British Jews were this week being urged to fight against a “hostile takeover” of Zionist organisations by settlers and strictly Orthodox representatives at the World Zionist Congress.
Progressive Jewish groups warned of a vote to “block non-Orthodox movements and centre-left parties from positions of power in the major Zionist institutions and give settlers access to millions of shekels for settlement development”.
Jews in the UK who are donors, members or supporters of organisations such as Bnei Brith were being asked to write to these organisations’ world bodies, who have the right to cast a vote at the WZC, to “vote against the deal, rather than remain neutral”.
London-based Jewish group Yachad, among the campaigners, said the five-yearly Congress “has a lot of power” because it elects the leadership of Zionist institutions in Israel including the World Zionist Organisation, the Jewish Agency, and the KKL (JNF), which is Israel’s largest landowner.
“Budgets of millions of shekels are put into the hands of people that the Congress elects, deciding the fate of not only what happens inside the State of Israel but in diaspora Jewish communities,” said Yachad director Hannah Weisfeld.
She said the deal would “put the entire leadership of the JNF and the WZO into the hands of ultra-Orthodox and right-wing parties… the Diaspora Affairs division of the WZO will be in the hands of a Likud representative who calls Israeli leftists traitors”.
Weisfeld warned of “a massive transfer of funds from the KKL to the WZO including a long list of budgets for land purchases for Jewish settlement in the West Bank of millions of shekels” as she urged Brits to get involved “to stop this hostile takeover”.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.