Zionist Federation

Banned. Do they offend you?

By Marcus Dysch, April 23, 2009

A group of young Israeli entertainers are at the centre of an argument which has forced the relocation of an annual Yom Ha’atzmaut show.

The Zionist Federation planned to hold its annual family entertainment night at the Bloomsbury Theatre in central London next Tuesday (April 28), but was forced to move it after the venue refused to host members of the IDF dance troupe.

The decision followed complaints from anti-Israel groups about the performance, which was due to be part of the Israel 61 Family Show.

It will now take place at a secret location in north London.

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ZF guest Halevy hails Gaza action

February 12, 2009

Former Mossad head Ephraim Halevy hailed the impact of Operation Cast Lead in a speech to 500 Zionist Federation supporters in Central London on Sunday.

Addressing the ZF’s annual dinner, which raised over £100,000, Mr Halevy maintained that from a military standpoint, the operation had been an “all-out success”, inflicting a humiliating defeat on Hamas.

“This was also evident with the total isolation of Hamas in the Arab world. Egypt and Saudi Arabia turned their back, as did Iran and Syria. And where was [Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan] Nasrallah?”

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Kaufman blasted for ‘Nazi’ remark

By Leon Symons, January 22, 2009

Metro, the London freesheet, published an apology and changed the wording of a poll it ran on Monday which appeared to compare Israel with the Nazis.

The poll was based on comments made during a House of Commons debate on Gaza by Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman last week.

Sir Gerald, MP for Manchester Gorton, had said: “On Sky News a few days ago, the spokeswoman for the Israeli army, Major Leibovich, was asked about the Israeli killing of, at that time, 800 Palestinians—the total is now 1,000. She replied instantly that ‘500 of them were militants’.

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Election day for ZF

September 19, 2008

In the Zionist Federation's first contested elections for eight years, management consultant Jonathan Smilansky and City economist Jonathan Hoffman were elected ZF vice-chairs at its biennial conference in London on Sunday.

The defeated candidate was former Board of Deputies vice-president Jerry Lewis.

In addition, one-time Labour MP Eric Moonman and Manchester activist Joy Wolfe were elected to the two presidential positions.

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Shalit march planned

August 22, 2008
The Zionist Federation is organising a march and meeting in London on September 21 to publicise the plight of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.   

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Envoy is told off over invite for settlers

By Marcus Dysch, August 8, 2008

The Foreign Office has said it was a mistake to invite three West Bank settlers to an official birthday reception in honour of the Queen - and has implied that behind the scenes, the British ambassador to Israel has been rapped over the knuckles for inviting the men.

Three members of the Yesha Council of settlers attended the party at Ambassador Tom Phillips' Ramat Gan residence in June.

But the Foreign Office, reaffirming its stance that the settlements are illegal, says it will ensure settlers are not invited to such receptions again.

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Edgware Synagogue hears of hospital's terror plight

June 6, 2008

In a joint Jerusalem Day venture, Edgware Masorti Synagogue and the Zionist Federation presented “Ashkelon under fire”. The speaker was Lea Malul of Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Centre, who explained how the hospital coped with the constant threat of terror. Barzilai is fundraising for a protected underground facility for patients as its buildings are not fortified against rocket attacks.

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Israel 60 Gala rocked by protesters

By Alex Kasriel, May 16, 2008

Solidarity hardened among the 7,500-strong crowd at the Israel 60 Gala in Wembley Arena last week after a surreal incident occurred moments before the show began.

While they waited for the entertainment to start, a massive cheer rang out as around 30 police swarmed into the audience and wrestled a group of anti-Israel protesters to the ground.

Four men and one woman were led from the building where they were arrested for public order offences and released on bail.

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The Zionist leader heading for Zion

By Leon Symons, May 9, 2008

At an age when many would consider retirement, 65-year-old Andrew Balcombe is to join the ranks of the long-distance commuters.

The chairman of the Zionist Federation is making aliyah this week — but is continuing in his communal role. He will have completed his first two-year stint but plans to stand again when the post comes up for election in September.

“I will be travelling back and forth between Israel and Britain, but it won’t be as often as some people who do it weekly,” said Mr Balcombe. “In fact, I and my wife Jean feel privileged to be going to Israel at this time.

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ZF under fire for ‘plugging’ Boris event

By Simon Rocker, April 18, 2008

The hotly contested election for mayor of London this week sparked accusations of inappropriate attempts to canvass Jewish votes.

The Jewish Labour Movement has complained to the Zionist Federation for sending out an email circular which publicised Conservative challenger Boris Johnson’s visit to North-West London last Sunday.

In another incident on the same day, Nicky Gavron, the Labour deputy mayor, drew protests for plugging Ken Livingstone’s bid for re-election at a Holocaust play in the West End.

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