Board urges FCO to police Palestinian site

By Marcus Dysch, December 1, 2011

The Board of Deputies has clashed with the Foreign Office over the content of articles on the website of the Palestinian Mission in Britain.

President Vivian Wineman said the Board was "pretty angry" that the Foreign Office had refused to take action over the mission's promotion of work by Israeli-born antisemite Gilad Atzmon.

The website publishes news and information about the Palestinian Authority's UK envoy Manuel Hassassian, as well as "academic links". The site contains the Goldstone Report, material on supporting boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, and links to Mr Atzmon's articles, including one which accuses Israel of organ trafficking and harvesting.

The Board complained to the Foreign Office last month and asked it to take action against the "clearly antisemitic articles and links" as well as "inaccurate and misleading descriptions" of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The JC understands the Foreign Office was unable to take action to remove the articles because content on the website does not breach race hate laws. A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The UK government does not tolerate antisemitism and takes allegations of antisemitism extremely seriously."

Mr Wineman said: "Atzmon's views are inflammatory and the FCO should be concerned that they appear on an official mission's website, and about the impact that has on communal and indeed international relations."He called on the PA to remove the articles and apologise.

A Palestinian mission spokeswoman said: "We are not convinced it's a problem. We have not violated the law."

Last updated: 12:16pm, December 1 2011