Jewdas sorry over hoax email

By Leon Symons, January 22, 2009

The maverick group Jewdas has apologised to the Board of Deputies for trying to wreck last week’s pro-Israel Trafalgar Square rally.

Jewdas said that it would also transfer an internet domain name that it used to the Board and gave its “guarantee” that it would not impersonate the Board again.

The group wrote: “We would like to apologise for the methods used in doing this, including the use of your logo, which may have given the reader of the email the impression that the rally had been cancelled. We also apologise for the difficulty that this may have caused you and for the time involved in correcting the information contained in the hoax email.”

Jewdas had not intended “to offend, be malicious or even prevent people from attending the rally... Our reasons, which we stand by, were to make a political point, both in criticism of the rally and of the current conflict.”

The idea, they said, was also to give “an alternative approach to Jewish leadership.

“We conclude with our guarantee that we will not impersonate you again, nor send false information out cancelling an event.”

Board chief executive Jon Benjamin said: “We did receive an email purporting to be from Jewdas. Of course one can never be entirely sure of the provenance of these things.”

The attempted hoax started as a bogus email poll, supposedly from CNN. Recipients were asked to vote and their response was used to create a database, which was then used to send out an email, purportedly from the Board, one of the organisers of the rally.

A complaint was made to Barnet police, who arrested a 22-year-old man on January 10. He was later released on police bail to return to a north London police station in April.

Last updated: 1:54pm, January 22 2009