B'nai B'rith London Bureau of International Affairs (BBLBIA)

BBLBIA was founded by B’nai B’rith UK in March 1998 as an associate office of B’nai B’rith International’s Centre for Human Rights and Public Policy in Washington DC.

The mission of BBLBIA is to serve and protect the interests, welfare and security of Jewish people, the State of Israel and to uphold the human rights of minority peoples globally.  It was set up to address the need for a pro-active, strategic European organisation to engage with the diplomatic community on behalf of the Jewish people.  By focusing on decision-makers and influencers, its objective is to be a positive influence on policy developments affecting the State of Israel and Jewish interests generally.

Support and Encourage the London Bureau - Become a Friend

We would like you to become a full member of B’nai B’rith UK (if you are Jewish) but if you would prefer to be associated with us as a Friend, we would be pleased to have your support.

Friends of the B’nai B’rith UK’s London Bureau of International Affairs, unlike members, do not have to be members of the Jewish faith, they are those who are sympathetic to our aims.

Friends will have access to all the resources that the Bureau has produced, past and present, including a PDF of its book Israel and the Middle East and research papers.

Friends are also entitled to attend one breakfast meeting a year in a London location where they can listen to a senior diplomat speak on important issues of the day. In addition, they will receive the quarterly newsletter which provides a summary of the Bureau’s recent activities.

If you would like to become a Friend for only £20 a year, please email lbia@bnaibrithuk.org or call Jeremy on 0770 272 8751.

Why was BBLBIA Established?

There is clear and increasing evidence of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias within the international community. This prejudice takes many forms including a clear attempt to isolate Israel politically within the United Nations. This prejudice is in many cases born out of a lack of understanding of the issues involved and a lack of awareness of what is really going on in the Middle East.

International diplomacy is of vital importance in establishing the rights of the Jewish people and the preservation of the State of Israel.  London is a pivotal centre for international diplomacy and is a strategic centre in relations between the USA, Europe and the Middle East.

How BBLBIA Operates

BBLBIA has established and maintained regular contacts with London-based diplomatic missions, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for International Development. It is in close contact with the Embassy of Israel enabling it to maintain a regular two-way dialogue. Through these meetings, we promote greater security for Jewish communities world-wide and help cultivate support for Israel’s unique circumstances and for its aspirations for peace and security.

BBLBIA draws on the information resources of B’nai B’rith around the world. The influence of B’nai B’rith International, with offices in Washington DC, at the United Nations in New York and in Brussels, and with membership in 59 countries is unmatched by any other Jewish organization.

BBLBIA is ideally placed to speak to representatives and officials who might not wish to speak to a diplomat from the Israel Embassy.  As a result, BBLBIA can dispassionately explain Israel’s position to opinion leaders and decision-makers

The BB London Bureau’s Progress & Achievements

The Bureau has established an enviable credibility within the UK and foreign diplomatic community in London, proactively providing objective information and correcting misconceptions on matters affecting Israel and the wider Jewish community.

Meetings are held with the FCO. LBIA also joins with the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) in further round table talks with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. It is accepted that all such meetings are ‘closed’.

The Bureau’s work is unique and is not replicated by any other organisation.  The value of our activities has been commended both by community leaders and the Embassy of Israel.

The BBUK London Bureau of International Affairs Summary

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.

Copyright 2013 - 2020 © B'nai B'rith UK | All Rights Reserved