While antisemitism and anti-Zionism continue to deface western societies, the London Bureau has been busy fighting for the international legal rights of the Jewish people, countering the media’s anti-Israel agenda and fighting for minority rights. We have visited dozens of embassies, both in London and Geneva, meeting with diplomats and political figures in order to raise issues of concern. The Bureau has met Ambassadors from countries as diverse as Costa Rica, Egypt, Egypt, Nicaragua, The Republic of Ireland, Spain, Montenegro, Malta and Azerbaijan. It was also represented in the first of three sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and at the roundtable discussions held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
During these meetings, the Bureau has challenged the voting record of countries at the UN and urged vigilance in the face of antisemitism. It has called for Israel’s case to be understood and spoken out against unfair legal developments, such as the recent ruling by the ECJ against Israeli settlements. At the same time, the Bureau has praised the improved relations that countries are enjoying with Israel, especially from within the Muslim world.
The Bureau has been invited to a meeting with a senior Hungarian minister and raised concerns about state sponsored antisemitism. It has participated in round-table discussions with the American Ambassador, H.E. Woody Johnson, and Elan Carr, President Trump’s envoy for monitoring and countering antisemitism. Bureau members have also been invited to participate in a number of important cultural events. These have included a celebration at Kensington Palace organised by the Bahrain embassy on international religious freedom day, an exhibition featuring Romanian diplomats who saved Jewish lives during the war and a commemoration of the anniversary of the Hungarian uprising. The Bureau has held a joint panel event on the Israeli elections with the Board of Deputies and invited the Polish and Israeli Ambassadors to address members at breakfast meetings held in London.
The Bureau has also invited a number of prominent speakers on Middle East politics to address its members. Among them are Professor Colin Shindler on SOAS, speaking about the rise of the Israeli right, and also John Ware, the veteran documentary maker, describing the controversy over his recent Panorama documentary on Labour antisemitism. More recently, Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has addressed members and guests on the subject of ‘Antisemitism: Is Christianity responsible.