Over the past 12 months, the London Bureau has been working closely with London’s diplomatic community in an effort to advocate for Jewish, Israeli and minority interests. The Bureau has been invited to many embassies in the capital, usually meeting with ambassadors and other consular officials. The Bureau has highlighted a number of areas of concern, including the ongoing Palestinian ‘stabbing’ intifada against Israelis, the intransigence of Fatah in the peace process, anti-Israeli UN resolutions, the repercussions of the Syrian civil war and the threat of jihadist terrorism.
Turning towards Europe, the Bureau has also discussed concerns about rising nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment on the Continent. There have been discussions about growing anti-Semitism, with the Bureau keen to ascertain each country’s mechanisms for confronting hatred. The Bureau works closely with our colleagues in Washington and Brussels, and liaises with the Board of Deputies, to ensure that our embassy visits are as fruitful as possible.
The Bureau continues to attend meetings of the Foreign Office roundtable and there was a visit to the Department for International Development (DFID) highlighting Palestinian incitement. The Bureau organised two successful breakfast meetings in 2016, inviting the ambassadors of Austria and Israel to address B’nai B’rith members.
The Bureau’s research arm has also been busy this year. A research paper was produced, called ‘Spreading the Hate’, dealing with how UK funded NGOs and charities were pursuing a hostile anti-Israel agenda. A summary appeared in an Israeli paper. The Director has published a number of articles in the Jewish Press, both in the UK and abroad, on issues of importance to the Bureau. Further research and collaborative projects are planned for the forthcoming year.