2018 in London’s Parliament Square.
Hannah Arnaud is a Yachad signatory.
Matt Plen (and here) wanted Yachad to join the ZF
Reform Rabbi Celia Surget blocked me on Twitter (her account has been deleted). In 2018 she walked out of the ZF Dinner addressed by Minister Gideon Sa’ar. She knew who the speaker was in advance so why did she attend the dinner? Just to make a scene? (She was accompanied by Liberal Rabbi Lea Mühlstein, quoted extensively in Harpin’s piece and now also a National Council member (replacing Surget who has left the UK)). Both Surget and Mühlstein signed a petition protesting about policy towards the Bedouin – policy which was aimed at providing them with decent homes.
Lawrence Joffe (like John Strawson) represents the far Left MeretzUK which campaigned against the US Peace Plan.
Jack Lubner defended a Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate who claims to have gone on ‘Jihad’ to ‘Palestine’. He signed the ‘Young People’s’ youth’ letter traducing JNF Chair Samuel Hayek (which I fisked here)
At the 24 January 2021 ZF Biennial I saw people who never attend ZF meetings or events. They wouldn’t be seen dead at ZF Lobby Day for example. They were there purely to elect the Leftist Cuckoos.
The writing has been on the wall for the ZF ever since. A sign was the ZF statement on the Ben and Jerrys boycott – here’s my letter in Jewish News last August:
The final blow came with Lee Harpin’s Jewish News ‘exclusive’ yesterday. Ex-Mirror, since he moved from the JC to Jewish News he seems to be waging a War of Words with those of us who are openly pro-Israel in the UK. If the Jewish Left want to spread a smear about us, Harpin obliges.
Predictably the Cuckoos blame the rightful occupants of the Nest for its disintegration. The truth is that THEY are to blame. Donations and membership subscriptions dried up after the Putsch. Inexcusably Harpin failed to contact Paul Charney BEFORE publication to defend himself. A breach of Journalism #101. Only after I complained was Charney approached for comment. His comment is correct of course (note how Harpin qualifies it: ‘claimed’
He claimed the change in direction of ZF policy had put the public off
The article is also factually incorrect. It states ‘The mainstream Orthodox Zionist organisation Mizrachi is now independent of the ZF’. Mizrachi always was independent of the ZF! (though they were at one time a member organisation I think).
Mike Katz’s comments are particularly despicable:
The previous leadership of the Zionist Federation, through financial and governance mismanagement, have run one of the oldest Jewish organisations into the ground. It’s very sad to see that long serving staff members will be made redundant as a result. The way in which the ZF was run by its previous leadership meant it served a tiny clique of unrepresentative members. This must change going forwards, and we will work with our partners to ensure that ZF is well-run, financially viable and representative when its re-organisation is complete.
Delete ‘unrepresentative’, insert ‘Genuinely pro-Israel’. As far as I know this is the first time in history that Katz has ever shown any interest in the ZF. I’ve certainly never seen him at a single ZF event eg Lobby Day, Yom Haatzmaut or Al Quds protest. Except of course as a Cuckoo at the Biennial.
Fortunately Israel goes from strength to strength as it approaches its 75th birthday in 2023. If the Cuckoos think that they can make any difference to Israel they are deluded.
Previous donors to the ZF must have got the message months ago. I hope that the WZO has stopped funding the ZF. If by any chance donors have been in hibernation, here are the surviving major pro-Israel UK organisations worthy of funding: ZCC, Mizrachi, UK Lawyers for Israel, JNF. Plus of course individual bloggers and campaigners such as David Collier. Modesty Forfends – but see below ….
Please consider donating through my Patreon page. Every penny will go toward Israel advocacy and fighting antisemitism. Or by Paypal.
ZF RIP – It was inevitable and it was the reason why they muscled in …….
The names above are the ones on the London National Council. There are also some leftists from outside London: Gideon Leibowitz (LJY-Netzer), Michael Rubinstein (JLM) and Toby Kunin (JLM), Kunin was the mover of the Union of Jewish Students motion to distance the UJS from Israel (the motion passed).
The leftists attempted to block the ZF from allying with the October 2021 Israel Britain Alliance campaign on BBC bias against Israel.
Some weeks ago Joy Wolfe MBE resigned as ZF Honorary Life President.