Bookburnersrus on the Undemocratic Nature of the Board of Deputies of British Jews

I found this very detailed description of how undemocratic the Board of Deputies of British Jews is over at the site Bookburnersrus. This is another site run by a left-wing, anti-Zionist Jew, and appears in a piece ‘The Last Chance for Corbyn to Grow a Pair’. This castigates the Labour leader for capitulating too readily to Jonathan Arkush and the other organs of the Jewish establishment over the anti-Semitism smears. He argues very forcefully that the former president of the BOD, Jonathan Arkush, is actually quite easy to deal with and caves in easily if you stand up to him.

The article also discusses the corrupt and similarly anti-democratic nature of the Jewish Leadership Council, whose past chairman, Jonathan Newmark, was thrown out for embezzling and the whole affair hushed up in case it caused a scandal.

This is what the Bookburner says about the BOD

The BoD is essentially synagogue based. Each synagogue may send Deputies to the Bod, the number is dependent on how many members it claims. It is true that a majority of Jewish families are affiliated to a synagogue. Some out of religious conviction and preference and a lot because membership is an important facilitator of rites of passage. Many are excluded by the eye watering cost of membership.

So the first identifiable group that the BoD does not represent are the poorest sectors of the Jewish population.

The second is the fastest growing sector of the Jewish population, the ultra Orthodox, whose synagogues do not send deputies.

There are just over 400 synagogues in the UK. It is likely that the number that send Deputies does not exceed 150. We can’t be sure of the exact number because the BoD is highly secretive about these things. But a look at the general make up of the Bod leads inexorably to the conclusion that 150 is a top figure.

Now these Deputies are supposed to be elected representatives. In reality if you wanted to count the number of Deputies that found their way to the BoD via a contested election you would need more than one pair of hands but less than four. The overwhelming majority of Shuls that send Deputies, are, in this context, rotten boroughs. It is a matter of finding a volunteer. The volunteers are invariably right wing activists. We even have the absurd situation that one of the BoD’s vice Presidents lives in London and is a deputy for a Shul in Wales !!! So the congregation of this Welsh Shul are deemed to be represented.

The BoD is a bastion of the conservative and right wing United Synagogue. So much so that when Laura Marks, a member of a Reform synagogue , ran for President in 2015 she felt a need to add an affiliation to a US shul to her membership of a Reform Shul. She was right. Only US deputies get elected President as the US deputies vote in a religious block on matters pertaining to their privileges. It didn’t do Marks any good. The President of the US declared that her action would be divisive and could result in the US distancing itself from the BoD. This was a potent threat. The BoD would be no more.

Obviously the penchant for bullying and black mail by the US grandees is for internal as well as external use. Israelist so called democracy is not a pretty sight.

You might also find yourself becoming a Deputy if you are a member of the right kind of organisation that has in excess of 500 members and has had during the two years preceding application. Well 500 members is a high bar and its purpose is to make sure the organisation is firmly ” mainstream”. The Board is terrified of plurality and diversity. It doesn’t mind a few racist off the scale right wing nutters like Jonathan Hoffman because they are sound on Israel. Indeed it accomodates more than a few.The defensive wall is shored up by the requirement that an organisation must secure the votes of two thirds of Deputies. It would be an interesting plenary if Jewdas really did apply for affiliation. Geoffrey Cohen versus Jerry Lewis would be fun.

And of course the applicant organisation must sign up to the Board’s aims and objectives foremost of which is ” the advancement of Israel’s security well being and standing” You don’t have to be concerned about the well being of any other country, not even that of the UK. Obviously if you are anti-Zionist, a non Zionist or not much concerned about Israel, but more concerned about the condition of Jews in the UK, you are excluded. The Board does not represent you.

Be clear. In practice this means the Board positively FORBIDS itself ANY criticism of Israel and would impose the same restriction on the rest of us if it could. Maybe it can. Its erstwhile treasurer, Laurence Brass, had enough of this and was consequently hounded out of office. Brass ruefully observed, ” The perception that the Board is an extension of the Israeli Embassy is not helpful.”

Deputy places are also reserved for appointed reps of special interest groups including places reserved for Israelis !!!! Yes, you have to be an Israeli to fill one of those places.

The idea that the BoD is some kind of democratic elected body representing all the Jews in Britain is ludicrous. (My emphasis)

For further information, go to https://bookburnersrus.wordpress.com/2018/04/25/the-last-chance-for-corbyn-to-grow-a-pair/

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