Jewish Leadership Council

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Strategy of Collaboration to Promote Israel

In 2006, Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (Bicom) agreed to lead a 3-year multimillion pound 'action plan' in collaboration with existing organisations engaged in pro-Israel advocacy which include the Jewish Leadership Council, the Community Security Trust and 'all three major political Friends of Israel groups'. Their aim is to promote Israel's image whilst also setting an agenda for the entire pro-Israel community. The strategy includes focusing on 'educating' Britain’s leaders about the importance of the shared values between Israel and Britain (promoting Israel as a 'sister society' to the UK[1]) and to 'change perceptions' about Israel through promoting a focus on aspects such as environmental issues, hi-tech innovations and medical advances. Also pushing 'soft' stories such as the London woman who “married” a dolphin in Eilat[2]. This project was initially 'conceived with notionally unlimited funding'[3].

Chief Executive Jeremy Newmark of The Jewish Leadership Council's states their role as being "one of strategic oversight, ensuring that communal organisations work collaboratively, harnessing their individual strengths and expertise, to deliver the most effective results.” [4]

Meeting with American Jewish Committee

In 2006, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) report meeting with the Jewish Leadership Council in 'an effort to strengthen AJC’s ties to British Jewry'

The report states that:

'AJC President E Robert Goodkind led a leadership delegation to London to meet with the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main community organizing body for British Jews, as well as with the Community Service Trust and the newly formed Jewish Leadership Council. The group also met with British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, longtime Jewish community leaders Lord Greville Janner and Sir Trevor Chinn, and with leadership from the Reform, Liberal and Conservative Masorti movements. In addition, the group held meetings with those Members of Parliament who initiated a serious parliamentary investigation of anti-Semitism, and with younger leaders of Conservative Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Israel. AJC Board members Stanley Bergman and Peter Rosenblatt joined Goodkind on the mission[5].

Lobbying for universal jurisdiction changes

After a number of arrest warrants had been issued in Britain for senior Israeli military and political figures against whom there was evidence of war crimes - including Tzipi Livni in 2009 - the Israeli government put pressure on Britain (and a number of other European countries where similar situations had arisen) to change universal jurisdiction law. Livni and others had to cancel trips to the UK for fear of arrest.

While then Labour Foreign Minister David Miliband reportedly expressed outrage at the arrest warrant issued for Livni and pledged to change the law[6], it was not until after the 2010 election that the Police Reform Bill - containing a clause making the Director of Public Prosecutions (rather than any judge) responsible for issuing war crimes arrest warrants - was put to parliament. When Labour MPs including Vernon Coaker proposed amendments in the Commons which could have preserved the existing application of universal jurisdiction, the Jewish Leadership Council was reportedly on hand to lobby against the amendments - and achieved success. The Jewish Chronicle reports:

The Jewish Leadership Council was forced to issue a briefing to Labour MPs after Opposition whips told them the Jewish community had no problem with Mr Coaker's amendment.
A source close to the JLC expressed satisfaction that the bill has passed another stage of its passage through parliament but added: "We are not counting our chickens. This has been a real rollercoaster."[7]


Chief executive:[8]

Vice Presidents:[8]

Sir Victor Blank, Sir Trevor Chinn CVO, David Cohen, Stanley Fink, Henry Grunwald, Greville Janner, Howard Leigh, Leo Noé, Harry Woolf

Council Membership:[8]

Bill Benjamin | Lucille Cohen | David Dangoor | Mick Davis | Alex Dwek | Simon Hochhauser | Lucian J. Hudson | Brian Kerner | Nigel Layton | Steven Lewis | James Libson | Stephen Moss CBE | Bernie Myers | Gerald M. Ronson | Harvey Rosenblatt | Michele Vogel | Vivian Wineman | Poju Zabludowicz | Stephen Zimmerman


  1. Frazer, J. (2006) His mission: to sell Israel’s story to the UK The Jewish Chronicle. 23rd June 2006. Accessed 2nd July 2008
  2. Frazer, J. (2006) His mission: to sell Israel’s story to the UK The Jewish Chronicle. 23rd June 2006. Accessed 2nd July 2008
  3. Frazer, J., Josephs, B. & Rocker, S. (2006) Revealed: Israel’s new UK lobby The Jewish Chronicle. 23rd June 2006. Accessed 2nd July 2007
  4. Frazer, F., Josephs, B. & Rocker, S. (2006) Revealed: Israel’s new UK lobby originally published in The Jewish Chronicle. 22nd June 2006. Accessed 8th July 2008
  5. American Jewish Committee London Jewish Community Greets AJC President Update 236, 20th December 2006. Accessed 21st August 2008
  6. London streets not so safe for Israelis, Jerusalem Post, accessed 7 August 2012
  7. Martin Bright, Universal jurisdiction reform goes to Lords, Jewish Chronicle, accessed 7 August 2012
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 the jlc membership, accessed 2 December 2011