Andrew David Balcombe

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Andrew Balcombe is the former chair of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and a former trustee (25 September 2002 - 12 September 2006) [1] of UK Friends of AWIS The UK offshoot of the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers - an organisation established in 1942 by David Ben-Gurion. He is also a former director of the trading arm of the organisation, UK AWIS Trading Limited.[1] Originally from Manchester [2] he now resides in Israel. [3]


Pro-Israel activities

In February 2007 Balcombe wrote a letter to the chair of the BBC Trust, Dr. Chitra Bharucha calling on the BBC to remove the BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen from his post. Balcombe accused Bowen of being biased towards the Palestinians and suggested that his reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict was 'doing a disservice to the BBC's customers'.[4]

In August 2008 the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland cancelled a scheduled appearance by Haaretz journalist Danny Rubinstein after he allegedly compared Israel to apartheid South Africa at a UN conference in Brussels. In his role as chairman of the UK Zionist Federation Balcombe commented:

Criticism of Israeli policy is acceptable. However, by using the word 'apartheid' in a UN conference held at the European Parliament, Danny Rubinstein encourages the demonisation of Israel and the Jewish people. I believe he was naïve to attend the UN conference.[5]

In 2009 the British Science Museum was criticised by more than 400 academics for allegedly promoting Israeli universities whose research is used in Israel's military operations in Gaza. The museum was hosting workshops run by the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland that would promote Israeli scientific achievements to schoolchildren. Balcombe defended the programme.[6]

Following the deaths of ten Palestinian solidarity activists during the raid on the MV Mavi Mara by Israeli Naval commandos in May 2010 Balcombe took part in a pro-Israel rally outside the Israeli embassy in London. At the demonstration Balcombe stated that Israel was blockading Gaza in order to protect itself. [7] The BBC reported that at the rally Balcombe had addressed the crowd claiming that Israel's actions regarding the Mavi Mara were perfectly legal.[8] Balcombe also denied that the existence of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza:

We want people to know that people aren't starving in Gaza. You go and have a look at the adverts for the clubs in Gaza, they're doing very very well thank you very much... There's lots of food. Israel takes in a day into Gaza, more than those ships brought.[8]

In August 2011, Balcombe criticised the comments of Alan Duncan, then UK Minister for International Development who described the Israel 'security barrier' as a land grab in a video posted on the website of the Department for International Development's website. Speaking on behalf of the British Israel Group Balcombe remarked: 'We think it is appalling that a minister of the British government is the featured speaker in a one-sided video that is inaccurate and inflammatory.'[9]

Following the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' issuance of guidelines regarding the proper labelling of produce from the occupied West Bank Balcombe angrily attacked the department's decision and labelled Oxfam and War on Want, two groups that had advocated for accurate labelling of West Bank produce, as "viciously anti-Israel NGOs". He further claimed that labelling of produce from Israeli settlements would hurt the West Bank economy. [10]

Views on Antisemitism in the UK

In May 2014, Balcombe criticised comments made by Mick Davis, head of the Jewish Leadership Council and chairman of the United Jewish Israel Appeal regarding the situation of British Jews. Balcombe remarked that:

I disagreed with the description of the state of British Jewry in relation to Israel. The word antisemitism was hardly mentioned, the divisions in the leadership of the Jewish community were not mentioned, and the overstretched and underfunded work done by activists was hardly mentioned.[11]

Company director

Companies House records the following directorships and other appointments:[12]

Current directorships

B.K.L. Investments Limited Appointed: PRE 28/11/1991 (position: Director)
Aradon LTD Appointed: 25/04/2000 (position: Director)
Mercutio Consultants Limited Appointed: 16/06/2005 (position: Director)

Former directorships

B.K.L. Investments Limited Appointed: PRE 28/11/1991 Resigned: 06/03/2008 (position: Secretary)
Audioleads Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1990 Resigned: 15/04/1998 (position: Company Director)
Armour 100 Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 (position: Company Director)
Armour Trust Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 (position: Company Director)
Armour Trust Services Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 (position: Company Director)
Armour Group PLC Appointed: PRE 14/11/1991 Resigned: 16/11/1998 (position: Company Director)
Jenolite Limited Appointed: 17/06/1993 Resigned: 15/04/1998 (position: Company Director)
Cords Piston Ring Company Limited Appointed: 10/11/1994 Resigned: 15/04/1998 (position: Company Director)
Solid Products Limited Appointed: 11/09/1996 Resigned: 15/04/1998 (position: Company Director)
Aromatic Flavours and Fragrances Europe Limited Appointed: 09/02/1997 Resigned: 15/04/1998 (position: Director)
Elmswell Limited Appointed: 05/01/1998 Resigned: 15/04/1998 (position: Director Occupation: Chief Executive)
Spark Networks Limited Appointed: 14/10/1998 Resigned: 28/01/1999 (position: Director)
London Asia Capital PLC Appointed: 15/06/1999 Resigned: 06/12/2002 (position: Director)
Intelliplus Group Limited Appointed: 24/01/2000 Resigned: 18/05/2001 (position: Company Director)
Avanta Serviced Office Group PLC Appointed: 06/07/2000 Resigned: 31/10/2003 (position: Director occupation: Chief Executive)
UK AWIS Trading Limited Appointed: 18/04/2001 Resigned: 12/09/2006 (position: Company Director)
UK Friends of AWIS Appointed: 25/09/2002 Resigned: 12/09/2006 (position: Company Director)
Sharngale Limited Appointed: PRE 30/11/1991 Dissolved: 01/09/1992 (position: Secretary)
Vincula (No. 5) Limited Appointed: PRE 11/11/1991 Resigned: 12/08/1996 Company Dissolved: 03/08/2004 (position: Director)
Airfresh (U.K.) Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 07/02/2006 (position: Company Director)
Albion Botanicals Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 28/12/2004 (position: Company Director)
Armour Edgworth Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Dissolved: 06/08/1996 (position: Company Director)
Armour South Western Holdings Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Dissolved: 26/12/2004 (position: Company Director)
Armour South Western Investments Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 27/12/2004 (position: Company Director)
Armour South Western Properties Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 27/12/2004 (position: Company Director)
Demonscan Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 15/05/2005 (position: Company Director)
Despina Designs Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 28/12/2004 (position: Company Director)
Fragrance Warehouse Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 12/09/2006 (position: Company Director)
House of Despina Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 15/05/2005 (position: Company Director)
Millington & Mason Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 28/12/2004 (position: Company Director)
Polco Products Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 30/08/2005 (position: Company Director)
Polcon Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Dissolved: 09/09/2006 (position: Company Director)
South Western Consolidated Property Holdings Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998  Company Dissolved: 28/12/2004 (position: Company Director)
Trusta Limited Appointed: PRE 13/11/1991 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 28/12/2004 (position: Company Director)
Sharngdale Limited Appointed: PRE 30/11/1991 Company Dissolved: 01/09/1992 (position: Company Director)
Bluecol Brands Limited Appointed: 31/03/1994 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 08/02/2006 (position: Company Director)
PQS Motor Products LTD. Appointed: 10/11/1994 Resigned: 15/04/1998 Company Dissolved: 03/08/2005 (position: Company Director)
Tech-Is Limited Appointed: 31/03/2003 Company Dissolved: 03/02/2004 (position: Director)
Teck-Is Limited Appointed: 31/03/2003 Company Dissolved: 03/02/2004 (position: Director)
Leisure Activity Limited Appointed: 01/07/2003 Resigned: 22/03/2005 Company Dissolved: 02/07/2007 (position: Director)
Company Backup LTD Appointed: 30/04/2004 Company Dissolved: 23/10/2007 (position: Director)
Mobile Backup Appointed: 30/04/2004 Company Dissolved: 18/12/2013 (position: Director)
Totaldatabackup Appointed: 31/01/2006 Company Dissolved: 17/06/2009 (position: Director)


  • Conscience (interdenominational committee for Soviet Jewry) - Cofounder


  1. 1.0 1.1 Companies in the UK Balcombe, Andrew. Accessed 6 September 2014.
  2. Greer Ray Cashman, 'A Little Piece of Boston', Jerusalem Post, 16 March 2011 Wednesday, p.16. Accessed 10 September 2014.
  3. Meira Faratci, 'UK Zionist Federation chairman makes aliya'. [[Jerusalem Post]]. 2 June 2008 Monday, p. 4. Accessed 6 September 2014.
  4. Jonny Paul, 'UK Jews: Replace BBC Mideast editor', Jerusalem Post, 3 February 2007, accessed 29 May 2015.
  5. Yaakov Lappin, 'Zionist Federation cancels Haaretz journalist Columnist Danny Rubinstein reportedly likens Israel to apartheid South Africa',, 31 August 2007, accessed 30 May 2015.
  6. Staff, 'British Science Museum accused over links with Israel', The Belfast Telegraph, 3 March 2009, accessed 2 June 2015.
  7. 'Gaza Crisis Sparked Faultlines Among UK Demonstrators',, 3 June 2010 Thursday. Accessed 10 September 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 John McManus, 'Gaza crisis shows fault lines among UK Jews', BBC News, 3 June 2010, accessed 30 May 2015
  9. Robyn Rosen, ''Minister Alan Duncan says Israel wall 'land-grab'', Jewish Chronicle Online, 18 August 2011, accessed 30 May 2015
  10. Jonny Paul, 'UK supermarkets to heed advisory on West Bank labelling, despite Israeli protest', Jerusalem Post, 13 December 2009 Sunday. Accessed 10 September 2014.
  11. Nathan Jeffay, ''British Jews have new confidence' leaders tell Knesset', Jewish Chronicle Online, 24 May 2012, accessed 30 May 2015
  12. Data from Companies House. Accessed 9 September 2014.