For almost a year we tried to apply to join the Zionist Federation as an affiliate organisation. We tried to work with the ZF to provide them with all the information they need. ZF executive members were invited to our events so they can see our work first-hand and hear the opinions of our supporters.
Yachad has supporters from across the community – members of synagogues, current and former youth movement members and many others active in the heart of Anglo-Jewry. We felt that it was important that the organisation that claims to speak on behalf of Zionists in the UK reflected our views too.
Unfortunately, we received an email from the chair of the Zionist Federation informing us that Yachad’s application to the ZF was rejected after a vote at their National Council meeting on the 25th of February, 2013. The Chair admitted ‘there were no grounds for rejection, it simply went to vote, and the vote went against you’.
The ZF claims to be an umbrella organisation for the Zionist movement in the United Kingdom, representing more than 120 organisations, and over 50,000 affiliated members.
But the Zionist Federation doesn’t represent us. Evidently it feels our Zionism is not good enough because we are supporters of Yachad, an organisation which believes:
• Israel’s best hope for safety and security lies in a comprehensive peace with its neighbours. That means a two-state solution: Israel and Palestine.
• Time is running out and the two-state solution is in peril.
• Now is the moment for Diaspora Jews to play their part and do all they can in the search for peace.
All six former living heads of the Shin Bet (Israel’s security service) believe a two-state solution is the only answer, half of the Israeli public voted for parties who believe in a two-state solution and end to the occupation. Is their Zionism not good enough for the Zionist Federation?
78% of Anglo Jewry favour a two state solution. Is their Zionism not good enough for the Zionist Federation?
To mark this, we produced an image for social media which was shared dozens of times, and ran a letter-writing campaign asking people to write to the Zionist Federations. Hundreds responded, and we’d like to thank everyone who took part. The ZF’s rejection of Yachad was picked up by major Jewish newspapers all over the world, with the majority coming firmly down on our side.
We also published a full page advert in the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News inviting readers to attend a public event entitled “Want to Know More About Yachad?”