” THE JEWISH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL IS UNELECTED UNACCOUNTABLE AND UNACCEPTABLE “
Jeremy Corbyn’s performance in the face of the campaign by the unholy alliance of the Israel lobby and the hard right of the PLP, to create and establish the myth that the LP has a particular problem with antisemitism, has not been good. He rolled over at the first wiff of grapeshot and has been prostrate before them ever since. A bit of steadfastness at outset would have killed the whole thing off before it had even got properly started. Instead he has allowed himself to be led by Lansman from one excrutiating humiliation to the next.
Admittedly he has been under malign influences notably those of the arch Israelists Lansman and Jamie Schneider and the unbearable narcissist and selective anti-racist, Owen Jones. That is even before we get to the naive influence of McDonnell who speaks of ” taking the advice of our friends at the Board of Deputies.” If John thinks that the Board luminaries are his friends it can only be concluded that thinking is not his strong point.
Corbyn stood silently by while innumerable people have been purged and persecuted.The victims that were persecuted were largely people in Corbyn’s service. They were targeted mainly because they were identified as being likely to vote Corbyn in his second leadership election, and/ or they were identified by Newmark/Lansman as having an unwelcome attitude to The State of Israel. All kinds of laughable pretexts for those witch hunted were invented but nobody could deny what was happening and keep a straight face.
He has stabbed long time political allies, such as Christine Shawcroft, in the back.
His complicity in the abuse of Del Singh’s family is borderline unforgiveable. Borderline because it is not too late for him to fix it had he a mind to.
Corbyn’s supine letter to Arkush in the wake of the mural thing seemed to me at the time to be the final capitulation and that he was a hopeless case. However, the Jewdas seder business and Arkush’s typically OTT response has given him a get out of jail card, a last chance to demonstrate some backbone.
It will be recalled that he had offered to meet with Arkush and Goldstein ” at the earliest opportunity” . This offer was rejected by the self styled “leadership of the Jewish community” which further declared there could be no meeting until Corbyn had taken certain actions that would demonstrate his commitment to doing their bidding.
The news of Corbyn’s attendance at the Jewdas seder completely wrong footed Arkush, who is not very good at thinking on his feet and is apt to let his emotional fragility get the better of him in circumstances such as these. The complaint was that Corbyn had met with the wrong kind of Jews. This was an uncomfortable position because Corbyn had offered to meet with the right kind of Jews ( them) and had been turned down. Arkush dealt with the problem by having a tantrum on national television during which he declared Jewdas to be purveyors and fuellers of antisemitism, which caused the Israelist establishment itself no end of embarrassment. He then backtracked and decided he would meet Corbyn after all. The pre conditions were dropped in favour of the acceptance of an agenda. That is, each precondition became an agenda item.
Arkush does a lot of back tracking. Notably when he bottled out of his CDM complaint against Stephen Sizer and when he found himself eyeball to eyeball with Mick Davis, the then chair of the JLC. Arkush is a congenital bluffer and turns out be a bit of a snowflake when his bluff is called. He really is easy to deal with. Why anyone is intimidated by him is a great mystery.
The issue du jour is which Jews Corbyn should meet with, if any. The line is that he should only talk to the ” representatives of the mainstream Jewish community “. The problem is that these alleged representatives don’t exist. For Arkush it means himself since he is the President of the BoD which, he claims, is the only democratically elected representative Jewish organisation. This status of the BoD is trotted out endlessly and swallowed whole and unquestioningly by the British establishment including the media.
Corbyn seems to have done quite well at yesterdays meeting but time will tell. In the meantime it might be worth taking a look at the organisations and people that claim to be the only voices of British Jews. Just who do they represent and how united are they ?
The BoD is essentially synagogue based. Each synagogue may send Deputies to the Bod, the number is dependent on how many members it claims. It is true that a majority of Jewish families are affiliated to a synagogue. Some out of religious conviction and preference and a lot because membership is an important facilitator of rites of passage. Many are excluded by the eye watering cost of membership.
So the first identifiable group that the BoD does not represent are the poorest sectors of the Jewish population.
The second is the fastest growing sector of the Jewish population, the ultra Orthodox, whose synagogues do not send deputies.
There are just over 400 synagogues in the UK. It is likely that the number that send Deputies does not exceed 150. We can’t be sure of the exact number because the BoD is highly secretive about these things. But a look at the general make up of the Bod leads inexorably to the conclusion that 150 is a top figure.
Now these Deputies are supposed to be elected representatives. In reality if you wanted to count the number of Deputies that found their way to the BoD via a contested election you would need more than one pair of hands but less than four. The overwhelming majority of Shuls that send Deputies, are, in this context, rotten boroughs. It is a matter of finding a volunteer. The volunteers are invariably right wing activists. We even have the absurd situation that one of the BoD’s vice Presidents lives in London and is a deputy for a Shul in Wales !!! So the congregation of this Welsh Shul are deemed to be represented.
The BoD is a bastion of the conservative and right wing United Synagogue. So much so that when Laura Marks, a member of a Reform synagogue , ran for President in 2015 she felt a need to add an affiliation to a US shul to her membership of a Reform Shul. She was right. Only US deputies get elected President as the US deputies vote in a religious block on matters pertaining to their privileges. It didn’t do Marks any good. The President of the US declared that her action would be divisive and could result in the US distancing itself from the BoD. This was a potent threat. The BoD would be no more.
Obviously the penchant for bullying and black mail by the US grandees is for internal as well as external use. Israelist so called democracy is not a pretty sight.
You might also find yourself becoming a Deputy if you are a member of the right kind of organisation that has in excess of 500 members and has had during the two years preceding application. Well 500 members is a high bar and its purpose is to make sure the organisation is firmly ” mainstream”. The Board is terrified of plurality and diversity. It doesn’t mind a few racist off the scale right wing nutters like Jonathan Hoffman because they are sound on Israel. Indeed it accomodates more than a few.The defensive wall is shored up by the requirement that an organisation must secure the votes of two thirds of Deputies. It would be an interesting plenary if Jewdas really did apply for affiliation. Geoffrey Cohen versus Jerry Lewis would be fun.
And of course the applicant organisation must sign up to the Board’s aims and objectives foremost of which is ” the advancement of Israel’s security well being and standing” You don’t have to be concerned about the well being of any other country, not even that of the UK. Obviously if you are anti-Zionist, a non Zionist or not much concerned about Israel, but more concerned about the condition of Jews in the UK, you are excluded. The Board does not represent you.
Be clear. In practice this means the Board positively FORBIDS itself ANY criticism of Israel and would impose the same restriction on the rest of us if it could. Maybe it can. Its erstwhile treasurer, Laurence Brass, had enough of this and was consequently hounded out of office. Brass ruefully observed, ” The perception that the Board is an extension of the Israeli Embassy is not helpful.”
Deputy places are also reserved for appointed reps of special interest groups including places reserved for Israelis !!!! Yes, you have to be an Israeli to fill one of those places.
The idea that the BoD is some kind of democratic elected body representing all the Jews in Britain is ludicrous.
ARKUSH GETS ONE THING RIGHT
” The JLC is unelected, unaccountable and unacceptable”
The Jewish Leadership Council represents nobody but itself. It came to be when a bunch of very rich Jewish grandees decided that the Board was no longer fit for purpose. That its bureaucratic lumberings hampered the task of creating an Israel friendly Britain. What was needed was a well funded and highly connected organisation that was much faster on its feet. These oligarchs then simply declared themselves ” Jewish Leaders”. What we have seen since then is an unseemly turf war
The JLC has slowly but surely elbowed the Board out of its traditional roles, in particular out of its role of the organisation that has the ears of, and access to, the high and mighty. It is all about money and monied connections. The JLC grandees are mega rich and the Board is perennially flying by the seat of its financial arse. The grandees are not shy about exploiting this situation.
During the Board Presidency of Vivian Wineman, there was much talk of the BoD and JLC merging. That is, of the JLC taking over the Board. During this time the JLC kindly kept the Board afloat financially. All this merger talk came to an abrupt end when Wineman moved on and Arkush took over.
Arkush hates the JLC . In particular he hates its previous CEO Jeremy Newmark on account of his dalliance with the LP. Arkush of course, being a rabid hard right Tory.
Even more does he hate Mick Davis, the recently departed Chair of the JLC and now chair of the Conservative and Unionist Party.
Arkush had a long standing ambition to be President of the Board and regarded the end of Wineman’s second term as his big opportunity. Imagine his pain as he watched Wineman’s retreat in the face of the JLC encroachment. He stood to get to be President of nothing. Someone as emotionally erratic and with so little impulse control had to erupt at some point. And he did.
The tipping point came in 2012. The JLC had established for itself an annual audience with David Cameron, the then Prime Minister. The purpose was to give Cameron his instructions for the coming year and to make sure Cameron fully understood what was required of him. The JLC were in the habit of taking reps from a few affiliated orgs along for the ride including a rep from the Board. By this time the BoD was an affiliate of the JLC. Arkush, of course thought it should be the other way round. He has never accepted that the BoD walks and money talks. So the Board were to be there AT THE INVITATION OF THE JLC. Subsequently, it might be recalled, Davis bought a knighthood off Cameron for £ 1.4 million on the spurious grounds that he had chaired some committee or other for 12 months.
But anyway Arkush had an almighty wobbler at a Board plenary, denounced the JLC as “unelected, unaccountable and unacceptable”. He went on to accuse the JLC of corruption in that they bribed organisations to affiliate. It was the Leeds and Manchester rep councils he had in mind.
Well the roof fell in on him. The nutter fringe cheered him but the saner, wiser among them understood the implications. Those that didn’t immediately grasp them were quickly reminded by Davis. He warned of ” consequences” , declared Arkush’s position to be ” untenable” and said JLC members “may feel that they can no longer provide ongoing financial support for the Board while being subjected to this sort of attack by the senior vice-president of the institution”.
Jerry Lewis demanded that Arkush resign. Laurence Brass suggested he take a break from communal politics.
The outcome was a series of the most grovelling apologies imaginable, including a letter circulated to all deputies in which he said that his remarks were ” inappropriate ” and had been made when he was ” unwell”. He was in particular “sorry to have made references to any financial matters. I withdraw those remarks in their entirety. There was no suggestion of impropriety.”
The Jewish News remarked that Arkush had ” lost all credibility.”
Of course subsequent events have shown us that his judgment that the JLC is corrupt was well on target. When it became clear that Newmark was ripping the JLC off big time Mick Davis embarked on a distasteful cover up. Newmark was allowed to resign on ” health grounds” and the grandees dipped into their pockets to plug the holes in the JLC accounts that Newmark’s embezzlements had created. Under pressure from the Jewish Chronicle the JLC announced an independent enquiry into its handling of the affair. Then we learned that permission had been obtained from the Charities Commission for the terms of reference to exclude the question of whether the JLC should have called in the police. In other words there isn’t going to be a meaningful enquiry at all.
Why did the Charity Commission grant this extraordinary permission ? I doubt it had anything to do with the head of the Commission being William Shawcross, a rabid Israelist who spends more time in Israel than he does in the UK.
But anyway the business burned into Arkush’s soul a festering hatred he has not been able to rid himself of. The President of the BoD is automatically a JLC trustee and as a sop is offered the Chair . When Arkush succeeded Wineman he announced he would sit as a trustee but not accept the chair. At the same time he expressed the hope that the JLC would “ recognise the BoD’s pre eminent role as the representatives of Britain’s Jewish community.”
If you think this is ancient history, six months ago Paul Edlin a long time deputy and unreconstructed Arkushista declared that Arkush’s 2012 comments ” remain true” . In the aftermath of Newmark getting busted, Arkush demanded that the JLC ” get its house in order.”
So who did bust Newmark ? Well we will never know. But there are pertinent facts we do know. Arkush doesn’t have an ethical bone in his body. Arkush, as a trustee, had access to the relevant audits. Arkush has the necessary grudges ( the people most damaged by the revelations are Newmark and Davis). Arkush is stepping down as a trustee so the timing is good.
Such is the the state of those that claim to be the leaders of the united Jewish community that Corbyn seeks to divide and rule.
WHO ELECTED MARK GARDNER
The delegation that lined up against Corbyn yesterday included Mark Gardner of the scam operation we know and love as the CST. Who elected him to represent the ” Jewish Community” at a meeting with the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition ? Well nobody. He was appointed by the unelected, mega fraudster ,time served old lag, Tory and good friend of Sadiq khan, Gerald Ronson.
Well as I have said the meeting yesterday could have gone much worse. At least Corbyn has not yet committed himself to anything too stupid. But I am not persuaded that he can be trusted to continue to do the right thing.
It must be remembered that it is a zero sum game for the Israelists. Anything you give them is Danegeld. It is not about antisemitism, it is about Israel. They will never stop until they get the ultimate result. What might this be ? Howard Jacobson and Ruth Deech, lacking the political nous of the seasoned,professional Israelists, tell us.
Jacobson tells us that antisemitism won’t be fixed until Israel is fixed. He goes on to tell us that what he means is until talk about Israel is fixed. Ruth Deech in Hirsh’s whitewash video independently spills the same beans. That is, the aim is to constrain talk about Israel in the LP within acceptable parameters. This won’t be some rough and ready guidelines. The IHRA batshit is but an interim measure. The first step. The final destination is a full and detailed CODIFICATION.
But we knew this already.
And what will it mean for the Labour Party? The acceptance of just one of the Israelist demands will be a statement that the Party is in the grip of a bunch of hard right Tories. That it is unable to manage its own affairs. It will be hard to see how it then can manage the affairs of the country. If it is not unelectable then it should be.
This will be Corbyn’s legacy.