Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

UJIA man is focus of Israel row

    Joseph Millis, the UJIA’s new public relations and communications manager, has defended his Zionist credentials after calls for his dismissal by an Israeli columnist who accused him of a being an “extremist critic of Israel”.

    Writing in the Jerusalem Post online, Isi Leibler, the Israel-based former leader of Australian Jewry, demanded that Mr Millis be dismissed from the job he took up last month.

    Decrying the appointment as “despicable,” Mr Leibler said Mr Millis was “a far-left extremist who has publicly called for a boycott of goods from Israeli settlements, stressing that he includes east Jerusalem”.

    Mr Leibler coupled his comments with a fresh attack on UJIA chairman Mick Davis over his views on Israel, demanding that Mr Davis "apologise to the Jewish community or resign, or better still, do both".

    Mr Millis, who is a former foreign editor of both the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News and represents Bromley Reform Synagogue on the Board of Deputies, said that his views on boycott had changed over the past year.

    In a statement circulated to UJIA supporters, Mr Millis wrote that he was “not now nor have I ever been ‘anti-Israel’ or ‘far left’. I wear my Israeli citizenship as a badge of honour. I am a Zionist and proud to be such.”

    Mr Millis said he was “proud to have served in the Israeli army”, having been in a combat unit in the Sinai, Lebanon and on the Golan. He was educating his children “to love Israel and Zionism” and took them often to visit their family there.

    He said he was “totally opposed” to boycott, divestment and sanctions, “even to the targeted version against settlements”.

    BDS was “a nasty knee-jerk minority action taken by people who are not interested in peace in the Middle East or the Palestinians whom they purport to support”.

    In an exchange on the JC website a year ago, Mr Millis had urged boycott of settlement produce after Israel passed a law threatening action against those who advocated such a course.

    In another remark which infuriated Mr Leibler, he wrote: “Just when people in neighbouring countries are laying down their lives to create democracies, Israel wants to be Iran or Syria lite.”

    In his statement to UJIA supporters, Mr Millis said the remark had been taken out of context by Mr Leibler. “As a supporter of Israel, and like many Israelis and Zionists, I said, in context of an extended exchange of comments with other JC bloggers that I feared that there is a risk that Israel may cease to be a Jewish and democratic state of which we are all justifiably proud and slide towards the kind of authoritarianism that we see in other Middle Eastern countries, unless a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians is reached.”

    Opponents of Mr Millis in the UK have also been circulating tweets he wrote three years ago in which he said that Israel had decided to be the new South Africa and resembled Hamas in using settlements as a “human shield”.

Uk News

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'

Marcus Dysch

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'
Special Reports

Dublin benefits from overseas aid

Barry Toberman

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dublin benefits from overseas aid
Uk News

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'

JC Reporter

Monday, December 5, 2016

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'
Uk News

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees
Uk News

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'

By Simon Rocker

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'
Uk News

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'

Rosa Doherty

Friday, December 2, 2016

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'
Uk News

Anti-Israel conference faces delay

Lee Harpin

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anti-Israel conference faces delay
Uk News

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, December 5, 2016

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity
Uk News

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86

JC Reporter

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86